Ireland day 0057. Wednesday 24 November 2021- Templebar
It was a bit of a spur-of-the minute thing, the decision to go into Dublin for a couple of beers this afternoon. But we had spent the morning dealing with paperwork related to our stay here in Ireland and we felt we needed a bit of a break. Also, we have been here eight weeks now, and felt a quick drink to mark the occasion would definitely be in order.
It had been a slightly frustrating morning, actually, as we are still trying to apply for driving licences and to do that need to fill in another lengthy form then book an appointment at a nearby NDLS office for an interview and to hand over the paperwork. Having completed the paperwork, we discovered we couldn’t actually get an appointment for another ten days so, once again I am having to curb my natural tendency to want everything to be completed, immediately, and just go with the flow. In Ireland, things usually do eventually get done, you just have to be patient and prepared to wait a bit.
So having despatched the morning’s frustrations, and missing having our friendly local in the form of Bennett’s right on our doorstep, we decided to go for the full-on Irish experience and head into the Temple Bar area of Dublin for a couple of early evening drinks.
Temple Bar is an area on the south bank of the Liffey, centred on the eponymous Temple Bar pub. It’s Dublin’s nightlife area, and is crammed with pubs, bars, restaurants and art galleries which crowd onto its narrow streets. In some ways, it’s similar to Soho in London. Tonight, despite the relatively early hour, the area was buzzing – possibly on the back of rumoured tougher Covid restrictions coming in next week. So we didn’t muck about and went straight to the Temple Bar pub itself, rather than being distracted by any of its many satellites.
After a quick check of our vaccine certificates, we were allowed in and shown to suitable seats (there is no standing at the bar any more, and it’s all at-table drinks service). It was remarkably civilised when we were there – though I imagine that 2 am on a Friday night it’s a bit different. A welcoming friendly atmosphere, a hum of conversation and an exceptionally good live band plugging away in the background. All in all, it was a real spirit-lifting occasion and it made me reflect that this is how human beings are really supposed to be, not locked down at home all day staring at computer screens, with only Netflix for relief in the evenings.
The big downside of Temple Bar is that it’s eye-wateringly expensive – even by Irish standards. A pint of Guinness is €7.20 so we only stayed for a leisurely couple and then left before we completely evacuated our bank accounts. The great thing about Malahide as a place to live is that it’s got good transport links into central Dublin, so we were back in the flat not much more than 45 minutes after we left the pub.
Right now we are enjoying that mellow period between drinking stopping and hangover starting, and contemplating whether to prolong it a bit by breaking open that bottle of red wine that I’ve just spotted lurking at the back of a kitchen cupboard. We will probably regret it but – hey! You only live once!
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)