If you’re planning a trip to Dublin or live here and want to explore the city more, I have lots of tips for you. Dublin is a wonderful city full of great museums, galleries, shops and restaurants. Here’s where to start!

I write a regular series called One Day in Dublin – detailing whole days full of Dublin adventures. Check back every few weeks for a new installment! You can view the first Day in Dublin here.

I also write a regular column for Poppytalk called Dispatches from Dublin, about the craft and design world in our great city. I share the stories behind great shops, initiatives, tours and workshops.

Getting around Dublin is pretty easy. Here’s what you need to know about public transportation and Dublin Bikes. And here a few more links to get you started here on FCV!

I wrote a City Guide for Design*Sponge about Dublin.

Like ice cream? Check out Murphy’s.

Everything you need to know to blend in at the pub.

Romantic Grafton Street.

*** Need a little more help? I also give custom tours of Dublin through Vayable. Whatever your interests, I can put together a three-hour tour that will help you learn about the makers, bakers, artists and creators that make this city tick. Click here to learn more about my Made in Dublin tours.

Folkster Homewares in Temple Bar

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I promised yesterday that I’d share with you a bigger look at Folkster, one of the selection of lovely shops in Temple Bar. I visited to take some photos of their new bridal line (so affordable!) and between looks I took a few extras of their homewares room.

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They have rugs and cushions and vases and pots.  folkster_dublin_05 folkster_dublin_08 folkster_dublin_09

They also have prints from their Gild & Cage line, which are odd but likeable. This one is called Icelandic Woman, I think. folkster_dublin_10 folkster_dublin_01

I have to admit I made no fewer than three impulse buys while I was there. A cute pair of earrings, a belt and a giant sari blanket thing that I absolutely do not need but told myself might some day come in handy! Next time, I have a feeling one of those cushions and a vase will come home with me!

Folkster

Five Great Things About Temple Bar

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A few months ago, poor old Temple Bar made a totally depressing list of top ten most disappointing places in the world. What a shame, huh? It’s never good to have such an infamous award in your city. (For the record, those guys on a stag behind me in the photo above are a big part of why Temple Bar made that list! Come on, lads!)

When I went to write about Temple Bar in Delightful Dublin (don’t forget, you can sign up for our mailing list so you hear first when it comes out!), I thought it might be difficult to find very many delightful things about the neighborhood. Turns out? It’s full of delightful spots, but you really need to know what you’re looking for to make sure you avoid the places that landed it on that very embarrassing list!

Today I thought I’d share just a couple delightful spots, and of course when Delightful Dublin is released in just a few weeks, you can find the whole list inside. I’ll leave you waiting with bated breath!

Folkster - One of my new favorite shops, I’ll give you a bigger peek inside Folkster later this week. It’s filled with vintage clothing and accessories sourced from around the world, as well as a new Folkster Edit collection of party and wedding dresses, and a new Folkster Home section. The belt I wore to Michael’s brother’s wedding came from Folkster!

Cow’s Lane Designer Studio - Cow’s Lane is a collective shop where you can find Irish designed crafts and accessories. Check out the great hats from Shevlin Millinery and the pottery from KaroArt.

Bar Pinxto – When the tapas restaurant, the Port House, is too busy, we walk three blocks to its sister restaurant Bar Pinxto. In fact, I’m not sure why we don’t just go there to begin with! Bar Pinxto has the same menu, the same ambiance, and it’s always less busy.

Farmer’s Market at Meeting House Square – On a Saturday, the market square fills with stalls – rain or shine. They have permanent umbrellas they can put up that cover the whole square if it rains.

Indigo & Cloth – Indigo & Cloth is a hipster clothing store / coffee counter, but it’s where you can pick up a copy of Kinfolk or Cereal magazine as well as original Irish county screen prints.

Photo by Julie of Half a Dream Away

A Delightful Dublin Guidebook Update

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I woke up yesterday morning and Delightful Dublin had a website. It was a pretty exciting morning, let me tell you! My delightful partner, Julie, she is awesome.

We wanted to give you a place to sign up for our mailing list, so you can be the first to know when Delightful is released. We are working our little buns off trying to make sure it’s amazing and useful and beautiful, and we can’t wait to show it to you. Once the guidebook is released, we’ll be letting you know about any updates to it, or special offers (we’ve dreamed up some delightful printed calendars and postcards too!). We won’t be emailing you too often, but you’ll hear from us a little.

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We’d love for you to sign up for our mailing list so we can let you know when Delightful Dublin is ready!

 

 

Silver Linings in Cloudy Irish Skies

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I realized today when I was sorting through the 14,000 photos on my computer (I know, I know, it’s top of the list of things to clean out as soon as Delightful Dublin is finished!) this evening that I have taken approximately a thousand cloud photos here in Ireland.

If there is a single silver lining of our chilly, soggy climate, it is the absolute drama of the clouds we get to see almost every day.

No filters on any of these 30 beautiful sky photos, just pure natural drama, mostly captured with my iPhone.

I sure am lucky to live here.

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An Instagram Magnet Legacy and Giveaway from PicPack!

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I have a few pieces of news (ish?) to share today. We have lost not one but two of our beloved chickens from our brood in the last few months. Lorraine was the first to go beofre we left for the States and when we went away to my brother-in-law’s wedding we had three healthy chickens (or so we thought) and we returned to two healthy chickens and one very dead chicken. Lorraine and Sou were unfortunately lacking in calcium, which apparently can happen to chickens in their second year of laying. And despite adding oyster grit to their feed, their eggs got caught up inside them and fast-forward-fast-forward-ick-ick-ick they died.

We are currently contemplating whether we are ready to replace them (Michael’s ready but I’m still traumatized), and in the meantime I thought I would memorialize our gone-but-not-forgotten chickens in magnet form. This is where the blog post picks up, I promise!

PicPack reached out to ask if I’d like to try their Instagram magnets, and they’re just great – especially for memorializing chickens, but also for reminding us of our loved ones far away! We’ve already received quite a few compliments from family and friends.

Since we don’t have a magnetized fridge door, we installed magnet boards on one of our kitchen walls so we could hang up wedding invitations and reminders that come in the mail. It’s surprisingly not as cluttered as I had thought it could be and we’ve gotten lots of use out of them already. However, we were lacking in the magnet department. These are the perfect fit for our boards, and the images are nice and clear despite using Instagram photos.

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Now the fun part! PicPack has generously offered to give away a pack of magnets to one reader. You can enter below through Rafflecopter – don’t worry, you don’t have to sign up for anything, it just helps me keep track of the entries and pick a random winner.

But even if you don’t win, I’d recommend buying a pack anyway – they’re sturdy and strong, and they ship worldwide the next day, shipping included.  magnet giveaway 2

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

p.s. If you like the look of my rock magnets, see the tutorial here!

The Language of Ireland

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I’ve talked and talked about the tulle skirts I modelled for Sister Mag a few times now, but I didn’t mention that I wrote another article for the same issue, all about the language of Ireland.

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My friend Ashley took a bunch of wonderful photos of the city as I gave she and Thea and Toni (above!) a tour of Dublin, and I wrote all about the ways the Irish language (also known as Gaelic) is still used throughout the city. It’s something I always make sure to explain when I’m giving my walking tours, so it was fun to put it all down in writing. I think you’ll get a kick out of it!

You can read the full article on the Irish language right here. And a few more photos because they’re so lovely!

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Beachy Dublin

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It’s so unlikely, but Dublin has been warm since we returned and we have been swimming! Not once, but four times! That’s twice as many times just in the last two weeks than I’ve ever been swimming in Dublin before.

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I can’t say the water has been warm, per se, but more like the air has been warm enough to make getting wet not terrifying. We haven’t even been bringing thermos’ of tea!

Here’s hoping there are a few more beach days before the summer is over!

p.s. We swim at Portmarnock Beach – it’s very sandy and the water is clean.

Delightful Design / Drury Buildings Restaurant in Dublin

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Dublin’s new-ish restaurant on Drury Street called Drury Buildings is currently sitting comfortably in my top three for my favorite interior design in Dublin. Something about the combination of camel leather, turquoise velvet and colored water glasses made me want to stay all evening.  drury buildings dublin 3 drury buildings dublin 4

So stay all evening we did! The cocktails were tasty and the food was delicious. And the company was pretty good, too.

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I’ll let them explain their design choices:

A mish mash of Berlin exterior, New York interior, fine wines, classic cocktails, craft beers and some really cracking food. Take a six story, derelict, old rag trade building in Dublin city centre. Mix a container load of reclaimed bars, floors, doors, church benches, glass, timber and steel from New York. Shake with 2 years of hard graft. Finally garnish with the extraordinary culinary skills of Warren Massey. 

Works for me!

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Drury Buildings / 52-55 Drury Street, Dublin 2 / (01) 960 2095

Sneak Peek / Delightful Dublin Guidebook

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For the better part of a year, I’ve been working with my friend Julie on a Dublin guidebook, which we have lovingly called Delightful Dublin. Today, we’ve decided it’s close enough to finished that we can show you the cover!

Delightful Dublin will be available as an e-guide you can browse through like an online magazine or tote around the city with you when you visit so you don’t miss a single recommendation. We’ve broken Dublin down into six neighborhoods, introduced you to some of my favorite creative people, and outlined the best shops and destinations around the city. We’ve made sure to explain how to navigate public transportation and how to order a proper pint, and we’ve given you ideas for awesome day trips just outside the city. And of course, it’s packed from start to finish with Julie’s beautiful images of my adopted city. 

And as an added bonus, my talented friend and illustrator Ursula Celano has created illustrated maps of each neighborhood, which we’re hoping to have printed too!

I’m so hopeful it will be a beautiful reflection of the Dublin I love, inspiring locals to explore their city and giving visitors the best shortlist of spots to try.

We’re working as hard as we can to make sure the guide is out next month, and you’ll be the first to know when it’s available.

Model Photography

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Yesterday I had the chance to photograph a new bridal collection available in Dublin for Confetti at a brand new Dublin shop called Folkster. Folkster is a new shop opened by the team who have run Shutterbug vintage in Kilkenny for the last several years. It’s a great addition to Temple Bar and I’ll be writing more about it in the coming weeks. In the meantime, add it to your list to visit – great options for your wedding or if you’re looking for something to wear as a guest to a wedding. And they have a super little homewares collection. But more on that in a few weeks.  westbrooks_confetti_edit_x2

When we visited yesterday, it was my first time photographing a real model and I found the collection both stunning and affordable. There was a lot of gushing over the beautiful dresses and the talented and gorgeous model, but when I got home with the photos yesterday I was struck by how much fun it was to be challenged by a new photography situation. I started clicking that morning completely nervous at the thought of having to give direction to a grown-up since I’m really only used to babies and inanimate objects. But I found my rhythm and am so pleased with some of the images.  westbrooks_confetti_edit

 

I’m really grateful that my various freelance jobs at the moment afford me opportunities to create and capture. I never thought it would be quite this satisfying.

You can see the rest of the Folkster collection here. And seriously, if you’re in the market for a wedding dress, it’s definitely worth a visit.

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