THE DAVENPORT HOTEL

Apart from the problem with my booking, the Davenport was an excellent choice, helped by the fact that the Manager has since refunded my meal and bar charges, worth nearly $A 100, and has promised that if/when I plan to go back to Dublin I should contact her directly and "she'll look after me"!

My Junior Suite (Room 7234, which sounds like the 7th floor but was the 2nd and top floor) was quite spacious, with the pre-requisite king bed, although like nearly all hotels on the trip the shower was over the bath. Some don't have in-room coffee-making facilities either, which I gather isn't unusual in Europe. The public rooms are quite elegant in an olde-worlde style, a little bit like the Windsor where we stay in Melbourne. The service and food were good (I only had bar meals), and the hotel lift is the fastest I think I have ever experienced, even though there were only two floors.

But the Davenport's greatest advantage is its location. It's within walking distance (even for me!) of Trinity College, and all the important public museums, galleries, parliament, bus routes, Pearse rail station, Grafton Street shops, etc etc. I even walked to the National Concert Hall and the Abbey Theatre, and home from St Patrick's Cathedral. Both tourist hop-on hop-off routes stop on the corner of Merrion Square, less than 100 metres away.

There's one particularly interesting building within a stone's throw of the Davenport, at No. 1 Merrion Square, which I amazingly failed to photograph from the front (although I took a photo of its ugly rear from my bedroom window), so we'll have to make do with Street View.

It's less interesting for what it is now (the American College) than what it used to be - the home of prominent ear and eye surgeon Sir William Wilde and his family, including son Oscar (born 1854 - died 1900).

Amongst Sir William's honours was the award of the Cunningham Gold Medal by the Royal Irish Academy in 1873.

A couple of decades later, 11 June 1904 to be precise, that same street corner outside No. 1 Merrion Square is where James Joyce and Nora Barnacle were supposed to have rendezvoused on their first date. (They had met by chance the previous day in near-by Nassau Street.)

James waited for ages, unaware that Nora had been unable to get away from her work as a chambermaid-cum-barmaid at Finn's Hotel. But all was not lost - they exchanged notes and re-arranged the date for 16 June, when they went for a walk to Ringsend, the start of a turbulent but lasting relationship. Joyce set 'Ulysses' in 16 June 1904, hence it is often known as 'Bloomsday' after the main character, Leopold Bloom.

Just across the road from the Davenport is Sweny's Pharmacy, where Bloom bought a bar of lemon soap in the novel. Sweny's these days is preserved by volunteers as a museum.



At Waterford Crystal, I promised to tell you the end of the story about the pair of wine glasses I bought there.

They were delivered to Australia in good condition, but when I took them out of the packaging it was immediately obvious, just holding them, that they differed greatly in weight.  I put them on the scales and indeed there was a big discrepancy.  

Having seen the manufacturing process, I understood that no two pieces were absolutely identical, but this was way beyond what I thought manufacturing tolerances would allow.

I emailed the company with the weight details, and they agreed with my assessment.  One of the glasses was well over what would be considered acceptable tolerance.

Without  demur they sent me a new glass of the correct weight.  Bad quality control was compensated by good customer service.


Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In