In Dublin there are a few places I always make a beeline for – here are some of them. First, the Italian cafe just off the quay to the left of the Halfpenny Bridge. Drop into Café Cagliostro for an espresso and you could be in Rome. It’s tiny, authentic and everyone’s talking in high-speed Italian or engrossed in a newspaper. On the quayside itself, The Winding Stair bookshop (www.winding-stair.com) is a bit of an institution; it’s a truly evocative place to while away a few hours, drinking coffee by the huge old windows overlooking the murky River Liffey. Dublin now has its own bike-sharing scheme, like Paris, so you can nip around the place more easily (www.dublinbikes.ie; free for the first half hour; 1.50 euros for two hours).
So now, fuelled by all that caffeine, some shops. Pick of the boutiques, for me, is Smock (www.smock.ie) on Drury Street, which stocks quirky chic labels such as Martin Margiela, Vanessa Bruno, APC and Vivienne Westwood. What stood out this trip was jewellery by Annina Vogel (www.anninavogel.co.uk) – more about her beautiful charm necklaces in a future post.
For beautiful vintage clothes and accessories, Jenny Vander is justifiably a bit of a legendary spot in the city. But I like to rummage in A Store is Born (34 Clarendon St, open Saturdays only) just as much. A kind of ‘pop-up store’ that just keeps on popping up, this place is dark and not madly friendly, but it has some classy slips and silk nightdresses in peaches and pale pinks on its rails, all in very good nick, as well as cashmere cardis in all colours and some evening coats that wouldn’t shame a Marni store. This place is about chic rather than cheap; I wished I had a spare 600 euros to splash on the beautifully detailed heavy silk Chinese kimono – a one-off, truly luxurious item.
More Dublin highlights in a later post…