For us a night out in Dublin means lots of organising. Firstly we have to ensure that the date we have in mind suits that of our good pals living in the big smoke. If we can synchronise that, it’s a double whammy because we have a comfy bed for the night. Babysitters (overnighters in our case) have to be booked not only for our pair (thank you SILs & Mum!) but also for the kids of the good pals.
Then the next question is where to dine if the planned trip isn’t for a specific event. Recently there was a birthday to be celebrated and having received gift vouchers for the award winning Chapter One, there was no debate. However, due to its popularity, you don’t just ring Chapter One a few days before, so our most recent visit to Dublin was organised well before Christmas.
As I had never been to Chapter One before (which people couldn’t believe when I told them – that’s life living 200+km away with 2 small kids…) but had heard wonderful reports, I was very excited. The SILs who are well travelled and dined, rave about it. When I interviewed restaurant critic Katy McGuinness for my radio show, Best Possible Taste , she included it in her top places to eat. Barry Liscombe of Hartes in Kildare said the service was simply impeccable.
And everything was impeccable.
From the greeting on arrival by Martin and Declan aka “Manager”.
To the pouring of bubbles compliments of the Philadelphia Two (you were much missed Sweeneys XX).
To advice on what dishes to choose when the choice was too great as everything sounded overwhelmingly delicious.
And the food was to die for. For each course, all 4 plates were wiped clean. It must be a dream to be the KP in a restaurant where there is so little waste and you certainly wouldn’t want a few pigs at home to be relying on the slop bucket!
One aspect that I loved was that each time a course was served, we were told what was on each plate. I know you read this on the menu when you order but I can never remember the finer details and it’s great to be reminded so that all elements can be enjoyed.
The only part of the evening that I didn’t enjoy lasted approximately 60 seconds and involved a candle in my dessert accompanied by a rendition of happy birthday. I went the colour of my red dress. A lovely gesture but I prefer burning cheeks as a result of too much vino…
Thank you to everyone who made the evening wonderful – the babysitters, the wonderful pals in Dublin and Philly and everyone in Chapter One. I hope I don’t have to wait another 21+VAT years until I visit again.