Sonder City Chats: Dublin

Today we spoke with Lia Prendergast, Sonder’s GM of Dublin, about some of the best-kept secrets of the city — including exploring beyond the city centre to the coastline — and her recommendations for socially distant activities. Having joined Sonder nearly a year ago, Lia has spent almost two decades living in Dublin and says she still regularly discovers new dining spots and attractions in Ireland’s Capital. Here are her best tips for how to explore the city.

  • What’s the best-kept secret about Dublin? Dublin has an amazing coastline, if you have time to go beyond the core city centre. There are beautiful seaside villages like Monkstown and Dalkey with great restaurants – easily reachable on the DART (a speedy train from the city centre). If you are brave enough, you can even go for a cold dip in the Irish sea at Seapoint or Vico Baths! Matt Damon got stranded in Dalkey during the COVID lockdown — but sadly, he has now departed.

 

  • What’s your favorite thing about living in Dublin? I like the proximity to the sea and the mountains — it’s so easy to get out of the city into nature. I won’t mention the weather, though. I also like the people. Can I have two favorites?
  • What are three social distancing activities you recommend for people in Dublin right now/in the near future? A picnic or take-out in the park (if the weather behaves). We have some beautiful parks in the city centre like St. Stephen’s Green and Merrion Square — surrounded by lovely Georgian terraces. Explore the city by bike: grab a Dublin Bike or an electric Moby bike. The city has made major improvements to cycling infrastructure over the past months — which is great. There’s a new cycle route launching alongside the River Liffey this month — which will make getting around the city centre a little easier. A walking tour of the city: Dublin is nice and compact so you can see a lot on foot. They are currently trialing an increase in fully pedestrianized areas in the city centre, which helps with social distancing.

 

  • What’s one activity you’ve always had on your bucket list but haven’t gotten to do yet? I haven’t been to the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. I’ve recently relocated back to Dublin from London and it’s been top of my to-do list!
  • Where’s the first place you take family and friends when they visit? I live in Monkstown — a suburb by the sea about 20 minutes outside of the city centre — so it tends to be for a seaside walk followed by dinner in one of the local restaurants. We have a secret Irish pub beside where we live, with traditional music, drinks, and sing-songs on tap.

 

  • Which Sonder unit in Dublin is your favorite? The penthouses in Sonder Britain Quay are beautiful. Many have their own roof gardens, and there is also a communal roof terrace for guests. It’s a real plus to have quiet, private outside space in the middle of the city – particularly in current times!
  • Rapid-fire questions. What’s your favorite:
    • Cafe:  Bibi’s Cafe in Portobello. I don’t drink coffee (often wish I did) but I can attest to a good brunch and tea! I know that true coffee lovers like 3fe.
    • Bar: No Name Bar on Fade Street – temporarily closed but hoping it will be open again soon. 
    • Non-food or drink-related activity: Hugh Lane Gallery
    • Date night spot: Etto on Merrion Row.
    • Local shop: The Irish Design Shop on Drury Street always has nice pieces.
    • Delivery/Take-out spot: Honey Truffle on Pearse Street for healthy & delicious take-out.
    • Place to go for a walk/run: I’m probably biased but I love walking around Trinity College — where I did my undergrad.

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