Photo credit: Rachel Lee
Starting off our day with Tuesday To-Do’s, my friend and I headed out of our Airbnb. Located within a ten-minute walk of the downtown centre, we were amazed at how navigable the city was. With its main points of interest within walking distance, we were pleased with our decision to visit Southern Ireland’s capital. River Liffey, dividing the north and south sections of the city, was a dark road of choppy waters raging on with the wind. Located beside Ha’Penny Bridge, Winding Stair called to us. With a bookstore on the ground floor and a restaurant on the floor above, the upmarket restaurant and the rustic bookstore offer a perfect balance of class and casual.
Arriving shortly before the lunch rush, we were able to enjoy the ambience undisturbed. Choosing a seat by the wide windows, they offered a view of the river and the streets below. Our waiter, a tall young man with a charming Irish brogue, provided us with menus and gave us a moment to mull over our options. Both obsessed with food, it was near impossible to choose. With tantalising starters, savoury mains, and mouthwatering desserts, we were at a loss. Opting for the 2-course special each, we both went for a main course and dessert. She ordered herself the blonde ray wing and a vegan bar with sorbet. The dessert was not included in the menu, but was gathered from their affiliate restaurant, The Woollen Mills. I enjoyed the free-range chicken and Guinness cake.
The chicken was nothing short of perfection. Buttery smooth and supported by a medley of vegetables and black pudding slivers, the chicken was hands down the best I’ve had so far. The wonderful main course was followed by a moist slice of Guinness cake. At once moist and firm, the top of the cake slice was coated with icing. This sugary topping helped to balance the flavour profile of the dessert, able to satisfy both savoury and sweet tastes.
After the meal, we headed downstairs into the bookstore. A cosy setup of popular, independent, and secondhand books, natural light filtered in through the wide windows. A table proudly displayed works on feminism. From here, I chose a book titled, Forgotten Women; The Scientists. Crediting women’s achievements in the STEM field, I was eager to begin reading. The bookstore also contained a plethora of books relating to Irish folklore and legends, regaling the ancient traditions that have both pervaded and faded. At the back of the store stood the secondhand collection – an impressive setup of packed shelves and neatly categorised genres. If I had more money and luggage space, it would have been impossible to make me leave.