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.
22 responses to “Sunday in Dublin”
Definitely a good time of year for exhibitions!
It is! And thanks for your comment Jo.
I really must get to Dublin one day. Right now 2 degrees sounds positively toasty, but I will be in Italy soon…much warmer than Helsinki.
As I had read your blog a few hours before I typed this post I was actually thinking of you and twenty-five degrees minus in Helsinki when I suggested the weather was cold here! Safe onward journey to Italy.
Very nice post, B: I love Turner’s paintings and when I make it to Dublin I will make sure I stop by the National Gallery of Ireland to check out their collection. Thank you for the tip! 🙂
Thanks Stefano. Hopefully you will make it to Dublin sometime. The paintings are beautiful and this visit reminded me that I really must try to see the Turner paintings at the The Tate when I am next in London.
Your time in the city center sounds quite nice. I can’t believe there were blossoms this time of the year.
It was nice Karen and also relaxing. I am not sure what the shrub I photographed is called but it is always covered in a profusion of white flowers in the winter months.
Not bad for January! Your pictures are lovely… 🙂
Thank you very much Meg for the compliment. 😉
seen the paintings last year and i agree with you: definitely worth a visit. i think you should mention something else: free entry to the national gallery; is good for the visitor to know that there’s no need to spend a cent. now next time i’m in town, have to find hatch&sons 🙂
Thanks for your comment. You are so right about mentioning that admission to The National Gallery is free and I am going to add a note to the end of the post to say so. Hopefully the powers that be will never change the free admission policy as it is so lovely to just nip and out of the gallery without having to think of the cost of visiting.
I was actually in Hatch on Sunday as well. I was doing a jewellery making weekend at the Irish Design Shop. Claire from the design shop loves it so was recommending it to her students over the weekend as a good place to have lunch. I ate the special which was chicken casserole which was really nice. It was brought out really quickly too.
Also I clicked on jewellery tag that you have and it brought me to a post on Deirdre O Donnell and I have actually done 2 workshops with her too, one last weekend and one last year. The serendipity of reading posts on places I’ve been to in the last few weeks made me smile.
Thank you for your comment I am glad that the serendipity of reading about the places you have been in the last few weeks made you smile.It sounds like you had a lovely weekend -by the way I also wrote about The Irish Design Centre (in December 2011) – I mention it just in case you would like to read the post. I wish you lots of luck with the jewellery making.
What a lovely post, B! It sounds like you really enjoyed your afternoon. Nothing is more relaxing and enriching than spending time in a museum enjoying exhibitions. 🙂
Thanks Francesca. And yes I had a lovely relaxing Sunday. I loved the Turner exhibition, it was fairly crowded but even that seemed like a good thing as it was nice to know that so many people were interested in seeing it. 😉
What a lovely way to spend a Sunday – thank you for sharing! 🙂
I enjoyed my relaxing Sunday in Dublin and yes it was lovely. Thanks for your comment. 😉
What a beautiful Sunday.
Thank you for sharing.
Felt whimsical and poignant and quelle magical bequest for the Turners – once a year, in low soft light.
Waving from across the ocean and a continent.
Hello Team Gloria. I am very pleased to receive your virtual visit and I am waving madly back across the ocean and a continent (actually doing it!). I hope the process of settling into your new LA life is a happy one.
An art show like this is always a great reason to head into town. I love the old paintings.. it speaks of such a different world, don’t they? xx
They do. I am fascinated by the ability of great artists to freeze a moment in time for future generations to gaze in wonder at. xx