After recovering from the little episode of the squeaking suitcase wheels with a little naplet, we were eager to explore Dublin.
We emerged into rush hour traffic. Hm… not so good. Slightly shell-shocked by the number of sirens*, we found our way to the brandnew Science Gallery Cafe, where we had our very first Irish Tea (not to be confused with Irish Coffee, which contains a splash of alcohol).
We also had our very first Irish scone and jam.
Ooooohhh, those were gooooood.
Our local (South African) scones are usually big, fluffy and white, and often have an aftertaste of baking soda or baking powder that leaves your mouth feeling a bit dry. The Irish version was slightly smaller, more compact, and it had raisins or currants in it. I have no idea what they use as a raising agent? Yeast perhaps? They reminded me pleasantly of the barmbracks (Báirín Breac) I had made for Halloween last year (check out the Wikipedia for a good recipe). Add some melt-into-the-warm-scone butter, a big dollop of jam, and we were in heaven.
Not surprisingly, scones with jam became my staple dish in almost all the restaurants and coffee shops we visited around the country. Actually, it wasn’t just because they tasted good, but also because they were usually the least expensive item on the menu! At an exchange rate of more than R12 to the Euro, we had to watch what we ate.
And part of said quest to keep our expenses low was that we had brought along our very own thermos-flask. 🙂 We bought a big packet of Barry’s Tea in Dublin, and all the B&Bs had a kettle in the room, so we could fill up the flask every morning. And hubby always managed to charm a splash of milk out of the land ladies.
Add to that some apples and bananas, a supply of cream-crackers and – what became my personal favourite – chocolate digestive biscuits (the ones with the DARK chocolate were sooooo good), and we had enough sustenance (if not nutrition) to tide us over between a filling Continental or Irish breakfast at the B&B and supper.
* What is with that, by the way? There were constantly sirens howling up and down the streets. Sometimes these were ambulances or police cars, but twice I saw a whole colonnade of cars with tinted windows, escorted by motor bikes, which raced ahead to block of parts of the street until the ‘important people’ had roared past. Dublin sure is is a noisy place.