Mike our Just Eat dublinbikes ambassador continues savouring Dublin City with Just Eat dublinbikes. Check out some of the appetisers, mains & bite-sized side activities he got up to in Dublin in the second part of his blog.
I can’t leave this area without paying a visit to the Hugh Lane Gallery on the other side of the street. It’s housed in a beautiful Georgian mansion that sits back from the other buildings, with walls that curve around like open arms to welcome you inside. I love the layout of this gallery, the rooms are large but it feels cosy and easy to navigate. The first room on the left seems to be empty and the lights are off. Out of curiosity, I peek into the doorway only to find a collection of stunning stained glass artworks, illuminated from behind to bring out their colours. I make my way through the ground floor, taking in the impressive collection of oil on canvas works from French and Irish artists such as Renoir, Morisot, Sir John Lavery and Francis Bacon. One of the highlights of my day is looking at a reconstruction of Francis Bacon’s Kensington studio. This man was a genius and one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Yet he lived in absolute chaos and taking a look into this bombsite you can’t help but feel human again.
The last place on my list is the absolute jewel in the crown, a hidden gem. Two words: secret garden. You could drive into town down Phibsborough Road every day and not even know this place existed. But if you cut in behind the row of houses on the left and head down the Royal Canal Bank, you will notice a stretch of grass, some trees and a long wall with a little door in the middle. That little door there is the entrance to a mini Garden of Eden known as the Blessington Street Basin. It used to be a water reservoir which once supplied the Jameson’s and Powers’ distilleries. Around 25 years ago it was converted into a public park and is now home to a bird habitat with ducks, swans and a number of fish. It feels like stepping out of the city into a sanctuary. There is a beautiful little lodge house at the other end and it’s served by the Just Eat dublinbikes station on Blessington Street. It’s the perfect place to go on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Grab yourself a book, a flask of tea and a can of sweet corn to feed the birds (no bread!) and enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures.