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Super Sleeps in Dublin, Ireland

Evelyn Hannon

Sometimes working on a travel assignment dictates that I sleep in different accommodation every few days. As a result, I've learned to quickly spot "the good ones"-- the places that are much more than a bed, a bath and a place to park my suitcase on wheels.

In Dublin, recently, I enjoyed two outstanding accommodation treats--one an upscale bed and breakfast, the other an historic university residence. Both in their own way are treasures-- especially for the woman traveling solo.

McMenamins Bed and Breakfast

Marie and Pauric McMenamin are a hip urban couple who, this year, bought and remodeled a graceful Georgian house in Donnybrook, one of Dublin's most exclusive areas. McMenamins Guest House represents a career change for both and also the first time this couple is working together. What a team they make!

Marie's choice of decor is so pleasing-- a mix of warm colors and family heirlooms. Pauric's sense of humor keeps you laughing as he serves Marie's breakfast specialties. Conversation with both is far ranging. They've got something to say about anything from Irish politics to alternative medicine to love and modern marriages. Guests linger over breakfast because both the food and the atmosphere are so outstanding.

This likable couple offers their guests accommodation-plus! Every spotlessly clean bedroom has an en-suite bathroom with shower, television,telephone and tea making facilities (complete with small packets of biscuits for late night snacking). There's bottled water on top of every night table and a hairdryer in one of the drawers below. Fresh fruit is available in a bowl in the hallway.

Breakfasts are a happening at the McMenamins. Take your choice from a fullhearty Irish breakfast or an American-style brunch. There's cereal, fruit, yogurt and, or, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. There's home-baked bread and muffins fresh from the oven. You might even want to try theMcMenamin specialties -- "Dublin Coddle" --a traditional stew found only in Dublin, and "Barm Brack"-- a scrumptious Irish tea loaf . Or, if you're on a strictly low fat diet, Marie will whip up a mini-cal strawberry smoothie to help you start your day.

There's no question in my mind. This little gem (an easy, short bus ride from central Dublin) is truly bed and breakfast heaven.

Rates: 45 Irish Punts single, 35 Irish Punts per person, double.

For further info, write to:

    74 Marlborough Road,
    Donnybrook, Dublin 4,
    Ireland.
    Tel/fax: +353-1-4974405

Trinity College

There's no TV and no phone in the room, no home baking and no pampering at Dublin's Trinity College. Still, it sits high on my list of "super summer sleeps." Simply being there surrounded by historic buildings and cobbledquads is exciting. And, eating breakfast at long mahogany tables in a grand old dining hall is what travel memories are made of-- especially when your meal-mates are international visitors with intriguing stories to share.

Forget any images you might have of "noisy student digs". Accommodation is quiet, comfortable and very clean. Buildings that house guests are scattered 'round the campus. While they're not standard, if you'd like a room with en suite bathroom, it's readily available. And, daily maid service is provided so you really feel you're on holiday.

Your location is absolutely wonderful! Trinity College is situated in the heart of Dublin, close to some of its best shops, restaurants and city landmarks. Just step out the front gates and you're immediately in the thick of all the excitement this city has to offer.

Rates: En suite rooms -36 Irish Punts

Contact:

    Accommodation Office,
    Trinity College
    Tel: (353) -1-608-1177,
    Fax: (353)-1-671-1267

Sweet Dreams!

MARIE'S BARM BRACK RECIPE

We asked Marie McMenamin to share her recipe for "barm brack",the wonderful baked loaf she served with tea at her Dublin bed and breakfast. Marie writes....

Steep (overnight) one lb. raisins and 1/2 lb. brown sugar in hot tea (use just enough tea to cover the raisins and sugar). I use vanilla tea but you can use your favorite. Don't be afraid to be adventurous!

The next morning, add 1 egg and one lb. of flour (wholemeal or otherwise) to your tea mixture.

Pop into the oven for about two hours (medium hot -- about 350 degrees) and test with a skewer to make sure it's baked right through.

Your "barm brack" is to be eaten with your feet up, mug of tea in hand, reminiscing about your adventures in Ireland.

Best Regards,
Marie

P.S. If you're feeling lazy and don't want to make this for yourself, then come over and stay with us in Dublin. We'll bake some women-friendly "barm brack" especially for you!

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