On our recent visit to Dublin we encountered a hospitable community recovering from the economic downturn with a resurgence of fashion, food and boutique hotels. Here, we share seven of the most memorable stops we made along the way.
Indigo & Cloth
When asking around for shops carrying the best independent fashion in Dublin, the name Indigo & Cloth came up more than once. Tucked into a subterranean space on South William Street, the modern, minimalist boutique carries menswear and accessories by Our Legacy, Oliver Spencer and S.N.S. Herning, as well as a smaller selection of womenswear. Owner Garrett Pitcher flexes his creativity on various other projects about town, collaborating on the original label design for Kilbeggan Whiskey and working with the editorial team at the Dublin fashion magazine, Thread. Pitcher is currently working with the other merchants on the street and surrounding blocks to name their shopping district South William Quarter.
Employing traditional techniques, Paula Rowan makes her hand-stitched gloves from the finest quality lambskin, deerskin and suede with silk and cashmere linings and embellishments like buttons, zippers and fur. Rowan's Dublin boutique is located in the quaint Westbury Mall just steps from the bustle of Grafton Street. In addition to the local flagship, she currently operates the "Glove Pod" pop-up in the Westfield Shopping Centre in London.
In the sunlit atrium of the Powerscourt Centre, Wendy Crawford, Margaret O'Rourke and Ellis Boyle stock Bow with a diverse range of Irish designers. In-store finds include cashmere and silk arm warmers, bows and loop scarves by Eilis Boyle, gold vermeil jewelry with lace, pearl and semi precious stones from Momuse, hats from Electronic Sheep hats and a prime vintage selection.
Located in a building that was once a nurse's home in a quiet neighborhood in Dublin 4, this family-owned boutique hotel is walking distance from some of the best shopping and restaurants in the city. Each room is uniquely and playfully decorated, and the downstairs lounge features a custom library in which every volume, from the classics to David Beckham's autobiography, has been bound in pearly green covers. Dubliners go to the Dylan for cocktails, romantic meals and celebratory overnights, and the property marks the city's only boutique hotel included in the Mr. & Mrs. Smith collection.
These two coffee bars from three-time Irish Barista Champion Colin Harmon provide Dublin with expertly prepared pour-over coffees and espresso drinks in a low-key atmosphere. Serving single origin coffee from Has Bean, the tasting menu reads like an exploration of flavors, with coffee, espresso and cappuccino brewed side by side with the same beans. 3FE started as a small set-up on the front porch of the Twisted Pepper building and has since taken over the pub space and also opened a shop on Lower Grand Canal Street.
Clement & Pekoe
In this tiny shop on South William Street, their signature sleek black tins of loose-leaf teas, herbs and tisanes line the far wall. In the store, they serve tea and hand-poured single origin coffees with a selection of light pastries. Part of the new South William Quarter community, Clement & Pekoe is frequented by the local merchants and shoppers in the know.
L Mulligan Grocer
A self-described eating and drinking emporium on Stoneybatter—a street once considered pretty desolate for a modern locavore pub—L. Mulligan Grocer uses locally sourced ingredients to update classic Irish dishes. The extensive, familiar menu includes organic blood pudding, bangers and mash, scotch eggs and fish 'n chips, as well as vegetable stews, fresh salads and seafood. The "Libations" list features more than 100 whiskies, Irish craft and imported beers. Also know for their popular quiz nights and beer tastings, it's often hard to get a table but always worth the wait.