Ever Been A Tourist In Your Own Town?

It’s not often you get to feel like a tourist in your own town, following a tour guide blindly, but that’s what I was last weekend and I loved every minute of it.  A few weeks ago I got a lovely email from the ladies who run Dublin’s Fab Food Trails asking if I might join them on one of their guided food tours around Dublin.  Intrigued by the idea, I gladly accepted with the promise of lots of foodie treats and tasters along the way.  So early on Saturday we marched along to the top secret meeting place from where the tour would begin.  We were greeted by the extremely welcoming Eveleen who has an extensive background in food and has even written her own cookbook, The Irish Potato Cookbook.

Along with about 10 other food tourists, we were informed that the one rule of the tour was that we had to wait for the green man when crossing!  To be completely honest I really wasn’t expecting to learn much along the tour, naively presuming I would I have know a lot that was going to be covered and most of places that were to be visited, boy was I wrong.  Eveleen is a wonder woman and has a wealth of knowledge on the topic of the history of food in Dublin, she started by giving us a fascinating history going all the way back to the famine.  Did you know that cattle used to graze north of the river Liffey?  I didn’t!

Already ensconced by Eveleen’s food stories, we dutifully followed her through Dublin’s winding streets to a series of different stops, shops, café’s and restaurants which were hand picked for their quirkiness and quality produce.  All 12 of us piled into cheese mongers, coffee shops, café’s, historical pubs, restaurants and specialist food shops to be given a taster of just what makes each place tick.  The best thing for me as a Dubliner, was that each stop had been pre-warned that we were coming and so happily chatted about their passion and generously handed out tasters for everyone to try.  While I had been to a good few of the places on the trail, I had never heard the owners or staff speak passionately about what they do, so that in itself was quite special and a really refreshing experience.  Along with the places I had been, there were some major revelations, places that I have just simply missed by keeping my head down and sticking with my old favourites.

One of the big revelations for me was Nelly’s Café, a beautiful little café reminiscent of some of the fantastic little hangouts we came across last summer in London, if I ever grow up and own a café it will be just like Nelly’s!  It has a cosy homely feel to it and serves up some of the best brownies you will ever taste, along with a great selection of soups and sambos to eat in or take away.  The decor is made up of a great selection of vintage pieces and the place was decked out in bunting when we dropped by! Yes, Bunting!

The other highlight for me was a stop at The Bald Barrista, a place I would never drop have dropped into by myself, mainly because I don’t drink coffee on a regular basis, but what sold this place to me more than anything else was the owner, a no shit New Zealander who insists he makes THE best coffee in the world.  Buzz talked us through how he makes coffee and the process the coffee bean goes through to make the perfect coffee.  Even if you had absolutely no interest in the topic Buzz had the ability to draw you in and become fascinated with everything about it.

If you fancy heading out on Dublin Food Trail, head over to fabfoodtrails.ie for full information, I promise you will enjoy it! 🙂