On visiting Ireland’s capital if there is a shopper in your midst you will probably find yourself on Grafton Street. If you are the bag carrier or the checker of whether ‘it’s in a bigger size’ then you may well end up a little weary and in need of sustenance. Here is where Bewley’s comes in. Plucking you gently from the crowds on the busy street you will shuffle gratefully inside and may have to join a queue for a table. It will be busy. The staff will greet you like a regular and an ease will descend even if you have to wait. You will be charmed by your surrounds and enchanted by the shimmering daylight dancing through the Harry Clark stained-glass windows. You can begin to relax and perhaps speculate on whether the couple in front of you are father and grown up daughter or husband and much younger wife. You might catch the eye of a beautifully dressed woman and giving her the once over wonder where she got her shoes. Bags of shopping spill out from under nearby tables and you covet their unknown contents especially those with the fat beige and white stripes tied with black ribbon. Then you will begin to admire the dark polished finish of the handrail on the stairs, touches of brass here and there, the marble floor. Next the wallpaper or the deep red cushioning of upholstery and what do you know, suddenly it’s your turn to be seated. You’re here just in time for a Jazz Brunch if you would care to be seated upstairs. Wafting past the patisserie glass cabinet displaying its decadent contents like an overspilling jewellery box in an Aladdin’s Cave, it all has you swooning. Are the baristas really wearing black and white striped sweaters and does one have a curled up moustache? Are you in Paris or Dublin? This is the James Joyce Room after all so it could indeed be either.
Your perfectly poached eggs arrive and that extra butter you asked for appears without you having to as much as glance a second time. The neighbour’s french toast is the best she’s ever eaten while your compadre is greedily tucking into the Bewley’s Breakfast (the full Irish). Fresh juice full of bits and goodness is just the right side of refreshing chill. It’s not a terribly warm day out and the fire is on, the uptempo music has you foot-tapping and you’ll certainly tarry awhile for a second cappuccino. A grand day out indeed.
Bewley’s Jazz Brunch Experience is available on Saturday and Sunday from 11am-4pm.
I can vouch for this amazing experience as I’ve been lucky enough to guest at the launch of the Bewley’s Jazz Brunch with other food writers a few weeks ago. This blog post was not requested but deserved.
‘Til next time, Sheila.