It’s a strange feeling being a tourist, walking around cities and gawking at famous streets and buildings, spending your time ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘aah-ing’ at things that seem out of the norm. However, being a tourist in your own hometown feels a whole lot stranger.
As someone who has lived in Dublin their whole life and a frequent patron of the city’s streets, it’s hard to be led around the town by a tour guide and not feel like you already know everything they’re telling you and feeling very indifferent to the whole experience. This doesn’t happen with Fab Food Trails.
In this case, Chris Binchy (former restaurant critic for The Sunday Tribune), is the man tasked with dragging a group of Dubs around places we thought we’d all seen a thousand times before, to experience new food while receiving a thoroughly enjoyable history lesson throughout.
First up, we found ourselves piling into Sheridans Cheesemongers on Anne Street to sample some Irish produce. A real treat for true cheese and wine lovers of the world, but a far cry from the cheese-strings that might be found at the bottom of a nine-year-old’s schoolbag.
Even if cheese isn’t your thing, the story of the Sheridan family and their business is worth the admission alone.
From a market stall in Galway in 1997, to premises around the country 20 years later, the Sheridan family is one of Ireland’s true success stories.
Following that, another rags to riches story is The Pepper Pot, a small café in Powerscourt Town House Centre, where the staff prepare their signature scones fresh every morning. A true hidden gem that, up until quite recently, was using cooking and baking equipment from what seemed like a different age, but in truth was only from thirty or so years ago.
Next up was the highlight of the tour, whiskey. Cosying up in the snug of The Swan Bar on Aungier Street, we were treated to a tipple of Writer’s Tears Irish Whiskey. Named after Ireland’s poets and playwrights of the 19th Century, who often found themselves sat at their local bar in search of some inspiration, it did not disappoint.
Well warmed up following our hearty dose of uisce beatha, we carried on our way through the city to the Temple Bar Food Market, which many of us were ashamed to say we’d never seen nor heard of. Taking place every Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm, this is a haven for the foodies of the world. Housing everything and anything among the various stalls, there is bound to be something to tickle your fancy.
From cheese in Sheridans, whiskey in The Swan and oysters in Temple Bar, Fab Food Trails is a unique and enjoyable day out which stands as proof that Dublin is not only a town bursting with history and tradition, but also with flavour.