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Jurys Inn Christchurch is the perfect base to explore the cosmopolitan metropolis that Dublin has become today, writes Caoimhe Young

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Caoimhe’s room at Jurys Inn Christchurch.

Caoimhe’s room at Jurys Inn Christchurch.

Christ Church Cathedral.

Christ Church Cathedral.

Jurys Inn's dining area.

Jurys Inn's dining area.

Chez Max restaurant.

Chez Max restaurant.

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Caoimhe’s room at Jurys Inn Christchurch.

Dublin city was once my second home, from the morning rush hour to quick coffees, the Friday ‘swiftie’ and the mad dash home — which actually was never much of a dash once I hit the traffic, but I did walk to the car park at rapid pace!

The pandemic has re-set time and I hope to never return to that manic rush, but I dearly miss Dublin. And so I booked a weekend break at Jurys Inn Christchurch — a hotel I’ve walked by countless times.

I never popped in because to me it was the home of the American tourist and not a ‘local’ haunt, and the windows are tinted so it is not easy to see what goes on inside.

I was half expecting our bedroom to be a bit of a ‘shoe box’, but it was lovely and spacious with a view of Christ Church Cathedral, which is directly across the road.

Each of its 182 rooms comes with a flat screen TV, a sofa and we parked behind the hotel in Q-Park Christchurch car park. There’s free wi-fi as well as an Insomnia Coffee Shop on site.

The bar was clean and city smart, offering fish and chips, steak, chicken curry, sticky toffee pudding, a decent wine list and a good coffee, should you decide to start the night people watching and admiring the magnificent medieval cathedral in the changing light.

During the pandemic, Christ Church Cathedral invited those who lived or worked in the city to step into its outdoor labyrinth to feel “a sense of peace”.

The labyrinth is a single path that twists and turns towards a centre point and then returns the same path to the entrance, says its website. The twists and turns represent the struggles of life. It is located on the eastern side of the stone plaza (the side nearest the steps down to the old Chapter House ruin). The cathedral hopes to soon run guided tours again, priced ¤8.

Jurys Inn Christchurch is just minutes from anywhere you want to go — Trinity College, Grafton Street, O’Connell Street and a hop and a skip to any transport you can think of. This is the epicentre of it all and the staff are so happy to be back working and to look after you.

Suzanne Cannon, head of marketing and online at Jurys Inn Group, said: “At Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels, we are excited to welcome back guests for all kinds of stays, ranging from shopping breaks, scenic city breaks, romantic weekend getaways or guests who just want a change of scenery.

“We are so busy and just delighted to be getting back to normal. This hotel is perfect for tourists because you are right beside the city, but you can also escape it quickly.”

Dublin’s busiest tourist attraction, the Guinness Storehouse, is less than a 10-minute walk. We instead visited the Palace Bar on Fleet Street, with its stained-glass skylight, a good pint, and the perfect place to replenish before any big decisions like deciding where we will have dinner. I have never had a bad meal or been in bad company in Chez Max, the French bistro on Palace Street, beside Dublin Castle.

Chez Max delivered Moules-frites perfectly with an excellent house red wine and the best coffee you could imagine on the pretty cobbled streets — looking across to the then shut Olympia Theatre bringing back a feast of rowdy memories.

A shopping trip to the Disney Store on Grafton Street was next, we still had to bring presents home for the kids even if we only drove 9km for our staycation, which meant an 11am lie-in. Now that’s heaven.

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We were home before you could sing Molly Malone five times in five different languages — after five pints — well, it was a pandemic Sunday.

The city has so much to offer with nearby Marsh’s Library also deserving a mention. This is just 10 minutes from Christchurch by foot and has been opened to the public since 1707, it was the first public library in Ireland. With its original fittings, bookcases made of Baltic oak and carved lettered gables, this is an absolute beauty of a find and you do feel like it is a secret gem even though it attracts many visitors.

It was built with money provided by Archbishop Narcissus Marsh, an academic and book lover with a strong belief in the public utility of education and learning.

Today it is a registered charity and is independent of any and all other institutions.

In some bookcases there are bullet holes from the Easter Rising when a British army machine gun sprayed the building. There is also what the library describes as a ‘hidden garden’. The area has a couple of nice little coffee shops and the grounds of St Patrick’s Cathedral to explore, and if you are staying in Jurys Inn Christchurch you can back home for a nap before hitting the town.

Jurys Inn Christchurch offers good rates but rooms are now being snapped up, so be quick. Bookings can be made online at jurysinns.com with rooms starting at €84.

Late Deals


LOUTH AND PROUD
THE forgotten county of Irish tourism is stepping up to the plate with lots of amazing things for families to do this autumn as well as offering enticing deals for quick getaways.
Take the D Hotel (thedhotel.com) in Drogheda for example, which has a Family Halloween Special which includes an activity pack for kids and fireworks display on October 31. Prices from €229 per family include an overnight stay with two-course dinner and breakfast.
The Carrickdale Hotel & Spa (carrickdale.com) in Ravensdale has a mid-term offer based on two adults and one child under 12 sharing a family room: two-nights B&B with one evening meal from €400 per family.
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AUTUMN SUN
THERE is still some great value out there from Ireland’s travel agents if you want to get away for an autumn break in the sun.
Cassidy Travel has an offer to stunning Sorrento on the Amalfi coast that is very tempting. You can stay in a sea view room at the four-star Minerva Hotel for four nights bed and breakfast for €539pps (flights included). There is a pool and a gorgeous terrace restaurant to enjoy and it is just a 10-minute walk to the centre of the historic town.
Call Cassidy Travel on 01-2910000 or book in one

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