Rediscovering Dublin with a family staycation in the city
"Mummy, the man said I COULD have another pancake!"
We recently had the most amazing hotel breakfast experience, and Nutella pancakes, in case you didn't know, really is the way to a seven-year-old boy's heart. Beating that? FIVE Nutella pancakes. And smoothies. And croissants. And more pancakes.
The way to a tired post-pandemic mother's heart on the other hand? A night away in a luxury 5-star hotel.
It's yet another summer of staycations for most of us, and in the spirit of that – and because I really, really needed a night away from our own house, sleep in a bed I hadn't made myself and eat a breakfast made by other hands than my own – I decided to bring my little ones on a mini staycation. Right here in Dublin.
Our destination? The stunning Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin.
Once booked, we all started counting down the days until our fun city staycation. I might have been even more excited than the kids – I mean; come on – how sick are we all of staying at home at this stage? And if I had reservations about bringing my children to a 5-star hotel, trust me, they evaporated in a flash upon checking in.
From the super-stylish lobby to my complimentary glass of bubbly on arrival, and our double family room (I got my own bed in my room, while the kids shared a big bed in their adjoining one), this little lux staycation was shaping up to be our favourite one yet.
In fact, I don't know who was more excited at the prospect of us having two rooms in one – me, who was already planning to take a soak in the enormous bathtub before curling up in my huge bed with a book once the children went to sleep that night. Or my kids, who were already bouncing up and down on their own giant bed, before promptly deciding they were having a 'pyjama party movie night' – with treats – that night.
But movie nights and tub soaks had to wait. We had just one afternoon in the city, and we weren't going to waste it. The beauty of staying at the Fitzwilliam is that you literally have Dublin city on your doorstep – and so we set out to rediscover our home town.
And on that note, on this sunny summer evening, we crammed in as many 'city vibes' (in the words of my 11-year-old) as we could. A stroll through St. Stephen's Green. A ramble down Dawson Street. A nosy in George's Arcade. A pit stop at the Disney Store. Coffee (for me) from Clement & Pekoe. Ice creams (for them) from Murphys Ice Cream on Wicklow Street.
One thing I knew I wanted to do having heard so much about it, was pay a visit to the Little Museum of Dublin – and trust me, you don't want to miss this one.
Set in a Georgian townhouse just off St. Stephen’s Green, the Little Museum of Dublin museum explores the last century in Dublin – and in a way that was so interesting and entertaining, my children have already asked when can we go back. This summer, the museum is also doing the Big Little Treasure Hunt – a great adventure through time and space... all in a Covid-safe manner outside in Stephen’s Green park.
The fun-filled walk (or run, in my children's case) through Dublin’s most beautiful Georgian square kept us busy for over an hour, and by the time we had finished (hint – there is a prize at the end!), it was time to head back to the Fitzwilliam Hotel for our dinner.
As part of the hotel's city getaway package, we got dinner included on the evening of our stay. Option one for dinner was Glovers Alley, where, having visited previously, I know Andy McFadden’s masterpiece of fine dining is simply superb.
However, dining out with two kids – and not having the energy and/or will to get dressed up, we opted to have our dinner in the more laid-back and casual Inn On The Green bar. The beauty? All we had to do was get the lift down to reception level and voila – dinner was served in our own private booth in the bar.
Deliciously full from our gorgeous meal (and, in my case, a very vacay-style Aperol Spritz), we headed upstairs for an evening of movie marathons, blissful baths, hotel robe-wearing and ı swear to God the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in in my life. And can we all agree sleeping in a luxurious hotel bed is pretty much the best thing ever...?!
Having slept in until almost nine, we reluctantly got up and dressed (despite my little boy wondering if he could indeed go down to breakfast in his much-too-big hotel robe), and rambled down for breakfast.
Being vegetarian, we didn't go for the full Irish, but were spoilt for choice with fruits, pastries, porridge, granola and the aforementioned Nutella pancakes, which, to my children, just sealed the deal – this was one mini-holiday they would not forget. Or let me forget they were dying to do all over again.
The Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin's ultimate city getaway costs from €299.00 per room mid-week (Tuesday–Thursday) and from €399.00 at weekends. This perfect summer experience includes an extravagant three-course meal at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Glovers Alley.
To book the Fitzwilliam Hotel Dublin summer package, visit www.fitzwilliamhoteldublin.