Thursday, 8 December 2016

The Jameson Distillery 

Robert Joyce

Whiskey is believed to have originated around the year 600 AD where Irish Monks brought the alembic and the secret of distillation to Ireland from the Middle East - Uisce Beatha – (phonetically ish-ke-ba’ha) - which was known as "the water of life". 

In the 1700's, Irish people took their whiskey distilling expertise wherever they could emigrate, principally the USA and Canada.

in 1780 John Jameson & Son’s Bow Street Distillery was founded in Dublin on the north side of the Liffey. The Jameson coat of arms with the motto, "Sine Metu" refers to John Jameson's ancestors who had been granted the coat of arms in recognition of their pursuit and capture of pirates off the Scottish coast in the 1600s.

The Old Jameson Distillery is closed until March 2017 for re-development and will return just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day ! However we managed to visit the sister Jameson Distrillery in Midleton, Co, Cork. Join Robert through the Distillery.

The tour around the interior and exterior of the distillery takes around 75 minutes with a guide. You will be placed in a theatre where you will be shown a 10 minute interview on the history of John Jameson. Prices range from €14.40 which includes a Film, Guided Distillery Tour, and Special Visits to the Micro Distillery, Cooperage and Distiller’s Cottage. Along the way, and a whiskey tasting tray. 

You Ticket into the history of John Jameson.

The Victorian, cast-iron waterwheel, installed in 1825 to power the mill machinery which still drives the cogs and wheels.

The Still Room with it three shiny copper pot stills, one of which is still the largest in the world, with a 31,000 gallons capacity.

Jameson throughout the aging process. The first barrel on the left is Jameson after 1 year, then 3 years (the required amount of time before it can be bottled and sold), 12 years and 18 years. The colour darkens due to the length of time spent in the oak barrels and the liquid level drops off due to evaporation. The portion of liquid lost is known as the “angel’s share.”

The tour finishes with a whiskey tasting tray, consisting of three distinct whiskeys including Jameson itself, a scotch whiskey and an american bourbon whiskey. Try yourself to spot the smoothness of the triple distilled Jameson compared to its counterpart whiskeys from around the world. 

a Fresh Jameson Graduate !

A refreshing alternative, Jameson Ginger Ale & Lime, the quintessential drink combination. 

The Midleton Distillery now produces much of the Irish whiskey sold in Ireland under the Jameson, Midleton, Powers, Redbreast, Spot and Paddy labels. seeing that Jameson is now the largest selling Irish whiskey in the world. Jameson is the world’s fastest growing spirit brand, selling 4 million cases worldwide. Jameson is also given the Hot Brand status by the US magazine Impact, a distinction held to date.

Feel Free to pick up some souvenirs on the way out. 

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

The Palace Bar - Fleet Street

The Palace Bar - Fleet Street

Robert Joyce

Built in 1823, The Palace Bar is genuine Irish Pub unspoiled, unchanged, & unpretentious. Remaining one of Dublin's oldest bars. Once you enter you are joining the watering hole where some of Dublin's literary greats had frequented. Samuel Beckett, Patrick Kavanagh & Flan O'Brien to name a few...

Step inside to a cozy, welcoming & genuine atmosphere that is akin to the scenes of a lively Irish pub laden with locals, catching up a pint of the black stuff, reminiscing on earlier years. 

Located at the foothold of Temple Bar, you can't miss it's iconic lantern which sits directly outside the bar surrounded by commemorative bronze placards from Flann O'Brien & more. 

Home to an array of various Irish brewed crafts, Galway Hooker - an Irish Pale Ale and Tom Crean's lager are some of our recommendations. 

Getting a seat at peak hours can be tricky, but be quick when someone vacates a table. The chairs against the wall being more comfortable, I'd recommend shooting in there.However there is plenty of tables which are cozily placed together in the center of the hall.

Then & Now.

A rare photo taken in the 1960's of the Palace Bar - Photo Credit to Rare Irish Stuff

Remaining a busy spot with locals the bar also attracts many tourists as per its authentic rating on Trip Advisor
Feel free to visit the Whiskey Palace just located upstairs which boats over 200 variations of Whiskey sourced from Ireland & abroad. Dublin Whiskey tours also offers tours with a stop at the palace. 

Overall the bar has lots to offer, from its cozy atmosphere, it's vast history to its quick service, and it's location yet avoiding Temple Bar prices. Its no wonder the charming bar has remained so popular with locals for the past 200 years. 

See an interview with the Owner, Willie Ahern - Video by The Local Way. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Things to do Before the New Year

Neil Leslie

As Dublin is announced one of world's on trend cities to ring in the new year, here's some things you should definitely do before 2016 ends...


It’s official! Dublin is one of this year’s top ten on-trend cities to ring in the new year.

So says influential travel search engine – and who are we to disagree? The New Year’s Festival Dublin is in its fourth year and now it is firmly on the map of global things to do on the biggest part night of the year.

But we’ve always known that. And with the crowds now on their way, here’s our 7DaysinDublin guide to our top things to do in Dublin this new years' weekend.

Luminosity. Watch as Dublin’s Iconic Custom House is turned into a dazzling video canvas of spectacular colour, light and sound from 30thDecember to 01st January. On New Year’s Eve Luminosity will turn into a mesmerising 4D Sky Dance performance. This is a free ticketed event with 2 shows at: 5pm and 7pm. Dublin 

Dublin Zoo is right on trend

Kick start 2017 in style at the free New Year’s Day Concert at St. Stephen’s Green with the brilliant Dublin Gospel Choir. Dublin

Fifteen venues across the city will play host to Dublin’s new and upcoming local talent as part of the NYF Music Trails. The NYF Music Trail shows how the city supports its artists while also creating a fantastic atmosphere of pop up goodies for visitors and residents alike during the bank holiday Festival. Stay tuned to 7DaysinDublin for venue info as it’s released.

Aviva Stadium Tours – the iconic stadium is open on New Year’s Eve – so walk in the footsteps of heroes to wave goodbye to 2016.

Aviva tour

EPIC is Dublin’s newest attraction and its doors are open on New Year’s Eve. Relive the tales and adventure of the Irish diaspora as it spread across the globe.

If GAA is more your thing then head northside to the famous home of Gaelic Games. Take a last look at Dublin 2016 from the vantage of the spectacular skywalk at the Croke Park Stadium Tour.

Follow in the footsteps of legends in the Croke Park dressing rooms

Dublin Zoo has had an amazing year and welcomed new animals. Before they wave goodbye to 2016, you can join them at one of the city’s best loved spots, and take a stroll in the Phoenix Park as you savour the last hours of the year.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Howth - Days out of the City.


Robert Joyce

There comes a time when you'd simply want to discover whats outside of the city, on a sunny weekend or a day off. Dublin is full of coastal villages such as Dalky, Malahide, Portmarnock, & Clontarf to name a few. However I think Howth seems to never let down in terms of things to do, events & views that are comparable to sites such as the Cliffs of Moher or Northern Coast. 

Hop on a Dart to Howth Village. Only a 15 Min Dart ride from the City Centre. 

See Irelands eye, boat rides available from €10, weather permitting. 

Before the cliff walk turn left after coming out of the train station, walk down the pier and see if you can spot the Sea-lions which are native to Howth Harbour. They aren't camera shy neither !

Start your cliff walk heading eastwards towards the cliffs. Take a moment o soak in the views of Howth Village and the harbour while ascending

The walk usually takes me around 40 - 50 minutes while stopping to take photos. The cliff walk can be rigid or slippery on a wet day. Bring comfortable shoes !

This view of the Bailey Lighthouse is in my opinion my favourite in all of Ireland. Winter, Autumn, Spring or Summer.... Well worth the trip out to see this view in person. 

On the other side of the cliff try to look out for this hidden gem of a beach. Reachable from a very high set of steps. 

Once you reach the Summit, the walk back to Howth Village should be around 10-15 minutes. Before heading back to the city why not try some of the local food which Howth has to offer. Our favourite being The Bloody Stream, located just below the train station. Check out some of our favourites from the popular bar. 

Dublin Muscles served with chowder and Pint of Hop House 13. 

A bar that boast a genuine turf fireplace. The Bloody Stream vaunts a cozy atmosphere, friendly customer service and a fresh range of Seafood. See their Menu

Another spot to consider on a more formal occasion would be Aqua Restaurant, located at the end of the west pier. Offering " Seriously good food in a room with a view". In my opinion this restaurant holds the most spectacular panoramic view for any restaurant in Ireland. Early Bird menus available from €25 euros per head up to 19:30.  See more -

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Dublin Arts Connect
Nkem Oguama

National Museum of Ireland: Decorative Arts and History
Military History

If you are visiting Dublin and interested in the arts of Ireland there are several centers of arts and culture all over the city. These includes Galleries, Museums, Theaters, Ancient Landmarks, doting across the City.

Here are the list of these centers and their locations:
1. National Gallery of Ireland: A collection of European arts over the centuries. Merrion Square W, Dublin 2. 9:15a.m.–5:30p.m. 

2. National Museum of Ireland – Archeology: Showcasing ancient relics Kildare St, Dublin 2. 10a.m.–5p.m.

3. Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane: A collection of French and other arts. Charelmont House, Parnell Square N, Rotunda, Dublin 1. 10a.m.–6p.m.

4. Irish Museum of Modern Art: A collection of permanent and temporary exhibitions of art. Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Military Rd, Dublin 8. 11:30a.m.–5:30p.m.

5. Gallery of Photography: Ireland's foremost photography gallery with darkrooms and digital imaging facilities. Meeting House Square, Temple Bar, Dublin 2. 11a.m.–6p.m.

6. Abbey Theatre: Renowned theatre, founded by WB Yeats, staging new Irish and global plays. 26/27 Abbey Street Lower Dublin 1.

7. Dublinia: A child friendly museum with hundreds of years’ worth of history. Christchurch, St Michaels Hill, Merchants Quay, Dublin 8. 10a.m.–5:30p.m.

8. Dublin Castle: Historic site, dating from 1204, with 2 museums, cafes and gardens, plus state of the art rooms and a library. Dame St, Dublin 2. 9:45a.m.–4:45p.m.

9. The Douglas Hyde Gallery: Gallery of Irish and international exhibitions as well as ethnographic and craft artifacts. Trinity College, Dublin 2. 11a.m.–6p.m.

10. Temple Bar Gallery & Studios: showcasing contemporary art plus an artists' studios complex, with a busy events program. 5-9 Temple Bar, Dublin 2, DUBLIN 2. 10a.m.–6p.m.

11. National Museum of Ireland: Decorative Arts and History: Irish haute couture and silver collections alongside exhibitions exploring Irish military history. Collins Barracks, Benburb St, Arran Quay, Dublin 7. 10a.m.–5p.m. 

Aside from this are many other places of interest The Guinness storehouse, Olympia Theatre and so many galleries of contemporary Irish arts and crafts.

The Guinness Storehouse - Is it Worth the Visit ? 

Robert Joyce

Remaining Ireland's number one tourist attraction for years with over 1.2 million visitors annually. We wonder why the iconic brand has remained so popular with tourists since it's opening in 2000. Join Robert, an experienced tour guide through the storehouse to gain an insight into the famous brewery.

The Journey begins via a cobblestoned walk up to the entrance laden with horses & carriages. Rides are available to the city & temple bar area with locals from €20.  

I managed to sneak a horse selfie on the way in... 

Prices vary depending on the time of the day, if you get in early on a weekday prices go as low as €14. Anytime after noon raises to €20 for adults, €18 for students & OAPs and children under 10 go free. 

Starting the tour you will get to see the first main ingredient of the black stuff, being malted barley. Sourced from Athy. Barley while being roasted is the main ingredient which gives the drink its dark Ruby Red colour. Get familiar with the grains pick some up into your hand. 

Locked away in a safe, Arthur himself savoured Guinness Yeast as 'sacred'. A tiny micro-organism which breaks the sugars into alcohol.

Hops being the next ingredient. The natural oils and fruity fragrances are highly notable in a pint of Guinness. It's high hop content allowing the beverage to be shipped all around the globe without losing its flavour.

The Water War : Arthur Guinness had a hard neck, particularly in defence of his rights. The brewery lease granted him free access to a water supply. In 1775 the Dublin Corporation tried to make him pay for this access by sending the sheriff to cut off his water source. Arthur responded vigorously by seizing a pick-axe from one of the men and declaring ‘with very much improper language that they should not proceed’. Arthur won and the brewery still holds access to free water sourced from the Poulaphouca reservoir in Co Wicklow.

On the next floor, pop into the gigantic wooden keg containing multiple screens showcasing Guinness Foreign Extra Stout. Being a high seller in Nigeria and greater Africa. 

If you make your way up to the next floor you will enter a nightclub like entrance to what is known as the tasting room. Here you will become familiar with the scents of Malted Barley, & Hops.

Get a whiff of those Hops!

Leading onto the official tasting room with your mini Guinness's. Listen to the beer specialist who will lead you through method of identifying the sweetness of the malts on the tip of your tongue & the bitterness of the hops at the back. 

Up another floor... you are now entering the wonderful world of Gilroy. An English artist, illustrator and the brainchild of the iconic Guinness posters and marketing campaigns.       "Guinness for strength ","Guinness is Good for You"."Good things come to those who wait" to name a few. Take some time to view the quirky illustrations before heading up to complete your final step of becoming a Guinness connoisseur.

My Goodness My Guinness!

With your included ticket you have the choice of pouring your own pint and gaining a certificate on the penultimate floor of the storehouse or simply having a pint poured for you in the Gravity Bar. I would recommend doing it yourself and seeing how your pint compares with your counterparts from around the world. Get a group photo for old time sake !

How to pour the perfect Pint. ( 6 Steps) 
  • A Clean Glass !
  • Hold the Glass at a 45 Degree angle under the tap
  • Aim the spout on the Harp.
  • Pull the tap towards you filling the glass up the bottom of the harp while slowly straightening the glass as it fills.  
  • Stop and wait 119.5 Seconds for the pint to 'Surge'. This is where the pint becomes alive. "Its alive inside" 
  • Finish the pint off pushing the tap away from you. 
Ideally your pint should finished with a dome. 

Watch Fergal Murray the Master Brewer in action here....

Carry your perfectly crafted pint and certificate up to the Gravity Bar, the highest bar in the Dublin. Soak in the best views of the city!

Don't Fall !

View on a sunny Day. 
View on a rainy day. 

Sunsets are also quite spectacular from the Gravity Bar. 

Overall the storehouse has something for everyone, drinkers and non-drinkers. The price of €20 including the price of admission was described as "overpriced" by various travel forums. We however think it's worth the visit. A great day out for all ages that can be followed by a visit to the neighbouring Jameson Distillery in Smithfield if you are feeling courageous !