Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dublin March 2012

Air Lingus were doing a special offer on flights to Dublin and it seemed churlish to refuse. Mary picked the Six Nations weekend when Ireland were playing Scotland. Unfortunately her membership of the Irish Supporters Club had expired so we missed out on the ticket release. But, what the heck, we would just go to a sports bar and watch the match from there so that is what we did.

Friday we took the afternoon off so we got to Dublin in plenty of time to have an early supper at The Farm - a free meal courtesy of our Top Table rewards. After supper it was time for our first Guinness of the weekend at Carr & O'Connell - another freebie thanks to the accommodation.

First Guinness of the weekend - Carr & O'Connell

Saturday we took the open top bus for a tour of the city. We only did one "hop on, hop off" for lunch at Ryans of Parkgate Street. Apparently it has been visited by Bill Clinton and Julia Roberts. It has lots of original Victorian features including a snug - a small booth at the end of the bar with room for four people, six at a squeeze, with a door you could close and its own serving hatch from behind the bar.

Ryans Of Parkgate Street.

Then it was back on the bus to central Dublin to find ourselves a match-watching venue. Mary rejected the first because it was full of Scotsmen so we repaired to Lott's Bar, claiming to contain the smallest bar in Dublin.

Lott's Snug

Unfortunately Scotland lost but that is the way it goes sometimes. So to console ourselves we went out for very nice meal at The Exchange Restaurant and Cocktail Bar.

Sunday morning we went to Bewley's Cafe for a latte with some amazing stained glass windows.

Bewley's Cafe window 3

Then it was off to Trinity College to see The Book of Kells. The last time we went to see it the curators had sent it off for conservation and left a photocopy behind. This time we got to see the real thing - the almost microscopic, intricate art work is quite astonishing. We arrived just in time for the 11 o'clock tour followed by the book and exit through the long room which looks like something out of Harry Potter.

Then, alas, off to the airport for lunch and the flight home but we'll be back!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dublin's Statues

The Dublin locals are prone to giving their statues humorous, rhyming sobriquet. These are my three favourites.

"The Tart with the Cart" aka "The Trollop with the Scallops"
Molly Malone - "The Tart with the Cart" aka "The Trollop with the Scallops"

"The Hags with the Bags"
Two Women - "The Hags with the Bags"

"The Floozy in the Jacuzzi"
Anna Livia, The Spirit of the Liffey - "The Floozy in the Jacuzzi"

See for more.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Cultural catch-up 2012 Q1

It has all been a bit busy so I need to do some retro-blogging on our cultural doings:

Thu 26-Jan-12 Warhorse - at New London Theatre. Truly amazing theatrical experience to celebrate Mary's birthday, it deserves all its rave reviews.

Sat 04-Feb-12 The Descendants in the VIP seats at Cineworld Wandsworth. We like the VIP seats: big chairs, we're often the only ones in there, glassed off from the groundlings with your own sound system and you can take your drinks in. George Clooney and a fine supporting cast.

Fri 10-Feb-12 Carnage - in which Penelope (Jodie Foster) is clearly a woman who needs to lighten up. The Guardian likes it but I would not put it in the feel good category.

Sat 11-Feb-12 Umoja, The Spirit of Togetherness - at the Peacock theatre. Full of dance, music, bright colours and a tale of moving from the country to the city in South Africa through the decades. Loads of of fun and another fantastic, theatrical night out.

Cannizaro House Hotel
Cannizaro House Hotel

Sat 18-Feb-12 Cannizaro House, Wimbledon. Mary was in Ecuador for 14th February so this was a belated Valentine's meal. A delicious meal in the delightful setting of Cannizaro Park and romantically chosen as it was the hotel where we spent our wedding night.

Fri 24-Feb-12 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Delivered exactly what was expected. An ensemble piece full of of thesps who can act in their sleep (not that they did), and a feel good plot filmed against the backdrop of bustling Indian life with some cracking one-liners. I was most impressed with Bill Nighy's performance.

Sat 05-Mar-12 The Lady from the Sea at The Rose Theatre. We like to support our "local" theatre; it is only half an hour on the train - the same as getting to the West End - and half the price. Apparently this is one of Ibsen's lighter, more comedic plays, well the others must not be a bundle of laughs then. Thanks to good reviews the only seats left were the best in the house, premium seats - front of the stalls with a free programme and glass of prosecco included - and worth every penny.