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Trinity City Hotel sitting in shadow of famous uni the perfect base for exploring Dublin

The land of Guinness is a cultural and culinary paradise. And Trinity City Hotel in shadow of famous uni the perfect base

Trinity College at Christmas
Trinity College at Christmas

By Martin Breen

Location, location, location. That is key more than anything for a city break if you want to enjoy all a city centre has to offer be it bars, restaurants, shops, museums or other attractions.

If Dublin is on your list for a city break, then the Trinity City Hotel would be perfect as it ticks that very box and much more.

This plush four-star hotel is so centrally located and is on the doorstep of Trinity College (former scholars include Samuel Beckett, Chris de Burgh, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde) and a short walk from the shopping mecca of Grafton Street, St Stephen's Green and the lively Temple Bar district.

If you have never been, put a visit to Trinity College on your list. The Book of Kells can be found there and is a huge tourist draw but the jewel in the university's crown is its Old Library - an 18th-century, oak-shelved long room that looks like a scene from the Harry Potter films. As well as scores of priceless books, its treasures include a rare copy of the 1916 Proclamation and a 15th century harp that inspired the emblem of Ireland.

And the nearby Trinity City Hotel, located on Pearse Street, will be a perfect base to visit that and other sights.

This hotel itself has a great sense of history. Formerly Great Brunswick Street, it has housed a remarkable collection of Georgian and Victorian residences, business and services including the British Army Recruiting Office in the early 1900s where, during the First World War, 250,000 Irish volunteers registered to join. One of the best known former residences is that of Padraig Pearse, the leader of the 1916 Rising and author of the Easter Proclamation.

Every hotel guest is made to feel like a VIP from the minute you arrive and the concierge takes your car keys to park your vehicle securely while you head into the cosy and opulent lobby and reception area to check in. Think plush purple velvet, antique furnishings, large gold statues, chandeliers and low key lighting.

Trinity City Hotel Dublin
Trinity City Hotel Dublin

Checking into one of the hotel's stylish new deluxe rooms should be an absolute must. While you can easily navigate the city by foot from the hotel, you could also just simply turn off your phone, enjoy a glass of bubbly or pint of Guinness (as in my case) and chill out. All bathrooms are stocked with excellent Handmade Soap Company toiletries and come with rainfall showers.

The stylish rooms will leave you instantly relaxed and you are guaranteed a great night's sleep thanks to the soft cotton linen, fluffy duvets and squishy luxury pillows.

We dined in the Courtyard Restaurant (it does what it says on the tin with views over a lovely oasis of green) which is the perfect place to relax for lunch or dinner.

Trinity Hotel
Trinity Hotel

I had a tasty tomato soup while my other half enjoyed the star of the starter show - Clonakilty black pudding Scotch egg with charred asparagus, lamb's lettuce and béarnaise sauce. The combination was divine and the egg still lovely and soft.

Next up was mains and I opted for the grilled 8oz Aberdeen Angus rib-eye steak with chunky chips, onion rings and pepper sauce. The meat was cooked a medium rare, exactly as I requested and was perfectly seasoned. I cleared the plate and most of the very moreish pepper sauce.

My other half was equally delighted with her seared ballotine of chicken wrapped in parma ham with wild mushroom farce, heirloom carrots, peas, crisp smoked bacon and chicken broth. The chicken was moist and all the ingredients on the plate were full of flavour. Compliments to the chef for an expertly constructed dish.

I had deliberately chose the smaller 8oz steak as I wanted to try dessert. For me, it was a homemade Wexford strawberry cheesecake with sweet basil cream and a white chocolate and matcha tart with toasted hazelnut anglaise on the other side of the table. Again, both were faultless and both plates polished off.

After dinner we enjoyed some drinks in The Brunswick Bar which is a chic mix of old school charm and contemporary design, with original Georgian features.

On the Saturday night we were there the place was a real hive of activity. During the day I am told, lunch there is very good with offerings including Massaman chicken curry and fish and chips.

Trinity City Hotel Dublin, Courtyard Garden
Trinity City Hotel Dublin, Courtyard Garden

On our Saturday night away we also headed into the city centre nearby, checking out 9 Below, an elegant chic speakeasy-type bar in the historical basement of the former Stephen's Green Hibernians Club. The sophisticated and welcoming venue on St Stephen's Green was buzzing and truly is one of Dublin's hidden gems. Check out its great cocktail menu.

With somewhat hazy heads the next day, we enjoyed delicious cooked Irish breakfasts at Trinity City Hotel which set us up for the drive back to Belfast.

Travel factfile

Grafton Street Dublin
Grafton Street Dublin
Kilmainham
Thousands of books on shelves inside the Trinity College Library

Experience the new Deluxe Rooms at Trinity City Hotel and enjoy 24 hours of me-time with a glass of bubbly on arrival and a delicious breakfast in bed the following morning. Prices start from €224 based on two people sharing.

For more details on this and all the other wonderful packages on offer at Trinity City Hotel, visit www.trinitycityhotel.com

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