What excellent windows Dublin has. I stopped to look at a dozen, at least, yesterday morning while Mrs RM’s coffee needs grew greater. We must have passed a gazillion Starbucks, Costas and Harris + Hoole variants before settling on Clement & Pekoe, whose excellent filter wins a point for being hot. Mrs RM put milk in her filter and has consequently been given 24 hours to leave the country. Coffee dilution is still an offence here.
We couldn’t recall anything about Dublin from 1995, which makes we wonder if we left the pub back then. This time we did the things you’re supposed to – admiring the gold in the National Museum of Archaeology, the jam scones, and the tramlines being laid down.
As in Cambridge, people walk as fast as they talk. Here, that’s a compliment. Good service and cheery people all round, though the obsession with dodgy ’80s pop wears a bit. I can’t get Chris Cross’s “Sailing” out of my head, a bad thing.
My basic rule in life is never to join a queue. So in Trinity College we skipped the Book of Kells queue and admired the graiffti in the student union, and the odd bit of modern art.
From Trinity we zigzagged through Temple Bar, before settling on the Porterhouse, whose four levels get a bit manic by tea-time Friday.
At the civilised time of 11.30 we had Dublin’s best known brewpub to ourseleves, and a wonderful thing it is.
One handpump dispensing the seemingly ubiquitous Trouble Brewing. Their Porter was a solid NBSS 3, though no match for Mrs RM’s Porterhouse Plain.
Off the cuff we popped in to City Hall to see Orlaith McAuliffe perform a masterful set of airs and jigs on flute and tin whistle. Mrs RM’s requests for “Paddy McGinty’s Goat” led to her second expulsion of the morning.
City Hall is yet another masterpiece.
I had a scrawled list of potential places for lunch with a handpump. The pump was turned round in the Palace, prompting an about face that drew some good-natured abuse from the local lads.
Sweetmans was the other consistent recommendation, and like the Porterhouse has a lone prominent pump. Branding is clearly a secondary concern.
Again, a decent cask Stout (NBSS 3) in a thin glass, and a superb keg Pale, at decent lunchtime offer prices (26 euros for 2 meals and pints).
From the fourth floor you can drop peanuts on Mrs RMs head for 1 euro a pop.
But would we find O’Neills ? Find out tomorrow.