“When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that consoles me. Indeed, when I am in really great trouble, as any one who knows me intimately will tell you, I refuse everything except food and drink”. – Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest.
Having bad day? Need a place to chill? Have a look at the following top bookstore cafes in Dublin that will instantly put you in a good mood.
We boast about James Joyce and Oscar Wilde and we are known to be the most creative, magical, superstitious, green humans on the face of the earth. Yet we are also the world’s most competitive tea drinkers. (FYI “Jew want a cuppa tea?” is not a question, ever). So if we mix the two: Books+Tea= Bookstore Cafes.
Easons on O’Connell Street
Right near the Spire (that needle that sticks up into the air for no reason), you will find Easons on O’Connell Street is a top destination for all tourists, and locals alike, to spend a fortune on books they will likely never read. Most people head to Insomnia in Easons to enjoy a cup of tea and a sweet scone. I’ve actually had quite pleasant experiences with the waiters/waitresses there who have always proven to be very friendly, even when I’d go in at the crack of dawn to pull out a book before college.
The Winding Stair
The Winding Stair is a classic place to enjoy your cup of tea with a book in hand. It smells funny and the people who work there are old, making you feel as if you’re in your old grandma’s house. In the front of the shop you can browse through their new books selection, but if you are a bit cheap and only want to go in there for a gawk, you can head to the back of the shop and pick some books4cents. The best excuse to go into this bookstore is that they serve glasses of wine during the day, which may be a bigger attraction to a wider customer base. (Although I don’t remember my grandma ever offering me a glass of wine).
The Hugh Lane
The Hugh Lane is an art gallery which you can visit for free, but they also have a bookshop and cafe. (Books and coffee are not free, beware). Have a walk through and admire the art on display, get some insights into Irish history and mythology, or view the priceless works of the French Impressionists. Some very impressive modern art is always on display. One of the best free things to do in Dublin, the Hugh Lane is right on the Luas line, making it very accessible. The books they have on sale are the real deal, some very cheap classics are on sale there to boast off to your friends or quote some Francis Beacon or W.B. Yeats.
The Rathgar Bookstore
If you’re into fancy gardens, botany or like taking pictures of butterflies on flowers, this is the perfect bookstore/cafe for you: The Rathgar Bookstore. They have an endless amount of books on gardening and much more. But their mug selection is adorable. Normally you’d see old grandmas enjoying their bikkies in the back garden cafe, or on a rainy day (wait, we’re in Ireland?, take shelter in their little coffee room. All their scones, cakes and cookies are 100% fresh out of the oven and they serve true Irish tea, strong, sweet and brewing hot. Spend an hour or two idling away in this quiet spot, away from all the hectic Dublin noise (and angry bus/taxi men). You may even get to see the local cat, whose name is a mystery to this day.
So the next time you are out and about and need a hot cup of tea (or a glass of wine), check out these cafes and pretend to read while you are secretly stalking everyone else or trying to huddle away from the rain outside. Just don’t forget to turn the page of your book while you’re at it so that it looks like you’re reading.