The real reason we went to Ireland was because my husband attended the European Locksmith Federation (ELF) convention. It was held in Malahide, which is a lovely suburb just north of Dublin. It looks like a great place for families to live and it has a cool small town vibe.
We stayed at the Grand Hotel. It is a very large hotel with beautiful views of the bay but it is not very grand. It is more comparable to a business hotel but it was where the conference was being held so we didn’t have to drive. One night they had traditional Irish music at the hotel’s bar and that was really enjoyable. The conference was very interesting. European locksmithing is different from how they do it here in the US. That is why it is important to always keep learning.
We ate at a few great restaurants in town. The first day we ate a Cafe Provence which has some great sandwiches and soups. Then we ate at a really good Italian restaurant called Il Sorriso. You know the restaurant is good when an Italian family is eating there. The food was really good and the prices fair. The last night we ate at Cape Greko which is a Greek restaurant. Because we weren’t really hungry we just ordered an appetizer plate to share. After our order the staff didn’t treat us as well so I wasn’t impressed by that but the food was great.
Malahide is home to Malahide Castle. It is a must see. If you are staying in Dublin you can get public transportation there. This castle was continuously inhabited for 800 years by the same family, the Talbots. There is a beautiful botanical garden. The cool part is that a lot of it was inside a wall so they were able to grow tropical plants there.
It is also really fun just to walk by the bay. And we were lucky that we had a beautiful sunshiny day. We ate our shamrock and sour cream chips and sandwiches by the bay and enjoyed the sea air and the sun. What a perfect way to end our vacation!
Nearby is the village of Sword. There is a large mall there. We stopped by before going to the airport. They have a Tiger store which is similar to a Five Below in the US. They have some awesome cheap and fun products. There are also several big department stores and TK Maxx which is the Irish equivalent of TJ Maxx. It was a really fun trip.