The 15 Series, Week 2: 15 Things To Do In Dublin Before December

ely restaurants celebrates its 15th birthday this year and each week, The 15 Series brings you 15 tips on topics such as food, wine, culture, lifestyle, craft beer and more!

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15 Things To Do In Dublin Before December

The lead up to the festive season can be chilly, wet, dull and grey. Some have Halloween, pumpkins and dressing up to look forward to, while others might decide to have a dry November in anticipation of the busy festive season ahead, or take up a hobby they mightn’t have had time for during the summer months. There are plenty of amazing things happening in Dublin in the weeks leading up to December, so we’ve put together 15 for your bucket list.

1. Get Stoked For Bram
Bram Stoker
Photo credit: http://www.bramstokerfestival.com

There are a million and one things going on for this year’s Bram Stoker Festival, we reckon you won’t need to do anything else for the rest of the month after it! From vamp-wiring (yes, that’s city centre zip lining) to sinister screenings, gothic markets, karaoke to to all things ghoulish for the kids, there’s something for every man, woman, child and vampire this 24 – 27 October.

Enjoy at glass of blood red and a fang’s bite of rare organic steak at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2


2. A Photo Speaks A Thousand Words
World press photo exhibition
Photo credit: http://www.worldpressphoto.ie

The awe-inspiring World Press Photo exhibition returns to The chq Building this Friday 17 October and runs right up until 15 November. If you didn’t catch it last year, now’s your chance to check out a showcase of some of the best photojournalism in the world. Prepare to be moved.

Enjoy lunch at ely bar & brasserie, beside the exhibition in The chq Building, IFSC, Dublin 1


3. Art Comes Alive

NGI Plays presents sixteen short plays inspired by National Gallery paintings on Saturday 22 November and 29 November 2014. Sixteen 10-minute plays inspired by paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland have been created, over two years, by five Irish playwrights and will be beautifully performed by actors from the Umbrella Theatre company.

Enjoy early-bird menus from 5pm, Mon – Sat at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2.


4.  Book It In

As the clever Kitten Soft tv advert states, “Paper has a big future”. Meet authors, editors, publishers and head down, bookmark in hand, to the Smock Alley Theatre for the Dublin Book Festival, 13 – 16 November. Perfect for families, book lovers and fans of poetry & prose, we’re looking forward to the return this vibrant festival,  which has been running since 2005.


5. Run Dublin, Run

No better way to spend a bank holiday Monday than to enjoy a little bit of fresh Dublin air at the annual Dublin Marathon, taking place on Monday 27 October. For those of you who have been training, a very well done, to those who haven’t had the time to train, fear not! Walkers are accepted and welcomed.


6. Explore The Unknown Rhône 
rhone wine

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Rhône Wine Week Ireland is a celebration of the wines of the Rhône Valley, with events all over the city, from 3 – 8 November. From Rhône dinners, Q&A’s with Rhône experts and wine makers, to the Big Rhône Quiz, there’s lots to love about this South of France wine celebration.

Fans of the ely Big Tasting will love the Big Rhone Tasting, Thursday 6 November at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1.


7.  That’ll Do Donkey, That’ll Do

Based on the hit films, Shrek The Musical promises to bring all the much-loved characters to life, live on stage, in an “all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza” at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre on 21 Oct – 9 November.  The onstage version is sure to provide a lot of laughs between the green swamp-dwelling ogre and his cheeky donkey sidekick.

Enjoy pre-theatre dining from 5pm at ely gastro bar, Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2.


8.  Smashing Science

Three Smashing Science films will screen at the Chq Building on 13 – 15 November as part of science week. Along with a film, each evening will also include discussion with leading scientists and thinkers. Brought to you by Insight, AMBER, UCD Science Expression and Happenings, the evening promises films, science, beers and discussions – a winning combination.

Enjoy an all new bar menu, craft beers and an extensive wine list at ely bar & brasserie, in The chq Building, IFSC, Dublin 1


9.  Let’s Dance

Think pink and dance like everybody’s watching for a fantastic cause this 29 November at the Convention Centre Dublin. Strictly Against Breast Cancer returns to Dublin with even more glitz, glamour and dancing than ever. Some great personalities will be partnered with supporters and survivors and this black tie event offers a fun night out, while helping a very worthy cause.

Enjoy pre-event signature cocktails at ely bar & brasserie, in The chq Building, IFSC, Dublin 1


10. Love The Wine You’re With
wine and cheese tasting

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Many people just assume that cheese and wine go together, but that’s not always the case. Some cheeses ruin a good wine, and vice versa. But, there are some outstanding wine and cheese pairings and at the ely Wine & Cheese Tasting, Thursday 30 October, we will get a better understanding of what wines work with cheese and why, while most importantly enjoying them!

Limited tickets available for the ely Wine & Cheese Tasting. To book, click here


11. Don’t Let The Days Go To Waste

When you first read about the upcoming Abbey Theatre production The Waste Ground Party, you are greeted by the words “This area has gone to the f***ing dogs”. This intriguing intro, in our opinion, just reiterates the fact that this exciting new play from Shaun Dunne is definitely one to catch this 22 October – 29 November.

Enjoy pre-theatre dining at ely bar & brasserie, in The chq Building, Dublin 1 – corporate ambassador of The Abbey Theatre.


12. Run In Dublin’s Darkness

Mark Pollock is one of the world’s most inspiring and amazing athletes and this year’s Lifestyle Sports Run in the Dark plays a massive part in funding the Mark Pollock Trust’s mission to find a fast track cure for paralysis. You can play your part by lighting up Dublin’s darkness and running 5k or 10k on 12 November.


13.  Gonna Make A Change

Marking the 5th anniversary of the King of Pops’ passing, Anthony Walker premieres The Man In The Mirror – A live tribute to the music of Michael Jackson at the Olympia Theatre, Saturday 1 November. With a 5 piece live backing band, 4 backing singers and 6 piece dance troupe, MJ will really come to life in Dublin, for one night only.


14. Shoulder To Shoulder 

Whether you’re one of the lucky 150,000+ ticket holders or simply prefer watching from your sofa or at the bar, there are 3 big Irish rugby dates to enjoy in the run up to December. The 2014 Guinness Series kicks off at the Aviva Stadium on 8, 16, 22 November as the nation comes together for this year’s autumn internationals to cheer on the boys in green.

Enjoy a post match feed, featuring organic Burren steak from the ely family farm at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2.


15. It’s Beginning To Look Alot Like…

In the week before December, the RDS will transform into a Christmas wonderland filled with food, wine, crafts, gifts and more. Get ready for the month ahead at the Food & Wine Magazine Christmas Show, 21 – 23 November. This year’s show promises so much red and gold festive goodness it’s sure to knock the bah humbug out of any skeptic.

Enjoy the run up to the festive season at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2 – Awarded ‘Best Wine Experience in Ireland’ by Food & Wine Magazine, August 2014.

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 8

What to get the wine or beer lover in your life that has everything? An ely gift card of course! Joking aside, we’ve got some awesome quick and easy DIY gift ideas you can make at home. While we’ve been blessed with sunshine recently, we’ve highlighted a few of the things to do in Dublin when it rains (which it still does, quite a bit). This week’s tips, tipples and table talk also looks at the, now controversial, Poolbeg chimneys of Dublin’s skyline and we get a little bit cheesy with our how-to-guide to serving the perfect cheeseboard.

Travel Tip of the Week: What To Do in Dublin When It Rains

Good aul Irish summers eyh? While the weather has been relatively good of late, us Dubliners have certainly noticed the humidity in the air and with that, the heavy rainfall. When it rains it pours and yes, while we would always advise popping into any of our 3 ely venues, hiding out from the rain and letting us pour you a little glass of wine or craft beer, if you find yourself as a visitor to Dublin during one of these spells or just feel like enjoying your city, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a short list of awesome things to do in Dublin, come hail or high water!

  1. Visit the Little Museum of Dublin. Right in the heart of the city, this little museum is a must visit. Located on 15 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, the Little Museum of Dublin embraces and collects the fun, cute and quirky things that make this fair city brilliant. Super knowledgeable and always eager to know more, their guides tell you true Dubliner stories in a fun and informal manner.
  2. Visit the Science Gallery. With some really cool exhibitions, this is no nerdy spot! Continuously changing, challenging and altering our perception of the normal, this interactive attraction in Trinity College is always fun. The Science Gallery offers events, talks, debates and workshops, giving guests a chance to get involved.
  3. Go vintage clothes shopping. Dublin’s vintage clothing selection is always getting bigger and better and what a good way to spend a rainy day by getting lost in the days of old. Siopaella in Temple Bar, Om Diva on Drury Street and The Harlequin, 13 Castle Market are all close enough to land yourselves triple the amount of bargains in just one trip to the city.
  4. Visit the RHA Gallery. The 184th Annual exhibition runs at the RHA on Ely Place until the 17th August so plenty of time to check out some of the works at Ireland’s largest open submission exhibition. With 567 works by 354 artists, a trip to this fantastic gallery is an ideal way to while away a rainy afternoon.
  5. Relax and unwine-d at an ely wine tasting. Good company combined with wine, food and fun at an ely wine tasting is a nice relaxed yet educational way to spend a rainy evening. Held every fortnight, each with a different theme, the full list of upcoming ely wine tasting evenings can be found here.

rainy day in dublin

Taste Tip of the Week: Say Cheese

“Age is of no importance, unless you are a wine or a cheese.” 

Cheese is perfect for a formal dinner party or equally, for a casual night in with friends, and needs very little preparation.

When you’re putting together a cheeseboard, try to buy where you can taste; your eyes will never tell you as much as your taste buds will. The general idea is to serve a selection of cheeses which will offer you and your guests contrasting flavours and textures.

Our ideal mix would be:

  • A nice soft cheese
  • Blue cheese
  • A hard cheese
  • A washed rind cheese (they’re the smelly ones with the pinkish rinds),
  • If possible, a sheep’s or goat’s milk cheese.

But remember, it’s better to have one ripe and gorgeous cheese than five mediocre pieces.

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After you buy your cheese, be sure to look after it. Cheese is a living, breathing food and needs to be treated with some care to get the best from it. This is particularly true of the softer cheeses. Cheese should always be served at room temperature because serving it cold substantially inhibits the flavour.

Fridges aren’t as bad for cheese as they are sometimes made out to be. The main problem is their dry atmosphere rather than the cold temperature. If you do store your cheese in the fridge, always remove it several hours before serving and make sure your cheese is well wrapped in a breathable covering eg. wax paper.

There are no set rules for the serving time of your cheeses; some people like to have their cheese before dessert and others prefer it after, or instead of, dessert. It’s always good to serve something with the cheese which acts against any richness and clean the palate between cheeses. Fruit is really good for this or if you don’t have any to hand, serving with a chutney or fruit jelly will do.

Enjoy a great glass of wine and a cheeseboard, at ely wine bar.

ely winebar cheese board

Tipple Tip of the Week: DIY Gift Ideas

Do you ever struggle with what gift to get the beer or wine lover in your life? They’ve already got a whole shelf of Riedel, Tipperary or Waterford Crystal wine glasses. The over sized German beer-stein glass has had its fun. When that occasion does come around, this time why not make something yourself?

Heartfelt, personal and usually low cost and simple – As Blue Peter would say, here’s one we made earlier:

Step one, drink wine and craft beer. Not a problem? We thought so. Step two, keep and collect all the bottle caps and corks. We are trying it keep it low cost though, so another idea is to get down to any of the three ely venues (or another good bar) who would be more than happy to give you their excess bottle caps after a night’s shift. Wine corks might be that little bit more difficult to source, but a good wine bar should have a few in stock, otherwise you can buy corks in bulk for relatively low cost online.

You’d be surprised by what you can make – everything from coasters and posters to magnets, picture frames and trays.

See how to make bottle cap gifts here and wine cork gifts here.

Wine corks bottle caps DIY

Table Talk of the Week: The Poolbeg Chimneys – Should They Stay or Should They Go?

The suggestion from ESB that the resources needed to maintain the unused Poolbeg Chimneys could be better spent elsewhere caused some controversy among Dubliners this week. The red and white towers have stood at the Poolbeg area of Dublin Bay since the 1970s and have raised the demand that these chimneys be protected. With many, both domestic and foreign, voices saying that they are an iconic part of the Dublin skyline, others argue that the towers are an “eye sore”, agreeing that the resources to keep them there could indeed be better spent elsewhere.

This is a topic that pretty much all Dubliners will have an opinion on, there is no smoke without fire (as they say), and no doubt will be very keen to share it. At ely, we love them – those red and white striped chimneys are one of the few genuine icons of the Dublin skyline. They are the first thing you see of Dublin when you fly home, or the last bit of Dublin you see before you leave. They are like two ever-present sentries standing guard over our city. Where some might see ugly, we see a certain “industrial charm”.

ESB say that a decision would be made on the future of the Poolbeg chimneys by the end of this year [2014]. Demolition is among the options being considered.

See a collection of images, memories and feelings about Poolbeg chimneys via thejournal.ie here.

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