Discovering Dublin: A Day Out in The Liberties
Hi y’all! P and I recently spent a Saturday trying some new (new to us) things around a neighborhood in Dublin called The Liberties. Truth be told, I haven’t spent much time in The Liberties since I did a project on the area when I was doing my masters. I should not have waited so long to go back and explore because there is so much to offer in this area! If you are planning a trip to Dublin and looking for a unique spot that isn’t overrun with tourists, this is it.
We started the day with brunch at San Lorenzo’s. I feel like most brunches I have tried in Dublin lately haven’t been as amazing as they once were. The standard, I think, has dropped, however, that is not the case at San Lorenzo’s. The menu is extensive and I appreciated that on their website they are upfront that their weekend brunch includes loud music. The brunch wasn’t that loud, but it was busy. I started with a peach bellini which was refreshing. I want to try the watermelon flavor on our next visit! I ordered the 2 poached eggs on toasted bagel - Popeye w/ oak smoked organic salmon & spinach and P had the pork belly hash. Everything was delicious, minus the coffee! The meal came in under €40, which isn’t bad considering the cocktail was nearly €10 of that.
We were booked in for the 2:00pm tour at Teeling Whiskey and chose the Teeling Small Batch & Seasonal Whiskey Cocktail tasting tour option. There are other options where you get different tasters but I just booked us in the for the cheapest one. Everyone will get the same exact tour, it is only different at the end in terms of what you get to taste, based on what taster option you have selected.
A bit of background on Teeling before we get into the tour. It is the first new distillery in Dublin in over 125 years. Teeling only opened in 2015, so they’re still quite new on the scene. The distillery is a fully functional pot still distillery that produces up to 500,000 liters of spirit each year!
The tour starts in a room with different facts about the area the distillery is in (The Liberties), Irish whiskey, and Teeling itself. This is not an ideal place to start the tour as it is loud with other people walking around waiting to go on their tour which makes it incredibly difficult to hear the tour guide. You are then taken into a room with awkward seating to watch a short clip on Teeling. There are two couches and a long bench. It was just a tad cozy to sit so close to strangers!
After the film, it is into the actual distillery which, as you can imagine, is quite small as they have only been open for 3 years. If you have been on a distillery tour before, none of what is here will be new to you. Our tour guide, Clare, did a great job talking us through the processes as well as sharing history on Ireland, Irish whiskey, and the Teeling family. We had a rude family on our tour and a few people who would not stop talking, which Clare handled with grace! I was a tour guide in college so I understand how frustrating these people can be to you, the tour guide, as well as others on the tour.
The end of the tour is the best part – the tasting! As part of our tour option we got the Teeling Small Batch and a Seasonal Whiskey Cocktail. I am not a huge fan of whiskey to drink on its own but I did like the Teeling Small Batch. That said, I did give the majority of mine to P who says he still prefers Jameson. The seasonal cocktail though, y’all! It is the Teeling Ice Tea and it was delicious! It is honestly the perfect summer cocktail. I have the recipe in a photo in case you want to make it at home! It is definitely a drink that you can’t taste the alcohol so they go down a little too easily!
From Teeling we went by the Tivoli Theatre where there is some really amazing graffiti/street art. We passed by this on our way to Teeling but were running late (as usual!) so we made sure to come back to it after. I never knew this was in Dublin before. I pride myself on knowing quite a bit about my city but goes to show, there is always something new to be learned!
Across from Tivoli is Drop Dead Twice. I had heard of Drop Dead Twice as being the BYO cocktail bar but had never actually visited. They do have other drinks available if you’re not wanting to do the cocktail bar buzz. It does sound cool though and would be fun for a hen/bachelorette party or just a girly day out. I can’t remember if the staff said it was €25 per group or per person but the way it works is you bring a bottle of your choice of liquor and the bartenders then create bespoke cocktails for the group. We tried the Icelandic Arctic Pale Ale here and while it was good, it wasn’t my favorite. We hit a couple more pubs on our way home but it was an early night! I am getting too old to day drink and then stay out past 10pm, ha!
I love exploring Dublin and part of why I made this blog was to encourage myself to really get out there and do more of it! It can be easy to become complacent in your city but I never want that to happen to me. I also know there is always a chance the Irish government could deny my visa applications so I want to make sure I soak up as much Dublin/Irish culture as I can, while I can. A Saturday full of trying new places was just what I needed and I am already planning my next day out!
Planning a trip to Dublin? Check out my Dublin City Guide and 10 Day Trips from Dublin! A Slow & Sophisticated Saturday has some more 'day out' activities for Dublin and Wicklow Weekends has you covered if you're looking even more day-trip inspiration. Don't forget to check out The Complete Packing Guide to Ireland while you're at it so you're ready for all your adventures!