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5 great reasons to visit Dublin

It may be a small, but there’s a reason why Dublin has such a big reputation. From cobbled streets to traditional pubs and more literary greats than you can shake a stick at, history and culture simply pervade this city. Dublin offers visitors the best of both worlds; a famously compact capital, you can be out in the emerald hills in less than half an hour. Sip whiskey, listen to Celtic music, explore pretty villages, drink Guinness, and enjoy fresh food grown in Ireland‘s startlingly green grass. Here are five great reasons to visit Dublin. Eat at The Garden Room Dublin’s newly opened restaurant, The Garden Room, is fast becoming a stellar addition to the Irish fine dining scene. Though the decor is smart and the enormous windows look out onto formal gardens complete with fountains, statues and landscaped greenery, the restaurant itself is decidedly less formal, with a light and relaxed atmosphere. Chef Ed Cooney has created a mouthwatering menu that brings together whimsical combinations of flavours and seasonal, fresh produce: signature dishes include grilled black sole with creamed garlic spinach and lemon beurre noisette; wild halibut fillet with Dublin Bay prawns, broad beans, barley and kale; Irish chicken breast with French onion soup and a gruyère pate croûte; and homemade pappardelle with rabbit confit, pistachio and black olive jus. Vegetarians won’t go hungry, either: meat-free dishes include smoked cauliflower and truffle with Glenilen creme fraiche, delicious salads with avocado, duck egg, baby spinach, aduki beans, spring onion, red chilli and wild rocket, and a startlingly good gnocchi dish with mushrooms and a poached egg. Try to leave room for one of the beautiful desserts: best of all is the heavenly chocolate tart with a scoop of homemade ice cream. Pamper yourself at Powerscourt Just a half hour drive from Dublin, Powerscourt Resort & Spa is set in some of County Wicklow’s most beautiful countryside. Located in a rolling wooded valley and looking out onto the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain, Powerscourt is easily the best place for pampering in Ireland. This huge two-floor spa boasts world-class facilities and an extensive range of indulgent treatments: it’s the perfect place to come to recalibrate after hiking this lovely area. Go for a swim in the 20-metre heated pool, which is lit with Swarovski Crystals, then head into the thermal suite for a steam. There are 20 treatment rooms where you can enjoy some meaningful rest and relaxation in the pristine stone, slate and wood surroundings. If you feel like a workout, the state-of-the-art gym offers a large range of CV and resistance equipment by Technogym. Drink at McGills Ireland is famous across the world for its traditional pubs, and if you’re looking to make like local, McGill’s pub is the best place to enjoy the craic. Built and designed by The Irish Pub Company, and with a friendly, laidback ambiance that breeds a culture of conversation, McGill’s is about as authentic as it gets. Sip a pint of Guinness while enjoying excellent live music, and take some time to admire the interesting trinkets and memorabilia that adorn the walls and bar. Popular with locals, McGill’s is frequented enough by tourists that the staff are well-versed in catering to visitors’ fancies; if you’ve always wanted to pull a pint of Guinness, this is the place to do it. Stay at The Merrion If you’re looking for unadulterated Dublin luxury, there’s only one choice. The Merrion is the city’s most stylish five star offering, and this 142-bedroom hotel is the perfect union of historic pomp and contemporary comfort. The spacious, light-filled period rooms are spectacular, and strolling through the drawing rooms is like stepping back into the Georgian period. The bedrooms are large, light and traditionally tasteful, with the decor echoing the building’s history, and the gleaming marble bathrooms are spotless. Hung upon the hotel walls is Ireland’s largest private art collection, and enthusiasts can enjoy free audio tours explaining the history and background of each painting. There’s also a pretty 18 metre swimming pool, a spa, an excellent restaurant and two top bars. Catch a show Fans of the theatre will be in their element here, because Ireland has a surplus of literary and musical culture. Dublin has many excellent theatres where you can catch a show, from Abbey to Gate to Gaiety. Abbey is Ireland’s national theatre; founded by WB Yeats in 1904, this year it appointed new directors who are merging traditional and contemporary elements to guarantee audiences a world-class show. Alternatively, there’s the Smock Alley Theatre.The only Theatre Royal to be built outside London, Smock Alley has been producing top quality shows since 1622, and today boasts a varied range of events – anything from opera to murder mysteries to Shakespeare.  Gaiety Theatre is where to head if you fancy a more entertaining show: from West End hits to musicals and Christmas pantos, this is fun for all the family. From classic favourites to modern masterpieces, there’s a show for everyone in Dublin.

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  1. I have always wanted to visit Dublin, there’s something about it that is so charming. It’s great that Guinness is now vegan, so I’m definitely more keen to embark on my Irish journey! The Garden Room sounds lovely, especially the meat-free dishes. I also love it when a restaurant has greenery all around. McGills looks incredible – would definitely love to get that on my Instagram!

  2. Dublin is such a fun city, everyone’s so friendly there. The garden room looks like a lovely place to eat. The Merrion looks like a very old world historical hotel, loving the decor. You can’t visit Ireland without going to one of the pubs and checking out the live music.

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