We spent one-and-a-half days and two nights exploring the highlights of Dublin, where we experienced the culture, food, history, and two great hotels.
We arrived from Paris Charles DeGaulle airport at about 3 p.m. in Dublin, after a two-hour flight, and it took 25 minutes by taxi to get to the center of the city.
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Our first hotel, The Fitzwilliam, is located in the middle of the city, facing St. Stephens Green, an historical park. The premier boutique hotel of Dublin, The Fitzwilliam strives to give personal attention to each guest and to fulfill their specific needs, as explained to us by Bronagh Kelleher, director of sales and marketing. During our conversation, we told Kelleher what cultural things we were interested in seeing in Dublin, and within the hour we received an email with a list of current museum and gallery exhibitions.
Our deluxe-category room was more than spacious (almost 400 square feet) and decorated in a dark color palette of purple, cranberry and taupe. A daybed built into the picture window was a smart touch, and the contemporary, four-poster bed with a thick, cushioned headboard gave us a good night’s sleep.
During our visit with Kelleher, she informed us that they were in the midst of refurbishing parts of the hotel, and showed us a few of the updated rooms, done in a lighter and airier color scheme of mauve and sage green.
After we checked in, we took a stroll through St. Stephens Green, a lush garden with manicured grass, flower beds and stone fountains. There were a number of sculptures throughout the gardens of historic Irish citizens, including James Joyce, and we also discovered a Yeats memorial garden with a Henry Moore sculpture.
Dublin is known for its Georgian architecture, in the form of townhouses made of brick, constructed from the start of the reign of King George I in 1714 until the end of King George IV’s reign in 1830. Our attention was drawn to the bright-colored, lacquered doors in shades of red, royal blue, yellow and bottle green, which were a welcoming contrast to the dull brick. We later found a great poster in a souvenir shop with photos of the doors.
We later stumbled upon a unique shop, The House of Names, which specializes in heraldry, the practice of assigning individual coats of arms to families. A longtime tradition dating back to the 1200’s, the shop can track your family history and research your coat of arms. They can recreate your coat of arms with either a wall shield mounted on wood, a crest printed on parchment or an embroidered version on a banner. All the products, many made by hand, are manufactured in Ireland by local artists specializing in heraldry. You can also order products online from The House of Names on their website: https://houseofnames.ie/
That evening we dined at Glovers Alley