Happy Easter from London. I am filled up with food and drink and need a holiday from the holiday, just to recover from all the eating. I did actually work today, and it was like all of London's citizens decided to leave the city or just stay inside. These bank holidays are the only days when London resemble my childhood memories of Oslo: nothing is open on Sundays, the city is empty and life is quietly happening while you are relaxing and focusing on family. And of course a couple of photos of what made this long week end so amazing. That burger. I mean, bring it on any day of the week.
I know I have mentioned how obsessed I am with reading crime books but after reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes I found myself getting 2 of her other books on my Kindle and committing to a new book genre. Although all her books are fairly emotional, and I always read the last page sobbing, I just can't seem to stop reading and when one book is finished, I'll start the next one. Well worth a try this Easter, when you are fed up with the family and need a mini escape from reality.
I am very lucky this Easter to have a close fried visiting us from Norway. And although I will be working quite a lot of the Easter period, there is also time to have fun ad enjoy life! Happy Easter!
Although I have declared my love for Dublin, I have to reclaim some of this love back, because there was just so much rain while we were there. And wind. Rain and wind. Which is really not a good combination.
What happens when it rains a lot, is of course that you get soaked if you go outside. And if you are in a new city as a tourist you most definitely want to leave your hotel. Which we did, and we got rained on badly. Umbrellas are no good because of the wind, and well, who owns a rain jacket anyways? Moving on, lunch was good and the little of Dublin I could see through the wall of rain, was pleasant. What wasn't so pleasant was when we got to the port to get on the ferry to go back to Britain and start a 4 hour drive. Due to weather conditions, the ferry was cancelled, and the next one was at 9pm. Just a little 6 hour wait really, no probs guys! There is only one thing to do: Go to the cinema. We watched Identity Thief (funny film, if you want some easy and simple entertainment this is it.), and had a 2 hour coffee break after, just to kill time. All the while checking on the weather and the ferry status. So it is important to mention that the weather didn't get any better. At all. I'd say there was more rain and stronger wind by the minute, and we contacted our ferry company who said we should return to the port because the 9pm ferry was cancelled as well, but they would put on a ferry at 2am(!!!) and we had to be there in person to book our space. This is about the time when I went to the closest hotel to check on the prices for a room.
After a bit of arguing and worrying and another coffee, we headed for the port, to find out about this ferry. Our first stroke of luck, and our only one I think, was to be transferred to the first ferry out with another company, which left at 8.50pm the same evening. Needless to say, with my luck, I spent 2 hours sitting in the disabled toilet, extremely seasick. I think I was the only one on the whole boat, but I can't say for sure as most of the time I was worried about the movements of the boat.
Think the nightmare is over? No darling, it's just started. The rain in Ireland turned into snow in England and our planned 4 hours in the car soon turned into 6 hours in what I would like to classify as a mini snowstorm. Did I mention we started driving at 1am? I can with certainty say that Friday night, was the worst night of my life. We finally made it back to London and collapsed on a bacon sandwich, had a hot shower and went to bed. Sleep has never felt so well deserved and like a luxury. So, that was my holiday rant. And possibly the worst end to a holiday one can have. What about you? Can you do better?
I have talked a bit before about my love for pancakes, but when I find myself alone one evening and having to make my own dinner without having to care for anyone else's wishes there is only one thing to do: make those pancakes count. These are gluten free, topped with a mixed berry compote and bit of honey. It is food love at it's best!
Dublin really did have the most amazing food, when we arrived at the hotel there was a magazine with suggested restaurants that we picked up. We hadn't done much restaurant research and thought maybe it was worth giving these magazine recommendations a try. The first night we went to Brasserie 66 in the Temple Bar area to feast on amazing chicken and tuna. I started with risotto balls and some amazing bread made by the restaurant.
And then there was my main course, roasted chicken marinated in thyme and lemon. With a garlic mash and peas and bacon. It might have been the best chicken I have ever had. Ever. It was such an amazing start to our food adventures in Dublin, we consulted the magazine for every meal and were happy every time. But if you find yourself in Dublin, please go to Brasserie 66. The atmosphere the people, the food, oh the food. It's worth it.
Although the weather hasn't been on our side all week, at least there are pubs/restaurants/hotels/cafes we can escape into when the rain is getting too much. Yesterday was our only full day in Dublin (we are taking the ferry home today) and while it was windy and raining, we had an amazing lunch, the boyfriend spent some time in the Guinness factory while I read my book, and we visited the National Museum and had too escape some drunks who were voicing their hatred for British people.
We have been staying at the Ashling hotel, which is not Dublin's best, but they have a very strong focus on customer service and both the rooms and the common areas are well taken care of. And it's really reasonable as well!
We had lunch at the Pig's Ear, which is a small restaurant close to the Trinity College campus. Dublin seems to have a lot of very good restaurants that take food seriously and also have great options for set menus, for both lunch and dinner, that will set you back around 15-20 Euro.
But this place? Oh the food, glorious food! The boyfriend had a poached egg with white beans, mushrooms and hollandaise, with some croutons for crunch. This was just beyond amazing. I went for smoked salmon which was so fresh, and also a bit mindblowing.
Main courses: pork belly and a mustard mash. Do I even have to tell you it was good? Didn't think so. And the other dish is, and I am not joking here, confit of duck pie with shallots and covered in mashed potatoes and topped with crunchy oats and nuts. I love you duck pie, I really do.
After lunch we wanted to stay a bit longer as it was raining heavily and also because the restaurant was so nice. So we ordered coffees (also good, this place can do no wrong) and I could not help myself: I had to take a photo of the sugar and milk, because this is just so cute, fun and individual. May all restaurants please do something similar.
The little sightseeing we could fit in before the rain took over, would be a quick walk through Trinity College, and walking in Temple Bar. Then there was rain. So much of it.
So, where am I? Dublin of course! It's my first time in Ireland and so far I am LOVING it. For various reasons we decided to take the car and catch a ferry across to Ireland, which led to the unnaturally early wake up yesterday. So early. But we are here, and it's been good. We drove from London to Holyhead where the ferry goes directly to Dublin, it's a bit of a drive to Holyhead, but when the ferry gets in in Ireland, you are basically in the centre of Dublin. The ferry across was just as expected, quite small and not very entertaining, but it did have 2 restaurants and since we were starving, we had no choice and ordered an "italian style" pizza. This is what arrived. Yummy, but the chunkiest Italian crust I have ever seen...
Yesterday the boyfriend and I had to say our goodbyes to Paris and get back on the Eurostar. Always leave when you are on top, right? 3 days on Paris always leaves you wanting more. And this morning? We got up at dawn, probably before actually, and got in the car, heading out on new adventures. Although this time they come fully equipped with WiFi. Get ready!
At this very moment someone (me!) is waiting for the train to Paris! The boyfriend and I are off on a week long adventure, starting with Paris. It's been a long time since I have been this excited about a trip abroad, and it's been years since I have visited the city of love. Paris here we come!
I'm Christine and I currently live in London with my husband where I do my best to go to as many restaurants as possible, bake, DIY and occasionally let my hair down and go to a museum. x