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Conceirge Tips

Here at the Morrison, we have an enthusiastic team of dedicated guest service agents and concierge who are continually looking for the best things to do in Dublin. Our team really care about delivering the highest levels of customer service and are here to help plan and maximise your time in Dublin. Our concierge has put together a list of things to do, that our team have personally tried and tested. If you do have any other recommendations or any feedback about what to do in Dublin – please let our team know.

The Grumpy Concierge at The Morrison

Samhain (Irish pronunciation: [sˠaunʲ]) as Irish Mythology has it, is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year… It is a time, where the past haunts the present, where the remainder of the summer fun runs from Autumns advancing clutches; a time where we shelter and take stock of what’s gone before; from sightseeing to food, from places of cultural interest and intrigue, there is a lingering feeling in these liminal days, where not all is what its seems as the sun sets. It makes for a fascinating month to discover the little known secrets in Dublin and over The Pale and far away …. tread carefully if you dare to explore, you never know the person next to you might not appear to be who they seem….

What’s on the Irish Stage

The theme of the lingering past, of history’s traumas haunting the present and tormented souls, can be felt throughout the plays on show this month - some are the last lingering’s of the Dublin Theatre Festival and arte still on view if your are quick enough to book?!

The Mariner by Hugo Hamilton @ The Gate - All is not what it seems when a sailor returns damaged from World War I – in this three hander play, mother and wife strive to account what happened to their beloved husband and son in this new atmospheric mystery that will keep you guessing right up until the end – runs until Oct 25th www.gatetheatre.ie

Our Few and Evil Days by Mark O’Rowe @ The Abbey – Mark O’Rowe is back after several years absence from the Irish stage but here in his new piece he is up to his olds tricks again bringing a shattering and confronting contemporary view of Ireland when a stranger visits a close knit family and strains begin to show its/Irelands true reality check – runs until Oct 25th www.abbeytheatre.ie

Brendan Behan’s ‘Borstal Boy’ @ The Gaiety - Irelands original bad boy – The Borstal Boys is Behan’s autobiographical account of this his time imprisoned over in England for handling explosives as a teenager. Through detainment in detention centres, his trial and remand stay until his final release. Marking the 50th anniversary of his death this play haunts Irish Theatre, but in a good way – extended until Oct 25th www.gaietytheatre.ie

The Waste Ground Party by Shaun Dunne – on The Peacock Stage @ The Abbey –The young voice of Ireland can be clearly heard in the modern nightmare of change, integration and confronting the past and future in this tale of moral collisions, family loyalty and the next step in a youths attempt to escape predetermined paths. Runs from Oct 29th until Nov 22nd www.abbeytheatre.ie

Geek Shrieks - (For that scared little girl in all of us) Places to Visit, Festivals and Tours

Open House Open House Dublin is a unique event, presented by the Irish Architecture Foundation.From 17th to 19th October over 100 tours, events and workshops will invite you to explore the rich architecture of Dublin – this festival gives the public a rare chance to see inside some of Dublin’s most treasured and esteemed architectural delights that would otherwise be locked away from the public eye – Old Dublin and New, messes in antique and contemporary materials leaving us with marvels in stone, steel, wood and mortar - Oct 17th – Oct 19th www.openhousedublin.com

St Michans – An inner city church since 1065 holds a secret deep within its depths - five long burial chambers house the mummified remains of some of Dublin’s most influential families from the 17th, 18th & 19th centuries: stories of who is buried there, who has visited them and of course what modern days visitors have experienced while taking a trip down below, will no doubt add to an experience which will give you a shiver as well as a smile – recordings of whisperings and gentle blowing on the neck of visitors have been recorded, so take a step at a time and watch out for the crouched figure that inspects the bodies from time to time. www.stmichans.com

North Coast and Malahide Castle Tours - this tour operates on a daily basis taking you along the scenic coastline of North Dublin around Howth Head and Harbour to the seaside village of Malahide with its scenic views, boutique shops and cafes and historical architecture – now this may sound harmless enough but dig a little deeper and you could find yourself face to face with The White Lady in the Great Hall or actively going to look for Puck on the grounds of Malahide Castle. Their stories and the 3 other ghosts reportedly sighted on its grounds are intrinsically part of its history – you’re your cameras ready - www.dublinsightseeing.ie

The Gravediggers Pub & Tour – located outside of the city next to Dublin’s famous Glasnevin Cemetery this pub not only has its own ghost - the infamous man in tweed who sits at the bar sipping his Guinness - but also its own ghost bus tour that takes you from the city centre to Kilmainham Gaol, St Audeons and Bully Acre (Dublin’s oldest and most mysterious graveyard) before settling you down for your super(natural) pint at The Grave Diggers Pub , but not before one last scare, what is it? Well that would be telling! – Runs 7 nights a week – departs daily from College Green at 7.45pm www.thegravedigger.ie

The Hellfire Walk – Standing tall and abandoned on the peaks of the Dublin Mountains, The Hellfire Club is famous for the ‘sightings’ of Old Nick himself. Do you dare go up there after dark and see what all the fuss was about back then and still today – this tour will take you from the heart of Old Dublin steeped in its own history of haunted past to the foot of the hills by bus, then on foot you will make your way to the famous site – from reports of dancing shadows and hoof prints, dogs with blazing red eyes and rituals, to evoke and summon Nick himself all ingrained into its wall – how confident will you be there in the dead of night with the City a glittering see of lights below you and only a torch and a bus full of strangers to protect you? - Departs 7pm Thurs & Fri -www.hiddendublinwalks.com 

The IFI Horrorthon – In its 17th year, this gathering is not for the faint hearted and the coven of fans that descend upon The IFI for the few days late into the night, actively holler and whoop at the screen encouraging the monsters to attack more and the final girls to scream louder. This year sees a programme including the works of Vincent Price, dodgy double bills and Irish Premieres of forthcoming attractions – grab a gang, pick your tribes and loyalties and escape for a night of fun filled frights - Oct 23rd - Oct 27th - www.ifi.ie

Bram Stokers Festival – Though a relatively new festival on the Dublin Scene, this one has certainly got its teeth firmly sunk on the pulse of the city and what a festival is all about. This year’s programme includes a live music accompaniment of a screening of the silent classic ‘The Cabinet of Dr Caligari’ in Christchurch no less - a literary death match, a ‘zombies versus monsters’ dance off and a breath taking live outdoor event staged by Macnus that will leave you spellbound. The legacy of Bram Stoker lives on in his influences in all things ghoulish, gothic and otherworldly from screen to the spoken word. Don your fangs and fake blood and take a chance -Oct 24th- Oct 27th – www.bramstokerfestival.com

Psycho @ The NCH – for the past few years The National Concert Hall has got in on the act and enthralled, excited and sometimes frightened its audience with its Halloween Live Screenings – this year sees a welcomed return of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ with live accompaniment by the RTE Orchestra – what better way to spend an evening in Dublin with Alfred, Norman, the music of Bernard Herrmann and a loved one to hide behind – Thurs 30th Oct @8pm

Irelands undecided Weather may have set in but there is still a chance for you to explore the greater Dublin suburbs, hills and mountainous delights

Bray - Greystones ‘Cliff Walk’ - Bray was once a bustling seaside resort for Dubliners back in 1920s -1960s – since then it has been undergoing a transformation of a hotspot by the sea to one in which to live, dine, wine and visit. One trek that is still popular is the cliff walk that will take you around Bray Head and on into the next small village of Greystones. The walk will take you on an adventure not unlike the romantic nostalgic coastal scenic scenes from David Leans ‘Ryans Daughter’ (though filmed in Kerry). You will escape city life for an hour and a half that will take you from town to town but the light at the end of the tunnel is that the path will lead you right to the local chip shop and pub. What better way to reward yourself than a pint of the local black stuff and a one on one (Irish slang for Fish and Chips) and if you’re too full after all that local cuisine you can walk back or catch the train to the city – high heels not advised and dress to keep warm http://www.wicklowwalks.com

The 40ft Plunge & Dip – Made famous by James Joyce in his writing ‘Ulysses’ this place and ritual is a Dublin institution in itself. Located between Dalkey and Dun Laoghaire – the walk is refreshingly calm and curious as it winds itself around the local residents’ hidden abodes and coastline. Be adventurous if you have the time and take the DART (local train transit) and get off at Killiney , an area that is known locally as ‘Bell-Eire’ – home to the stars. From there, make your way for a hot port in one of the local Dalkey public taverns before going by Bullock Harbour for some seal spotting, before making your way to ‘The 40ft’ then on into Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Take your swimming gear if you dare and go off the rocks at the 40ft – it’s the only way to go in otherwise you will know how cold it is before you even get wet – The Famous Christmas Charity Swim takes place here – never a dull moment or short of a story from the local bathers braving the elements for their daily constitution. www.visitdublin.com/Asset/tours_attractions/Beyond_the_City/Beaches/Forty_Foot

The Howth Head Trail – Situated on the North Coast of Dublin’s coastline Howth Head hides 3 walking trails (depending on how adventurous and limber you are) that will take you from Harbour and summit, around the head and eventually back again. The positives of this walk – you will come across the local public house called The Summit – relax and grab yourself a baileys coffee before trekking back down amongst the large gated fortresses of local residents - peering over the wall is always fun to see how the other half lives. Hauntings report cries at the Old Light House on the Pier, of a three year old and her father who were swept out to see in the 1800’s - The walking trail is not suitable for children under 12yrs – there is a lot of rough tracks, broken pathways and a steep drop off along the way – not advisable on windy days – just one gust may land you in Boston before you know it - www.walkingroutes.ie/1446-Cliff-Walk-Howth.html

Over The Pale and Far Away – Cork – Only A Scare Away

Why Cork I hear you say – well here’s an interesting fact? Cork houses ‘Snap Apple Night’ by our very own Daniel Maclise in The Crawford Art Gallery – Snap Apple depicts Samhain festivities in Ireland circa 1800’s – aside note: Maclise’s infamous painting of ‘The Marriage of Strongbow (and Aoife)’ has now been restored and is back hanging at The National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin - www.crawfordartgallery.ie

Cork is steeped not only in history and cultural but also has its own tales and reports of hauntings. No better way to discover the city and find your bearings before you go running scared from all the stories and sightings of hauntings and myths than to try out the Hop On and Hop Off Bus tour – www.corkcitytour.com

Cork Guinness Jazz Festival – One Sound Many Styles is how this festival has been described - a global magnet of all things Jazz from our very own Imelda May to Sharon Jones and the Dapkings, The Frank of Walters to Dianne Reeves, there will be double bills to extra events such as Jazz Camp, Street Music, Jazz Choir and Music Trails - Oct 23rd – Oct 27th www.guinnessjazzfestival.com

Haunted Places in Cork 

Cork Gaol Nightly at 6pm anyone can take a tour of this abandoned building in the hope that there will be a sighting of the female ghost in the green shawl that is said to work the corridors. www.corkcitygaol.com Charles Fort, Co Cork - Newly Weds be warned enter at your peril – it is said to be one of the most haunted places in Ireland and White Lady roams its walls grieving her dead husband who was killed the day after their wedding. www.heritageireland.ie/en/South-West

Blarney Castle, Co Cork – This castle is a tourist magnet and visited by thousands every year in the hope of kissing the stone for luck – but little do they know that under the castle lies secret passageways going off in all directions, nor do they know that the stone was given as a reward to the drowning of a local witch! But more frightening is the appearance of the figure of a man looking out one of the castles windows – why is that haunting? When investigated it was found that there was no stairs or steps up to that window and no one could humanly possible find his way up there to peer out - www.blarneycastle.ie [Take the Paddywagon Blarney Day Tour that will bring you not only to the famous castle but also to Titanic Town in Cobh as well as St Coleman’s Cathedral along the River Lee – both have their own ghost stories to tell - departs daily from Dublin 8.20am – www.paddywagontours.com ]

A Tasting Menu of Dublin

The Common denominator in all the below restaurants is ‘seasonal’ – each in their own way offer something different by way of ‘a tasting menu’ allowing you to indulge but not to excess the culinary delights of Irish Cuisine and their creators – from easy on the wallet to a once in a life time dining experience Dublin Restaurants have it all – you just need to know where to look.

The Chefs Table @ Chapter One – A long established jewel in the culinary crown of Dublin, Chapter Ones reputation is as big as its celebrity clients list (‘Who?’ I hear you ask but discretion is their key to enjoying your time here in the cellar below the Irish Writers Musuem) – booking two weeks in advance is advisable but to heighten your experience, why not book The Chefs Table for yourself and a group of your friends with their 7 course tasting menu in the heart and engine of this contemporary must eat restaurant (Michelin Star Awarded) www.chapteroneresturant.ie

The Chefs Counter @ The Pigs Ear – An attic with a secret worth exploring, this top floor informal private dining experience overlooking Trinity College, offers the finest of seasonal local Irish produce served with world influenced modern cuisine. (Michelin Bib Gourmand Awarded) www.pigsear.com

[Then why not grab a pint in Davy Byrnes on Duke Street known to have had sightings of James Joyce in the bar who had frequented the establishment during his lifetime in Dublin]

Sabor Brazil - This is one well hidden secret in the Dublin fine dining circle, yet is number one for 12 consecutive months on Tripadvisor and has been award its 2014 Certificate of Excellence. Sabor’s 10 course tasting menu is inspired by the baroque style of its Minas Gerais region setting off Camden Street. Table by Appointment Only - www.saborbrazil.ie

[The Horse Shoe Bar in the Shelbourne Hotel on the Green will complement the dinner with an aperitif]

Dax Restaurant – This French/Irish Fusion of Irish and Continental produce situated in the heart the Georgian Quarter – offers a 7 course tasting menu for those who are adventurous but casual dining and pre-theatre dinner also available. Go on treat yourself - www.dax.ie

The Woollen Mills – As it stated on its website ‘The Woollen Mills has been one of the most iconic buildings and businesses in Dublin for over one hundred years, and to have taken over this site is a serious privilege. Much like The Winding Stair (its long established sister restaurant next door), we feel like we are custodians of something very special... a piece of history (James Joyce worked here for goodness sake...how unbelievable is that?!) and we must do it proud’ – whether its rustic and peasantry setting or its homemade and gourmet menus all overlooking another of Dublin’s Iconic Landmarks ‘The Ha’Penny Bridge’ this has been a hit since it opened – booking essential if you want to eat this side of Christmas www.thewoollenmills.com

[The Brazen Head a little further up the quays will have you cozy up in one of the snugs and that’s something you will need after hearing Robert Emmett still patrols the establishment for enemies that eluded him – that’s if you have made it past The Dark Lady by St Audeons just opposite the pub]

Little Critters – Fun for the Younger Ankle Bitters

The Ark Over the 7 days of the midterm The Ark has set up some Halloween Treats for the younglings including Songwriting, The Bram Jam and a Halloween Hangout Zone - the emphasis is on sound, music and individual creativity – from Oct 26th – Nov 2nd - see The Ark website for more details www.ark.ie

The Zoo - From a Monster Disco to storytelling, face painting and Halloween Goodies, there will also be Halloween-themed creepy-crawler Keeper chats where you can see real animals that slither and crawl. – From Oct 27th – Oct 31st www.dublinzoo.ie

Marlay Park – This Halloween sees the park transforming into a free fright fest with their ‘spooktacular’ Haunted Forest – come and see and walk into the lands of fairies and myths all encompassed in a sight and sound extravaganza – the park will stay open until 8.30pm Sunday Oct 26th - www.dlrcoco.ie/parks/marlay_information.html

The Wax Works All the chambers within come to life with live characters retelling stories from Irish Myth and Legends along with the retelling of Bram Stokers and Mary Shelleys famous horror fables in The Chamber of Horrors – just keep an eye on the coffin... did it just move??? – There is an FX demonstration and Halloween Game Workshop in The Grand Hall of Fame to give you ideas for festival fun on the 31st - from Oct 24th – Oct 31st – www.waxmuseumplus.ie

All the above events can be found in more detail on www.familyfun.ie


From- The Grumpy Concierge

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