During the last Bank Holiday in May I was lucky enough to spend a long weekend in Dublin, Ireland’s largest city.
I had visited once before but not as a vegan. In fact, this was my first time abroad since joining the V Gang. I was excited but nervous! Soon enough I realised there was no need to be though as before we even boarded the plane I found a delicious breakfast at Gatwick’s Grain Store Cafe & Bar. All I had to do was swap my eggs for more beans (because there’s no such thing as too many beans, right?)
Being a city, there is obviously a huge number of chain restaurants and shops around Dublin city centre, making things much easier. I enjoyed a Nando’s (veggie burger, no mayo), Papa John’s (veggies, no cheese), pasta from Zizzi’s new vegan menu and more Tayto crisps than I can count.
Aside from the well-known chains however, I was pleasantly surprised by what I could find. Walking round the side streets we stumbled across Cornucopia, an adorable veggie cafe with a delicious and cheap vegan breakfast. I’d have loved to have eaten here more than once if we’d had the time.
One thing that I did notice about breakfasts was that baked beans were not a thing. In England, if you go anywhere for a hot breakfast you’re bound to find beans but not in Dublin it seems! Our hotel had limited vegan options but I brought some soya cartons in the local Spar so I could have some tea and cereal, which made a huge a difference. Veggies and toast became my staple breakfast for the weekend.
As the soya cartons demonstrate, if there’s one very important thing I’ve learnt in the past year it’s that preparation is key. One day we took a trip to the Wicklow Mountains which was incredible but I made sure I took my own snacks – Pringles, rice cakes and Nakd bars, the usual vegan life savers. The country pub we stopped at for lunch in the middle of nowhere was unsurprisingly not vegan friendly but they had chips and chips are great, especially after you’ve been walking all day.
Arguably the most exciting thing I found whilst walking through the city streets was a sign for vegan donuts. Don’t worry, I had to do a double take too. Naturally, I had to go in and buy three – just to keep demand up y’know. I can confirm that they were INCREDIBLE. The Rolling Donut, I salute you. Oh how I wish we had these in England.
Even long weekends go far too quickly for my liking and before I knew it it was time to leave one of my favourite cities. My first experience as a vegan abroad was an extremely successful one and it just made me love the place even more. I hope it’s not too long before I can visit again.
I love everything about this city; the food, the friendly people and the amazing views. I’m just still trying to decide whether it’s a good thing that whiskey and Guinness are vegan. My heart says yes but my head definitely says no.🌱