With 9 flights a day departing Birmingham for Dublin it makes Dublin very accessible for long weekends. We have been to Dublin many times, the first few visits we stayed in hotels in the centre of the city. That was until we discovered Malahide.
Malahide is an affluent coastal settlement in Fingal, County Dublin, situated 12 miles north-east of Dublin and it’s only a 15 minute drive from Dublin Airport. It also has a direct train link so Dublin is 30 minutes away putting all of Dublin’s attractions within easy reach. Malahide is designated as a national heritage town. The town is very attractive, with its streets lined with colourful individual shops, merging with terraces of graceful homes, as well as a beautiful Marina. The town’s major tourist attraction being Malahide Castle and Gardens. But it is the many restaurants and bars that give the “village” its special vibrant social life. There are shops to suit everyone taste; fashion boutiques, book shops, hair & beauty salons, florists, chemists and a local butchers. We have to give a special mention to Donnybrooks Fair, we so wish our village at home had one, they are focused on bringing their customers the finest quality food. It’s sourced from the best of local suppliers and it is prepared daily by their team of 75 chefs to deliver an extensive range of fresh homemade products that you can find on their delicatessen, in their pre-made meals as well as their cafe. You really need to visit if you are in Malahide. The 4 star Grand Hotel is the only hotel in the centre of the town, but there is a choice of guest house and B&B accommodation. However we book “Brooklands” which is a wonderful little cottage right in the heart of town making everything very accessible. You can book the cottage via –www.hogansirishcottages.com/cottage/County-Dublin-Dublin/Brooklands-924011.html.
The 800 year old Malahide castle dates back to 1185 and is located within 250 acres of parkland and gardens. The Talbot Gardens were created by Lord Milo Talbot in 1948, and display almost 5,000 species in its plant collection, which is the most important plant collection of its type in the British Isles after Kew Gardens in London. It also boasts a kid’s playground, suitable for all ages. As well as a 9 hole, par 3, Golf Course, an 18 hole pitch & Putt Course, tennis courts, basketball courts, plus a cricket ground, currently being redeveloped to an international standard. It also hosts international concerts with The Killers, Gerry Cinnamon and Lewis Capaldi playing in 2020.
What makes us keep wanting to return is the abundance, choice and quality of the restaurants as well as the Irish welcome and “craic” in the pubs.
There are 4 pubs in the centre, Gibneys which is a traditional Irish pub which prides itslef on good beer, it offers food and live music and shows live sports on multiple screens. It also has the added advantage of a large screen in the courtyard. Duffy’s has a more contemporary feel serving cocktails, it has live music upstairs, and in our opinion serves the best Sunday lunch as well as showing live sports in the bar. Fowlers is deceiving as it doesn’t look much from the outside, but inside it is a local pub with style and charm serving good food as well as live sports. Gilbert & Wrights is a relaxed bar with a retro vibe, more of a local pub, it doesn’t serve food but you can order from the Italian restaurant upstairs.
One thing Malahide isn’t short of is places to dine, it has an abundance of restaurants and a wonderful variety of different cuisines to choose from. There are that many that even though we have been to Malahide numerous times now, we have still not managed to visit them all as yet. The last time we visited, a new restaurant had opened in Old Street, so another one to add to our list. We have ate in Duffy’s, Gibney’s and Fowlers pubs which all serve quality pub grub. Here is a brief description of the 10 restaurants we have visited so far, all are worth a visit for different reasons. However we have noticed that the Geisha Asian restaurant in the marina is now closed.
Siam Thai, we haven’t been since it has been refurbished as it now also boasts a cocktail bar upstairs. The two times we have been the food and service have both been excellent. It is a mix of modern and traditional Thai food and the restaurant also has a nice vibe to it, you certainly need to book if you want a table- you won’t be disappointed.
Il Sorriso is a traditional Italian restaurant serving quality authentic home cooked food in a relaxed and comfortable restaurant, you are well looked after and it has a great wine list.
Jaipur is a contemporary restaurant set in the basement of an old Georgian House, it serves creative updates on classical Indian cuisine, with a nice ambience and great service.
Kajjal is a more traditional restaurant serving classic Indian food, always busy with good service and friendly staff, definitely need to book if visiting at the weekend.
Bon Appetit offers a choice between classic French cuisine with a Irish twist in the contemporary and stylish restaurant located on the lower ground floor or their chic Wine and Tapas Bar, located on the ground floor. All under the watchful eye of Michelin starred Chef Oliver Dunne. A must visit if in Malahide.
The Greedy Goose is a family run restaurant which has broken away from the formal structure of dining out, it has set menus and you choose 3 tasting size dishes, rather than a starter, main and dessert which creates an innovative dining experience in a causal relaxed setting. When accompanied with a nice bottle of wine, it makes for a great dining experience.
Deja Vu Restaurant is our go to restaurant for breakfast, brunch or lunch. It offers a choice of Eggs Benedict, Florentine, Royale, scrambled with Smoked salmon or omelettes as well as their Deja Vu Breakfast. Also their soup and sandwich combo is great for lunch.
Cape Greko is a traditional Greek Cypriot restaurant, the menu is planned with influences from different regions of Greece and Cyprus while using fresh local suppliers creating a dining experience with great food and service.
The only disappointment is the fact Malahide has some wonderful restaurants but, for a coastal town, it does not have great seafood restaurant. We have heard good reports on the Seabank Bistro on the coast road but have not visited as yet. There is the Fish shack which is a contemporary café serving quality fish and chips. However, it is fortunate enough to have Howth just down the coast which has an abundance of seafood restaurants on the pier. We have had lunch in the Oar House and the Brass Monkey and both were excellent great choice of fresh seafood.
So our overall assessment of Malahide – we keep returning year after year so that says it all really.