One day recently, with the sun splitting the rocks, I started my morning from 8am spending three consecutive hours cooped up in a premises on Dublin’s Harcourt Street.
From a vantage point, in a generously windowed room on the buildings lower ground floor, I could see only the upper bodies of lightly summer clad passers-by, apparently gliding along the pavement outside. I envied their casual collecting of sun beams and was eager, as soon as my business was completed, to join them and obtain my fair share.
Came 11am and at last I was outside, in my shirt sleeves being soothed by mother sunshine. Hard to explain, but sometimes one just feels more alive than on other occasions. That’s the feeling I had. Like as if time had slowed down and all of my senses suddenly had a raised awareness. I was looking and seeing and appreciating. I think that the therapeutic nature of sunshine imbues a greater friendliness in people. Several passers-by exchanged a smile as our tracks crossed. Yep, it felt good to be alive.
However, I was a man on a mission. Nay, I stand corrected; I was a hungry man on a mission, having departed home earlier that morning with little time allowed for a decent breakfast. You know how part of that line in the song goes: “the pipes, the pipes are calling”? Well, had you been standing close to me that morning, you would have been dancing a jig as my pipes were acting like massed bands.
Some time ago I had heard of mysterious tea rooms which were rumored to exist somewhere along Dublin’s Camden Street. My urgent mission now was to investigate. Much as I was enjoying the warm sunshine, if it came to a contest between Astronomy and Gastronomy I knew exactly which onomy was going to win.
“If you head over towards the Concern building and walk down on that side of the street, cross the first junction you meet and on your left hand side you will see a shop behind a bus shelter ……” and so my trusty warm blooded Sat Nav had earlier guided me, during our conversation on my mobile.
Right behind the bus shelter exactly where it was supposed to be, I found the shop. It is called: Daintree Paper. But hang on a minute. It’s tea rooms I was supposed to be looking for, not a craft paper shop. I tentatively pushed the door open to reveal a secret. Gastronauts must navigate their way through paper space and out through the rear of the store to arrive in a totally different universe.
What a pleasant surprise. A quaint little Tea Room named: The Cake Café was partly hidden away along the back alley of the Daintree Craft Paper Store. Those in the know were already there, most were sitting in the sunshine at the tables outside. I could have walked past the mother store (Daintree Paper) a dozen times and would have never known of the existence of the café.
Being a hungry Gastronaut, I tucked into an egg and bacon soldier followed by a honey lemon and ginger tea (which my Sat Nav had earlier advised was a must try) and a fruit scone. The food was very nice and I thought reasonable value at €12.75 (tax included).
Although really small, the Cake Café has an old world charm exemplified in its oil cloth covered tiny tables and period style tea pots. Waiting staff are pleasant, courteous and attentive. For a brief period at the Cake Café that morning it felt like I was dining in a side street in Paris.
The next time you are in Camden Street why not treasure hunt for the Cake Café yourself?
Feeling really pleased with myself for having made the discovery and given the gorgeous day, I decided later to allow myself a second treat and take a leisurely afternoon stroll in the glorious natural surroundings of Dublin’s Phoenix Park.
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