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Dublin Day Out: National Botanic Gardens, Brunch at Fallon and Byrne

The value of experience is not seeing much however seeing it wisely

National Botanic Gardens

When traveling to different cities throughout the world, in the places you can visit, is there anything more peaceful then Botanic Gardens in a city. Gardens or parks of this kind. In the middle of urban sprawl, a place far removed from the traffic and noise to just wander. Located in Glasnevin right beside the cemetery in the National Botanic Gardens. Founded in 1975 by what is now know as the Royal Dublin Society, the botanical gardens are home to many living plants and multi-storey complex which includes training facilities and a cafe. On my experience, I just wondering around aimless for about an hour and a half taking in a natural beauty. Also in my visit to the area, I visited a cafe not far from the entrance called McMahon. Possibly one of the cutest cafe’s, the personal favorite points I need to note are the blankets out front and the doggie bowls also, cause furry friends are the best.

Brunch at Fallon and Byrne

My girls and I do love out food and use any excuse to meet up to involve food. One particular Sunday we met for Sunday brunch at Fallon and Byrne, the Wine Celler. When entering at door level, you go down to the cellar (obvs) the only reservation I have against this, when the weather is better in the summer months, it may proof to be somewhere less attractive. What I did enjoy about the layout tough is the wine itself across the side wall making the set up some bit more authentic. Yes, I know it is called the Wine Celler.

For my brunch delight, I indulged in Smoked Salmon on brown bread with scrambled egg (which was extra) and crushed avocado. I’m really happy I branched out from my usual Eggs Benedict as every inch of this serving went down whole. After we as a group decided on two desserts of mini donuts, salted caramel & Jam. This being honest we were a little less impressed. The chocolate sauce was great though. However, as a whole, the dessert was an average result from us.

Day Trip in The Burren – Wild Atlantic Way

Sorry Ted, I was concentrating too hard on looking holy

For those who don’t know the above quote is from Father Ted, one of Ireland’s most loved TV shows. A series that was last aired in 1998, and repeated yearly and to this date, quoted over and over since. Every year in Lisdoonvarna in Co Clare a company called Ted Tours organize a festival on the May Bank Holiday. After many conversations and dreams to go, 6 of my friends and I arrived dressed as nuns. No words will ever describe the hilarious feeling of being in a minibus arriving at Father Ted’s house singing ‘My Lovely Horse’ The tour also included many other areas where the show was set, Tea and cake at the house itself. After arriving back in Lisdoonvarna, to The Burren Storehouse we fed ourselves before ‘The Lovely Ladies’ Competition and the evening disco. The whole festival if you are a Father Ted fan and have the friends who up for a Ted laugh, this quite possibly will the best laugh you’ll have. One word for everything: Random. It’s the people who make the memories in this case.

The following Sunday morning before leaving Lisdoonvarna we had breakfast in a small cafe across from the famous and colourful The Matchmaker Bar before heading on our way. The first stop on our travels was the breathtaking Doolin. A few minutes drive from Lisdoonvarna, by the coast, this village stole my heart in so many ways. From the cute cottages with thatched roofs to the most welcoming people, my love for the little village has grown beyond expectation.

From Doolin we took a scenic drive to one of Ireland’s most famous tourist attractions to The Cliffs of Moher. And what Irish Travel Blogger am I if I don’t come visit these cliff’s eh? The biggest negative is having to pay €6 per person to park in the car park but eh what harm? The cliffs as windy as they are, take in some stunning sights and a walk over to see the stunning views to take anyone’s breath away, even with a Sunday hangover.

From here, we drove the Burren Coastal Drive to the beautiful village of Ballyvaughan were we drove into Aillwee Cave. Ailwee Cave for any Father Ted fans is actually were they shot the cave episode of the show. A privately owned cave that includes a 30 minute tour, there is a option to include a Bird’s of Prey demonstration which we actually didn’t opt for. (At this point the tiredness was kicking in and a journey to Dublin was still ahead of us). A visit to the cave is well worth it if in the region.

8 Places for Frozen Yogurt and Ice Cream in Dublin

Whatever the weather here in Ireland, (preferably warm and unreal though as it totally suits us), this Ice Cream and frozen yogurt have craze has taken Dublin to the next level and we are becoming very continental and trendy meeting for Ice Cream instead of drink. If you have any more favourites we would love to hear about them.

Yogism

locations in Georges Street Arcade and also Dawson Street.

Plenty of different combination with my favorite location is Georges Street Arcade is authentically fitted with wooden finishings

Unique selling point -apart from the amazing choices…. Guess your own size for a freebie. Nice touch.

 

Mooch Frozen Yogurt

Location: Dundrum is a newbie and then Georges Street.

A definite high contender for being generally amazing and I once got awesome Nutella protein ball here one day anyhow big fan if the peanut frozen yogurt.

Unique selling point  pink chairs and games

 

Murphy’s Ice Cream

Location: Wicklow Street

Like what a selection of ice cream and like everywhere (hopefully at least) Irish made with friendly staff.

Unique selling point: from Kerry and I do love a to support the friendly Cork neighbours of mine.

Team practicing our Specials in the Galway shop. Hard work to taste them! 😉 #icecream #ireland #murphysicecream #wildatlanticway

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Gino’s Gelato’s

Location: Grafton Street (twice), Henry Street, Georges Street, Blanchardstown, Liffey Valley and Jervis Street Shopping Centre.

Italian Style Ice cream, hundreds of flavors which you can also put on waffles. Score.

Unique selling point: Apart from the fact they are everywhere so you can trust them. Georges Street layout is pretty awesome.

If you haven't tried our famous Gino Rocher, have you even lived? 😆

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Scrumdiddly’s

Location: Dun Laoghaire

Possibly a hot contender for being one if the busiest towns in Ireland when the weather is hot.

Unique Selling Point: Forgetting about the 75 people in front of you when you take you first taste.

Obligatory scrummdiddly post #whitegirlgoals #pursuitofcreamyness #sunsouthunsout #loadzafilters 📸💁🏼

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Coco Bo’s

Location: O’Connell Street

Totally one of my favorite places in town, great layout so much to choose from chocolates, waffles, sundaes and ice cream.

Unique Selling Point In the both times I have been here it was never overcrowded and maybe that is due to spacious size while it deserves to be.

Vai um crepe de sorvete de baunilha meu povoo?? Uma das coisas mais engraçadas que provei em Dublin. Um dos meus objetivos do intercâmbio é provar todas essas coisas diferentes e típicas de cada cultura, até pq não dar pra falar "não gosto" sem provar neh? Rsrs E diga-se de passagem, Dublin é o lugar certo para provar coisas diferentes e de culturas diferentes, já que a capital da Irlanda é uma das cidades da Europa com maior mix de cultura. Hoje foi o dia de experimentar o Japanese Ice Cream, super famoso por aqui, principalmente entre a molecada. Sobre o sabor: ótimo, principalmente pra quem é uma formiguinha como eu e adora doces 😂😂 Mas é SUPER difícil de comer, ajudaria mt se a massa do crepe fosse uma casquinha… Seria MUITO mais gostoso para o nosso paladar brasileiroo inclusive rsrs mas não deixa à desejar. Vale mt à pena, e pretendo voltar lá para provar as outras delícias da sorveteria japonesa 👀😜

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Pog

Location 33 Bachelors Walk

Last of three frozen yogurts options and only north of the Liffey with tables out front it makes the perfect combo for a lovely day.

Unique Selling Point Pancakes for brekkie or enough choice to make yourself happy.

18 degrees today. You will need a froyo 🍦

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Scoop

Location: Ranelagh and Aungier Street

Only recently open in the last few months, Scoop is Ranelagh’s newest addition while I haven’t been here, I can’t imagine Ranelagh having a shocking place in their presence.

Unique Selling Point Location and looks real cute from the outside

 

Aussie Ice

Location: Dundrum Shopping Centre

Like this place is always busy even in the depths of winter so these guys must be doing something right, like maybe being in a warm shopping centre, HA this being said it does say a lot when you always have a good customer

May – Festivals and Events

Can you believe it’s May and we are actually are now in our fifth month into the year? Finally, the start of the summer officially, optimistically hoping the weather starts to become more glorious, with Ireland anything can happen when it come’s to weather, however, we can always hope and dream. As ever in terms of festivals, plenty is available through the country with so many options to cater for everyone and at all budget cost too. As always, if you have any suggestions to have added, let us know. Also, check out Cork Festivals separately.

Irish Vegan Festival In Belfast Waterfront on May 13th a day-long festival dedicated to all things vegan. It is ticketed event with all VIP tickets sold out but normal tickets still available on their website.

The 18th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival Another festival in Belfast, already started from 27 April – 7 May 2017 which as the title would suggest many days of events from the arts.

Dublin Dance Festival 10 days of events from the 18 to the 28th of May covering masterclasses, exhibitions, and performances.

Wellfest for all those who interested in all things fitness and health, Wellfest has returned to Dublin’s Herbert Park on May 6th to 7th.

Irish Aerial Dance Festival A dance storytelling festival in Letterkenny, County Donegal from 28th of May to the 10th of June.

Bealtane Festival Creatively comes at any age. In most cases, creativety develops with age. Age doesn’t define us, we do. Bealtine Festival is organised throughout the country to show us and prove that the ‘elderly’ are creative too. Ongoing for the month of May so make sure to check out the website.

International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival from May 1st to the 14th in Dublin, this broadly gay theme is another form of creatively should most definitely be considered,

Cos Cos Sean Nos Festival 2017 from May 1st to May 7th in Rathcormac, Drumcliffe, Co Sligo brings together many of storytellers, poets, and dancers.

Mayo International Choral Festival All over Mayo from 24th to the 28th of May,

Connemara Bog Festival Possibly one of the most scenic and beautiful parts of Ireland, the Connemara, this festival runs from May 28th to June 5th with a wide range of events from concerts in Kylemore Abbey to guided tours to a 5k family run.

PhotoIreland Festival 2017 Exhibitions and workshops throughout the month of May in Dublin.

Wexford Food Festival A two-day festival celebrating my favorite things food and drink. In its 8th year this festival is on from the 26th to the 29th of May.

#wexford#food #festival in full swing #sunshine #friends #family#fun #food

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James Connolly Festival While it maybe another Arts festival, it does have a very political influence also, in its third year this festival is on from the 8th to the 14th of May in Dublin.

International Literature Festival 2017 This literacy festival take place in Dublin from May 20th to the 29th. Tickets are available on their website.

Sheep’s Head Yarn Festival 2017 For those who love to walk and explore this is a perfect opportunity in Kilcrohane, Co Cork on the weekend of May 21st/May 22nd.

Life Festival This electric music festival takes place in Belevedere House, Co Westmeath on the 26th and 28th of May.

Festival season is just over 4 weeks away…. #Life17 #4weeks #Festival #linkinbio

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Westport Airshow Once the weather is any bit nice, the Westport Airshow would be a perfect day out on the 14th May 2017 along Westport Quay, as not only will the airshow happen, many events will take place as well.

Watch out for our #WestportAirshow branded fleet

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Wicklow Day out: Lough Dan and The Grange Kitchen

You need special shoes for hiking and a bit of a special soul aswell

Wicklow has earned the name as Garden of Ireland for no unsurprising reason. With a minimal distance down the M50, the county offers some breathtaking views that leaves one impressed at the complete change of world to that of the very built up Dublin. Personally, I love the motorway drive as you come into Bray and the mountains, trees stand up from either side to accompany you on the drive.

Coming off the Motorway at KIlmacanogue, heading up towards Glendalough and find yourself deep the Wicklow County near Roundwood is home to Lough Dan. Car parking is few and far between, so settle your car in somewhere that is safe by the side of the road.

The beauty of Lough Dan is the tranquil feeling as you get exploring the area with the peaceful experience of less crowded than many other popular tourist destinations. Lough Dan is a very popular destination for hikers and the area is most popular with locals/from Dublin then that of tour buses and the likes. After a three-hour hike/walk around the area, we had our breaths taken away from the sheer beauty of the area, some of the pictures could have been out of a filtered Instagram account.

The Grange Kitchen – On the return to Dublin this same day, we stopped at The Grange Kitchen, located on the outskirts of Roundwood. The Grange Kitchen is a cafe/restaurant with ample parking out front. The Cafe overlooks Djouce Golf Club with seating also available outside. The decor inside is quite homely and the service is friendly. By the apparent welcome, they do seem to attract a lot of passion trade by walkers which is comforting to know that arriving in trainers/runners are not less welcome. Food wise I choose a Ploughman Ham, Relish and cheeses sandwich which was really worth the wait.

 

Tell me, Do you have any areas you love to explore?? Any secrets areas??

Food and Drink Dublin – Elephant and Castle – Long Haul

I’m on a seafood diet everytime I sea food I eat it

 

 

Elephant and Castle –Address: 18 Temple Bar, Dublin 2

When you’re wing fan without a wing woman/man, you just go have the wings and that’s what I did. On a quiet Tuesday evening on way to event, I finally lost my Elephant and Castle virginity. I had the famous chicken wings. With a highly unattractive love of chicken wings with an ever love of the food, Elephant and Castle was always a name high on the list for chicken wings bucket list in Dublin. On 6 pm on a Tuesday, the place was yet to have crowd with a rush so a perfect time to get some munch by one’s self. On arrival, I was greeted and brought straight to a table, being honest, I didn’t glance at the menu I was handed as I entered for one single reason. Within 20 minutes of the order, the wings had arrived.

Worth the hype? Being honest yes. If I didn’t like them I wouldn’t write this. (cliche blogger, right?) The wings were spicy and meant for a starter for two. Without being too spicy, they had a great kick off them. Canal Bank Cafe will still be the winner, however, I do have a new friend with a more central location.

The Long Hall – 51 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2

Known to be one of the cities oldest pubs, this is quite an impressive statement in an old city. After many a bus or a stroll past this authentic, unique pub, curiosity finally caved this same evening and stumbled across the threshold to devour a glass of wine. The initial awkward interaction was me needing to run back out for an atm as a transaction under €10 was not viable. As I only wanted/needed to one, it was fine and sorted this. (Still by myself, lolcano, do not have pity on me, I enjoy this). For a Tuesday evening, the pub was really very busy, apart what appeared to be a treasure hunt, quite a few folks were chilling for an after work drink. No loud music, friendly staff, and not coming under the trendy that is currently appearing, it suited me, for my one drink by myself. Would very much recommend it for a place to come if you wanted to catch up for a chat/not get drunk/but want to still have a drink.

Cork Day Out – Buttevant and Doneraile

Your feet will take you, where your heart is

The beauty of North Cork is the green Irish country green, while not touching the coast, it is a different world to other parts of Cork. This is the beauty of Cork as a county, the differences between every part of it, all the towns have their own unique spirit separate to the next. Two towns in Cork that may not come to mind for a day out, is Buttevant and Doneraile. Rarely to be found in the bucket list of many and often unheard of by others. In the case of both places they are only miles apart and half way between Cork and Limerick, public transport, however, is not your best friend so a car is your best *only* option here.

Interesting Facts

  • Cahirmee House Fair takes place in Buttevant on July 12 every year, the whole village is home to horses walking the main street. I’ve on,y been once as a young child and rememeber peple everywhere.
  • Red Bull once held a

Places to Stay

Springford Hall just a few miles outside both towns is a friendly country hall that is situatated in beautiful grounds,

Check out Air BnB as most other BnBs and the likes are rare in these parts otherwise,Mallow is about 12km up the road.

Buttevant
Buttevant
Buttevant
Buttevant

Where to eat

In Buttevant you can choose between the cute cafe called Lylas Kitchen, getting a full feed The Orchard Restaurant or pub grub at The Crossroads.

Doneraile is home to Cafe Townhouse on the Main Street and within Doneraile Park would see the Tea Rooms

Things to do.

  • Walking is a complete favourite here at Irish Travel Key including the Steeple to Steeple which includes sights such as Ballybeg Priory and Columbarium and Buttevant Castle.
  • Explore Doneraile  Wildlife Park, one of the countries busies parks and no surprise why as it is absolutely stunning.
Doneraile
Doneraile

9 Tour Companies with tours from Dublin

  • So you want to do a day tour from Dublin?
  • Where do you start with all the tour companies?

So I’ve put together a few awesome companies that do really great day tours out of Dublin and there really are some great options here to choose here. While I am a big fan of exploring Dublin, there is so much more to our Ireland. Sometimes these tour options can be a fantastic alternative option to driving, more cost effective, the ability to sit back, relax and take in the scenery.

Paddywagon Tours

Undoubtedly most famous of them all and most recognizable with statement large green buses and Paddy himself appearing across them with tours to Cork, Dingle and Giants Causeway, there is always an option available.

20160424_072741.jpg

Wild Rover Tours

With many awards based on customer review from Trip Advisor and Viator, Wild Rover Tours have many day options (as well of longer trips also) including Kilkenny, Wicklow Mountains & Glendalough.

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Extreme Ireland

Without never experiencing Extreme Ireland, it is still obvious to tell they are for the adventure soul in you. One of the few companies that I am delighted to see have walking tours available, many over a couple of days and a Full Moon Walking Tour to Glendalough and Enniskerry as well as many other day tours also.

FUN FACT: all of our buses are named after Greek gods and goddesses. Can you guess what this beauty's name is?

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Healy Tours

Galway based tour company with day trip departures from Burgh Quay, Healy Tours will give a more special tour I could imagine to Connemara or Cliffs of Moher.

 

Kennedy and Carr

While you may have only a few days in Ireland and want to see as much as you can on limited time gives a good opportunity to see as much as you can. Kennedy and Carr offer day trips to Aran Islands, however, this by private hire the price is on application.

Rail Tours

So let’s be totally frank, when we think day tours, it always mostly bus. Rail tours are also available and are great bringing you to further corners of Ireland from Dublin like for example the Ring of Kerry.

Day Tours Wicklow

If you are any bit outdoor character then Ireland is really the country for you with such a great ability to embrace some of the world’s most beautiful scenery with County Wicklow a complete stunner. Day tours Wicklow offers walking, cycling and horse riding.

Lake of Wicklow

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MacCoole Tours

Possibly less known however providing some great tours with John and Caroline the guides and founders to either Connemara or Cliffs of Moher.

Hilltop Treks

So many alternatives and options if you are a walker and being honest none of them are too hard or intensive so worth ever step. Hilltop Treks have wonderful options. With day tours to example Newgrange (Unesco WorHeritageage Site) they are also part of Adventures Dublin which includes many day adventures like surfing, biking tours, walking, hiking, day tours, water based activities, rafting, kayaking.

 

April – Festivals and Events

enjoy life today, yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come

April 2017 is upon us with two bank holidays, for those lucky enough to not weekends, enjoy the fruits of this blessing and those that work weekends embrace the ability to have mid week adventures. (often at a cheaper cost).

Enjoy your April and do check out one of these Irish run festivals. Also, make sure to check out Cork festivals Here

Five Lamps Festival is on until April 6th in Dublin inner city, a creative festival with a local initiative behind it so well worth checking out.

Leenane Mountain Walking Festival for all fans of walking with evening entertainment also between April 28th and May 1st

BD Festival is a music festival taking place on April 14th in Glendalough

17th Belfast Film Festival is a 12 day festival for any film buff from March 30th to April 9th

Galway Food Festival is here to satisfy the biggest foodie on Easter weekend between the 13th and 17th.

Pan Celtic Festival comes to Carlow between the dates 18-22nd April celebrating the cultural links between Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man.

RTE All-Ireland Drama Festival takes places in Athlone between

Irish Surf Film Festival in Sligo from 22 to the 23rd of April.

Ideal Home in the RDS from 21st to 23rd April to give you all in inspiration to make your home beautiful.

Barrow River Arts Festival has a very diverse list of events – 21-23rd April in Borris, Co Carlow

West Waterford Festival of Food happens in Dungarvan between 21-23rd of April.

Cup of Tae Festival while you may think this festival is about Ireland’s favourite drink, it is in fact a tribute to John ‘The Tae’ Gallagher. Ardara, County Donegal plays host to this festival a music festival from April 28th to May 1st.

First Cut Youth Festival showcases an promotes the youth in the industry on April 27th to the 29th in the Mall Arts Centre, Youghal, Co Cork.

Moving Bodies Festival a dance festival in Dublin between the 20-22 of April

Kilkenny Rhythm and Roots Festival is another great music festival between April 28th and May 1st

 

13 Farmers Markets in Cork that you NEED to go to

Have you heard Cork – is the food capital of Ireland?? Cork prides itself on so many things and the food industry and choices would be one particular thing we do well. Fresh, high quality and variety are things that stand out personal when I think of food. While the standard chains are apparent in the rebel county and city, so does Cork’s home grown food industry. English Market is one of Cork’s most popular and famous tourist attractions and possibly the greatest food market in the country. But where else you can get local, fresh produce? Below is a list of different markets from all sides of this county on different days.

  • Mahon Point Farmers Markets – At thew entrance of the shopping centre every Thursday morning from 10-3, Mahon Point is home to every 50 stalls.

It's Thursday, so we're at Mahon Point Farmers' Market. Pop by, say "Hi". #baker #bakery #mahonpointfarmersmarket #mahonpoint

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We are here today from Noon – 6pm full of Christmas cheer!

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Bandon Farmers Markets – If the city is not enhancing your interest, how about staying more local in Bandon, every Saturday from 9.30 to 13.30

Having a great day so far at The Bandon Oregon Marketplace! Have a good day my friends! 😘

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Dunmanway Farmers Markets is providing a great local market every Thursday from 10-2

Clonakility Market With so many different types of a produce from food to plants every Friday from 9-2

Kinsale Farmers Market Over 30 stalls make a home for themselves every Wednesday from 9-2.30

Mallow Farmers Markets In Market Square every Thursday and Saturday from 9.30 to 2.30.

Midleton Farmers Market with love music and great food every Saturday from 9-1

Where else would you be on a beautiful Saturday morning #midletonfarmersmarket

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Skibbereen Farmers Market Takes place every Saturday from 9.30 to 1.30

Beautiful #skibbereenfarmersmarket today ✴️

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Wilton Market in the grounds of Wilton Shopping Centre with over 45 stalls takes places every Tuesday from 10 to 2.30

Some fine Asian cuisine on show here at Wilton farmers market.

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Killavullen Farmers Market – Not far outside Mallow in the Nano Nagle Centre this market takes place every Saturday between 10.30 and 13.00