a little bit of everything and a whole lot of film

29 Mar 2014

Aberdeen Lodge, Dublin

Last November, I went to Ireland for a work meeting  and I had two free days all to myself so decided to spend them in Dublin.

I have to say, I fell head over heels for Dublin. Everyone you meet is always ready with a smile. Also, this might sound (very) strange but there's one thing I noticed - there's a certain scent that permeates the air, fresh and sweet, like fabric softener or dryer sheets. Must be the cool, crisp air - such a change from the desert heat of Dubai!

I love Dublin, even if I only spent exactly 37 hours there. Yep. Sad, I know, but I'll be back very soon.

I stayed at the Aberdeen Lodge, a sprawling Edwardian style mansion turned into a charming bed and breakfast. It is located in Sandymount, Ballsbridge which is considered to be one of the posher areas of Dublin, and I have to agree. The houses there were lovely and well kept, with beautifully manicured lawns.

I spent a good part of my first afternoon just strolling and admiring the beautiful houses, imagining all sorts of stories that went on behind the heavy wooden doors, stuff that I had only read about in Victorian novels. I now wish I had snapped some photos of the houses but at that time I was afraid someone might come running out, yelling at me for being a creeper!

The Aberdeen Lodge has 20 rooms and each one is decorated in simple period era pieces - white brocade bedsheets, lovely wrought iron and wooden beds, wood closets and bedside tables, authentic artwork adorning the walls.

Outside, Aberdeen Lodge's brick facade is entirely covered in ivy, adding more to its romance novel feel. Rose bushes and wildflowers lined the entry way and as you walk towards the back where you will find yourself in a dazzlingly green lawn (I was immediately reminded of a scene from Alice in Wonderland, where the Queen played croquet in a lawn just like it), with towering trees standing guard on the edges. A lone bench stood in the midst of the trees, perfect for late afternoon tete a tetes or early morning reflections.

There is a patio with a good amount of comfortable chairs and tables directly outside the sliding glass back doors that lead into the main dining room, where you can lounge and have breakfast or tea amidst the flowers and herbs which they also use in the hotel's kitchen. It was biting cold when I was there (being November and all), but I did not miss the chance to have my first Irish tea outdoors, albeit very rapidly! I couldn't feel my fingers anymore afterwards but I loved every minute of it.

There was no restaurant in Aberdeen Lodge, sadly, but they do have a country style dining room where they serve hearty Irish breakfasts (oh, black pudding how I miss thee!), a breakfast buffet and light snacks. The breakfast spread was immense - complete with a variety of cereals, a selection of fresh  and dried fruit, jams and jellies, nuts, popovers, croissants, toast and a wide array of juices and always, tea and coffee. They also served a simple but thoroughly refreshing ice water that was infused with cucumber slices, which I adored - I may or may not have finished the entire pitcher (This works wonders for a hangover by the way!)

It's the little touches that made everything special. My toast holder was always filled. Eggs just the way I liked them. Fresh hot tea overflowing. And Pat, the owner, greeted everyone by name, making sure to know if we slept well and giving helpful advice on where to go and what to see.

For dinner on my first night, I took a short walk to Sandymount Square where they had a Tesco express, quaint little shops (I found a metaphysical shop called Angel Inspirations that sold loose crystals and tumblestones, bracelets made from amethyst, turquoise, moonstones and more, sage sticks and angel oracles - bought a little bit of everything), a gourmet food shop (where I bought slabs of cheese, crackers and grapes for a midnight snack) and a wide selection of restaurants to choose from. I had a mouthwatering Insalata con Tonne and a glass of Marsala at Dunne and Crescenzi, the dressing was so good, I bought a bottle of the Italian balsamic vinegar they used for the salad to take back home with me.

Walking back to the lodge, I was greeted by the owner's young nephew (I sadly forgot his name!) with tea and cookies and we sat at the living room, chatting. He wanted to know all about Dubai, and I wanted to know all about Dublin so we talked and talked until I felt I could curl up right beside the tabby cat sleeping quietly by the fireplace.

I walked up to my room (I was on the highest floor and had a good view of the entire neighborhood which I loved), took a long hot bath and fell right asleep afterwards. There may be nothing fancy or elaborate about my room but comfort is always key for me when it comes to hotels and Aberdeen Lodge gave me more than that.

It felt like I had come home.

Aberdeen Lodge 53-55 Park Avenue, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland
353-1 283 8155


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