I try to shop local when possible but sometimes you just have to pick up a few items in Dublin. I’m not a fan of bustling department stores and everyone rushing so much that they’d step over you but there is some repsite to be had. After the main presents were procured I set a course first for Probus Wines where I picked up a few Christmas Ales. I’ve wanted to check out the place for a while, pity I couldn’t coordinate it with one of Aidan ‘Brews International’ Sweeney’s Thursday night tastings. It’s a lovely café/off licence/bar that is charmingly European in style.
Then we got a taxi out to 57 The Headline where there is a very impressive array of Irish taps. Twenty four all told, and six of those are rotated regularly. The pub is very classy yet comfortable and we received a warm welcome. I was my usual demanding self and mixed and matched from the menu before setting on a White Gypsy Winter Ale which I had with lamb meatballs. Very tasty. The Cider Correspondent had to drive later so she had a pint of lime with her chicken wings. For my main I had the burger which was really succulent and meaty with a pint of 8 Degrees Amber Ella. The lady had IPA and dill battered fish goujons and chips. I have to say the chips were very good as well. I had a quick glass of Black Donkey’s Sheep Stealer for dessert before we hopped on a bus back into the city.
We had a stroll along the stalls of the market at St Stephen’s Green and then stopped into the Celtic Whiskey Shop. My Mother In Law had (very kindly) instructed my wife to pick me up a bottle of something nice for the Christmas. I went with a bottle of Teeling’s Small Batch Whiskey which came in a box with two very smart glasses.
I finished up the evening in P Mac’s which had a very different vibe to The Headline but another large bank of taps, both Irish and international. The place was busy with young students and the odd suited up lost looking business man. I had a very enjoyable pint of Barrelhead’s Indie Amber and a glass of White Hag’s White IPA. ( If those lads have made a bad beer I haven’t had it!) The background music was of the alternative variety spanning all the way from Soundgarden to Radiohead so I was right at home. The staff were friendly and efficient and I now have two pubs that I’m keen to visit again. So that’s my list of ways to take the pain out of Christmas shopping in Dublin. Sláinte!