Story and photos by Aefa Mulholland
Follow Out Traveler Aefa Mulholland as she explores Ireland's culture, cuisine and quirks! Part one of four.
By the time I flew over Newfoundland, I had mastered both phrases deemed crucial enough to grace the first page of my Irish phrase book. I was now equipped with the winning conversational duo of “I have money” and “Will you have a drink?”
Having mastered the basics, I turned to page two. One lone word waited; Beidh, the Irish for “Yes.” No directional enquiries, lost passport reports, or emergency requests. It seems the book agrees with Oscar Wilde’s outlook that “Life is too important to be taken seriously.” Especially when there’s a cocktail to be ordered.
Rush hour traffic ebbed along green hems of the Grand Canal when my traveling companion Jen and I checked into hidden boutique gem, Number 31. Hidden behind a high wall, just ten minutes walk from Stephen’s Green, Grafton Street and the heart of Dublin, Number 31 is housed in a modernist gem of two converted coach houses and a gracious four-story Georgian townhouse.
We sauntered into the fantastically 1960s living room with its sunken conversation pit, mirror mosaic-tiled bar, and contemporary art.
Noel, the affable host rushed over to hug me with a cry of “You’re here and you’re very welcome!” He proceeded to inform me, “You’re a great girl.”
I wasn’t sure how he assessed this in the time it took to set down my Samsonite, but I took the compliment anyway. He asked us if we’d like a drink. What a shame I didn’t get as far as learning how to say “No.”