As my wife’s illness progresses, we have less and less opportunity to travel. Airports are largely too much to navigate (even with wheelchair assistance), and long days take a lot out of her. That said, I have yet to share my Travel Tuesday experiences on one of our last flight day-trips: Dublin.
Our day began at Stansted and we used a cheap return flight service on Ryan Air. It was not as bad as might be expected on budget airline, as we had the wheelchair assistance, and the disabled boarding procedure. We were boarded last, but had reserved seats, and made for a less congested seating.
On arriving in Dublin, we had arranged to tour the city on the DoDublin tour. This proved to be one of the best hop-on, hop-off tours I have ever been on. We made a couple of full rounds at different times of the day, and while the recorded commentary on a middle leg portion of one of our circuits was informative (and rather average by hop-on, hop-off standards), the live commentary we received on two full rounds was excellent. It contained all the key info of the recorded sequence, the personal embellishments, jokes and asides of the live guides made the day a joy. The downstairs seats were well heated gave adequate views and the upstairs seating (while the day was brisk) gave even a better feel for the city.
We hopped off for breakfast (having arrived in the city before eight a.m. without eating first) at O’Neill’s on Suffolk Street. It is a traditional Irish Pub, with hard wood features, a busy bar, and quieter nooks and side tables. The atmosphere is good, with a understated assuredness of its place as a model of what an “Irish Pub” should be. For those into such things, the list of forty-seven beers and ciders on tap was impressive.
It was busy when we arrived, and the staff we a little behind in the clearing of tables, but they were friendly and helpful, and clean tables in a quieter side room were available, and we were quickly seated.
We had a full Irish and a veggie breakfast. The eggs were free-range, well cooked and had a full flavour to them. The potato cakes were delicious, and the grilled tomatoes were herbed which gave the meal a sense of some special care being taken in it. My wife’s black and white puddings were excellent, and the bacon and sausage of superior quality. The wholemeal toast and nice Irish butter were a perfect fit with the rest.
One of the best breakfasts I have had in years.
We then returned to the hop on and we did the usual Dublin sites (Guinness, St Patrick’s, Christ Church, and of course the Molly Malone statue).
It was then time for a main meal, so we stopped in for a bite and a t-shirt and found the Dublin Hard Rock to be good as expected. The shop is right next to the main door, and there is easily accessible seating on the door level, as well as down stairs. The atmosphere was typical Hard Rock and the music, and rock memorabilia were enjoyable.
The service was quick and friendly, but wasn’t as attentive as we have experienced in other Hard Rocks. This isn’t to say the service was bad, but it did mean we had to flag the server down a couple of times to ask for things.
The food and free refills on soft drinks were of good value, though the portion sizes seemed a little small compared again to other HR venues. The veggie burger was nicely made, and the chips good, but the presentation (and size as noted) were a little off.
The experience as a whole was positive, and the restaurant bright, but they could have done a bit better.
Before leaving we had some lovely Butler’s Chocolate at the airport, and we made our way back to England.