03 May Grafton Street, Dublin
The spine of Dublin’s most popular and stylish shopping district runs south from Trinity College to the glass-covered St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre. At the north end, at the junction with Nassau Street, is a bronze statue by Jean Rynhart of Molly Malone, the celebrated “cockles and mussels” street trader from the traditional Irish folk song.
This busy pedestrianized strip, characterised by numerous energetic buskers and talented street theatre artists, boasts many shops, including many British chain stores. Its most exclusive, however, is Brown Thomas, which is one of Dublin’s most elegant department stores, selling designer clothes and exclusive perfumery. Grafton Street’s most famous landmark is Bewley’s Oriental Café at No. 78. Although not the oldest branch of this 150-year-old Dublin institution, this is Bewley’s most popular location and a favourite meeting spot for Dubliners and visitors alike throughout the day. It stands on the site of Samuel Whyte’s school, whose illustrations roll included Robert Emmet, leader of the 1803 Rebellion, and the Duke of Wellington.
Despite the removal of the old wooden pews, this large café retains its pleasant Victorian ambience, especially in the James Joyce Room upstairs. The balcony on the first floor, which looks down on the shop area at the entrance to the café, is a good spot for people-watching.
On many of the side streets off Grafton Street there are numerous pubs which provide an alternative to Bewley’s for the exhausted shopper, among them is the famous Davy Byrne’s, which for years has been frequented by Dublin’s literati.
Contact Ireland & Scotland Luxury Tours now to organise your visit to Grafton Street on your tours of Ireland.