The weather was great, and our first stop was an impulse visit to Donnybrook Fair, our local fancy food market. They were having a Christmas festival with samples of mulled wine, meats, cheeses, cakes, mince pies, and whiskey. We made a note to stop by on our way home in case we didn't find amazing snackies at the markets in City Centre.
We did find some Pabst Blue Ribbon, a classic American cheap lager. Here, of course, it's a fancy import. Nice.
|Cory Found some PBR|
The low, late-November sun was shining on the Grand Canal as we neared City Centre. We stopped on near some weeping willow trees to enjoy cupcakes from The Natural Bakery, our favorite sweet shop in Donnybrook.
|Rare Sara-Looking-at-the-Water Shot|
|Cupcakes on the Canal|
The first market was the Lidl market on Custom House Quay. This multipurpose space is used for a number of festivals and events, including Dublin's Oktoberfest celebration. This weekend, supermarket chain Lidl was hosting a market to sell their holiday treats. We sampled some (more) mulled wine and picked up some spiced windmill cookies. This was a one-weekend-only show, so if you missed it, you missed it.
|Lidl Christmas Market 2014|
After Lidl's market, we went to check out the new, official market in Dublin at St. Stephen's Green. A row of stalls was set up along the entire length of St. Stephen's Green North - and it was packed. We entered the throng from the south end - away from Grafton Street. The narrow sidewalk was jammed with shoppers, and the ever-ongoing construction on the road created bottlenecks at different points throughout. Barriers kept people from spreading into the street, but also cut off room to escape and breathe!
As for the shopping, many of our favorite vendors from last year weren't at the market. Keogh's craft potato crisps, artisan cheesemakers, and cured meats by the slice were nowhere to be found. We picked up some roasted nuts and gummi candy, but most of the stalls were selling crafts and non-food gifts at who-knows-what prices. Bit of a bummer.
At the top end of the market, we saw a huge, gated line (queue) of people waiting just to enter the market. We had popped in on the wrong end without knowing it, skipping this half-hour line in the process. We felt bad for skipping the line, but glad we didn't have to wait for the chance to shuffle through the disappointing selection of stalls.
Good as our word, we stopped in Donnybrook Fair on the way home to get everything that we couldn't get at the markets. Keogh's crisps, parmesan-covered salami, chorizo links, nice cheeses, and mulled wine supplies were all procured. We enjoyed this fat-and-salt-and-alcohol fest while watching some Christmas movies on the couch.