The Centre of Dublin: Attending a Meeting and Dining Out
I woke up after a rather comfortable first night at the Hilton Dublin Airport hotel property and had breakfast downstairs in the restaurant off to the side of the lobby; but although I had meant to sample some HP sauce — a bottle of which was available at the breakfast buffet, I had forgotten to do so. That should have been the worst part of my trip, as I will hopefully some day in the future I will be able to taste an authentic sample…
…but as a few colleagues of mine and I boarded a bus diagonally across the intersection from the hotel property to pay our bus fare so that we can attend a meeting in the centre of Dublin, one of them placed his mobile telephone on the wheel well inside of the bus before we went upstairs on the double-decker bus.
By the way, this is yet another one of my examples of tending to do things backwards which I mentioned yesterday in this article: I have been on double-decker buses in places such as Iguaçu Falls in Brazil and Dublin and have yet to experience one in London, where I had spent several days a few years ago — but I digress…
…anyway — not long after boarding that bus and taking our seats, that telephone was missing.
As the bus rumbled towards Dublin, all of us frantically searched for that telephone, which was an Apple iPhone 5. We searched under seats upstairs and downstairs. We looked all around the area of the wheel well; as well as on top of it. We asked if the bus driver knew anything about it; but he was of little assistance. We even went through all of our pockets.
The reality set in: that Apple iPhone 5 was gone.
Minutes later, a passenger approached us and described a female passenger who was not wearing shoes pick up the telephone as she departed from the bus at an earlier stop. I remembered her: she was no older than 20 years old and wore pink socks; and she was with a few friends as they ran downstairs and out of the bus.
I advised my colleague to call the police department and report his missing telephone, which he did. Looking on the bright side, he was thinking about getting a new telephone anyway; but he wanted to use that Apple iPhone 5 for when he traveled. To my knowledge, he never recovered his telephone.
By the time we concluded our search and finished discussing the incident, we were approaching the stop at which we were to disembark from the double-decker bus. The morning sun was shining brightly behind us as it was slowly rising and the brisk wind was blowing.
We ventured into the The Westin Dublin and entered what is known as The Banking Hall — which is a historic landmark and serves as the signature feature of the hotel property — and this was one of the most ornate and magnificent rooms in which I have ever attended a meeting, which was to last most of the day:
Dating from 1863 and restored to its former glory, the room — which has its own separate entrance from College Green and can seat up to 250 people theatre-style and up to 170 for a gala dinner — has an ornate ceiling; an original hand-carved pediment over the entrance; and four chandeliers crafted from 8,000 pieces of Waterford Crystal.
I sat there amazed at all of the craftsmanship and attention to detail….
Here are a couple of short videos of The Banking Hall, courtesy of The Westin Dublin; and additional videos of the hotel property are found here:
A buffet lunch was served in a separate room with large windows which flooded the room with plenty of ambient daylight and allowed its occupants to overlook the hustle and bustle of the street outside. The food was much better than I would have expected catered at a hotel property.
After the meeting ended in the late afternoon, we walked approximately 15 minutes from the hotel property to dine at L’Gueuleton on Fade Street in the centre of Dublin for dinner and ordered from the group menu. I ordered the grilled hake with wild garlic, salsify and saffron potatoes — and it was outstanding and seasoned to perfection with just the right amount of doneness. Other people within the vicinity of my seat ordered either the steak or the pork belly; and I heard that the pork belly was outstanding as well.
Some of the people who ordered the steak did complain that it was not done to their liking. I would not have enjoyed it either had I ordered it. Also, the interior of the restaurant was small, crowded and noisy — but I did like the decor and the brick walls. Official photographs of the restaurant are found here — and keep in mind that the photographs were taken during daylight hours, as the restaurant was too dark for me to take any photographs when we dined there at nighttime.
There was some indiscernible insect which wandered in from outside crawling on the table — not the type of insect which would prompt automatic reverse peristalsis and warrant health department complaints — which was promptly crushed with a dirty plate.
The waitpeople provided decent to good service considering that the restaurant was quite cramped; and they had a great cheerful attitude.
I would recommend L’Gueuleton for what I felt was a great dinner experience overall. My plate was spotless when I finished dinner.
While waiting for a taxi cab on Fade Street — a short one-lane street whose length is a short block long — I noticed how festive was the atmosphere at night. It seemed like a perfect place to launch a night of clubbing and bar hopping if you were so inclined to do that — but I do not drink alcoholic beverages; and I am not into loud music. I wanted to head back to the Hilton Dublin Airport hotel property, as it was late and I had a long but great day.
Dublin was not near the top of my list of places to visit — but I am glad that I did. I will post more photographs of my trip to Dublin, as it was part of my unintentional trip around the world. Newgrange was part of my visit to Dublin; and if you have not done so yet, please be sure to read my trip report.
The Westin Dublin
at College Green
Telephone: +353 (0)1 645 1440
Fax: +353 (0)1 645 1234
1 Fade Street
Telephone: +353 (0)1 675 3708
All photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.