From The Jameson Black Barrel pop-up to carol singing in St Patrick’s Cathedral, uncover some festive gems this season with our list of Christmassy things to do in Dublin.
If the turning on of the lights in town last month was anything to go by, it looks like another bumper year for Christmas crowds. However, this may also mean that the throngs of Grafton Street and Henry Street aren’t calling out to you. As for pubs spilling out with Christmas parties — the thought of it would exhaust anyone.
However, there are a few under-the-radar events that are worth visiting to relax, get creative or simply feel some Christmas cheer. Here’s our list (just don’t tell too many people).
Luttrellstown Afternoon Tea
This exclusive Dublin wedding venue opens its doors for afternoon tea every Sunday before Christmas. Normally opened just for private stays including celebrations and weddings – David and Victoria Beckham got married there in 1999 – this Christmas the Luttrellstown Afternoon Tea celebrates the 300th birthday of one of their most famous visitors, Queen Victoria.
All prepared by Head Chef Nathan Greensmith, there’ll be sandwiches, scones, tartlets, macaroons and, of course, Victoria sponge. All served up with a wide selection of black and fruit tea as well as a glass of Champagne to get you in the Christmas mood.
Running on Sunday December 14, Sunday December 22 and Monday December 23 at 1pm, 3.30pm, and 5.30pm. €65 per person.
St Patrick’s Choral Service
Sometimes you just need a bit of gravitas to take you out of the Christmas rush and remind you of the community joy of Christmas. While the National Concert Hall has plenty of festive music and events playing, the soaring ceilings of St Patrick’s Cathedral are made for the dulcet tones of Christmas carols.
Even if you don’t consider yourself part of the Church of Ireland (or religious at all for that matter), their Carols for All ceremony on December 15 focuses on the Church’s rich musical history and congregation singing. There is also a Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday December 22, all of which are sung with the help of the talented Cathedral choir.
Bring a scarf and your vocal cords all warmed up.
Jameson Black Barrel Pop Up
Jameson are back this year with their Black Barrel pop-up but this year comes with a difference. As well as having their whiskeys on sale and available for engraving, they’re also teaming up with Irish creatives, musicians and speakers for a series of ticketed talks and workshops.
Open from Wednesday, December 11 until Christmas Eve, pop in on December 14 to listen to Stuart Clarke lead a Desert Island Discs chat with musician, actor and producer Kieran O’Reilly. Or get stuck in yourself on December 18 with SM Creations, who will be leading a workshop on hand illustration and painting while creating your own themed leather patches.
Throughout the pop-up’s run there’ll also be whiskey tastings, chats with Jameson’s master coopers, spoken word performances, all kicking off with a podcast recording with Blindboy and spoken word artist Natalya O’Flaherty on Thursday, December 12. To get tickets, keep an eye out for Jameson Black Barrel cards popping up across Dublin and email their location, along with your name, age and contact details to [email protected]
The Jameson Black Barrel Pop-Up on 57 South William Street is open from December 11 to 24.
Christmas Market on the Green
If you can’t even think about unwinding with a tipple until your Christmas shopping is done, pop by Urban Market’s festive version of their Market on the Green every Sunday until Christmas from 12pm until 5pm in The Well at 133 Stephen’s Green.
It is free entry and has over 50 stalls, from food and drinks to gifts, homeware and fashion such as Kate’s Sample Sale, Chaos + Harmony, Taer Jewellery and Maka Ceramics.
Read more: 5 faves from last year’s Dublin Flea Christmas Market
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