An unadulterated tastefest was the climax of our visit to the little known Morgan Hotel in the world-famous Temple Bar area of Dublin.
On a rainy day, it was such a pleasure to be greeted with an umbrella by cheery and friendly Adrian, the concierge, as we disembarked our taxi.
Although we had arrived way too early to check-in, the staff were very happy to take our cases while we explored the capital.
Though the city could be accessed easily via the Luas (the tram), we opted for a taxi and were delighted that - though a rainy day and taxis at a premium - the hotel organised one very quickly - plus furnished us with our own Morgan Hotel umbrellas.
Our first port of call was the Guinness Storehouse. Frankly it was a building I had often passed when I worked in Dublin but never had a desire to visit.
As a young student in Belfast I had the misfortune of suffering from anaemia and, after fainting in the middle of the city, waking up to a dozen soldiers with guns staring me in the face, I knew I needed medical help. The soldiers were caring and helped me enormously and after a trip to my doctor I was put on a special diet which included drinking a bottle of Guinness every day. That experience put me off Guinness, as to me it was medicine, but I knew my partner Jim was interested in the whole Guinness factory.
I enjoyed that trip from an educational point of view and, while it was packed to crush level at lunchtime, it is worth a visit. I couldn’t drink the Guinness but I did enjoy half a pint of their new Rockshore lager.
Eager to get back to the hotel and chill for an hour, it was very easy to jump into a taxi close to the Storehouse.
On return Adrian, the concierge, was so attentive and helped us get to our beautiful room.
We stopped at the sophisticated hotel bar for a lunchtime tipple and were very impressed with the cocktail menu. Each cocktail has its own story - some true and some, well, perhaps part of Irish folklore.
Decor was modern and so comfortable. All amenities that you would expect from a four star, or even five star, hotel - excellent coffee facilities (proper coffee) comfy slippers and a spacious and well stocked bathroom. The kingsize bed was extremely comfortable for a short afternoon nap.
After a rest, we explored the Temple Bar area and frankly I found it overpriced and full of either wonderfully interesting tourists or less interesting stag or hen parties.
We went instead to an old haunt, Mulligans in Poolbeg St. Not far to walk but where tourists and parties are less likely to go.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight of our trip was an evening meal in the Morgan Hotel’s 10 Fleet St restaurant.
As we waited for our meal, we had some tasters, including homemade Soda Bread with seaweed from Northern Ireland which was delicious with the goat’s cheese and a pomegranate, orange and gooseberry coulis. My personal favourite was the red pepper, leek and beetroot yoghurt peppers.
It was a plethora of a tasting fest as we awaited our starters and without even asking, one of the waiters overheard me saying that I can’t eat cheese.
I am not allergic to cheese, in fact, I love it, but it doesn’t like me. I do have to be careful.
Their service was excellent
The Stuffed Baby Peppers came with a light and succulent tomato risotto, black olive pearls with a basil lemon puree - I had not a hint of cheese.
There was a gooseberry side and parsnips crisped with a hint of ginger.
Jim had the House Smoked Rare Duck which came with Bumblebee mixed leaves, a yellow pepper coulis, heritage tomatoes, lavender and lavender oil - a dish he still raves about to friends.
The attentiveness of the staff was superb and head chef Brian Meehan came and spoke to me about my dietary needs.
Already impressed with the delicious tasters and starters, we were excited to delve into the main course.
I had one of Brian’s signature dishes - the Slow Roast Pork Cheek, King Scallops. The pork was so tender, almost falling apart and it came with sea salted baby kale, garlic baby carrot, blackberry and basil gel and port jus.
It was a mastery of cooking, melt-in-your mouth standard and a joyous tastefest.
Jim had another of Brian’s signature dishes - the Chargrilled Fillet of Irish Beef which came with creamed spinach, oyster mushroom and creamed garlic mushrooms. He was extremely impressed with a ‘decent-sized portion’ and the whole dish was ‘very tasty indeed’.
We managed to squeeze in desserts and I opted for the Black Forest Gateaux, which was delightful and sumptuous.
As we had had an early start that morning, plus a few glasses of wine, we went for a short walk, taking in a Liffy-side modern bar before heading back to the hotel and an early night.
The breakfast menu was almost as equally impressive as the dinner menu and served with a high standard of taste and artistic detail.
I would highly recommend the Brioche French Toast which was served with mouth-watering crispy bacon and maple syrup, caramelised banana, pecans and honey.
All in all, the Morgan Hotel exceeded expectations. A luxury spot in the heart of Dublin’s historic cultural quarter, I would highly recommend this hotel.
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