As Mother’s Day comes around, so too does that anxiety of what to do or buy for the woman who’s literally given you life. Don’t panic - usually, all she really wants to do is spend time with you (or that’s what she says). A morning of shopping and catching up around town should do the trick but don’t forget about the food, hungry shopping is never a good idea. Here’s our round-up of some suitably sophisticated spots to sit down, recharge and catch up on your day out.
The Pepper Pot Cafe, Powerscourt Town Centre, 60 South William Street, Dublin 2
Image credit: The Pepperpot Café
Shopping doesn’t get more charming than a potter around Powerscourt Town Centre, a historical building housing some brilliant independent stores and Irish designers. Thankfully the lunch game is just as strong with the superb Pepperpot Cafe taking up a big chunk of the first-floor balcony. This quirky cafe, usually busy, is worth a short wait to try terrific food featuring plenty of local suppliers. There are bright salads with seasonal organic greens, homemade bagels with Burren Smokehouse salmon and all day breakfast creamy scrambled eggs. Their roast pear, bacon & Mount Callan pepper sandwich in dreamy white bread has won a host of best sandwich awards and should be tried along with the divine baked goods and tarts on show.
Clodagh’s Kitchen, Arnotts 12 Henry St, Dublin 1
Clodagh’s Kitchen is pretty perfectly located on the top floor of Arnotts, meaning laden-down shoppers are the norm in this bright restaurant full of greenery and marble. An all-day menu featuring plenty of local suppliers and seasonal ingredients is a refreshing change from the usual drab offering in departments stores and the service is smiling and smart. Stop here for freshly baked scones and tea or linger over a full-blown lunch with a glass of wine and enjoy Clodagh’s famous farmers market pate, butternut squash and Cashel blue pappardelle with saffron sauce or crab cakes with tarragon aioli. Don’t skip the fresh baked, fragrant cakes - essential fuel for a busy shopper.
The Westbury, Balfe St, Dublin 2
Image credit: Balfes Restaurant
A hotel stop off can offer lots on a day out and none more than the Westbury, a skip away from Grafton Street. Downstairs is the stylish Balfes with a New York style brasserie vibe, they open all day and serve up gorgeous plates for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with a superb cocktail selection. Venture up the sweeping hotel stairs for a more sophisticated affair and nab a seat in the plush lobby for refreshments or if you’re thinking ahead have Afternoon Tea booked. Post-shopping, there are few nicer places to sip a cocktail, than the elegant Sidecar bar. Choose from an extensive drinks menu, perfectly mixed, to celebrate a day well spent.
Pichet, 14-15 Trinity St, Dublin 2
Image credit: Pichet
If a leisurely lunch is on the agenda then consider Pichet, smack bang in the centre of town this buzzy bistro gets the balance of smart and casual just right. There’s great value pre-theatre and set lunch options as well as a la carte featuring dishes like crab with blow-torched mackerel, soy mirin, radish and puffed wild rice and a classic country style terrine with foie gras, walnuts and quince. Don’t miss the excellent sides; chargrilled broccoli with miso & smoked almonds and the crispy fries. Desserts deserve a look in, as does the well crafted drinks menu which you can enjoy in the slick front bar if more spirituous recharge is what’s in order.
The Woolen Mills, 42 Ormond Quay Lower, Dublin 1
Image credit: The Woolen Mills
Housed in one of the most iconic buildings in Dublin, an old haberdashery beside the Ha'penny Bridge, The Woolen Mills is the ideal stop off as you cross the river mid-shop. For a quick fix, there’s the deli offering plenty of colourful salads and big-gun sandwiches stuffed with ingredients like burnt onion hummus, crumbled Irish feta or shredded blackened chicken. Sit in, and choose from a fantastic line-up of Irish focused dishes on the all-day and lunch menus - Harty’s oysters with pickled spaghetti seaweed or Roaring bay mussels with Howth velvet crab bisque and chips. There are drinks, coffees, wines, cocktails galore if you decide to stay a while and enjoy people watching with great cityscape views.
Industry Cafe, 41 Drury St, Dublin 2
Image credit: Industry & Co
Dining instore doesn’t get chicer than this bustling cafe nestled in Industry, a dapper design lovers dream. The space is small, but one of the best stop-offs for light lunch and a chance to browse the beautiful homewares while you’re at it. They do simple salad boxes and lunches served from a long marble counter laden with bowls of fresh, pomegranate bejewelled salads, abundant with Middle Eastern flavours with plenty of herbs, spices, zaatar, roast vegetables and red onion featuring. They serve well made coffee from Roasted Brown as well as a fabulous single origin hot chocolate and always a selection of irresistible sweet treats.