Last week I decided to take an afternoon off. The day was sunny, finally, and my freelancing work for the week had, yes, finally, reached a point when I could relax for a few hours in the afternoon and treat myself with a cup of coffee in town.
I have been living in Dublin already for a year now, but haven’t been able to find that one perfect coffee shop where I could occasionally take my work to and sit down and type with a cosy coffee shop buzz and hizz at the background. Understandably Costas and such are out of the game completely in a matter like this – for the rare few hours off my work nook at home and out in the world I want to pamper myself a little: enjoy a nice cup of coffee which origin can be traced, baristas know their business and you can taste something else than, well, coffee from the cup. WiFi, naturally, is also a must, and let me add, properly working WiFi, not the kind that throws you off-line every time a Dublin bus whizzes by the windows. Chairs and tables must be comfortable, and music cannot be too loud or in any other way annoying.
So, as you can see from the list above, no wonder I haven’t found my perfect spot for a work/enjoyment cup of coffee.
Until last week.
And it is located in “my area”, just down the road! Well, 15 minutes walk down the road but that is actually perfect as well, because this way I can have my daily exercise just by walking to get my caffeine fix for the afternoon!
I myself had whizzed by this coffee shop in Stoneybatter on a bus, perfectly remembering its shiny white banner simply stating COFFEE, and I had often meant to step inside. And now, as I approached the COFFEE sign on foot, I realised that there is, in fact, not just one but two coffee shops side by side! So for a moment I was confronted by a really tricky dilemma: which one?
The other looked cosier, having a nice little snug by the window and a table outside whereas the COFFEE one was shining like a halo in the rare Dublin sunshine, which I took as a sign from above, and stepped in.
The coffee shop was empty apart from one fragile granny who was savouring her cup by the window – and unfortunately she wasn’t able to create the buzz and hizz I was looking forward to. The decor was very minimalistic too and created a nice contrast to the rumbling down surroundings of Dublin 7.
I had a look at the coffee menu and was talked through the choice of coffees, which is roasted by the local Roasted Brown. I ended up having the Costa Rican one as there is a trip to Brazil coming up soon and I’m trying to get accustomed to the flavours of South American coffee – a task most burdensome but someone’s gotta do it!
But as enthusiastic as I am over coffee, there was something else that caught my full attention immediately: the pastries. Oh my, so pretty and delicate. So creative and cute. I actually had to gasp and go for my camera immediately, and sensed a tiny glimpse of that old urge to put on my whites and step back into my old job as a pastry chef in a Michelin star restaurant. Ah, all the new creations I could come up with! It was a moment of inspiration but, alas, the white of a chef’s outfit has changed into the white of the writing pad so here I am, writing about it – and enjoying it!
The pastries were separated according to two different colour themes: in the front you had the autumny, darker colours and chocolaty pieces with berries, and at the back the lighter coloured options, such as the Dingle Gin extravaganza I chose (“All-things-Dingle” has become a slight obsession of mine since the great Dingle Sea Salt Ice Cream at Murphy’s I kept enjoying during the summer). The bakery is local Wildflour Bakery and one of the best finds I have discovered in Dublin. The Dingle Gin cake was perfectly moist and sweet but at the same time light and refreshing. I felt like the cake was specially made just for me, on the spot, a minute ago. That is to say, as a customer, it made me feel special!
Note to self: have to find about more about this bakery… and this means some serious tasting involved research, but someone’s gotta do it!
All in all, I think this could be it, one nook to work (read, researching the pastries) away from my kitchen corner, conveniently just down the road! Only thing is that I didn’t ask about the WiFi because I was so excited using the pipette filled with gin and writing to my friends in Finland about it.
P.S. I tested the coffee shop next door later on, on a rainy day! More to follow! Meanwhile, here’s a photo of a suicidal seagull I spotted in Dingle: