Want The Perfect Valentines Day? Grab Your Girlfriends And Head To Dublin!

Have the perfect Valentines in Dublin!


by Rachel Billings |
Published on

Cast your mind forward to the 14th February... what do you see? If you picture yourself on the sofa in your underpants, red puffy eyes from watching Bridget Jones' Diary on repeat, RSI from continuously scrolling left on Tinder, and having a cry because your chicken Korma for one still hasn't arrived... then you need to read on. *

We nipped over to Dublin for a weekend of soaking up everything it has to offer - and it sure has a lot to offer. It's like a mini and - quite frankly - better version of London. Unconvinced? Here's our top five reasons why you should go and see for yourself...

1. The Luxury

Flowers by Appasionata
Flowers by Appasionata

Dublin is home to The Westbury Hotel, a lavishly sophisticated yet comfortably chic hotel in the heart of Dublin city centre. It's furniture is showered in beautiful flowers delicately arranged by Ruth at Appasionata, their neighbouring florist. The Bedrooms are huge, and the bed's even huge-er! From the front entrance you can step out on to the Irish equivalent of Oxford Street and from the back you'll find Dublin's 'Creative Quarter' - the equivalent of Shoreditch. With everything a five to ten minute walk from the hotel, you may never need to worry about spending money on cabs - which means more money for cocktails!

The Presidential Suite Master Bed (Audrey Hepburn, Al Pacino, and... wait for it... Simon Cowell! have all snoozed here!)
Beautiful rooms at The Westbury

2. The Pampering

Marija Aslimoska, Founder & Creative Director of Parfumarija

Shortly after arriving we met the wonderfully exuberant Deidre McQuillan, Fashion Editor of the Irish Times. Deidre took us on a whirlwind tour of the city via Fab Food Trails, starting at Parfumarija, a perfume boutique owned by the impeccably stylish Marija.We were introduced to the niche perfumes, my favourites were the scents by Etat Libre d'Orange, their product titles raised an eyebrow or two, particularly 'The Fat Electrician' & 'The Whore of the Hotel'

Marija's descriptions of the perfumes and her excitement for the art of perfumery certainly rubbed off on us and had us continuously sniffing the tester sticks she gave us for the rest of the day...


Brown Thomas is Ireland's Selfridges (but better) After meandering around the makeup and jewellry stands, we parked ourselves at the Jo Malone section and enjoyed a hand & arm massage whilst sipping a chilled glass of champers.

Jo Malone - Brown Thomas - Parfumarija

3. The Shopping!

Powerscourt Townhouse Centre

The Powerscourt Townhouse is home to scatterings of antique jewellery shops, in the heart of the centre lies The Pepper Pot who bake the greatest Bagels known to man (so fluffy and delicious!) as well as plenty of independant Irish designer clothing stores, and a few highstreet faves such as AllSaints + French Connection.

Design Centre

If you're after something a little more unique, The Design House, Dawson Street, holds four floors worth of fashion, art, jewellery and much more all made by emerging Irish deigners. Theres also a pattern cutting and sewing studio on the top floor, and a cosy coffee shop tucked away in the basement.

The Design House

4. The Hipster-ish Paradise

Dublin's Creative Quarter

The Creative Quater is full of hidden gems. We were lead down an alleyway and up a flight of narrow stairs to a door with a paper sign in the window with "SEAN' and a telephone number. Inside we were greeted by Sean Osborne, a Gemologist and Goldsmith who regularly creates jewlery for a certain 'Rockstar' (it's definitely Bono...) and many other local Dubliners, as well as international admirers of his work.

Sean Osborne, Goldsmith & Gemologist

The Little Museum of Dublin is a relatively new addition to the city, virtually every artefact on their walls was donated by locals, giving the Musuem a "From the People, For the People' manifesto. There's even a room dedicated entirely to that pop/rock band, you might recognise them from your recent ipod update... U2?

The Little Museum of Dublin

4. The Food, The Glorious, Food

Executive Chef Sandeep Singh talking us through the delicious food at The Westbury

The Westbury's Chef is certainly someone to admire, his capaccino eclairs were frighteningly moreish. Balfes Brasserie and Bar is nestled below The Westbury, the steaks and the charcuterie and the prawns, oh lord the prawns, are all to die for.

Those famous prawns I mentioned...
Temple Bar Market

'Temple Bar' might sound familiar, as it's home to many bars and pubs and it's particularly known by the stag and hen doers. In the day however, you'll find a pop up food market, with cheeses, hot dogs, and the freshest (and biggest) oysters, all hand shucked by Stephen - who if you ask nicely, will also show you an almost too detailed example of why Oysters are known as an aphrodisiac...

If you love chocolate then Cocoa Atelier on Drury Street is the place to go. Their hot chocolate is basically molten creamy chocolate heaven. A perfect rememdy after a day walking about in the brisk Irish breeze. Make sure you look up at the ceiling when you go in there!

Cocoa Atelier

A heavy day of exploring is perfectly sealed with a champagne afternoon tea... the chocolate bomb (in the center of the plate) was filled with a gooey salted caramel which oozed as your chomped into it. A perfect sugar boost to keep you going into the evening with your cocktail bar crawling!

Afternoon Tea @ The Westbury

No trip to Dublin is complete without a knee's up, but it's not just Guinness that the Dubliners are good at pouring, as proven by the charming mixologists at No 10 St Stephen's Green, where we sipped on Coffee Martinis, Amaretto Sours and a Woodchip Smoked Old Fashioned.

A lively place to visit in the evening is Fade St Social, the music was loud enough to enjoy as well as talk over, and after only going for the one drink we ended up staying for three rounds. Finally winding off the night in The Westbury's Gallery Lounge with a nightcap (or two) and starfishing into the monster beds.

No.10 St Stephen's Green & Fade St Social Cocktail Bars

Nothing tops a perfect weekend like an Irish Breakfast or a "fry" as the locals might say, the mountain of croissants may have enticed my pastry addiction - who knew you could put on ten stone in two days...

Brekkie in Wilde, The Westbury Hotel

After such a jam-packed weekend, I realised I never did have that signature pint of Guinness! Guess I'll have to go back again.

You too can visit Dublin and it's wonderful Dubliners. For those of you looking for a romantic break, we recommend The Westbury's Valentine's package.For reservations at The Westbury Hotel, visit www.doylecollection.com/westburyhotel or call +352 (1) 679 1122. Rates start from €230 B&B. To make a booking at Balfes, call +353 (1) 646 3353 or visit www.balfes.ie. Aer Lingus fly daily from London Heathrow to Dublin, Cork, Shannon and Belfast City airports and from London Gatwick to Dublin and Knock airports. Fares start from £45.99 one-way including taxes and charges for travel to up to 30th April 2015. For more information visit www.aerlingus.com

*All Photographs *© Rachel Billings

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us