A city break to Dublin - the food

Earlier this month I went to Dublin for a long weekend to explore the city. I thought i'd share some of my favourite places to eat as that was definitely one of the things we loved the most! We wanted to make the most of the food there so we set a rule of no chain restaurants and read lots of reviews on the best places to eat in Dublin.

The Rolling Donut - it's hard to miss the rows of donuts that line the window of The Rolling Donut and we loved them so much we managed to get some through airport security and bring them home! The Molly Malone (apple and cinnamon), Coffee Lover and Baileys Bliss were our favourites although i'm sure all the others taste just as good!

Donuts in Dublin - The Rolling Donut

Brother Hubbard - after reading so many good reviews we went to Brother Hubbard for lunch with high expectations. The menu is unlike anything i've ever seen before but there's something for everyone. I opted for the harissa pulled chicken ciabatta (herby zhoug, cucumber, crème fraiche) - the flavours were really unique and I would definitely go back and try the rest of the menu if I could! I'm also planning to buy their cookbook (it was too heavy to bring back on the plane!) as i'd love to re-create what I ate at home!

Lunch in Dublin - Brother Hubbard

Luigi Malone's - the only place where we hadn't decided in advance, we went to Luigi Malone's on a Saturday night for nachos, pizza and fajitas. The restaurant is in Temple Bar so it was quite busy but we managed to get a table without booking. There's lots to choose from on the menu - the nachos were really good and not like your average Doritos with melted cheese on top! I chose a Strawberry Fields to drink which i'd definitely recommend - Luigi Malone's is a good choice if you're looking for a restaurant with something for everyone in Dublin.

Pizza and Nachos in Dublin - Luigi Malones, Temple Bar

Taste Cafe is a lovely little cafe tucked away at the end of a street not too far from St Stephen's Green and it's an ideal option for breakfast before exploring the nearby shops. I chose the pancakes which come with a choice of toppings (I opted for maple syrup) and James chose the eggs benedict with smoked salmon. Taste is quite popular but we managed to get a seat outside which was great and is definitely an ideal breakfast spot if you're in Dublin this summer.

Pancakes in Dublin - Taste Cafe

Catch 22 - a great fish restaurant with unique decor, Catch 22 is an ideal choice if you want some seafood and it was one of the best restaurants in Dublin that we visited. We started with Calamari which was some of the best we've ever had - perfectly cooked and plenty to share between the two of us. For my main course I opted for fish and chips - although I found them a bit salty the fish was really fresh and there were plenty of chips.

Fish and chips in Dublin - Catch 22

Gallagher's Boxty House is a popular choice and well rated on TripAdvisor. For our final meal I decided to try something that was typically Irish so I opted for poached eggs on a Boxty pancake. If you're eating out in Dublin, Boxty House is a great choice for some traditional Irish food and this was without a doubt one of my favourite meals, it was really simple but tasted great.

Boxty pancake in Dublin - Boxty House

In my next post i'll be sharing some of the places that we visited and a few ideas for things to do in Dublin so look out for that soon if you're planning a city break or weekend away!

Five good things to start 2017

Five Good Things - Spring 2017

1. Hello! So I thought i'd write a quick blog post - i've really missed my little space on the internet recently! Back in mid-2016 I started a new job which involves a 30 mile commute and a few months later found myself in a relationship so finding time to myself isn't something that happens very often! I loved writing my five good things posts and I really regret not keeping them up so thought i'd start the year with something easy to write!

2. I'm on a bit of a mission to save at the minute; i'm hoping to buy my first house later this year and finally put an end to my long commute (after spending 3 hours sat in traffic a few weeks ago i'm so ready for this!). I can't wait to have my own home and i've got so many ideas thanks to my obsession with Pinterest! I couldn't resist the little cactus above which was £2.50 from Primark recently!

3. My blogging break means i've got lots of new beauty favourites to share (hopefully in a separate post) but the Barry M Jelly Nail Paints deserve a special mention. I used to love the Speedy ones but they chip quite easily and the really shiny finish and long lasting colours means i've converted to the Gelly ones. Once i've found the time and patience to use them, my favourite colours are Rose Hip, Pink Lemonade and Sugar Apple.

4. Last year I went on my first holiday abroad in 10 years to Paphos in Cyprus, and i'm now planning a little trip with some friends to somewhere warm this summer! I'm going to share more photos from my trip as I can't recommend it enough - from the nicest food to paragliding above the sea, I came home with the best memories. And now I can't wait for another break from work and some sun, even if it means I have to save a bit more for my house!

5. And finishing with music (as usual) my current favourites are the new Fenech Soler album Zilla (Undercover is my fave), Prodigal Son by Rationale, LMS by San Scout and the new Rag'n'Bone Man album, Human.

Manchester Christmas Markets

Manchester Christmas Market Santa

Last weekend I went to Manchester Christmas Markets, after craving mini Dutch Pancakes for an entire year! After last year's disaster when it rained all day, it was nice to wander around wearing my favourite winter coat and actually be able to look around without having wet feet!

I chose the pancakes with syrup - there were lots of other flavours including Nutella but my love of sweet things still finds the combination of chocolate spread and pancakes a bit too rich! Obviously if you're looking for the real German market experience there are lots of traditional hot dogs and beers to choose from, but if not, there's definitely something for everyone!

Manchester Christmas Market mug with hot chocolateMini Dutch Pancakes

Later on I bought a hot chocolate - last year I got one with Amaretto but finding the stall again in the crowds was a bit of a nightmare! If I go next year i'll definitely choose a weekday or go for a long weekend so that I can spend more time there when it's a bit quieter as it was hard to even find somewhere to stand to enjoy the food.

There are lots of stalls (not just food!) and some of them are repeated around the streets which is good if you don't want to walk around everything as you won't miss much. If you're looking for a German market to get you in the festive spirit Manchester is a great choice, i'd just recommend visiting at a quieter time if you can!