Sunday 17 December 2017

Christmas festivities

This weekend was a lot of fun doing some stuff that I do every year around now - it's feeling really nice and Christmassy!
On Saturday I helped Enid out at a cocktail party she holds every year.  Below are some pics of the food and drink.
Salmon blinis with cream cheese and sweet chilli sauce - or taste explosions as Enid and I call them!

Drinks table
Jameson & Ginger
Gin & Elderflower Tonic
Vodka & Tonic
Beer and Wine

My South African aunt's amazing party food - Cream cheese & sweet chilli sauce with melba toast.  I know!  It doesn't sound much but you would not believe how great this tastes!


Devils on horseback
Mini Quiches

Prawn cocktail
Prawn toast
Chicken in filo
Mince pies

Enid, Svetlana, Elsie and myself enjoy the festivities.  We had fun catching up and it was a really lovely night.

Sunday morning we were up bright and early to meet Alice for Basket Brigade.  This is our 7th year taking part in this wonderful event which helps 190 families in Dublin at Christmas time.  Enid has done a super blog about it over on Renovating LPA, read it here!
Afterwards we went for our traditional Post Basket Brigade Pitt Bros lunch - which was fab as always.  It's always nice to see Alice before the madness of Christmas and New Years.  This year the conversation was mainly centred around our Key West trip and all the wonderful things we did there.
On our way to Pitt Bros I passed a building site, that I swear when I saw it I nearly fell off of my bike!

The controversial ESB buildings are gone!!!
I am still in shock!  After causing so much debate for so long, it's crazy to think that they have been knocked down - literally overnight.  And while I really didn't like them, well certainly not that style in that particular location, I am sad to see one of Dublin's examples of Mid Century Modern architecture gone.

The streetscape looks so different with the buildings gone. 
Do you see the building right down the end of the street, marked by the green arrow? That's the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street where yours truly was born!!

Sunday 10 December 2017

68 Middle Abbey Street

Last week I dropped a dress and shirt into the drycleaners and picked them up two days later.  I was a little nervous about the dress.  It's a Kate Spade and really nice silk material - of two different colours - a pale pink top and a deep wine skirt.  Because of the mix of colours and because it was its first cleaning I had to sign a waiver of indemnity so I was relieved when I went to collect it and all was well and it's immaculately clean with no colour running or damage.

New York Dry Cleaners are quite the institution of Dublin having been situated in Abbey Street for a long time. I would have said from the 60's anyway, but I see from their website that they actually have been there since 1944!  Quite an interesting story actually:
It was set up by two brothers, Harry and Myer Singer. They travelled to America to buy top quality dry cleaning equipment. There they purchased a complete plant, one piece was a pressing machine called a ‘New Yorker’. This inspired the trade name New York Dry Cleaners.

Can you see from this photograph the number 68 on the large white window frame?
New York used actually be located in this building - where the business with the green and blue signage is.  And I used to work in an office above them!  I worked a magazine publishing company which I really really loved. Unfortunately it was a little small business with no opportunity for development or promotion - and the pay was not great either so with regret I moved on. That was around 17/18 years ago.

Then about 5/6 years ago there was a fire in the whole building - and this is why New York have now come to be located in 69 Middle Abbey Street.

The buildings above Tour America caught my eye. 
Can you see the sign on the right hand of the photo - displayed length ways down along the window frames.  Café Ritz is not looking very ritzy is it!!!

To see a FANTASTIC photo from 1975 when Café Ritz was in its hey day click HERE!'s getting close now!

In no particular order here's a little round up of what I've been up to over the last few days.  A lot of it is Christmas related! Hurray!!!

I had my work Christmas party where I wore a festive red dress from Marks and Spencers - I plan on wearing this to a few different events over Christmas so I was happy how it looked when I put it on.

I'm stocked up on the Christmas booze!
I saw Supervalu was selling Baileys, for just 4 days, at the amazing price of 2 for €20.  I texted Enid to say get us a bottle each in her local Supervalu.  I then picked up the Tia Maria last night in Dunnes for €18 which is a decent price. It's one of my personal traditions that I like drinking my coffee with a bit a kick in it over Christmas.

Enid and I called over to Mam's this morning. Mam is away at the moment - in Amsterdam with Kate visiting Lydia - so it was just Dad who we had a nice chat with.  The Christmas tree and decorations are up in Lyttle Holme and it all is looking very festive.  I am looking forward to Christmas and St Stephens' day at home!

So what else?!

I finished wrapping Christmas presents today.  I don't really have too many to buy for - main ones are my niece and nephew, mam and dad etc. 

While we were in Navan Road this morning we took the opportunity to pop into the newly opened The Planted Bean in Baggot Road. It's vegan and healthy and the brainchild of chef Kevin Odgers.  We were really impressed with it.  I cannot describe how divine this Superfoods Seeds and Chocolate bar tasted! We will be back no doubt to try some of the lovely pasta and wraps. 

From there we went to the supermarket to buy all the food and alcohol for Enid's party next week. For drinks we will have beer, wine, Jameson and Ginger, Gin and Fever Tree elderflower tonic, vodka and tonic etc.  Food wise we are making lots and lots of lovely little canapes - amongst other things I am going to make salmon blinis and little mini prawn cocktails in some cute little martini glasses I have.  We've a big job ahead of us but we enjoy this type of thing so it will be fun.

Saturday 2 December 2017

December comings and goings

A little lazy wrap up post of what's going on with me lately.
Thursday I strolled up to Grafton Street to collect a dress my mam had ordered for me in Marks and Spencers - technically it's my Christmas present but she gave it to me early so I can wear it to a party next week and on Christmas day. 
Thank you Enie! It's a beautiful red dress which will look fabulous over Christmas.
There, I grabbed a quick lunch in the M&S café.while I was there. 
Glass bottles of diet coke and coke!  I enjoyed that!

I have started using my reusable cup for all my coffee - especially any I buy from coffee shops (i.e. STARBUCKS) to avoid using the disposable cups which go straight to landfill. I still find it crazy that a company like starbucks has not managed to come up with a recycleable coffee cup.
This cup was sent to me by a facebook friend who saw an online conversation I was having about cups.  How nice was that of Jane!  Thank you Jane :-)

My tree is up!
Topped by the very last remaining barbie doll out of my collection of vintage Barbie dolls which I sold about 2 years ago. I miss those gals!  But glad they all went to good homes as I simply had nowhere to store them.  And super glad I saved this lovely lady!

Ok I don't know if it's just this photo, but in the light of the day this tree looks a little bit crooked! I need to sort that out!
I must say, I really like the serenity of my silver and white decorated tree up against the beautiful chaos of my Pigsy.  Quite the antithesis!

Moland Street, Dublin 1

Last week I went to collect my bike in the Irish Life carpark via route different to my normal way. This route brought me from the Irish Life Mall down a stairs and past a very unusual piece of Dublin history - and certainly not something you would expect to see in the entranceway of a carpark.
Placed on a high bed amongst some plants in an a type of atrium sits "The Moland Street stone"
The plaque positioned below the 1810 stone explains what it is related to. 
I've done some digging around the internet to see if I can get any more information about this old street but alas I have not uncovered much.  I guess somewhere like the Land Registry office might have more information on it if I was so inclined
I did however find out that this apartment block, on Talbot Street across the road from the Irish Life Mall, and above the Tescos I frequent is named Moland  House!

I think then look of the atrium/display of the stone quite em "unique".  The carpark was likely built late 1970s/early 1980s and I guess this was the best they could come up with at this time time!  That aside, I am glad they kept this stone so I will forgive them on the dodgy display.


It's very 1980s looking don't you think!