The Travelling Man: Dublin, Ireland

Forget what you thought you knew about Dublin. Yes, it’s cloudy and wet; and yes, there are plenty of Guinness-stained cobblestone streets; and yes, there’s a statue of James Joyce. But in the last decade, Dublin has emerged as one of the most exciting modern cities in Europe.

Fuelled by clever tax incentives, the Irish capital has become a hub for tech firms (Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all have their European headquarters there), which in turn have created more jobs than the island has seen in years. Instead of moving away to find work in North America or mainland Europe, Irish youth are staying at home, starting brands and breweries and small businesses, injecting Dublin with an infectious startup energy. The city may look the same as it always has — the beautiful Georgian buildings, canals and green spaces are all still there — but trust us: it ain’t the same city it’s always been.


The Dean Hotel


For a long time, the only places to stay in Dublin were dreary business hotels or kitschy B&Bs. The Dean is the city’s first real, luxury boutique hotel, and it’s a knockout: dark wood panelling, big leather chairs, SMEG mini-fridges, Marshall amp docks, turntables (to play the hotel’s LP collection) and original Irish art on the walls. While the hotel’s location at city-centre makes it a convenient home base for night excursions, you can always camp out at the Lobby bar, which has top-notch live music every weekend.


The Greenhouse


Finnish Chef Mickael Viljanen has dreamed up an inventive menu, using local Irish ingredients to create very un-Irish dishes: think Slaney Valley lamb with broccoli and sea herbs in an oyster emulsion, or a dessert of cauliflower, white chocolate and coconut. Put your trust in the chef and go for the five-course surprise tasting menu and the accompanying wine pairing, naturally.

The Bridge 1859


The brainchild of four rugby players and a successful publican, The Bridge is close to the Aviva stadium (home of Irish rugby and soccer) and, unsurprisingly given the ownership, is the ideal setting to catch a match while enjoying hearty food and a pint. The 1859 Tower burger and 10oz Hereford strip loin showcase the freshest local beef (grass-fed and raised on small, family-run farms across Ireland), but true carnivores will want to go for the Meat Plank, which pairs a 5oz Hereford steak with a chicken breast, a rack of pork ribs and BBQ pulled pork.

The Pembroke

Walking into the Pembroke feels like you stepped into someone’s home, with it’s mismatched furniture, striped wallpaper, shelves of books and eclectic assortment of portraits of Hollywood stars, American Presidents and other world leaders. It’s all very comforting, much like the dishes Chef Jordan Newman serves up. Go for the the heaping seafood skillet (full of tiger prawns, mussels, calamari and a local catch of the day) or crispy haddock cakes.


Seasons of Baggot Street


Searsons was, until 2012, like any other downtrodden Irish pub (which, it should be said, are not without their charms). But after a change of ownership, it’s become a bona fide destination. Its dedicated Whiskey Bar boasts over 90 Irish whiskeys, including every iteration of Midleton Very Rare whiskey from 1984 to 2014. There are plenty of options for sipping by the glass, but you should start your night with a tasting — the Patrick Kavanagh flight brings together an exciting trio of smaller brand single pot still whiskeys that are unforgettable.

The Bourbon Bar

Ireland is known for its whiskey, and there’s certainly no shortage of it around town. But at this bar, found on the top floor of the Odeon (a restaurant and lounge in a historic train station) and only open on Saturdays beginning at 11 p.m., the spirit’s sweeter American cousin is all the rage. The Union Club is a faithful take on the classic, while the Amaretto Sour is heavy on the vanilla — and definitely worth staying up for.


Indigo & Cloth


The design of Indigo & Cloth is on point, and no wonder, considering the space also doubles as a creative agency. Founded by Garrett Pitcher, his clean aesthetic is behind plenty of projects in Dublin (including the above-mentioned Dean Hotel). The shop mixes contemporary brands from the US (Saturdays NYC), Europe (Oliver Spencer) and Ireland (The Tweed Project), while also housing a Clement & Pekoe café — a Dublin coffee house, opened in 2011, that has quickly become a local favourite.

Castle & Drury


This store is all organic lines and soft textures, with sculptural rails used to showcase his choices: graphic-heavy Wood Wood from Denmark, Scandinavian staples from Soulland and practical basics from London’s YMC. There’s even a Canadian connection, with Toronto-based Hiroshi Awai’s line CREEP on offer.