Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Slaney Pub - Terminal 2 - Dublin Airport

A trip through Terminal 2

I’m not really sure how the opening of an airport terminal can cause such excitement, panic and general hubbub, but it can. Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 has barely been open for four months and people are still trying to sort out just how the whole thing works. The media have gone bonkers and ads and subsequent piss-take videos are all over YouTube.

Observe:

Dublin Airport Terminal 2 ad:

and

Terminal 2 ad spoof via The Eleventh Hour

Anyone that’s flown through Dublin Airport before will know it’s generally no pleasant task, and despite criticisms that the airport was expanding at a time when air travel in Ireland is decreasing (in fairness, the expansion began in ’07), after a recent trip through the new terminal, I am happy to report that things are looking up for people flying through Ireland.

Dublin Airport – Terminal 2 Basics

The Slaney Pub - Terminal 2 - Dublin Airport

First off, it’s important to know which airlines fly through Terminal 2 in Dublin. Aer Lingus has just moved all of their flights into Terminal 2, and alongside them are long-haul operators to North America, including American, Continental and US Airways. There are also flights to Abu Dhabi on Etihad from Terminal 2. So, basically, if you are flying to/from the States or on any Aer Lingus flight (except regional ones on Aer Arann, etc.), you’re going to find yourself in Terminal 2. Folks flying to and from the US will also go through the USA emigration pre-clearance checkpoint, where you will clear US Customs & Border Patrol on the ground in Dublin.

The terminal is located just beyond Terminal 1 and is connected to the loop road through the airport, so if you are picking up or dropping off someone, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding it. Besides, it’s that big, blue, glass thing that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie down the end of the airport!

Terminal 2 – Amenities, Restaurants and Shops

Dublin Airport - Terminal 2 shops

I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of shops and restaurants airside in Terminal 2. Sure, there was the bog standard crew of bad souvenir shops and duty-free eyesores, but there were some nice additions. For example, right in the center of the concourse (known as “The Loop”), there is a champagne bar, Flutes. There is also a chocolate bar, Chocolate Lounge, and some higher-end shoe and clothing stores.

Food-wise, there is an okay choice, especially given that the terminal just opened. If you venture upstairs, you’ll find an open-plan pick-and-choose cafe with a slightly nicer bent – a lot of the offerings seem geared towards fresh, organic and locally-sourced items, like hearty Irish breads, seafoods and stews. There’s also a *cough*BurgerKing*cough*.

Though, if you’re anything like me (and most people travelling through Dublin Airport), all you really want is something to nosh on and a decent pint, and you can get that at The Slaney, which is a “pub” of sorts situated along the back window-wall of the concourse, with huge windows overlooking the terminal and runway. This was a nice spot to watch the sunset, the Guinness was quite drinkable and they served me a very reasonably priced (around €6) bowl of fresh seafood chowder and soda bread.

A few considerations…

Terminal 2 - Dublin Airport - The Slaney

At the moment, it seems not all the kinks are worked out. My inbound Aer Lingus flight arrived from Prague, and my outbound flight was destined for Manchester, also on Aer Lingus, so technically I did not have to transfer terminals. The supposed “transfer desk” was not open (an American couple behind me set off an alarm trying to get through it), and I actually had to clear through Irish passport control and back through security and back through passport control, which all told took about an hour. So, for the moment, if you are transferring (which I’m aware most people aren’t), you need to allow lots of extra time between flights.

If you do have to transfer between Terminals 2 and 1, there is a covered walkway that connects the two – an easy walk downhill from Terminal 2, but a tough climb up from Terminal 1, so be ready for the hike!

Finally, I am quite disappointed that there is still no free wifi or internet access in Dublin Airport, and that extends to Terminal 2. The wifi costs €5 an hour and can be purchased through vouchers in vending machines or by using your credit card online.

-Megan Eaves

Photo by kelly taylor

Ireland’s Best St. Patrick’s Day Pubs

You might be yearning for something a less less green on St. Patrick’s Day – and by “less green”, I mean not filled with over-boozed tourists sporting loud accents and green feather boas that no doubt came from Pound World.

So, here it is: IrishJaunt’s list of the best pubs in Ireland to spend St. Patrick’s Day (or any day). Believe me, it was not an easy task narrowing it down to the following. There are so many great pubs around the country that it was all but impossible to come to some of these conclusions about “the best”. Suffice it to say that this is a selection of the best pubs in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day, and far be it from me to tell you otherwise. Besides, almost any pub will do (and there is no shortage)!

Best Dublin Pub – The Cobblestone

Photo by Jeremy Keith
For being a wonderful music venue with a very rustic (really), Old World charm, The Cobblestone manages to draw a pretty even crowd of locals and visitors, and it most certainly hasn’t sold out to the tourist masses, especially thanks to its remote location out in the corner of Smithfield Square.

It is a place where the pints are always fresh and delicious, the music (which is played by a rabble crew of various trad musicians who arrive and leave in waves) is really authentic. Sure, the floorboards are sticky and smell of one too many nights of revelry and the people at the back might toss you dirty looks for having anything but a North Side accent. Still, The Cobblestone is an institution in Dublin.

Best Cork Pub – Dennehys Pub

Courtesy photo

Priding itself as having been the standard local pub to Corkonian character (and restaurateur) Katty Barry, Dennehy’s is one of those great historic Cork pubs that never changes. A stronghold of Munster sport, tall pints of Murphys and that strange back room filled with covers of The Phoenix, Dennehy’s has been in business for something like five decades and is still a family-run operation, thanks to the current proprietors, Mary and Con Dennehy.

Best Galway Pub – Tigh Neachtain

Photo by Francesco Crippa

If you’ve been to Galway, then you’ve no doubt passed by this iconic blue pub with its hard-to-ignore scrawl of yellow writing painting the name Tigh Neachtain (Naughton’s) across the side. Standing at the busy corner of High Street and Cross Street, this is quite probably the most-photographed pub in Galway City. But many people leave it at that, not venturing inside, where the real treasures await amid the aging wood-panelled walls and scores of Galway festival posters from bygone years.

Best Temple Bar Pub – The Auld Dubliner

Photo by Flickr user fhwrdh

This perhaps seems a strange choice to Dubs, but then it’s hard to find a Temple Bar pub that real Dubliners ever go into. I am not going to lie, there are a lot of more famous, friendly pubs in Temple Bar than the Auld Dubliner, but few that will probably be as and down-to-earth on St. Patrick’s Day. Sitting unassumingly between two of Temple Bar’s most monstrously touristy pubs – a green eyesore on one side and a red tourist trap on the other – the Auld Dubliner is kind of a surprising breath of fresh air, with its modest sign, aging interior and slightly unsavoury clientele. But that’s the fun, right?

Best Village Pub – Hayes’ Bar

 

Photo by Aoife Ni Mhathuna

In a sweet village, there is an even sweeter pub: Hayes’ Bar in Glandore, West Cork, has become known near and far for its quaint atmosphere and delicious gourmet menu, most of which is sourced by the proprietress herself, Ada Hayes, from France, Italy and beyond. The traditional staples, though, such as a perfectly poured pint, aren’t to be passed over here, either. Overlooking the soft waters of Glandore Harbour, the tiny pub bustles mostly during the summer when Irish families arrive in droves to West Cork for domestic holidays. With that in mind, this is a surefire place to find a little bit of that renowned friendly Irish village atmosphere on St. Patrick’s Day.

Best Gastropub – The Exchequer

Photo by Jeremy Keith

St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to be all about the beer. Well, okay, yes it does, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some stunning food along with it, right? The Exchequer is probably the biggest success story from the economic downturn – it opened in October 2009 and hasn’t looked back, serving up an amazing menu of re-imagined Irish pub grub made from hearty, seasonal ingredients that has already earned it accolades from the Irish Restaurant Awards and In Dublin magazine. If you aren’t sure where to begin, start with a selection of Irish farmhouse cheeses and move onto the braised neck of lamb pie (served with minted mash, no less) and wash it all down with a proper pint of well-poured Guinness.

Best Seaside Pub – Smugglers Creek

Photo by Andrew Hurley

It would be difficult (though I challenge you to try!) to find a pub in Ireland with a better view than the Smugglers Creek Inn, which sits on a bluff overlooking the Rossnowlagh Beach and the crashing waves of Donegal Bay. Like most things in Donegal, Smugglers Creek bar has a sense of timeless elegance in its mishmash of wooden tables, chairs, barrels and hanging vines set amid low stone walls. The connected hotel is a good place to make a weekend out of it without having to go anywhere for what are probably perfect Irish sea views.

Best Tourist Pub: The Brazen Head

Photo by Flickr user chadlewis76

I am an unabashed fan of the Brazen Head, tourists and all, so I will never hesitate to recommend this Dublin pub, which claims to be Ireland’s oldest, having been founded in 1198 as a carriage house and bar. The Brazen Head has a great sense of humour, with its nightly rousting sing-alongs that attract both locals and visitors, and on any given night you are bound to see Norwegians dancing alongside Corkonian ladies near the fireplace in the bar’s quaint, stone front room.

Best Music Pub – Tig Cóilí

Photo by kelly taylor

Everyone has their own opinions on what the best music pub in Ireland is, but I’ve been to far too many great trad sessions in Galway’s Tig Cóilí to give the honour to anyone else. Frequented by some of the most renowned traditional Irish musicians in Co. Galway and perhaps the whole of Ireland, Tig Cóilí’s regular music sessions are not to be messed with. The pub is quite small and narrow, so you really have to pack in around the musicians, who sit in the front bay window and churn out some of the best music you’ve ever heard in your life.

 

-Megan Eaves