My First Visit to the Emerald Isle!

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Last week I made the wonderful journey to the Emerald Isle, for the first time ever!

My trip to Dublin was for business, so I wasn’t due to have much personal time to explore this beautiful city unfortunately; however, I was so pleasantly surprised by the hotel I was staying in, that I didn’t even feel the need to leave the comfort of my room!

I travel a lot for business, but this was easily one of the most impressive hotels I’ve stayed in. I love hotels that have little bit of character, and the Radisson Blu St. Helen’s Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, has it in bucket loads!

I flew over all the way with Flybe for this trip, as the British Airways flights weren’t suitable time wise for me to use them for any part of the journey. I do prefer to go BA whenever possible so I can get my points, the complimentary food and beverage service is also much appreciated! Flybe were super efficient on this occasion though I have to say, and the snacks (although not complimentary) were pretty tasty too!

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My taxi driver from the airport was super friendly, it was only a 20 minute drive, but he pointed out landmarks and places of interest the whole ride to the hotel!

The drive down to the hotel is very impressive, it’s quite a magnificent entrance and a very imposing building to set eyes on. Upon stepping inside, I was instantly mesmerised by all the great features in the lobby, and suddenly forgot all about checking in! Instead, I got a little snap happy and took a few shots of the great entrance and adjoining bar lounge area, don’t you think they just look so regal?!

Finally I remembered procedure and returned back to the check in desk. I arrived a little after 9pm so the restaurant was just closing up, but that didn’t bother me, I already had my heart set on settling in for a cosy night and room service!

The room I was allocated was equally as impressive as my grand entrance. A stunningly soft bed invited me to dive right in, until I spotted the welcoming box of chocolates!

Having explored the room fully and admired the view of the beautiful hotel gardens, I delved in to the room service menu. There were some great sounding dishes on the menu, but as soon as I came across the Irish Beef Burger, my mind was made up!

This bad boy is quite possibly the best I’ve ever had (huge statement, I know!). The beef was just so tender, with barely any fattiness, topped with delicious melty cheese and a slightly toasted bun, delicious! The chunky chips weren’t bad either.

After my tummy filling dinner, I cosied up in my hotel dressing gown, after all, happiness is …. a snuggly hotel robe! You may have already seen this pic if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

The next morning, I was keen to get downstairs and try out the breakfast before my meeting started, and boy am I glad I did! The selection on offer was superb, I literally wandered around for 5 minutes deciding where to start! In the end, I had a little fruit salad starter, followed by a full English breakfast … or should that be a full Irish breakfast? Either way, it was amazing!

The star of the show was easily the sausages. I don’t know what the difference is between the British and Irish meat, but having never been a fan of overly fatty meats, I was very happy to find that the sausages were very lean and totally tasty!

After my heavy breakfast, I went for a little morning peek at the gardens to work off my over indulgence!

Heading back inside, I stumbled in to yet another amazing room for our meeting, just look at the gigantic fireplace and sparkling chandelier!

We had a very productive day and I’m sure these luxurious surroundings had an awful lot to do with helping us work away so effectively. We were slightly distracted in the mid afternoon by an unexpected snow storm, which I unfortunately didn’t get any pics of due to being in the meeting, but it was a lovely thing to see (we don’t get an awful lot of snow in Jersey!).

We finished our successful day’s work, with an evening dinner and entertainment from a great local company, which included dancing and singing competitions, amongst other things.

As we were in a party atmosphere, I’m afraid the lighting was not the best for food photograph and they all have a very purplish tinge! But I’ll share them with you anyway!

We started with a Butternut Squash and Thyme Cappuccino, in a cup that was not nearly big enough for our liking, we all agreed we could drink a great big mug of this creation, it was divine!

Our starter was equally as delicious, consisting of Seared Scallops, Cauliflower, Caper & Raisin Puree and Micro Herbs. Perfectly cooked and very tasty!

The main course was Beef Bavette, Celeriac, Grand Mere Garnish, Salsify, Potato Fondant and Red Wine Jus. Some elements of this dish were great; however, my beef was very overcooked unfortunately. I think this is most likely our fault as a group however; as we were over 40 minutes late to sit for dinner, and I believe the beef was a slow cooked dish, so I think perhaps we messed up the cooking time a little for the chef’s (sorry about that!)

Dessert was to die for, I am actually going to try and recreate this at some point, it was that good! The pictures don’t nearly do it justice. A sumptuous Warm Chocolate Fondant, Orange Mascarpone and Salted Caramel Sauce. YUM!

After a very filling meal and lots of laughs, I retired back to my fluffy bed for a great nights sleep. My fellow meeting attendees and I said our goodbyes the following day and I set off on a long journey back to Jersey via Southampton.

I will certainly be back to Dublin to explore more of this beautiful place, after such an amazing first visit and introduction to Ireland! Leave me a comment with recommendations of where I should visit on my next trip if you’ve been?

Thank you Radisson Blu St. Helens for the wonderful welcome to Ireland!

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