Archive for the ‘Gifts’ Category

Luxurious bites of Ladurée


It is rather unexpected that, at time of recession, a “luxury hall” has been established in Brown Thomas. Nonetheless, secretly, I am delighted because they’ve brought Ladurée from Paris to Dublin!

The name Ladurée is synonymous with delicious macarons, a type of French pastry made from egg white, ground almond and sugar, of which two macaron biscuits are sandwiched with creamy filings or ganache. The freshest and the best macarons are flavoursome, delicate and literally melt in your mouth.

There are some 20 flavours of macarons available in Brown Thomas when I dropped by a couple of days ago, including vanilla (it’s not boring and in fact is a must try), coffee, rose, orange blossom, lemon, red fruits, caramel of salted butter (my favourite!), chocolate, pistachio, raspberry and coconut. Every single one are equally drool-worthy, with a Paris-comparable price tag of €1.40 per piece. I was half-expecting BT to up the price so I was pleasantly surprised by this.

If you could resist buying these macarons for yourself, but have friends who are gourmet lovers, they make excellent gifts too. There are beautiful gift boxes available, to fill 6, 8, 18, 20 or 24 macarons. Gift boxes incur a small additional charge.

Apart from macarons, Ladurée at BT also sells a number of delicatessen items, including tea and preserves. Gift hampers can be assembled too, so really, this is a small piece of gourmet heaven in the city of Dublin. It’s bound to test my self-discipline but I must also remind myself, should I purchase them too often, they will cease to be special treats. Now, that is not something I wish for. ;-)

A gift for globetrotter

I was hunting for birthday present for a friend recently, but without any idea of what to get. So for the first time in quite a while, I went shopping rather aimlessly. I know my budget (under €50), I know who it’s for, but to browse from shop to shop until I feel something is the right gift, that’s a bit of a challenge.

Lo and behold, it was actually easier than I thought I would be. In the very first shop that I dropped by (The Kilkenny Shop on Nassau Street) I found just the gift for her!

Radley Bubbles passport cover

Maybe this is a good time to tell you that this friend of mine loves travelling and had just came back from a year abroad, and planning to be travelling a bit more in near future. I certainly hope she will like this but just in case, I also asked for a gift receipt so she can get it exchanged for a different colour or different item in the shop.

Methinks I will also go back and buy one for myself. :-)

Ps: Yup, she does like it, hurray!

Dublin’s Gift #3: Trinity College

Dublin’s 3rd gift is Trinity College; Trinity was founded by a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth in 1592.

The institute has a history in excellence, some of the important figures in arts and literature were associated with Trinity; This includes Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Bram Stoker and list goes on.

Dublin Gift #2: World-Class Authors


You know them all by name, if not by works: James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett, Jonathan Swift, W.B. Yeats. Authors of some of the great classic works of Western literature, these men also have the dubious honor of being Dubliners. What is it about this city that gave rise to such great wordsmiths? Perhaps it was the comingling of Irish and English, upper- and lower-class, North and South sides of the river. Lines tend to blur more in Dublin than in other comparative cities, and such a home was a great mine of resources for the literary writer.

Joyce, who set both Ulysses and Dubliners in Dublin, said, “I want to give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city one day suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book.” That mark of affection is still heard in a city that sports both a James Joyce Centre and a photo tour of Joyce’s Edwardian backwater, as it was thought of in his day.

Wilde, my personal favorite, has had his house turn into a museum and a deliciously indolent statue reclining in Merrion Square. Dublin also gives him the nod at the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing, a pretty notable namesake for fellow with as many splotches on his prestige as Wilde. He wrote famously witty books, plays, and poems, and was scandalous for his various affairs with Marquess’s sons. My own personal favorite is The Importance of Being Earnest: “it is very painful for me to be forced to speak the truth. It is the first time in my life that I have ever been reduced to such a painful position, and I am really quite inexperienced in doing anything of the kind.”

For more information on these and other great writers originating from Dublin, check out the Dublin Writers Museum, and if you’re really ambitious, there’s the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, which is supposed to be pretty entertaining.

Dublin’s Gift #1: Guinness

Well, Dublin may be late to the party, but never let it be said that we didn’t rock it when we got here. In the great tradition of our other Metroblogging siblings, Dublin presents Seven Gifts from Our Fair City, starting with the arguably most well-loved and perhaps best known, Guinness.


Oh, Guinness. Frothy, smooth, and deliciously subtle, this best-known Irish beer has arguably set the standard for stout altogether. First made by Arthur Guinness at the St. James’s Gate Brewery in 1759, Guinness was originally produced as a porter that was changed to a stout primarily in the early 1800’s. Now it’s shipped all over the world, including Jamaica, China, Malaysia, the United States, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Britain, and even Nigeria–which has become the third largest market for exported Guinness in the world, probably due the the 7.5% abv in the export.

Love it, hate it, kind of curious about it, Guinness remains a quintessential part of Irish culture and particularly Dublin life, from the Guinness Storehouse, that mecca of tourism, to the St. James Brewery, to your favorite local. You see it everywhere, sponsoring hurling, world-class jazz festivals, and gracing the back of everyone who comes to visit our fair city.It’s my own personal choice for gabbing around with my friends, and it’s Dublin’s first gift!

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