Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Pubs of Dublin: Searsons, Baggott Street

I wanted to share this extraordinary pub with you. Searsons is steeped in history, with patrons such as Brendan Behan, a fellow Crumlin man, and Patrick Kavanagh both famous Irish poets – is a traditional Irish pub which recently got a revamp by new owner Charlie Chawke.

I met a friend there last night for some dinner and drinks. I hadn’t been to Searsons since a Christmas party in 2008, so the changes were a little disorientating at first; I thought I was in the wrong place. It’s completely modernised, whilst keeping the traditional feel; it looks fantastic. The bar is situated at the front of the pub in the centre and is accessible from all sides in a U-shape. The seating area both in the bar and dining area is open and airy, yet warm. The dining area is located right beside the open kitchen, with its modern, sleek design, which is complimented by the chic red sofa seating along one wall and Cream leather chairs througout. 

We were welcomed into the heart of the dining area and the waitress couldn’t have been more attentive, making sure we had everything we required. I ordered the Linguini Arrabbiata with Chicken.

It was absolutely delicious, and flavoursome. I couldn’t resist the Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cheesecake which just melted in my mouth. It was the most luscious cheesecake I’ve ever tasted, topped off by a fresh mint chocolate icecream - heaven. My friend had the Rotisserie half Chicken which she said was "succulent". I tasted her honey carrots which were delightful.


As the evening wore on, the changing, coloured lighting made for some welcome ambience as we nattered the time away over a few reasonably priced, and tasty glasses of wine.

I almost forgot to mention the highlight of Searsons for me, is the piano. What a beauty; and as I stared at it in awe, I noticed that the cardboard tealight lampshade was advertising not only Sunday Jazz nights, but Saturday Piano night. HOW have I not heard of this before? I will most definitely be making a date with that piano in the next few weeks.

 #78 of 1971 best restaurants in Dublin on Tripadvisor

Monday, 30 March 2015

Monty's of Kathmandu, Temple Bar, Dublin

A little bit of Nepal appeared on a Dublin side street 18 years ago; and only surprisingly discovered by me on a random search for a staff night out. I have literally walked by this place on my way home from work a thousand times and never spotted it! It is an absolute gem in Temple bar, a place most Dubliners avoid at all costs.

I was tasked with taking some of my international colleagues for dinner in town. One of them is Muslim and so I wanted to ensure the restaurant was Halal; so I went to my trusty source tripadvisor for help. I came across Monty’s and wasn’t sure at first as I’d never heard of it; however the reviews were so outstanding that I thought we’d have to try it. It was listed #98 out of 1968 best restaurants in Dublin to visit on Tripadvisor, and has now risen to #90!

After a movie, we all wandered towards Temple bar, not quite sure what to expect or where to find it. The restaurant is well tucked into an edge Eustace Street, cornered near busy Dame Street. As we approached the doorway, I was pleasantly surprised by the many twinkling, fairy lights dancing in the window and as we stepped up into the doorway towards a red velvet curtain that cloaked the doorway, I knew we were in for something special.

We were seated right inside the door, a long table big enough for 8 was set with beautiful bronze side plates and heavy silverware, adorned with two of our colleagues already enjoying a beer.  We were seated and one of my colleagues, a bit of a wine buff, set about making a selection from lavish list.  Looking through the dinner menu was like strolling through food heaven, I adore Indian and Thai food so I never had any doubt that Nepalese cuisine would be right up my street. One of my colleagues sitting beside me was from Bangladesh and he was well acquainted with some of the dishes and he was giving me some tips, however most of his options included squid or lamb, since I eat neither I had to go it alone. I wanted to try something traditional so I opted for the Chicken Ledo Bedo, a Nepali curry served with plain rice. It was so tasty, the chicken was succulent and the curry was fragrant and light with a side of Garlic naan to mop up my plate (you can’t lick your plate in public!). There were plenty of poppadoms with chutney, mint yoghurt and chilli also while we waited on our mains. 

The night went down a treat with the gang and I would recommend a visit, either day or night. The atmosphere is warm, extremely friendly with excellent service and only the sound of content patrons echoing in the background; no noisy stereo pumping out crap music. It is a world away from Temple Bar.


TK Maxx Wishlist

I love online shopping, and so spend hours flicking through my favourite sites, mainly TK Maxx – who doesn’t love discount shopping! This weekend I’ve created two wishlists of my favourite looks, from their new stock.

My first look is more relaxed, and is inspired by spring. I work in an office and spend so much of my time in dark, formal colours that I like to brighten it up a bit at the weekends.

1. Birkenstocks are my favourite flat sandal. They are so comfortable and mould to your own foot shape. I wear mine all summer long. These are a bargain at £24.99

2. Cat Eye Sunglasses are my new favourite thing and TK Maxx have a gorgeous range in a variety of prices.

3. Isn’t this Tropical Trends hat delightful? It’s ribbon is just bursting with happy colour for spring/ summer £9.99

4. This Versace Pink silk scarf is my favourite on the site at   the moment. It is pure silk and pink is such a pretty, feminine – perfect for spring or summertime £49.99

5. My obsession with bags is equal to my obsession with shoes and this ivory patent leather United Colours of Benetton is no exception, although very fabulous. I love light, bright colours and this bag screams spring time, and being outdoors to me £24.99

My second look is more dressy, I can’t wait to wear this little black dress (which I’ve just ordered) from Cynthia Rowley, her pieces are so elegant and timeless.

1. Valentino. Need I say more? One of the most adored designers in the world and we have access to a piece of his work, this beautiful silk scarf for £39.99. I need to take this moment and say THANK YOU TK Maxx, this is fabulous!

2. Totes are my favourite bag. They hold everything and are perfect for me as I carry everything, everywhere. What I love about this Ralph Lauren Classic Tote bag, is the beautiful laser cut design and the fact that it comes with a smaller purse £99.99

3. Everyone needs a LBD that works for every occasion and this Cynthia Rowley silk Shift Dress £39.99 is so versatile.

4. This Dolce & Gabbana Metallic Pendant Bracelet is fabulous and a steal at £49.99. I want to wear it now. UNFORTUNATLEY, it’s not mine yet.

5. These Viktor & Rolf Nude shoes are so beautiful. I have      a huge collection of shoes and really don’t need another pair – but a gal can’t have too many shoes, can she? These heels are super elegant and are a complete bargain for £139.99 however if I buy them, I will probably be living on air for the rest of the month.

This wishlist was created using the TK Maxx UK website. If shipping to Ireland, Parcel Motel is an extremley cost effective choice and very speedy indeed.

Happy shopping.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Restaurant Review: Munchies

Have you ever heard the term in HR of a shit sandwich? Well anyone who's worked in a corporate environment has inevitably been dealt one at one time or another. Well today Munchies, Baggott Street, dealt me just that; and it certainly wasn't a sandwich like Mammy used to make!

Munchies are one of my favourite lunch spots! They are a franchise based around Dublin, so I’m sure there is one near you.
My number one sambo there is the Chicken Whoopie, I think they are kind of famous or something... My second is the Falafel Whoopie on a wrap which is super tasty. The best stores are down in the IFSC near where I used to work the tiny one near the Harbourmaster is the best – but a newer shop opened near Mayor square last year and it’s handy due to the fact it has seating. The owner’s daughter was even kind enough to sponsor food for our film shoot a couple of years ago – so shout out to Chloe for that! Thank you, we will forever be in your debt!

My next choice after the IFSC would have to be Dawson Street; this little shop also has exemplary service but is a little bit far when you want to grab a quick bite, so I usually head to the one on Baggot Street. I do have to say though while the guys here seem nice enough, they always seem under fierce pressure and a little bit snotty. I have been in here several times for handiness sake, and the service leaves a lot to be desired. I hate giving places a bad review, but when you are paying for a service and it stinks...then people have the right to be warned! We’re all under pressure at work, but if I had that attitude, I know I’d be given my marching orders! It’s such a shame for Munchies though because it could be great.

The food is great though so go see Chloe in Mayor Square, where you will get your lunch with a smile!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

TK Maxx: Designer Heaven

TK Maxx can be hit or miss – but with the added advantage of the online store, the new store in Dundrum, minutes from my house, and my favourite store in Carrickmines, I get the best of all worlds.
It has absolutely everything, and with my eclectic tastes and vintage style TK Maxx always has something to offer me – I rarely walk away disappointed. The past two weeks between Carrickmines, Dundrum and the UK online store, the selection has  been exceptional. I felt like I was in an episode of SATC with all the brands coming at me: Oscar de la Renta, Cynthia Rowley, DKNY, Nine West and Steve Madden. I mean, I’m literally living in heaven.

I have a lot of friends, who don’t like to follow brands, and I used to be one of them – I also have friends who like good quality, and friends who live for labels. I love the romance of the labels, the quality of them and the luxurious feel of my very newly acquired trove.

It started in Belfast at the end of February when I came across a pair of Green Vintage Superdry jeans for £14.99. They fit like a glove, I was in love and HAD to have them. Then it was my Nine West heels. I was on a mission to find a pair of nude coloured heels to add to my ever expanding collection; and all my usual suspects having failed, I ventured into TK Maxx, making a B-line for the shoes – surprise, surprise! After much disappointment with Steve Madden and Guess, the Nine West heels fit like a second skin. They were a steal for €39.99 as they are on sale in Debenhams atm for €125!! They also have a few pairs left in Dundrum in size 7 & 8 but aren’t available on the UK site.

After my win on the shoe aisle I ventured over to the nightwear/ underwear section, boy was I in for a treat! I got a DKNY Nude Strapless Bra for €9.99. I also bagged myself two nighties, one black Cynthia Rowley €12, and my favourite a white with black lace Oscar de la Renta €22.99 – I may not be able to wear his shoes, but I can sleep with the dream every night!

My newest addition to the closet is my Steve Madden Leopard Print Pony Haired boots. I got these for a steal in TK Maxx at £39.99 which converts to about €49. This is an absolute bargain. They not only do they look beautiful but they make my legs look amazing to! 


They only have a few pairs left so if you love them as much as I do, make haste! If you are shipping from the UK to Ireland, you should check out ParcelMotel. I use this company every time I shop on the TK Maxx UK website and my boots which I ordered Monday lunchtime, were on my feet last night at 8.55pm! That my dears, is quality service.

This is only a small, selective selection of the fabulous gems I’ve bagged in TK Maxx of late; others include Roxy and DKNY jeans. It really is Irelands answer to Century 21.

Monday, 23 March 2015

The Green Hen Restaurant, Dublin

I along with several other food enthusiasts went for dinner here last week. I had never heard of The Green Hen, but once I knew where we were going I jumped online to check out the menu; eager to see what delights they had in store for us. Their website is classic, tasteful and easy to navigate, so within seconds I was glancing through the menu options. I clicked on the Early Bird option as I knew this was what we’d booked and was delighted to see the choices on the menu, 3 courses for €22.
I have walked down Exchequer Street hundreds of times and never noticed this beautiful restaurant, more the pity. I got there just on time and was pleasantly surprised by the warm reception of the staff and the chic décor. I felt a sudden sense of familiarity which reminded me of a Parisian café, nestled in a corner that I’d just happened upon. 

 The waitress led me upstairs to our table which was situated beside the bar. This space is a smaller, more intimate dining area but was perfect for our table of ten. 

The staff were so attentive and we had ordered in no time at all – I opted for the Goats Cheese & Beetroot Salad to Start, followed by the Pan Fried Fillet of Hake with white beans, Chorizo and Kale; and to Finish the most amazing dish of all, the Chocolate & Hazelnut Parfait. 
While I thought all the food was beautiful, I did feel the mains was lacking in Kale; apart from four tiny leaves and a few white beans there wasn’t much to accompany the Hake which was disappointing.

The Green Hen is ranked #223/ 1962 best restaurants in Dublin on Tripadvisor and I would highly recommend this restaurant if you fancy “French cuisine with an Irish Twist” (GH).

Monday, 10 November 2014

12 Day Blogger Challenge - Day 2: Review a Product, Service or Brand

I came across the Sleek makeup brand a couple of months at a friends party. I admired someone's lipstick which turned out to be a Sleek matte me ultra smooth matt lipcream. It was bursting with pigment. I was shocked when I heard the price! A few weeks later in Boots I went looking for it. What I found was so much better: Check it out.   

Rows and rows of eye pallets for €9.99!! There are 12 shades on each pallet, which is an absolute bargain. I chose two pallets Vintage Romance 141 & Oh So Special 658, a blush pallet with three shades called Lace 367 with “intensely pigmented matt and shimmer blushers” and an eyebrow pallet: Light 817! I also chose one of the matt lipcream’s in Petal 435.

Vintage Romance

Vintage Romance

I love the brow kit as I’m having an issue with thinning brows over the past few months, so the brow kit helps to keep my brows full looking without being too false. The kit comes with a handy mini tweezers, angle brush to get the shape just right with the pigmented wax, and another handy brush to brush on the setting powder. 

You can check out the Sleek website here.  
I'm sure you will love this brand as much as I do! 

Juls x