Roz Purcell, Natalie B Coleman, Elaine Crowley, Courtney Smith and Glenda Gilson reveal their favourite restaurants, bars and gyms in Dublin’s city centre.
ROZ PURCELL - Model and food blogger
DUBLIN is so special to me because I never feel alone. It’s big enough to to be a city but small enough to still feel like a community.
I’ve travelled a lot with this job and been fortunate to live in the brightest and busiest cities in the world but I’ve never felt as at home as I do in Dublin.
“My favourite memory in the city was when the marriage equality referendum was announced — the atmosphere and love around the city was colourful and just beautiful.”
Restaurant: “Rustic Stone. If I was a menu, I would be this menu! There’s something for everyone, and if you enjoy healthy food this is the place for you.”
Coffee Shop: “Coppa Cafe has the best coffee in Dublin, great staff and it is situated in the gorgeous RHA Gallery on Ely Place. It’s so relaxing, you can really lose track of time and chill out.”
Brunch Spot: “San Lorenzo’s for their Nutella New York Cheesecake alone. A great atmosphere and menu that can cure the worst ‘fear’ — just make sure to book, it’s really popular.
Bar: “I love the Rooftop Bar at the Marker Hotel. Great cocktails and a gorgeous view.”
Club: “Coppers! Well, I am from Tipperary. It hasn’t changed over the years, and you know if you end up there on a night out, it’s been a wild night.”
Beer Garden: “I like House on Leeson Street because day or night, it’s like stepping in to another world.”
Boutique: “I love the jewellery boutique Loulerie on Chatham Street because I’m like a magpie and they have great taste.”
Hidden Gem: “The Cake Cafe off Camden Street, tucked away out of sight, it’s like a little oasis in a sun trap. Great coffee and staff.”
Spot for a stroll: “I prefer to run, but I would have to say Killiney Hill, even for a look at the massive houses. The sea views are spectacular.”
Place to meet friends: “Clement and Pekoe on South William Street — great for people watching.”
Gym: “I box at Beau Jacks ( www.twitter.com/beaujacksboxing ) — they challenge your fitness stamina!”
Culture spot: “The Guinness Store House. Typical I know, but whether you’re Irish or not, it really is an interesting tour, a great place to learn a little extra about the background of our national pint.”
NATALIE B COLEMAN - Fashion designer
DUBLIN is so charming; great food and bars, you can walk everywhere and I just love living here. If money was no object I would just buy The Central Hotel and live there for ever.”
“I love Delahunt on Camden Street. It’s elegant and meticulous in its design.
The food is delicious and the menu is not overloaded with choices, which is perfect for me as I hate decision making!”
Coffee Shop: “Bibi’s on south circular road, just around the corner from where I live, a gorgeous place to chill with huge windows to gaze out of and daydream.”
Brunch Spot: “The Fumbally, also close by, I love the higgledy-pigglediness of its high ceilings, mismatched furniture and flirty waiters.”
Bar: “I like the Liquor Rooms. Fabulous cocktails and I like dark corners for daytime hiding.”
Club: “I’m more of a dancing in people’s kitchens type, though if I had to pick, it would be the Workman’s Club.”
Beer Garden: “House is great when the sun shines and I like table service.”
Boutique: “I love A Store is Born on Clarendon Street for great vintage swimwear and kimonos for lounging around in. 9 Crow Street on Ormond Quay is fabulous too.”
Hidden Gem: “The Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street has the relics of Saint Valentine and is perfect for some peace and quiet in the middle of town. I like the drama of churches, the high ceilings, the costumes, the candles...”
Spot for a stroll: “The canal bank is lovely to walk and chat with friends and also I love going out to Killiney beach ever since I did a swimwear film teaser for the label out there. I love the coastline and the DART feels like you’re going on holidays!”
Place to meet friends:
“Grogan’s for evening time glasses of Guinness, toasties and people watching.”
Gym: “I’m returning to My WellBeing on Dame Street for yoga and Pilates — I’m seriously out of practice!”
Date venue: “I love catching a movie at the Irish Film Institute.”
Culture spot: “I go to the Hugh Lane Gallery a lot, I spent a lot of time there as a teenager, as the bus back to Monaghan would park outside, so it became my number one spot to practice my drawing.”
ELAINE CROWLEY - TV presenter
I’m from Cork but I’ve been in Dublin most of my adult life, and the thing I love about the city is that there’s always something new going on, or a new venue opening.
It's hard to get bored here. And the history of the city is second to none.”
Restaurant: “My favourite is l’Ecrivian on Baggot Street. It has a Michelin star, and it’s run by the nicest couple in hospitality, Derry and Sally Anne Clarke.”
Coffee Shop: “It’s not exactly coffee, it’s more tea, but I love Oolong Flower Power Tea Shop on Stephen’s Street in Dublin 2. I’m a tea addict and it has every kind you can imagine!”
Brunch Spot: “I do like Alfies on South William St, but there are so many great places around there as well its hard to choose.”
Bar: “I love Bruxelles off Grafton St. There’s always a great atmosphere and the staff are great craic, music is amazing too. There’s a reason its one of the most popular spots in town.”
Club: “I don’t go clubbing very often anymore because I’m getting way too old! But when I do, I usually head to Bucks Townhouse on Leeson St. It’s a bit like Hotel California though — but in the best possible way!”
Beer garden: “Searson’s on Baggot St has a lovely well decorated beer garden and its kind of hidden away, which is nice!”
Boutique: “Coco Boutique on Clarendon St is my favourite in town. If I need a red carpet gown for the IFTAS of something sparkly for a Saturday night, it’s my go to place, and Danielle the owner always know exactly what suits me!”
Hidden Gem: “I love the Memorial Gardens down by the river Liffey.”
Spot for a stroll: “I live in town so when its sunny you can’t beat a nice walk down the canal to feed the ducks!”
Place to meet friends: “Milanos on Baggot Street is great for a chat and a casual bite, and I’ve whiled away many a happy hour with my best friends sitting outside in the sun over a glass of merlot and a pizza.
Gym: “I haven’t been in months — pass!”
Date spot: “Meeting for a drink outside the Bailey — there’s always someone you know around if you need to escape, and blankets and heaters if you want to get cosy….”
Culture spot: “Is it really childish if I say the zoo?! No? The zoo it is!”
COURTNEY SMITH - Fashion stylist
I’M A Dublin girl through and through. I’ve lived here my entire life and I think we have so much to offer culturally.
We have some of the best restaurants in the world and really know good food; we are a friendly bunch too with a really great approach to life and love and of course there is so much history here to explore.
No matter how far away I stray I know this will be the final place I settle.”
Restaurant: “My favourite in Dublin has to be Fiorentina on the corner of Dame St and Parliament St. It’s a quiet, modern Italian restaurant but the food is just phenomenal and the staff are always so welcoming. You must try the black squid ink risotto and oysters... you won’t be sorry!”
Coffee Shop: “Clement and Pekoe on South William street arguably do the best coffee in Dublin City Centre and it’s really nice on a sunny day to sit outside on the bench or steps and people watch.”
Brunch spot: “I have become quite the regular at San Lorenzos on George’s street. It’s probably one of the busiest brunch spots in town but there’s an amazing buzz in the room. I pretty much always order the avocado on toast!”
Bar: “Technically not a bar, but the margaritas in 777 on George’s Street are lethal. And I love the Vintage Cocktail club in Temple Bar too.”
Club: “I prefer bars where you can chat properly, but the best venue at the moment is definitely the Dean Hotel which is sort of like a hybrid place.”
Beer Garden: “I have spent much of my adult years spending weekends in Gibney’s beer garden in Malahide — my local... so have to give them a shout out, it’s the best, especially on a sunny day or bank holiday weekend.”
Boutique: “You’re asking a stylist to choose one favourite boutique? That’s almost impossible. But anywhere in the little creative hub around Temple Bar, South William St and Drury St, there are so many to choose from — Siopaella, Om Diva, Costume, Fresh...”
Hidden Gem: “I recently came across Luna, the new restaurant beneath Super Miss Sue... I haven’t heard many people talking about it yet as it’s new but it’s a really cool speakeasy style setting with the best burgers I have ever tasted.”
Spot for a stroll: “I often go to Howth with my boyfriend on weekends to get an ice-cream and walk around the coast and village — or feed the seals. I just love the vibe and smell of the sea air.”
Place to meet friends: “The Bath pub on Bath Avenue in Ballsbridge is the spot my friends and I mostly choose to meet up in — whether it’s for evening drinks, birthday celebrations or Sunday brunch... it’s a really gorgeous pub with a fab garden and sometimes it’s nice to get out of town a little bit.”
Gym: “I’ve been going to Fit Studios in Fairview for almost a year-and-a-half now and I absolutely love it. It’s become part of my regular morning routine and really sets me up for the day.”
Market: “The Dublin Flea Market is always one of my favourite places to go rummage and find some gems. It’s on the last Sunday of every month in the co-op in Newmarket and I have never gone and not come home with something amazing whether it’s fashion or bric-a-brac.”
Date spot: “The open air cinemas held in the smaller parks like Herbert Park and Merrion Square during the summer. A picnic, blanket and bottle of wine while watching a movie in the heart of Dublin City is bliss.”
GLENDA GILSON - Xpose presenter
THE things that make Dublin special to me are the people and the craic.
Some of my best memories were created in the capital, from the Christmas windows on Grafton Street to Screen One at The Savoy.”
Restaurant: “I love Taste by Dylan McGrath, which is new to George’s Street. There’s nothing else like it in Ireland.”
Brunch Spot: “37 Dawson street is delicious and really cool.”
Bar: “I always have a great time at House on Leeson Street.”
Club: “You can’t beat Lillies!”
Beer Garden: “I really love the one at Strawberry Hall in the Strawberry Beds, Chapelizod. The perfect spot for a sunny day.”
Boutique: “Cari’s Closet in Malahide because they have such a fabulous range of dresses to rent and buy.”
Hidden Gem: “The Red Bank wine bar on DukeSt, Dublin 2, is a great cosy spot.”
Spot for a stroll: “ I just love Howth Summit on a clear day.”
Place to meet friends: “There’s a newish place called Xico on Lower Baggot St — great for Mexican themed food and drinks, and to dance.”
Gym: “I’ve been going to Body Byrne on Clarendon Street for a long time now.”
Market: “There’s a great food market at Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park sometimes, always worth a visit.”
Culture spot: “I have to say Temple Bar, everything’s there in one place.”
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