Last week, Vinn and I spent four days galavanting through Ireland, mainly in Dublin with a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway. Dublin has seriously the nicest people. Maybe we’ve been in Germany too long but everyone was attentive, extremely helpful and came by our dinner table to see if we needed anything! It was a great weekend.
I’m going to break up the post into two different ones so it’s not so photo overwhelming. Today, I’m going to share our first two days where we visited Trinity College, the Irish Whiskey Museum, Guinness Storehouse and enjoyed some amazing cocktails. Here we go!
Day One: Trinity College and Irish Whiskey Museum
We arrived in Dublin on Friday around 11:30 AM and made it to our hotel by noon. If you are going to Dublin, seriously consider staying at the Westin Dublin. The location is perfect, right at the end of the Temple Bar area and right next to Trinity College. The hotel is gorgeous with fireplaces everywhere and the best mirror that made me look 5 inches taller.
After dropping off our bags, we were starving and headed to Fish Shack for some beer, fish and chips.
It was so good!! The restaurant brews its own beer, which was also delicious. I love the little oyster shells filled with their version of tarter sauce, which was more like an avocado sauce. The biggest thing was that the waitress asked us when we first sat down if we wanted water. What? It’s been a year of paying for water at a restaurant, so free water (WITH ICE) was the biggest hit for us.
But first, a Guinness at Temple Bar!
After drinking the iconic beer in the iconic bar, we headed to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. I pre-purchased us tickets online, so we walked right in.
The Book of Kells is a gorgeous, illuminated manuscript of the four Gospels of the New Testament. It is said to have been created in 800 AD. No pictures were allowed but it was incredible. If you’re really into history and/or religion, I would definitely see it.
On the other end of the exhibition, there is a huge library, called The Old Library!
Isn’t this not the most gorgeous place you’ve ever see? This is called ‘The Long Room’ and houses over 200,000 books in the bookshelves.
Doesn’t the ladder remind you of Beauty and the Beast? I so want of those…but in a shoe closet.
After learning and seeing lots of history, we headed to the Irish Whiskey Museum, which turned out to be Vinn’s favorite part of the trip. And, if I’m being honest, I even found it really interesting, which says a lot because I do not like to drink whiskey.
The museum is actually only two years old and is still getting their footing, but it was incredible. We reserved their “blending experience,” which meant we arrived at 6 PM after the museum closed and got to blend our own whiskey after a tasting.
The museum itself is really well done. It is laid out to walk you through the origin of whiskey. You walk through a room that shows how whiskey was made originally, then to the first bar and then to the tasting room. Really, really interesting.
Fun fact: when the Irish were making whiskey, people’s heart rates would get really, really low, basically because they were drunk. But, other people would think he was dead and they would just throw them in a grave. Well, they started to realize that people were being buried alive! So they started putting bells in the coffins just in case, so people could ring it if they were alive and the grave digger would get them. That’s where we get ‘Saved by the bell’ and ‘Dead ringer.’ Isn’t that crazy? And we learned this at a museum, so it must be true!
How much do you want this bar in your house?!
The happiest camper in the world.
For the best part, we (no, Vinn) got to try four different whiskeys. Vinn actually had 9 since he had mine and he answered a question on the tour and got to have an additional shot. He was very proud! Shout out to my mom for buying him a whiskey book for Christmas last year!
The blending part was cool because we got to take a little bit of this one and a little bit of this one to create our own version. I named mine, “Wish this was wine!”
We grabbed a late dinner with more whiskey for Vinn and a prosecco for me and crashed back at the hotel.
Day Two: Guinness Storehouse & Vintage Cocktails
After a pretty busy first day, we slept in a little bit before heading to breakfast and exploring until our 1 PM stop at the Guinness Storehouse.
I loved how Dublin is on the water, it’s a great combination of Venice and Amsterdam! We walked around the Dublin Castle for a while before heading to the highlight of the day, the Guinness Storehouse!
Again, we pre-purchased tickets, which I highly recommend because we got to go directly to a kiosk and print our tickets. We didn’t have to wait in line and went straight to the beginning of the tour where we saw the 9,000 year lease that was signed for the St. James’s Gate Brewery. 9,000 years! I guess someone knew his beer would be a hit!
The tour is actually self-guided and you go through the six floors of the storehouse at your own pace. The first floor was all about the brewing process, which was the most interesting part of the whole place. It was really well put together with videos, posters and exhibits, like this waterfall to showcase how the water mixes to create beer.
Another huge point of the museum was the section with all the advertisements. As an advertising major, I was super interested in this section! I didn’t realize how many different ads Guinness has done in the past.
We skipped some parts so we could get the best part of the Storehouse, Gravity Bar! With your entrance ticket, everyone gets a pint of Guinness! I was really surprised that people would leave almost full pints of Guinness in the bar after taking a picture. We made sure to finish our’s!
And look at this perfect pour!
The bar was incredibly packed, so we snapped the above picture and then went downstairs to sit and drink our pints in peace. We were pretty tired after spending 3 hours in the museum, so we went back to the hotel for a quick rest and then headed back out for cocktails at the Vintage Cocktail Club and then dinner.
We each enjoyed two cocktails and then headed off to dinner. It was a busy but great second day! Check back tomorrow for our trip to the Cliffs of Moher, Galway and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
OK, so last we left off, we were leaving the Guinness Storehouse and drinking fancy…