Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Vintage Dublin: Cocktails, Tea & Cake

Here we go, part two of my Vintage Dublin report focuses on edibles and most importantly, drinkables!  If you missed part one, you can find it here.

Cocktail Establishments
Please go to the Vintage Cocktail Club (Crown Alley, Temple Bar).  You will no doubt  need to make a reservation if you are arriving after 9pm.  Located behind an inconspicuous dark doorway, you have to know it's there - press the doorbell and you will be admitted, assuming you are dressed appropriately.  The main lounge is arranged with little clusters of seating, perfect for intimate conversations discussing assignations and so forth.  If you run out of conversation, there's plenty to look at - a metallic ceiling that's quite spectacular, charming nude photos from a time when women were Rubenesque, and on the top floor the roof slides back for you to marvel at the stars.  A little complimentary prosecco is served to you while you peruse the menu - that might take a while, as there's a fantastic choice of cocktails (11 Euros approx), and the majority are ones you've never heard of before.  Staff were charming, and we ordered a watermelon, fig and goat's cheese salad that was simply superb.  Our bill came to 35 Euros each, for the salad, fries, 2 cocktails each, and a tip.  Absolutely worth every cent.

vintage cocktail club dublin

vintage cocktail club dublin
  vintage cocktail club dublin

vintage cocktail club dublin

Another good option for decent cocktails that I didn't get around to visiting, but that looked marvellous from the website, was The Exchange bar at The Westin Hotel, specialising in gin and 1930's cocktails (26 brands of gin, numerous brands of tonic!).  I might have to go back to Dublin purely to work my way through the gin menu, I hope my friend remains living in Ireland for some years so that I have the excuse to visit.

Finally, I'd like to warn you off The Clarence Hotel, which was a huge disappointment.  The Art Deco exterior had me tingling with anticipation, but the interior was marred by really awful pop music blaring, and an obvious target market of cheap not chic, as evidenced by the 'Happy Hour'.  In a 5 star hotel?!

My martini was too warm, and I had to ask for a cocktail stick to retrieve the substandard olives from the bottom of the glass.

clarence review dublin

Clarence review dublin

Clarence review Dublin

Tea & Cake
Wandering away from the hustle-bustle of the main shopping streets of Dublin, South-West of St Stephen's Green, is the Cake Cafe (Pleasants Place, Dublin 2).  At first I wondered if I had the address right, as it was just an empty alley, slightly dodgy looking with bins and a few naughty smokers.  Once through the back gate you find yourself in a delightful little courtyard, and you know you're in the right place.

It was a cold day but the sun came out and I was wrapped up warm, so chose a table outside.  I ordered a pot of tea and the plum spelt cake, and was pleased to see mismatched crockery and a proper cup and saucer.  The bill came to 5.90 Euros.

The Cake Cafe prides itself on being environmentally responsible, something I back wholeheartedly - they use rainwater to flush their loos, among other things!

Cake Cafe Dublin

Cake Cafe Dublin

Cake Cafe Dublin

If you're after something a bit more decadent and a place to wear your fanciest clothes, there are lots of good hotels in Dublin serving afternoon tea.  I particularly liked the look of the offering at The Westin - served in the impressive Atrium Lounge, guests are offered the choice of a traditional, or a 'most peculiar' afternoon tea (24 Euros).

Other suggestions include The Shelbourne (29.95 Euros) and The Westbury (30 Euros).  Needless to say, I wouldn't recommend The Clarence after my previous review, but it is cheap at just 14.50 Euros.

There you go, folks.  I hope now that if you are planning a visit to Dublin, you are armed with enough information to take in some free sights, buy a vintage frock, eat some good cake and have a stiff drink!

1 comment:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed both of your visitor guide posts and the many memories of my days in Dublin that they brought back. In those days, mine and my husband's very favourite place to get a wonderful bite to eat while down in the city centre was an Italian restaurant called Boccaccio (I think it was on Dame Street), which served up the best pizza Margarita and eggplant parmesan I've ever had the please of sinking my teeth into.

    ♥ Jessica


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