Friday, April 17, 2015


Moving from one country to another is never easy, regardless of whether or not that new place is your home country or not. Just before Christmas after four years away, I made the decision to pack up the life I had built in Melbourne and take a gamble on building a new life back in Ireland. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means but thinking about all of the pros and cons, the idea of being closer to my family came up top of the list and the rest they say is history.

The emotional roller-coaster that ensued over those last few weeks in Melbourne was exhausting and I constantly deliberated on whether or not I was making the right decision. I had built up something quite amazing in Melbourne; a wonderful group of friends, a beautiful home in Port Melbourne and a job in which I was thriving. What was I thinking, was I mad? To some yes, to others they got it straight away. They knew the draw of family was strong and hey – the weather isn’t that bad I kept telling myself. Oh how we try and fool ourselves in life.

Cut to nearly four months later and I can tell you that the weather is indeed that bad, however on those occasions when the sun comes out and the trees look like they’re starting to blossom – you stand a little taller, smile a little more and life is suddenly okay. Don’t get me wrong, its not all sunshine and rainbows. It’s been hard. There was the massive culture shock I experienced at the start. The way in which the Irish socialized, their way of working – even the way they served their coffee was difficult to digest at the beginning and in my head I craved the familiarity of home – that home being my cosy beachside apartment in Port Melbourne. Waking up each morning in Ireland it was dark, leaving work it was dark – it just always seemed to be dark and it left a cloud of negativity that was hard for me to push through on occasions. My morning ritual of the last four years of heading to my favourite cafĂ© at seven in the morning was not possible in Dublin. 

You see, Irish people – well the majority of them don’t really do mornings.

I on the other hand love the morning time. Its my time to set myself up for the day. Grab a coffee, read a magazine or catch up on my favorite blogs like Liberty London Girl, The Londoner, Harper &Harley or French Foodie In Dublin. Most of the nice coffee shops in Dublin open up around eight and usually I head somewhere then for my morning coffee. Coffee was such a big part of our daily ritual that it was important to find somewhere in Dublin that offered us that little cup of joy each day.

You’ll be pleased to know that there are several great coffee spots in the city, some new to the scene and a few that have been around for quite some time. These are my top choices of where to find that great cup of coffee.

3FE is probably the most highly regarded coffee spot within the country and its also a fantastic spot for grabbing a hearty brunch. I’ve been quite a few times now and just recently I had the pleasure of having their green eggs and ham. A enormous mound of pulled ham sat on top of two homemade crumpets, topped with two fried eggs and covered in herby green hollandaise sauce. Scrumptious. The coffee is so strong and full of flavour that there’s no chance of grabbing a weak latte here.

Brother Hubbard opened a few years back and instantly became a hotspot for those looking for great food and coffee without the astronomical costs that we had all become used to during the Celtic Tiger. I’ve been going here for the last four months and constantly bring friends and family when I find out they’ve yet to try Brother Hubbards pulled pork sandwich, cinnamon and walnut scrolls or their amazing granola. 

Always fresh, always presented impeccably and bursting with flavours from around the world; I could eat here or at their other spot Sister Sadie on Harrington Street (pictured above) any time of the day, any day of the week.

Fallon & Byrne has a great reputation as one of the finest food halls in Dublin. If you’re looking for something; nine times out of ten they stock it.  Sure they even stock Tim Tams in multiple flavours.  Praise the lord. Housed in a open warehouse style building this is a great spot for a coffee and a croissant in the morning when the city is waking up. 

Love Supreme in Stoneybatter is a little gem of a spot and somewhere I would be happy enough to sit for hours reading or writing. Small in size, the place has more personality and charm that a lot of the cafes I have mentioned above. The staff are incredibly friendly, the coffee is sensational and their freshly baked pies are out of this world. 

The same can be said about the coffee thats served at Portabello local, Grove Road. This is a stunning little cafe just at the bridge at you enter into Rathmines and its serves some super brunch dishes throughout the week such as smashed avocado on sourdough with feta and roasted tomato. 

Sometimes you just don’t want another coffee and that is when I take a short stroll down the road to Wall & Keogh. This place is a stunning little establishment located at the top of Richmond Street South, just before the bridge at Portobello. With over 150 varieties of tea, this is a spot where one comes to relax, read a great book or in my case sit for hours writing. Some of the best cafes around Dublin stock their teas and with good reason – they are delicious. I tend to stick to the more fruity types of tea as I find them really refreshing. My current favourite being Granny's Garden. 

Looking back, there were moments when I was ready to pack up and move back to Melbourne, thinking it would have been easier to do so then try and mold what my life was like in Melbourne into something similar here. I missed all my favourite places, like Trumans in Albert Park or Auction Rooms in North Melbourne. I thought that there were too many cultural differences – that maybe the way I wanted to live was not possible here and that way of feeling went on for quite some time. But when you take a deep breath, look around and see the sun breaking through the clouds you have to remember that life is ever changing, a constant stream of opportunities falling your way and that Dublin thankfully has a few great places to get that sensational cup of coffee. 


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