Posts Tagged ‘Dublin’

Dublin Michelin recognition 2010

Michelin Guide UK & Ireland 2010

The Michelin guide 2010 for UK and Ireland has been leaked by Amazon, causing another rushed release ahead of schedule. (It was also leaked ahead of the official release last year.)

Regarded by many as the ultimate best restaurants bible, you may or may not agree with their assessments. I’m lucky that I’ve dined in most of the Michelin-star adorned restaurants in Dublin, some out of interest in the early days before they even receive the recognitions, some out of generosity of my aunt who never hesitated in giving me a treat at these establishments.

Let’s see which eateries in Dublin made the cut for this edition.

2 Stars:
Patrick Guilbaud (Upper Merrion Street, D2)

1 Star:
Bon Apetit (Malahide)
Chapter One (Parnell Square North, D1)
L’Ecrivain (Upper Baggot Street, D2)
Thornton’s at Fitzwilliam Hotel (St Stephen’s Green, D2)

Bib Gourmand – New Additions:
La Maison (formerly La Maison des Gourmets, Castlemarket Street, D2)
Pichet (Trinity Street, D2)
The Pig’s Ear (Nassau Street, D2)

Mint Restaurant (Ranelagh, D6) has been stripped of their one star because, as some are aware of, it shut down last year just before the summer. In its place, Dillinger’s opened just last November, and it’s on my list of new places to try.

Additionally, Bang Café (Merrion Row, D2) and The Winding Stair (Ormond Quay, D1) lost their Bib Gourmand recognition. Just to clarify, Bib Gourmand refers to places that offer good food at moderate prices.

I was actually in Pichet and The Pig’s Ear just before Christmas, with photos taken but the review not yet written. Pichet is already doing very well, although I was thinking it’s somewhat pricey for the portion size (not a problem for Michelin’s assessment as they’re eyeing more at quality as opposed to quantity but definitely a consideration at times of recession for diners). The Pig’s Ear, I wondered, if was suffering from a less-than-ideal location despite being quite central. The last couple of times I was in there, it was very quiet and now that they’re being recognised for the quality food that they serve, I hope they’ll do better in terms of business volume but not changing the price structure majorly. That will make me quite sad…

Look like I’ll have to make a trip out to Malahide sometimes soon. That’s the only place on this list that I have not personally experienced.

What do you think? Do you have other favourite restaurants that you believe merit a Michelin recognition?

140 Characters

It’s all very intriguing and while the inspiration was drawn from Twitter, it is not about Twitter. 140 Characters is a series of short film clips, featuring 140 people in Dublin from all walks of life, answering one same question with answers that are each withing 140 characters or less. This is all part of the programme for Innovation Dublin 2009.

The blurb reads:

140 Characters

Shot over the course of one week in Dublin City, 140 Characters captures real people from Dublin City talking about their lives. The film features children, teachers, singers, travellers, nuns, fathers, mothers, dancers, hipsters, grandparents, dreamers, believers, cleaners, creative people & people who are creative with the truth.

Every person is different & every person gives a different answer.

In answering the question people reveal something about their lives, their community, their hopes. In listening to these people we can learn something about ourselves, our city and our society. 140 Characters becomes a snapshot that we can all identify with.

How would you answer the question? What was the question? Meet 140 Characters. Look at them and listen to their stories. You just might see yourself in there too.

That’s as much as I know, unless there’s a reader or two here who were tapped to participate in this project? In that case, will you be able to tell us what question you were asked? Pretty please? (Or was there some sort of confidentiality claused that you signed to?)

Otherwise, fret not. On Friday (that’s 16th October) there will be a free screening of 140 Characters in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar at 7.30pm. No tickets required, so just show up. Perhaps wrap up well, since the weather has gone a bit chilly in the last week or so.

Ps: if you watch the video on the official site, what do you think the little girl is talking about? I reckon, to get a role in the last Harry Potter movie. ;-)

Mapping Dublin City Centre

I have a couple of friends visiting recently from Switzerland and France. As they were arriving late in the evening, they assured me that I wouldn’t need to meet them upon their arrival and we arranged to meet the next day instead. Which we did. And the very first thing they asked me – “where are all the maps next to the bus stops?”.

Ops. Come to think of it, we don’t have those in Dublin. In fact, we don’t even normally have maps of the bus routes at the bus stops (which is rather annoying actually), least of all to expect a map of the area in vicinity. Dublin is not, unfortunately, like many European cities, where lost tourists can consult large maps adjacent to bus stops or metro stations etc.

Pat Liddy and one of the tourist information traffic boxes (Photograph by Aidan Crawley)

Pat Liddy and one of the tourist information traffic boxes (Photograph by Aidan Crawley)

Luckily, a few weeks before that, the good folks of Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID) and historian Pat Liddy (who runs excellent walking tours – I’ve been on one with him and loved it) had just launched a new initiative of using traffic light boxes as historical and tourist information points, and guess what – there’s a great map on every one of them! Needless to say, I pointed those out to my friends so they know what to look for the next time they want a city map in a jiffy.

Living in the city and with the city centre area being relatively compact, this is something that I’ve never paid much attention to. But I can imagine the difficulty visitors may face, especially those who are staying only for a weekend or so and didn’t think they would need to get a map before hand. But now, we have these amazing traffic light boxes that educate and aid orientation. Fabulous.

There are 14 of these info-boxes around the city at the moment, including on Dawson Street/Trinity College junction, Dame Street, Temple Bar, O’Connell Street and Capel Street. Of course, there are more traffic signal boxes around the city. Those not used as info-boxes are now visually enhanced with decorative art coverings.

Personally, I like these changes and I’m sure many would agree with me. Do take a look at them the next time you pass by one, or better, recommend them to your visitors. After all the efforts put in to improve the city, we should rightly appreciate and make use of them. ;-)

Dublin sand sculpture exhibition 2009

Dublin Castle will be playing host to a series of sand sculpture from 7-27 August, themed under “Irish Literature”. At the moment, the courtyard is being transformed by tons of sand transported from Rathcoole and you can watch the artists at work.

I happened to pass by the area a couple of weeks ago when they had just started working on a couple of pieces (yes, the preparation for this exhibition is 2-3 weeks long!) so here are a couple of sneak peek shots.

Sand sculpture 1

Sand sculpture 1

Sand sculpture 2

Sand sculpture 2

I can’t seem to find get further information from Dublin Castle website (the link appears to be broken) so I guess for the full picture of the exhibition, it’s time to take a stroll over to the courtyard of the castle and have a look at it yourself.

If you find yourself with some spare time at hand after that, why not pay a visit to Chester Beatty Library (which is free to enter) and admire the excellent collection of oriental arts and other cultural-related exhibits? Also, the Silk Road Cafe at the Chester Beatty Library is well-worth sitting down to, as they serve delicious Middle-Eastern food.

TEDxDublin – June 12, 2009

Image Courtesy:

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is probably one of the best sources of great, innovative, entertaining, inpiring talks by well respected, talented, thinkers, n individuals covering various themes, held every year in California, US (and also local chapters in UK n Africa) and am sure most of you have seen one or more of these talks, all available for free online at TEDtalks. Recently they also started, something called TEDx (independently organized TED event), where individuals or groups can organize their own local TED like events at home, work etc..

And, for the first time (n probably lot more in future), we have a TEDxDublin event being organized in Dublin on June 12, 2009 at the Science Gallery. It all started with conversations and exchanges between people on twitter and took shape very quickly that I didn’t even had time to inform about it earlier for the tickets. And its already been sold out :|. Thou’ the videos of the event will be available online.

It’s being organized by Dr. Aaron Quigley from CASL, University College Dublin and hosted by the Science Gallery. The 2 confirmed speakers are: 1) Blaise Aguera y Arcas – Microsoft Live Lab’s Photosynth technology and 2) Dr. Scott Rikard from UCD (founder of Roborugby and Sciencewithme); with more to be confirmed soon. You can get more update to date information on their facebook page or you also follow twitter feeds at DUBMetblogs [Dublin Metblogs] or ScienceGallery [The Science Gallery] for more up-2-date information for the event.

According to TEDx events page, there is one going to be in Galway also on 12/9/09. For more information, check TEDxEvents.

June Free Walking Tour

When we travel, we often take the time to unearth information about the cities that we’re visiting, perhaps read up about them on the guidebooks or Wikitravel, and so forth. However, when it comes to where we actually live, how much do we really know about the sights that earn the admiration of many? Or do we merely rush past on a day-to-day basis in our hurry to get to work, to go home, to attend meetings and the likes?

Dublin City Business Association (DCBA) and historian Pat Liddy has teamed up to offer free walking tour of the city centre of Dublin every Sunday throughout the month of June, starting at 11am under the clock at Clerys. The 1-hour-45-minutes tour promises to be informative and entertaining!

The O'Connell Monument

The O'Connell Monument

Do you know that there used to be 9 cinemas on O’Connell Street alone?
Do you know the names of the winged statues (i.e. the angels) on O’Connell Monument?
Do you know about the privileges of scholars in Trinity College?
Do you know how reasonable it was to buy the Mansion House in the old days?

The answers to the above questions are some of the nuggets of information that I’ve learned just last Sunday when Mo and I went on the walking tour with Pat Liddy. We may have live in this city for sometimes now, but there are still things that we are unaware of, or failed to notice even!

What I appreciate most about the tour is that it’s not just about dispensing facts and figures. It is about seeing the city in terms of historical value, to pause and take note of the subtle beauty of the monuments. I also thoroughly enjoy the dynamic interaction between Pat and the participants of the walking tour. The genuine interest from everyone in attendance made it all the more gratifying. Of course, we were also extremely lucky that Sunday morning was absolutely sunny and gorgeous, with clear blue sky.

I hope you take advantage of this wonderful offer in the upcoming Sundays. And I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you get lovely weather to go with it too. I wish for you to enjoy the city as much as I have!

If you’re hankering for more walking tours but trying to keep an eye on your pocket, here’s something that you’ll appreciate. Dublin City Council are organising a series of free walks around the city – not always in city centre though – so you should definitely have a look at the schedule of Let’s Walk and Talk! and participate.

Happy walking. :-)

Dublin in Selective Colors

Seen on Upper Camden Street, by Maser. I did a bit of ‘selective coloring’ on it to bring out the colors. You can see the original one here.

The quest for employment

This is one of those scary real life videos, which is not even about reality tv show. Instead it highlights the real problem during times of economic downturn. Previously, practically most of the convenient shops in town would have signs at the window offering casual/full time employments. Now, a single sign at one shop window for just a few days could evoke a line of over 500 applicants!


In fairness, the ratio for this particular employment interview session is about 1:5, given there are about 100+ positions to be filled for 3 new Londis stores. Quite a normal rate. I guess the surprise factor is actually seeing queue of this magnitude instead of a more traditional discreet interview appointment system favoured in this city.

I fear we have not seen the last of such open call interviews (while the number of jobs offered keeps on dwindling over time). Hard times people. Hard times.

Celebrating Handel 250


The first time when I heard about Handel Festival in Dublin, I was admittedly perplexed. Handel was German, wasn’t he? Indeed he was. What I didn’t know at that time was, he first performed his famous Messiah in Dublin, all the way back on 13th April 1742, at a music hall on Fishamble Street.

Aha, mystery solved.

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death, which took place exactly 17 years and a day to Messiah’s performance in Dublin. Therefore, Temple Bar Cultural Trust in partnership with Dublin City Council and the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism is bringing forth Handel Festival between 13th and 19th April. That’s less than 2 weeks from now for you to acquire tickets to various ticketed events, some free, some not. And not all events are ticketed so you could still catch something without prior booking.

Check the festival programme here. If you can, do not miss “Messiah on the street“, which will be performed on Monday 13th April, at 1pm. Listen to the masterpiece that was composed in neck breaking time of 24 days. Rain or shine, the show will go on.

Dublin’s Interesting’ness on Flickr

Photo Courtesy (with permission): dElay Flickr Profile

This is one of the most interesting (‘ness flickr measure for being on top) and also one of most favourited shot when you search for the term ‘Dublin’ or ‘Ireland’ on flickr, by Dominik Banasik. Among others, personally, this one particularly strikes me, bit rainy, flip flops, beer included (holding a bottle), not very apparent, n great composition. Rightly titled ‘After Party’ by Dominik, the shot was taken in a Dublin park near temple bar (guessing st. stephen’s green, the bench is pretty cool too).

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