An early summer’s gluten-free weekend in the Emerald Isle

Last weekend was a lovely weekend to have been in the Irish capital – the weather was so warm and everyone seemed to be in a cheery mood (although, having never been to Dublin, it could just be that people are always cheery there!).

A few weeks earlier, I had managed to spy some very purse friendly RyanAir flights so armed with just hand luggage, the weekend started at 4am on Saturday morning with getting to Stansted for the early morning flight.

On arriving in Dublin, the first port of call (after dropping bags off at the hotel) was the Guinness Storehouse. Being coeliac, Guinness is not a beverage that I can drink, however, my other half was more than happy to use the Guinness pint voucher I received as part of my admission ticket. The Storehouse is a 7 level self guided tour of the Guinness making process and, although I really don’t have much of an interest in beer, I thought it was quite interesting. On the 7th floor of the Guinness Storehouse is a bar with lovely views over Dublin city, so visiting just to see the views was (in my opinion) worth it.

The treat for the weekend was lunch at the 2 star Michelin restaurant: Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. This was a cheeky extra Michelin starred lunch for March (my 2012 new year’s resolution is to eat (at least) 1 lunch a month at a Michelin starred restaurant – see here), as I had already dined at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon this month (read that review here). Whilst the lunch was the most expensive part of the weekend trip, I believe the experience was definitely worth it. The food was so beautifully presented and the staff showered us with amazing service (please see here for the full review), I didn’t want to leave!

The rest of Saturday was spent with a lazy walk back to the hotel via Grafton Street and an afternoon nap. By the time it was dinner time, as we were still full from the fabulous lunch, we just enjoyed a few beverages and a relatively early night. As my other half was enjoying Guinness (as you have to in Ireland), I had the coeliac’s version of a beer (aka cider!).

Sunday was such a glorious day weather-wise – you’d have thought it was summer already. The day started with an early brunch at a restaurant off Grafton Street, Bewley’s (see the full review here). I was pleasantly surprised to see that they offered gluten-free pasta, so I had to have that. They also had gluten-free cake on offer so I had to take advantage of that too (it would simply have been rude not to!).

The rest of the day was spent walking off the pasta and cake that I’d just eaten by taking in the sites of Dublin – St Stephen’s Green, the Dublin Castle, Temple Bar, St Patrick’s cathedral, Christ Church cathedral and the old Jameson distillery. It seemed that every patch of green was being used by people out enjoying the sunshine.

We decided to grab an early dinner in town before heading out to the airport and decided to stop off at The Kitchen just off Grafton Street. Again, to my surprise, they had gluten-free pasta on offer (see the full review here).

My impressions of Dublin are overall very positive and hopefully I will have a chance to explore some of the other cities of Ireland in the near future. I was very pleased with the gluten-free dining options that were available in Dublin. Although I didn’t specifically seek out restaurants offering gluten-free meals, with the restaurants I randomly visited being 2 for 2 for offering specific gluten-free meals, I believe that Dublin is a very coeliac-friendly city and one that London could take some pointers from!

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