Dublin is famous for fun – Guinness-fuelled nights, live music, and the high living of its poets and writers like James Joyce and Oscar Wilde. But the Irish capital is also a working town where the country's biggest companies are based, and home to a thriving tech scene – Microsoft recently opened a big new base here. But a business trip to Dublin doesn't mean you have to miss out on the city's wild side. Here's Living it's guide to mixing the best of business and pleasure.
Where to stay
The Conrad is the obvious choice. Plush, upmarket, centrally located – and part of the worldwide Hilton chain for business bookings and frequent traveller points collectors. Recently refurbed rooms boast space galore and interesting artworks, plus some stunning views. The hotel is bang in the centre of town, right by St Stephen's Green – and easy stumbling distance back from Temple Bar if you head off for a night out. With 10 event and meeting spaces, business centre and fitness room, everything you need is here. If you're peckish try The Coburg Brasserie for a filling business lunch of warm Silver Hill duck salad with watermelon and cashews.
Where to work
It's no surprise that one of Europe's key tech hubs is blessed with serious amounts of co-working space. Whether you're in town for a couple of days or weeks you can easily rent a desk at CoCreate (100 euros for five days). They have two well appointed office spaces, one North of the River Liffey and one South. High speed wifi, meeting rooms, tea and coffee and cleaning are all included. Another popular choice is tcube where there's showers if you're cycling in, kitchens, and break out spaces. They have everyone from writers to Bitcoin developers, IoS programmers to company directors working here (195 euros for a month).
Where to work out
If you're on the road it's essential to keep fit before the room service burgers catch up with you. Try Iveagh Fitness. Centrally located and boasting a proper-sized pool as well as all the gym equipment you can shake a stick at; there are also classes like pilates, spin and yoga. There's a jacuzzi to wind down after a work out too. From 32 euros a month, though they also offer one day trial memberships.
Where to drink
Dublin is blessed with pubs galore, but for something a bit more upmarket, try Bonsai – the city's Japanese-flecked cocktail salon. The joint features a menu boasting a Dylan McGrath collaboration with Japanese mixologists and such one-offs as a Kanto Old Fashioned with Nikka Japanese whisky, grapefruit zest, sugar and bitters. The dark, dusky interior is perfect for late nights.
Where to dine
Glovers Alley is a fiesta of fine dining in the city centre. The kitchen is helmed by Andy McFadden – who was once the youngest chef in London to hold a Michelin star when he was cooking at L'Autre Pied. His French-influenced fare includes dishes like John Dory with grapefruit, quinoa and brassicas and monkfish with artichoke, spinach and mussels. The refined service and elegant room add to the sense of occasion here.
Where to relax
Howth is the perfect place to get out of the city and enjoy some fresh sea air. Dublin's classiest seaside suburb boasts the homes of the rich and famous: U2's Larry Mullen, actors Saoirse Ronan and Brendan Gleeson. Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries lived here and so did the poet WB Yeats. Howth has also starred in many films like the amazing coming of age comedy Sing Street – and it's no wonder why. Its perfect picturesque setting on a rocky outcrop surrounded by the sea looks cracking, and the landscape is ideal for walking and swimming (if you don't mind plunging temperatures). Seafood restaurants abound if you get hungry, or grab some famous fish 'n' chips. It's an easy train ride from Dublin city centre by DART.
Writer: Christopher Beanland / christopherbeanland.com