On our second night in Dublin, we struggled on finding somewhere for dinner and I ended up finding the Castle Vaults (at the Castle Hotel) on Open Table. It looked a little different, atmospheric and as we went for steak on our first date (a year ago that day), we were always going to re-live it. Luckily, the hotel was just around the corner from where we were staying. For those not staying at the hotel, the restaurant and bar aren’t the easiest to find – even when we asked at reception, we still struggled to find it.
Upon arrival, there appeared to be no confirmation of our reservation, but luckily there were plenty of free tables – and we were given the option of sitting in the lounge area, or in the restaurant. We chose the latter, which really was the vault and such a unique experience. Even though we were quite out of the way and the service did suffer slightly, it was definitely more intimate than sitting in the lounge – although we retired there after the meal.
We both went for the 10oz sirloin steak (medium for me, medium/rare for Ash), which came served with chunky chips, peppercorn sauce and a lovely selection of pan-fried vegetables (onion, green beans and mushroom). The steak was cooked perfectly (for my adapted taste... bring on having rare steak again!) and the sauce was the perfect consistency – I just wish there was more of it, as I like it with my chips as well as meat. As you can see, the portions were huge and I just about managed to finish (with Ash helping me finish the steak... 10oz is a lot larger than I’d normally order).
We skipped dessert and instead retired to the lounge area for another drink, which was great as there was a live singer that night. We didn’t stay for his whole set, as I was tiring, but it really was enjoyable – and one of my favourite things about the Irish bar scene. He took requests as well as playing popular folk songs. The lounge had a great atmosphere, definitely made better by the music and the sofas were too comfortable, I didn’t want to get up!
The prices were reasonable and I had a really enjoyable evening. If we were staying at the hotel, I’m sure we would have eaten there anyway. We did have to wait a while originally to order, but overall the experience was positive and it was great re-living our first date a year later.
Love, Lucy xx