I hoped to have this post live on Tuesday 17th, just in time to celebrate St Patricks Day with my words of praise and love towards Ireland’s capital city! Unfortunately a bad cold got in the way of my blogging schedule, so instead of writing I spent most of Monday in bed surrounded by tissues and medicines.
Ah! As much as I try to plan my editorial content in advance and stick to my time schedules, life gets in the way sometimes and you just have to let it go, accept the change of plan and not beat yourself about it.
I was determined to share this post anyway, so now that my brain is functioning again and is not just a big blur, I am finally able to share my photos and travel post from Dublin!
I was invited to visit Dublin at the end of November on a press trip organised by Lovin Dublin and Visit Dublin. It’s a short flight from London to Dublin, so in just a few hours I was at Kellys Hotel in the city centre where I met the others bloggers and journalists.
This boutique hotel is in a great location to explore the city on foot and my room was quiet and comfortable. The hotel is in a charming neighbourhood full of independent shops, restaurants and cafes such as Coppinger Row (still thinking about the Open Meatball Sandwich!) and Kaph.
Also part of our two-day trip was a guided visit to the Little Museum of Dublin: a three-floor townhouse with a collection of over 5,000 artefacts that tell the story of Dublin throughout the 20th Century. It was very interesting, so I would recommend a visit to anyone going to Dublin!
After the museum visit we had a great dinner at Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill, after which we were escorted to the new, big and quite impressive Bord Gais Energy Theatre for the Lovin Dublin Live Show.
The show featured interviews and speeches of Irish personalities from the different industries. It was very interesting for a foreigner like me to hear about many small and independent businesses doing well in Dublin, especially after the 2008 economic crisis.
The show ended with the Lovin Dublin Food Awards announcements and I was really excited when 3FE took the prize for best coffee shop in Dublin!
3FE is a specialty coffee shop and roastery founded in 2009 by Colin Harmon (three-time Irish Barista Champion and a World Barista Championship finalist – among other achievements). In 2011 Colin opened their first stand-alone cafe on Lower Grand Canal Street (pictured here) and in 2014 they began roasting with a refurbed 50-year-old Probat UG22 and with the help of Steve from Hasbean (co-owner of the business).
Today 3FE is a coffee supplier to more than 50 businesses all over Ireland (for example Fallon and Byrne is one of them)!
I couldn’t leave Dublin without a visit to this coffee shop, so on the second (and last day) of my trip I woke up early, booked a taxi with Hailo (much more popular in Dublin than Uber) and arrived at 3FE. I loved this coffee shop so much, that two years later I went back when I was in town to work at the Dublin World of Coffee Festival!
My friend Craig Walsh, whom I met at Barista Camp in Greece last summer and is a barista and manager at 3FE, was already pulling shots at the espresso machine.
Craig made me a flat white and also suggested I tried the porridge for breakfast – it was delicious served warm with the addition of muesli and apple sauce.
I spent about an hour there between 8:00 and 9:00 on a Tuesday morning, watching the regular stream of customers going in and out with their takeaway cups (off to their office jobs in one of many Dublin’s startups and tech companies I guess). The shop wasn’t full, but definitely busy for a week day.
I also tasted one of the filter coffees and bought a bag of coffee beans to take back home, which my husband and I really enjoyed brewed on our AeroPress.
3FE was started by Colin with an ethos of “make nice coffee, be nice to people and they’ll probably come back”. And for sure he was right!
My visit to Dublin only lasted thirty hours and too soon I was back on a plane flying over the Irish Sea. I wish I had more time to visit the city’s best restaurants and bars, but also time to explore the rest of the country. Ireland is definitely on my dream list and I would love to take my husband who has never been before. So Dublin you might see me again soon!
Disclaimer: I visited Dublin as a guest of Lovin Dublin and Visit Dublin. All opinions are my own.