Where to eat, stay and drink in Dublin

O'Connell Bridge over the River Liffey

O'Connell Bridge over the River Liffey

Cultured and quirky, the Irish capital is a mix of Georgian heritage and culinary surprises that span cerebral plates in suburban Dublin to new slants on the traditional Irish breakfast.

WHERE TO EAT

Forest & Marcy
This offshoot of nearby eatery Forest Avenue is more than a neighbourhood wine room, although its Euro-focused list merits study. Pull up a stool at the counter and test-run a €45 tasting menu. Chef Ciaran Sweeney's smoky rejig of traditional Irish bacon and cabbage is a worthy signature, featuring fermented potato bread, bacon cream and shreds of cabbage, topped with fried bacon.

126 Leeson St Upper, Dublin 4, forestandmarcy.ie

Forest & Marcy 

Heron & Grey
This 24-seat dégustation-only venue, hidden in a market in suburban Blackrock, is the hottest table in town. Ireland's newest one-starred restaurant is the work of expat Canberran Damien Grey, with front-of-house co-owner Andrew Heron. Dishes are cerebral and intricate, often featuring at least nine elements per plate.

Blackrock Market, 19a Main St, Blackrock, County Dublin, heronandgrey.com

Heron & Grey

The Fumbally
You could amble past the nondescript exterior without twigging to the idiosyncratic warehouse-style charms within. The Fumbally serves coffee by city roastery 3FE, and cracking all-day breakfasts including a "full Irish" with wild garlic capers, seaweed pickle, oat cakes laced with alexanders (horse parsley) and black garlic potatoes. Lunch is equally thoughtful, and don't miss the themed Wednesday night pop-up.

Fumbally La, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8, thefumbally.ie

STAY

The Merrion Hotel
This institution in the Georgian quarter doesn't rest on its laurels. Its two-starred restaurant, Patrick Guilbaud, has been revamped (note the gold-leaf ceiling), and The Garden Room, an all-day diner, opened recently in the hotel's garden. Take Art Tea in the Drawing Room, with treats inspired by the hotel's fine-art collection.

Upper Merrion St, Dublin 2, merrionhotel.com

The Merrion Hotel drawing room

DRINK

For cocktails head to Delahunt's upstairs bar, The Sitting Room (39 Camden St, Dublin 2). But it's Dublin after all, and that means Guinness. The Long Hall (51 South Great George's St, Dublin 2) is the ideal place to lose an afternoon. There's been a pub here since 1766 and this incarnation is high Victoriana - stained glass and mahogany, brass-rimmed bar and old-school barmen.

The Long Hall

DO

A UNESCO City of Literature, Dublin is the world capital of tall tales, and literary landmarks abound. Visit the barrel-vaulted Long Room at Trinity College; the collection of Islamic and East Asian texts and artworks at the Chester Beatty Library; and the early 18th-century Marsh's Library. Then stroll to Dublin's tiniest café, Assassination Custard, on Kevin Street Upper - the name refers to a pudding made for Samuel Beckett.

Catch Dublin's electric DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) and visit the cute seaside village of Dalkey. Grab a seat on the left for sweeping views of Dublin Bay.

GETTING THERE

Etihad, Emirates-Qantas and Qatar Airways fly one stop from select Australian cities to Dublin.


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