Shakespeare was born in Stoke on Trent, apparently.

Part of the deal with booking the hotel we found through Groupon was that there was a nightclub situated directly below the hotel. It did mention that on weekends there would be a noise disruption and guests were to be aware of this. I still didn’t understand why an additional €20 supplement had to therefore be paid if you stayed on a Friday.

Especially if you heard the nightclub. Thank God we were as exhausted as we were because it was LOUD – and we were on the top floor of the hotel. I suspect that’s why the hotel was so cheap. It’s a shame because the hotel is lovely and well recommended but unfortunately the noise is just a little bit too much.

As part of our hotel deal we got a free Dublin bus tour. I don’t normally go for these things but as it was free we made the most of it. It also provided us with a nice lift to the Guinness Storehouse which I had never been to previously, Laura had though.

The Guinness tour has been done really well. Atmospheric, well laid out and spectacular views from the Gravity Bar at the very top. You can get a 360 degree look at Dublin, very nice.

After Guinness we headed back towards the Temple Bar and had a drink in our favourite haunt, The Porterhouse. Laura first introduced me to this pub when we went to London for the first time together in 2009, as they have a bar in Covent Garden. It was nice to visit the place in its home town. There’s always a good atmosphere in the Porterhouse. Laid back and relaxed. It’s well worth a visit either in London or in Dublin, or in New York I believe.

Our friends Kate and Will, had booked us a table at the recommended Arlington Hotel as a wedding gift on the second evening. Before we headed over that way we decided (again) to have a drink in the local pub literally by our hotel.

As we sat there in the early evening these two Irish guys got talking to us. We discovered that once the Irish get talking, they rarely stop (this is a compliment!) anyway, they asked us where we were from and we explained we lived near Manchester. We always say this because most people know where Manchester is even though Stoke is about 40 miles south, it’s just easier. One of the guys got very confused and said, ‘I know that place. It’s beautiful. William Shakespeare came from there’. I informed him that he was thinking about Stratford-upon-Avon which is very different!

The Arlington Hotel was brilliant. A meal accompanied by live Irish music and full on Irish dancing. The band were excellent. How they remember all of the words to the Irish songs I will never know! The Irish dancing reminded me of my friend Kate Humphreys. She’s a fan of an Irish jig at a party, especially when they play the Irish Rover. She is not a fan of Come On Eileen though! Her most detested song of all time!

We sat next to a couple from Israel at the meal. They looked like they’d just been told they were walking back to Tel Aviv. He sat glued to his phone all evening. How can you ignore a live band who are as engaged with their audience as much as these were in favour of your phone? As for his wife/girlfriend, she wouldn’t eat any of the food, she just flirted her salmon across the plate. When they asked her for a drink she replied ‘it is too soon for a drink!’



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