Sunday 23 September 2007

Preparing for Take Off

Chemical asked for advice about where to get a good cup of coffee while traveling through Dublin Airport. Great question.

Airports can be stressful, highly-strung locations. You'll need to relax. The only thing that helps in a situation like that for cooling you down, lowering your heart rate and stopping you from needing to use the on board facilities mid-flight is a large cup of fully charged caffeine. Wait. Scratch that idea. That's useless advice. Try this:

Let's start with getting to the airport. If you're driving down the motorway from Northern Ireland (don't forget tolls in euro only) there's actually no where on the road to stop. The ever expanding route of the M1 is great, but as of yet no motorway services. I travel this road quite frequently and have yet to find somewhere decent to stop, occasionally opting for the Half Door just at the border (ROI side).

If you are travelling by train I'm not much help. I've only done it once and was served instant coffee - bleh! However, the train does take you into the city centre (practically) and there are loads of coffee shops around. I might recommend O'Brien's Coffee on Abbey Street (The LUAS from the station will take you there) although there a plenty of independent cafes hidden about - seek and ye shall find.

At the airport there are a few choices. On the mezzanine floor above check-in there is an O'Brien's, but I find it a bit hit-and-miss. Probably the best option is the Bewleys Cafe on the mezz although that whole area is always really busy. (I'm not sure if there are any dedicated Bewley's Cafes left anywhere else. Shame. I kind of miss the Oriental on Grafton Street - it's now a restaurant.) There are a collection of Cafe Ritazzas scattered around the airport, but they always seem to make the coffee incredibly hot which means you either can't finish it before going through security or take-off! I think there is a Nude cafe somewhere (dress code optional). They serve Fairtrade coffee.

After going through security (will you have to remove your shoes today?) you could try out Butlers Chocolate Cafe. I have a friend who raves about Butlers. I wasn't quite so impressed with the over priced latte, but I shouldn't really judge their whole chain by one visit to an airport branch. That said, you do get a "complimentary" hand made chocolate with every drink so that may swing it for you.

If you are one of those people who gets to the airport with loads of time to spare (beware - security at Dublin can be long and slow) you could always pop down the road to the Inca Coffee Lounge at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, or the brand new Bewley's Hotel. I dare you to risk taking the shuttle bus just for coffee!!

As for drinking coffee on the plane I've yet to have a decent cup of coffee at 30,000 feet anywhere in the world and I certainly would not bring myself to pay for the privilege - rip-off no frills airlines.

So anyway, I could have made this all a lot simpler by just posting this link to the list of cafes in Dublin Airport, but it has been fun thinking about the different options.

Let me know what you choose when you're there and if it was any good. I have a very early flight in a couple of weeks and will certainly need a reliable fix.

4 comments:

Chemical said...

WOW!

Thanks very much for this, we shall drink coffee in as many establishments as possible in the time available(hopefully no delays, but it's RyanAir ...) and report back

Chemical said...

Cosmo

Contacting you from Valencia airport!

We eventually had coffee at the corner cafe at Dublin airport just because hubby had used it on a previous visit. This is were I admit to being a tea drinker, but hubby had a latte, from a self serve machine. I'm thinking there's a clue in there somewhere, but basically, I'd say 'avoid'!

PS coffee in Valencia airport not much better by all accounts

Cosmo said...

Thanks for the info - direct from the source!

I have a feeling that if you're wanting a gourmet coffee no airport in the world is really going to live up to expectations. I am, however, willing to be proved wrong.

Thanks for the heads-up re: corner cafe. I'll be sure to pass it by in a couple of weeks.

Chemical said...

... though I have to say, it does a great Irish Breakfast ....