Seriously we were away for one night, how is this three posts long? What do I still owe you? I think I left you at the point where I was collapsed in our hotel room with a 6 month food baby – yeesh. Fast-forward a good snooze later – quite unheard of for me in a hotel to be honest – and we were up and at ’em to face the breakfast buffet. What can I say? I’m no quitter, people! If breakfast is included I am there – it is not a meal, it is a challenge in how many different types of food I can eat over the course of a good hour long sitting. Firstly, I’m getting my money’s worth; secondly, I love breakfast. Hotel breakfast especially and at the Marker, what’s not to like? A good pot of tea, toast that’s made in that funny production line toaster so it’s more like grilled bread and somehow tastes better than toast made at home; proper butter and that’s before you even leave the table to check out the buffet. Me and Mr T jumped the gun a bit and ordered from the a la carte menu before was polite to do so. My pancake brunch at VCC the day before had thrown a bit of a spanner in the works for my planned pancakes, so instead I went for brioche French toast with syrup and berries and Mr T, as is traditional, ordered the eggs bendy. I then panicked that we weren’t meant to order from the menu and would end up paying for our choices. To ease my nerves I hit up the continental.
The waitress (not the first that weekend) looked at me like I was mad when I came back with a sausage, some little sauteed potatoes and scrambled eggs. Innuendo aside, I do like a nice sausage and the potatoes looked nice and crispy and I love cheffy scrambled eggs probably made with butter and cream. Mr T returned with some branflakes – oddball. Course one down and our next plates arrived. The brioche French toast was thankfully not a huge whopping portion, but three cute little slices with a mini jug of maple syrup, strawberries and sweetened cream. Dusted with icing sugar in case that wasn’t sweet enough, I took my time but slow and steady won the delicious sugar race. Mr T’s eggs looked pretty good, but that wasn’t enough to distract me from a couple of mini Danish pastries and the cutest little glass pot of Glenilen Farm mango and passionfruit yoghurt (I took it with me like the breakfast thief I am). Mr T can’t sit in the wreckage for long whilst I like to sit for a while, but I knew he wanted to get away from our table and we took a walk round the docklands for some fresh air.
It was so nice seeing so many different types of people just enjoying the crisp morning – runners, families, couples, an old man on a bike, even the stag-looking group on an apartment balcony with no shirts on. Lying on a bench with the sun on our faces, we must’ve looked like we’d been partying pretty hard the night before. If only they knew I’d had water and prawn crackers for our big night out. We sat for a while and then went back in to enjoy the last few hours lazing in our room with a Nespresso and the Sunday papers. I don’t think we’ve bought Sunday papers since son no 1 was born; it felt like all those cliche images of Sunday mornings you’ve ever seen, but we revelled in the calm.
Reality was in sight but we still had time. We packed up, checked out and said goodbye to our holiday home and moved on to the final phase of our trip and the one I knew Mr T was counting down to – Bunsen. After the big breakfast, we decided a walk would do us some good, so we wandered up Grafton St and to St Stephen’s Green. Last year (when searching for the same burger place) we happened upon music in the park and it was so lovely that before we left I googled to see if by any chance there was anything similar on. Lo and behold I was so glad to see that Dublin Concert Band were playing again, so the plan was to burger it up and then go and lie prone in the park until we could move again. So panicked was Mr T that there would be a queue for Bunsen that we found ourselves sitting on our suitcases on the pavement a little bit down Wexford Street (we do have some dignity, honest) waiting for it to open. I tried not to notice the dent in mine when 1pm sounded, we saw the doors open and jumped to attention. I think one of Mr T’s favourite things about Bunsen (apart from the juicy burgers obviously) is the menu – it goes like this: burger, double burger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, skinny fries, hand-cut fries and sweet potato fries. This is the one place I think I could comfortably order for him and get it 100% correct – biggest burger, everything on it and fries. Because I can’t help myself I ordered a chocolate milkshake, which meant he had to have one too in case mine was awesome and he would miss out – what is he like?! I thought it was pretty good, but he wasn’t that fussed in the end. The burgers were oozing and mouth-wateringly good. The sweet potato fries were possibly the best I’ve ever had anywhere – curly, crunchy but soft and sweet – I knew I should stop but I kept going til there were no more.
When we left I wondered if we should take a taxi the 3 minute walk to St Stephen’s Green, but somehow we made it, trailing our cases like walking aids rather than luggage. And there it was – the most sweet-sounding music filled the air as we flopped onto the grass – it did mean we had to get up and walk further to get to the bandstand, but I did it for the warm melody. After a few minutes lying in a heap, I sat up and looked around and clicked a few mental photos for my memory bank. Happy husband snoozing in the sun – check, beautiful surroundings – check, music giving life a movie-like soundtrack – check. There was even a toddler attempting his first steps who I think must’ve been shipped in from central casting. A picture-perfect end to our romantic getaway. A taxi to Connolly station later and we got on the train with long but happy faces. It wasn’t much longer than 24 hours but somehow we were recharged (if a little weary from all the food) and ready to go home to see the boys. Home is lovely too.
Oh just remembered I said I’d report on the effects of indulging for a day and a half. Not good; not not at all good. I don’t know what had the worst impact on my digestion – was it the carby pancakes, gummy sweets, fizzy drinks or alcohol? It doesn’t really matter; I just know my tummy did not like the overall grubbery I inflicted during a short time period. It was pretty hard to believe I could feel so good getting on the train on Saturday morning, and so bloated and distended a relatively short time later on the way home. Long story short, I don’t think I’d do so much or try to cram so many different foods in in such a brief window again. Again, seriously I know what age I am, but how is this kind of common sense a revelation to me? Who knew that eating a load of food you haven’t in four weeks would wreak havoc, really? Anyway I think I’ll stick to cheat meals and little treats a couple of times a week instead of a cheat few days, much less painful. Back to exercise and normal eating on Monday. Except there’s birthday cake first…
Thanks to Mr T for photos – that picture of a burger is filthy.