Irish Times - October 2009

Dublin's Doorstep. Living Luxury by Gemma Tipton.

Go on, treat yourself. Don’t rely on the weather when you need a break – there are plenty of luxurious ways to chase away the winter blues.

Treating yourself occasionally shouldn’t be weather dependent – nor for the matter should it be reliant on the financial temperature.

When there’s something to be celebrated, or you’re looking for a pick-me-up, the trick is to find somewhere, not too far away to suit your mood. Dublin’s doorstep is rich with such places and they won’t break the bank. Don’t wait for an anniversary or birthday – as the evenings draw in, a luxury break could be just what the doctor ordered.

Foodie Heaven:

The words “hotel food” used to conjure up lackluster fare, but things change. Ireland’s top hotels now pride themselves – quite rightly- on the quality and passions of their chefs. Leading the field, especially when it comes to organics, has to be The BrookLodge and Wells Spa, home to the dramatic and atmospheric Strawberry Tree, Ireland’s only certified organic restaurant. Try wild mackerel, wood pigeon or grilled asparagus – and that’s just for starters. Then there’s La Taverna Armento, The Orchard Café and Actons Pub.