Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A Book to Read on the Train Home after a Great Weekend in the Big Smoke.

Posted by Daisy
THE last time I went to Dublin, my ex-boyfriend forgot his wallet and encouraged me to pay for everything. The time before that, my car broke down and it took me a month of driving my little brother's ancient Polo (without power steering) before I had a chance to collect it. This weekend I took the train and had great fun.

On Friday night, we stayed in and ate tapas with my friend Dee and her fiancé.
On Saturday, we went to a nearby spa and indulged in mini-facials and hot stone massages.

On Saturday night, we had dinner and cocktails with Matilda (from this blog) at Fade St Social.
Fade St Social: Where a big-haired model girl in a short red skater skirt and see-through tutu dines with her friends, silver haired men chat to forty-something blonds in the bar upstairs, a girl in corduroy shorts, black tights and a glint in her eye stands casually at the bar watching the barman  pour cocktails before swiping one off the counter, where the doorman is lanky and interesting-looking and one of the waiters looks like Smith from ‘Sex and the City’.

I had read both positive and negative reviews of this recently-opened restaurant– the complaints were mostly about the food and the snooty waiting staff, but they all seemed very friendly and smiley, and the flatbread pizza’s were nice.
As we were leaving, (and fortified by a few mojitos) I cornered celebrity chef Dylan McGrath on the stairs and asked him about his favourite books – he said (very nicely) ‘I don’t have time to read. I’m actually quite stupid’. I told him that was unlikely, and then the restaurant fire alarm went off. Finally, he said ‘The Day of the Jackal’, and excused himself to sort out the alarm, shouting back at us ‘I liked The Pearl too’ as he ran down the stairs.
Then we had a drink downstairs in Bruxelles and sat quietly beside two older men wearing Anthrax and Ozzy Osbourne t-shirts.
The staff at the trendy Vintage Cocktail Club.
Orla loved Philip Pullman's 'The Golden Compass' as a child, and Paul 'Pablo' the doorman loved 'The Wizard of Oz', The Beano, and The Dandy.
We jumped on a tuk-tuk to the Vintage Cocktail Club (VCC), whooping at every bump as Paulo the Brazilian driver sped around all the cobbled street corners, and Matilda struggled to stay on board with her legs hanging out the side. We eventually found the hidden doorway, and Paul (known as the friendliest doorman in Dublin) answered and led us up the carpeted stairs, where there were gold ceilings, cream-and-white striped wallpaper, soft armchairs, and an extensive cocktail menu. As it was late, the VCC was quiet – I think it would be a lovely spot for a weekend date. We drank three Zombies before jumping back into a tuk-tuk to Café En Seine to meet some friends.
Paulo's favourite book is Robert Kiyosaki's 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad.'

At Café En Seine, we talked to two Moroccan and Kuwaiti medical students, one who won a scholarship to university in Dublin, and was forced to do medicine by his family but who actually wanted to be a teacher or a journalist. I chatted to a homeless man with a red sleeping bag wrapped around his shoulders who he told me that one of his favourite books was Jeffrey Archer’s ‘Kane and Abel’.

At 3:30am, it was time for a taxi home, eat some re-heated chips and jump into bed.

Mildly hungover on the train home to Cork, I happily ate cheese sandwiches and drank tea while reading ‘The Vanishing Point’ by Val McDermid. It's an easy-reading book about a copywriter and a reality TV star, a stalker and a missing child. The similarities in the plot to the life of the late Jade Goody (a British reality TV star who died from cancer three years ago) are discomfiting.  I'm looking forward to finishing this slightly-thrilling thriller, but I know I won't remember it when I'm finished.








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