A HEN PARTY IN DUBLIN //
It's my wonderful best friend's wedding in TWO WEEKS and other than having a minor freak out that we are at this stage of our adult lives now, I realised I still hadn't pulled together a post about the fab hen party we had for Charlotte in Dublin.
We flew over to Ireland during the May half term (half of the hen group are teachers!) and had a long weekend of dancing, drinking and generally having a good time planned.
Our long weekend started with early morning celebrations at Newcastle airport, accompanied by a fry up breakfast (and pint, naturally) and pastel coloured party bags
From tiny vodkas to the standard hen party sash, everyone was given a bag of treats we'd put together. There were straws, cheeky knickers, paracetamol - for the expected hangovers - plasters and a special set of pyjamas for the bride-to-be.
Note: if you are in charge of party bags and will be flying abroad, please remember to control the number of tiny vodka bottles you pack if you only have hand luggage.
We headed straight to Abigail's Hostel - smack bang in the city centre - which meant we were no more than a couple of minutes from a pint of Guinness and live music at all times. It's a backpackers hostel but as there were six of us, we were able to get a 6-bed dorm room to ourselves which was ideal.
The place is really good value for money, full of young travellers and you even get a continental breakfast thrown in every morning too.
What would a hen party in Dublin be without multiple other hen parties, all Irish dancing in a pub looking out over Ha'Penny Bridge?
We'd booked an Irish dance lesson with a company somewhere in the city centre, which conveniently was located in the Merchant's Arch, a pub which just so happened to be around the corner from where we were staying.
It was a little uncomfortable to begin with as there didn't seem to be an awful lot of organisation and we'd been seated at the very upstairs of the bar. Too far out of the action and without the same atmosphere, in my honest opinion. We were luckily able to move downstairs which made for a much more enjoyable experience.
The location itself was fantastic and this is a pub I'd definitely recommend visiting, whether you're there to dance or not!
Having visited Dublin before, I've already mentioned a couple of favourite pubs and bars on the blog here. As well as revisiting a couple of those, including The Bankers and Temple Bar, we found an additional favourite in Oliver St. John Gogarty for the live music and Capitol Lounge for the €5 cocktails!
We also got dolled up in our 20s dresses for the first night and headed to a Gatsby-esque prohibition bar called The Blind Pig. This sounded cool when I did the research and was even more fab than expected. It's a short walk from Temple Bar underneath an Italian restaurant, you follow the sneaky signs and have to follow the secret instructions to get in. Cool AF.
As you'd expect in a prohibition style bar: atmospheric, dim lighting, happy jazz music, super cool cocktails and this place even had a hidden drinks menu in the book on the table.
We stayed here for a drink and mine was gin delivered in a tiny teacup and just about the cutest alcoholic vessel ever - as you'd expect for the experience here though, it's also pretty expensive!
It seemed only right for Charlotte to experience the Guinness factory on her first venture to Dublin, so we headed here with surprisingly minor hangovers.
We pulled pints fairly successfully and spent some time enjoying the sights of the city in the Gravity bar - also featured in this post. It's also been recently announced this sky bar will be doubling in size - article here - so if you plan of taking a trip make sure you keep this in mind!
The entire trip (Sunday - Tuesday) cost around £300 for me, food and drink included. Although a lot of people say Dublin is an expensive city, if you find your main meals and drinks outside of the tourist locations like Temple Bar, you'll find it's actually fairly decent. We ate in smaller, cosier pubs and wandered out of the main city centre to find cheaper bars.
There's live music around every corner in this city, so you'll never be short of a fun atmosphere. Overall, we had a wonderful time exploring Dublin and if you're looking for somewhere for a girly weekend, this is definitely a great bet.
Have you been to Dublin before - where would you recommend?
Leave a comment and let me know!