right now, i call london my home, but it has to share my heart with two other places: australia, where i grew up and where i will return one day, and ireland. my mother is irish and my sister and i spent many summers of our youth in her country village north of dublin.
my mother spends a few months every year back home with her family, and with her leaving in a few weeks, i seized the opportunity to pay ireland a visit and introduce the man to my enormous family. seriously, we are the ultimate irish cliché – mum is the youngest of fourteen, and i have 45 first cousins. i won’t even bother trying to count the second and third cousins. we’d be here for a month.
we flew home for a long weekend with a couple of days in mum’s little village and a few days in dublin. i didn’t capture near as many pictures of the gorgeous countryside as i’d like as we spent much of our time frantically trying to visit as many aunts and uncles as possible, but did get a few of my family’s farm, and the house they all grew up in.
on sunday we drove down to dublin. a few people recommended number 31 hotel to me. i love boutique hotels, and this place has the idea nailed. number 31 is a gorgeous listed building attached to a georgian house with a lovely little garden in between. the staff are so welcoming and can’t do enough for you, and their full irish breakfast is what dreams are made of – and exactly what we needed after plenty of wine the night before. i fell asleep reading in their cosy sunken lounge in front of the fire place, and our enormous room was so beautiful, with modern features where you needed them and the rest classic and luxurious. i will, without a doubt, be booking there again. you should too.
we took a long leisurely stroll around the city and i trailed the man around the guiness factory, which ended up being more fun than i would have guessed. the view over the city from the rooftop bar at the end is worth all the talk of hops and yeast. we finished the day in typical style in temple bar. on monday morning d had to fly back to london for work, so mama joined me in dublin for some mother-daughter time.
we got some serious retail therapy on grafton street (brown thomas and it’s younger sister, bt2, are my new mecca), walked around trinity, where i was obsessed with the idea of studying when i was younger (still am, actually… maybe for my masters). we took shelter from the rain in the stunning westbury hotel, where we had a long and sumptuous afternoon tea. mum and i can always be counted on to locate the best cake and champagne in town.
st stephen’s green we lounged in our high-back chairs and stared smugly at the downpour outside as we feasted on our decadent tea of macaroons, lemon meringues, chocolates, pistachio cake with vanilla cream, and perfect little sandwiches. there was yet more shopping and strolling, followed by more food and even more wine. mother-daughter time at it’s finest.
home is where the heart is.