For the last few days, we have had in Dublin really cold temperatures compared to what we have been having for the last few months. It is normal considering we are approaching December but somehow you get used to the weather being mild here.
As the days get colder, it is good to remember the things that one like to do when it is this cold that you can’t do in any other time of the year, this way you make sure you are making the most of it.
HELLO ‘HOT CHOCOLATE WITH MARSHMALLOWS‘ ADDICTION
This is probably one of the things that I enjoy more of the winter season! maybe way too much! But the minute the temperatures go below 5 I always feel like a hot chocolate. Just like when in the summer you feel like having a frappe or an ice-cream. It is those little treats that make the change of season more exciting and I am happy to embrace them! In Dublin, every place makes their hot chocolate in their own style. I have been sampling a few from different places and I am sort of working out in my mind which one is my favorite. So far my favorite will be COSTA that has like 4 types of hot chocolate! They have the classic hot chocolate with marshmallows and this other one named ‘LINDT CHOCOLATE’. It is a bit smaller but way more intense in flavor than the other ones. They serve it with marshmallows but I personally prefer it by itself. It was pretty hardcore on its own.
Then my second favorite will be the small place at Connolly Station. This is the train station, besides my house. You would not expect such a nice chocolate (not sweet, just cocoa) from such a small place but it was a nice discovery!
ROASTED CHESTNUTS! YUM!
I guess I bring this tradition from Spain. In my city, Madrid, the city center streets have this wonderful winter smell to roasted chestnuts. It is fantastic! And there is nothing better than to stroll around the city center admiring the Christmas lights with a cone of roasted chestnuts.So because in Dublin this is not as common, I try to buy them myself and cook them at home. It smells fantastic and it is something nice to binge on a cold night.
READING, READING, READING WITH ALL THE WINTER GEAR
I guess this one is very simple, yet, so overlooked. I like to read, in general, but in the winter it feels fantastic! You get a warm drink, a blanket, something comfortable and it is easy to go through any book.
Yep, I did this one in Spain and have not tried this in Ireland just yet. Definitely in my bucket list for this year. Clearly, it is a very fun thing to do and there are many places to give it a go like Dundrum and Smithfield. Things to remember are to bring gloves, a hat, and layers as you get pretty warm really fast! But it is very fun to do!
This is something that is very fun to do, and I would definitely like to join some group this winter and try it out. This one, in particular, has been on my bucket list for a while but have never decided to do it. In Spain, we sing quite a lot in Christmas and when you live in the city it is not as common, but if you live in a smaller town you will end up joining some group to go caroling from ‘bar to bar’ just for the fun.
In Dublin, I guess that I have done that while doing the 12 pubs. This is an Irish tradition where one night you go to 12 pubs and have a pint in each pub. I am never able to do them all (drinking pints in all of them) but I can assure you that by the middle of the pub trail I can sing anything, so Christmas carols no problem then.
FINDING COZY PLACES TO READ OUTSIDE WITH A FIREPLACE (UNLESS YOU HAVE ONE!!)
For those of you, that have a fireplace….I am green with envy! But I have a kind of cool solution for those of you that like I enjoy the feeling of a fireplace in the winter. Basically, I have a list of cool places here in Dublin where you can go and just chill by the fireplace. There are lots of cozy places that are fantastic to relax with a book by yourself or with a hot drink or wine with someone. I guess this will be the topic of another blog post as I have been on the hunt for these cool places and I have my list very well defined by now. Just to say, one of my favorites is the Library bar, but it is usually very packed so these days I go to other places.
WINTER ESCAPE TO SOMEWHERE WARM (OR SOMEWHERE SNOWY), OK, ANYWHERE
This year my winter escape is Barcelona. I will go there to see The Cure and to spend a few days in their fantastic 15 degrees. I do enjoy the change of scenery, the nice weather, and to discover a new place which is really fun.But it is also nice when you go somewhere really cold where it snows as you get a different side of the winter too and the experience of a different culture, city, and food. Last year I went to Zurich and it was a great experience with all the snow and the mountains.
It gives you a chance to disconnect and you come back home feeling renewed and seeing your city with fresh eyes.
GO TO SEE A MOVIE OR A PLAY
A classic. What time is better than the winter time to go to see a movie or a play and hide from the cold while you enjoy something nice.
SEE A GIG IN A SMALL VENUE
I generally prefer small gigs, so this one is not something new for me. But I recently went to see a jazz concert in a really small venue. A pub that was really cozy by the harbor of Greystones. The place was fantastic, we were sitting beside the musicians and there were fireplaces all around. There is something really special about going to listen to music in such a small venue that I really like. In Dublin, this is very common, so it is a great treat for those of us who love live music.
In the cold, that feels even nicer!
GO TO AN ART EXHIBIT OR VISIT A MUSEUM
There are many art exhibits and temporary exhibitions that are interesting to see and it is a great plan for a cold evening. If you are a creative person (or even if you aren’t), you will notice that to go to exhibits and museums is something quite inspiring. It is one of my favorite things to do in the winter. I always feel that it does not matter how big your problems are when you step into a museum and check the art of people that created them so long ago, you are almost traveling back in time. It always makes me feel small but in a good way, it gives me perspective and I leave feeling that whatever it’s happening is not that big anyway.
I guess that is the cool thing about art, it creates a reaction in the person that is watching or experiencing it and that’s something I find very necessary.
So I hope you enjoyed the post and please let me know what other things you love about the winter season!