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Day 52: Ambassador’s mansion

The embassy belt of Dublin lies around Ballsbridge and its environs. Quite pronouncedly, just walk down Ailesbury Road (off Donnybrook) anyday and the majority of the compounds, both left and right of the road, would bear flags of one country or another. This photo of an ambassador’s mansion may not be particularly clear (it was a still day, with nary a gust of wind to fly the flags) but look closely – could you guess who lives here?

Security measure at the embassies are undoubtedly tight. Just take the American embassy on Elgin Road. It is like a small fortress in its own right. Security gate with guarding policemen, and if I recall my visit there a few years ago correctly, they will only admit someone in accordance to appointment list (no random drop-ins), they will take away your mobile phone/digital equipment (no recording policy inside the embassy) and there are scanners and delayed doors etc. I do wonder how did they do it, when they held election parties in the past, to vet US citizens plus guests in a relatively high number. Can’t be easy.

Day 49: Rayburst

Blue sky.
Budding daffodils.
Grass cutting.
Small slice of cake.
Chirp chirp.
A deep breathe.

I need very little to put a smile on my face lately. Just the simple things. Of being outside. Of taking things slow. Of savouring every bite. Clichéd as it sounds, knowing that my time in Dublin is limited seems to heighten the senses.

You may notice I am photographing mostly around my neighbourhood at the moment. For one, I have quite a lot of work to wrap up, so I don’t have much time to get away too far from where I am. Secondly, it helps preserving my memory of this part of Dublin that I’ve seem to take for granted. Until now.

Day 46: Tower

I took a long-ish walk today, southward, past River Dodder. Then, right before my eyes, the Church of Sacred Heart of Donnybrook, with its imposing square tower (only one) that could pass for tower of a castle, neo-gothic architecture, and incorporation of various wings of the church in a rather peculiar configuration.

I’ve only seen the interior of the church once, years ago, and try as I might, I can’t recall what the interior was like. I remember it being tall and spacious, with an impressive set of organs and also a beautiful rose window. Other details – everything’s just hazy. I considered sneaking in for a visit, but chickened out.

Day 45: Giant meringues

I have been eyeing these giant meringues for a while now. Each time I pass the window of The Butler’s Pantry in Donnybrook, that is. The pink ones are supposed to be raspberry meringue, the white one traditional, and the baby blue ones, errrm, I don’t know what’s the flavour actually. Should I drop in and ask?

If you are wondering how big are these giant meringues, just compare against the tarts on the display dish right next to the meringue plate. I am also curious as to the amount of time it requires to bake these monstrous treats so each stays dry and airy on the inside while crispy yet not burnt on the outside. To be honest, I have never quite perfected the art of meringue baking, so I won’t attempt to whip up a batch of giant meringues just yet.

Day 12: Breakfast, not at Tiffany’s

The phone started buzzing early in the morning. It was my aunt, and the next I knew, I have an invitation to (free) breakfast. Yay! We went to Donnybrook Fair on Morehampton Road. The restaurant sits above the food grocer and deli of the same name, accessible via a spiralling staircase near the main entrance. I can’t think of a better start to the day with an order of Eggs Florentine and a glass of smoothie.

I admit it, I am a fan of Donnybrook Fair. They have delicious fresh ready-to-eat meals over at the deli, they stock a good range of organic produce and products, they sell goodies not found elsewhere in the city (Amedei chocolate immediately springs to mind) and they also run cooking and wine tasting classes. It’s an enviable playground for a foodie.

To top it all, the restaurant serves great seasonal food. Sure, buying at the grocer and/or deli comes with a price tag that may not suits all (look out for their frequent promotions to get better value of your Euros), but the menus of the restaurant are fairly priced for Dublin. I’d highly recommend it.

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