Imagine: The smell of apples, warmed and mixed with juicy black berries in a sugary breaded blanket of a pie. Can you smell it? It’s an apple crumble with a berry (good) twist. This dessert can be found at Queen of Tarts, the quaint and sugary cafe that’s nestled between shops along Dame street, which is like the “yellow brick road” to Trinity College Dublin.
This street leads right to the college, promising something glorious by the end and offering treats and intrigue to complement your journey along the way, including an abundance of coffee and teas. And, as a side note, for the coffee that a lot of us can't resist (myself included), there is a Starbucks on this street (and though it's a chain and not unique to Dublin, or Ireland, I thought it would be worth mentioning).
Bit of tea, anyone? It's always fresh.
Now, back to the cafe in question: Queen of Tarts. And there are two. One is a smaller, more intimate shop on the left side of Dame street (facing Trinity) and then, if you pass this one, heading away from the school, there is a side street (left) where a larger version of the pastry and tea oasis (though it’s no illusion) exists. They serve sweets such as tarts, chocolate cake, carrot cake, and also savory foods like beautifully crafted sandwiches -- even the placement of the cheese on top of lettuce and salami is a work of art. It is definitely a must-go-to during your stay in Dublin. However, when you do venture to this place of treats fit for kings and queens, don’t forget to explore other cafes.
Here are a few options to ponder: Wall and Keogh (please try the matcha bread and any one of the organic teas. It’s on Richmond Street), and KC Peaches (they serve coffee, tea, pastries and they have a buffet of savory foods like ribs and pasta. It’s on Dame Street).
Cafes and non-chain eateries are a major part of the city’s charm and should be a part of your study abroad experience. These places are perfect for a quick bite or a casual outing with friends; tea and sweets are great additions to long (or even short) chats with fellow IES Abroad students and the people you’ll befriend in Ireland. The environment is mellow, as most individuals are dazed under the spell of sugary vanilla and chocolate aromas, hints of nutmeg (possibly? Though my nose could be a bit off) and whiffs of hot mochas, peppermint tea and dark, freshly brewed coffee...it can be very calming.
And for a day to yourself, you can claim a seat, sip on coffee or tea and relax with a good book or a phone call to grandma. Or you can adhere to your studies in one these cafes and find that you have been doing so for hours. The atmosphere is peaceful with both cafes decorated in warm hues of fall. The reds and browns are an intoxicating mixture, reminding a person of the good parts of Little Red Riding Hood -- and that, combined with the pleasant smells of baked goods, does wonders for one’s concentration.
And the best part? You can take pastries home. And yes, I did mean to pluralize.
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<p>Hello, I’m Christena, a 4th-year journalism student at the University of Florida, who has decided to spend a semester experiencing the wonders of Dublin, Ireland. I am passionate about traveling, food, reading, writing and experiencing new and beautiful cultures. I’m a 21-year-old with a thirst for knowledge and adventure, and I’m excited to share all that I find abroad! Happy readings and a jolly good day to you!</p>