I can honestly say that last weekend in Dublin was the most enjoyable I have had in many a month. Just about everything went right, and I didn’t even have any travel disasters. On my taxi journey from the airport to the hotel the driver decided to give me a lesson in Irish politics and history and I devoured every word. OK, one thing did go wrong. The hotel didn’t do food or room service so I went out to find a takeaway. The only one I could find was a rather dingy and dirty looking pizza and kebab joint. And what do you know? I had one of the best pizzas I have ever had, and believe me, I am a bit of connoisseur.


Jacqui Smith and her partner Graham arrived early on Saturday afternoon. Graham found a restaurant for us to go to south of the river Liffey, and what a revelation it turned out to be. It was called ‘1900’ and was situated on the site of the 1900 Harcourt Street train crash. It turned out to be one of the best restaurants I have been to in years. The waiters were full of character, the food was to die for and there was even a female singer/pianist called Kate O’Flaherty. I would normally find that rather obtrusive, but she was simply brilliant. A sort of mixture of Enya and Eva Cassidy, I even went over to her at the end of the evening to say thank you. I had a crab salad to start with, as did Jacqui and Graham. It was delicious, and when we had finished the waiter brought out an extra one as the chef had decided they were a bit on the small side. The fillet steak just melted in the mouth and the chocolate torte extremely tasty. I did something I have never done before in a restaurant and asked to see the chef, so we could congratulate him. The poor man looked terrified when he emerged from the kitchen!


On Sunday we had a late breakfast and Jacqui and Graham decided to go to the museum of Irish emigration, which didn’t sound a lot of fun to me so I decided to do some work in my hotel room. They came back raving about it, so I think I’ll go on my next trip.


It was soon time to head to the Laughter Lounge and get ready for our For the Many Live event. It had nearly sold out, with more than 200 brave souls venturing out. Some had come down from ‘the north’, others had flown over from England. A 17 year old lad introduced himself to me as Ireland’s only Thatcher supporting Tory Brexiteer. There’s always one I suppose! Our guest, the public expenditure minister Paschal Donohoe arrived fresh from Athlone where Simon Harris had just been appointed the new leader of Fine Gael. Given the upheaval in Irish politics, we couldn’t have picked a better time to be there.

And off we went. It proved to be a brilliant evening, full of laughter. Paschal was a brilliant guest and we were inundated with brilliant questions in the second half. If you want to listen to the podcast of the event click HERE.

It was such a success we’re determined to book and event in Belfast in March 2025 and then return to Dublin in 2026. The three of us fell in love with the place.