Just back from a short stay in Dublin with my good friend Peter. His hospitality and generosity are unsurpassed and he can talk the hind legs off a donkey.

We loosened the vocal chords with regular libations and slurping in some excellent Georgian and Victorian pubs in the centre of town. The late night dining took place in a superb Chinese restaurant where I picked pork and scallions pancakes as a starter, Peter opted for deep-fried squid parcels. The king pao beef went well with the duck. The egg fried rice mound and noodles as accompaniments made a tasty meal for six.

While Peter was at work I spent a sunny Friday strolling across Dublin to end up in Ballsbridge and sit outside Crowe’s bar near the RDS. The disappointment of not finding my friend Cathy and her family at home was tempered by some excellent Guinness and people watching.

That evening Peter and I sat outside a real ale bar in Blackrock talking quality bollocks until hunger pangs sent us back to the cradle of republican Ireland. An Indian meal of seafood, beef, chapatis and pilau rice was washed down with a lovely Argentinian Malbec. The nightcap of Powers whisky on top of the complimentary sambuca offered by the restaurant should have guaranteed a hangover, but lining the stomach with 3 pints of Guinness can avert such suffering, as is well known by Irishmen North and South.

Despite my efforts to creep off at the crack of 9 o’clock, Peter insisted on joining me for coffee to send me on my way. I’m glad he did, so that I could thank him properly for a great time, and enjoy a superb double espresso served in a bone china cup and saucer in a cafe near his modern flat in Richmond Road, North Dublin.


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