Ye gods and little fishes, the weeks of January are cascading rapidly into each other and the month is whizzing by almost as fast as a waterfall flowing swiftly down a steep ravine. I realised that it is nearly January’s end and I had not yet spend a day at leisure in town (town as I mentioned before is what native Dubliners call the centre of their city). Time to rectify that so today I headed townward.
When I got there the first thing on my to-do list was brunch. I went to Hatch & Sons a newish restaurant in the basement of the Little Museum of Dublin on St Stephen’s Green. As a few people had mentioned it to me and as it got a favourable review in yesterday’s Irish Times it almost felt as if The Universe was directing me there. Hatch & Sons is apparently a collaboration between the Kemp sisters, Domini and Peaches of Itsa a Bagel fame, and the food writer Hugo Arnold. I enjoyed the baked eggs with bacon, sausage, and roast tomatoe that I ordered , my coffee was good as was the pleasingly prompt and professional service. I will return.
This is the post in which one paragraph segues into the next without the benefit of a linking sentence. I could claim that the brrrr factor, as it is hovering around one to two degrees Celsius here today, (now I know if you live in colder climes that might sound positively mild but to us it seems freezing) has befuddled my brain. But the truth is I am rubbish at linking sentences. That’s a long-winded way of bringing me to the point of this paragraph, which is to say that en route to the National Gallery of Ireland I walked through St Stephen’s Green (a Dublin city centre park). Despite the wintry chill and the low-slung slate grey skies it was, as always, a reviving and cheerful place to wander around. It feels far distanced from the surrounding urban cacophony and what’s not to love about a city oasis filled with: trees, shrubs, flowers, ponds, fountains and bandstands.
I was heading to the National Gallery of Ireland as I wanted to see the Turner exhibition. This annual exhibition is of the thirty-one Turner paintings bequeathed to the gallery by the prolific and generous art collector Henry Vaughan (1809 – 1899). A condition of the bequest was that the paintings would be on public display, all at once, every year for the month of January only, when daylight is weakest. At all other times they are kept in accordance with the terms of the bequest in the specially designed cabinet (also on display) in which they arrived in 1900. The paintings are truly beautiful and If you haven’t seen them before and you find yourself for whatever reason in Dublin it is well worth popping into the gallery before the end of the month (the gallery is open seven days a week, the hours vary so it is best to check, but will be closed exceptionally for maintenance on Wednesday the 30th of January). The gallery shop sells a rather lovely catalogue of the exhibition compiled by Anne Hodge and Niamh Mac Nally
I enjoyed my day, well half day actually, in town and I hope you had a good weekend.
Note: one of the very many good things about the National Gallery of Ireland is that admission is free.