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Howth: seafood, sun and seals.

Published by Romy Geschiere — one year ago

After being in Dublin for a week, at least 300 people told me to visit Howth. Okay so I might not have met 300 people during my first week, so that's definitely an exaggeration. Anyways, after being told a million times to visit Howth, that weekend I decided the weather would finally be good enough (read: not raining all day and freezing cold), which was a good enough reason for me to visit Howth. 

How does one get to Howth ?

This was the question I asked myself. As I'm not a star with google maps (old soul), I googled and googled untill I finally found a time table. For me, the best option was to take the DART train from Tara station. There are also busses that go to Howth for people that aren't particularly fond of trains. So, I took the train which goes every 15 minutes. It was a lovely route, besides the water. I saw beaches, people walking on beaches and, believe it or not, people swimming. It was 10 degrees in March, get it together Ireland. 

When in Howth.. 

Anyways, when I arrived in Howth it was actually super sunny and it felt like 20 degrees out there! I guess this explains the people that were swimming.. Howth is just a small harbour town, and when you get out the train station you might think: where the hell did I go to? However, as you start walking towards the town you can see the harbour with all the boats, pubs, a playground and of course Howth's very own market. As many students will recognize, coffee is a very important part of my morning ritual. So, the first thing I did was going to the Howth Market and get myself a coffee at the little coffeeshop. Then I strolled around the (very) small market which has some foodstands, arts and crafts, and of course souvenirs.

After my very nice stroll in the market, I walked along the pier. There are a lot of restaurants, bars, pubs and cafe's at the pier. You can get yourself a lovely homemade scone at one of the cafe's, or just a coffee or tea. If you're really into the Irish culture, get yourself a Guiness. At the end of the pier, you can take some lovely pictures of the harbour or a selfie with the turqouise sea in the background. When trying to make the perfect selfie a.k.a. mission impossible, I caught a poster from the corner of my eye. It was an advertisement for boat trips around this little island in front of the harbour and you could go around it or you could go on the island and spend the day there. As I knew I wanted to go eat some fresh fish for lunch I decided to just take the tour around the Island. I have to say, best decision I have ever made. The poster said we might be able to spot some seals during our tour, so of course I was rooting for that. However, even if you don't see seals ( I have done this tour at least 4 other times now) it is definitely worth your money (10 euros). The view is very impressive, you might spot some seals, and sitting on a boat in the sun is just the best thing. I would say the trip would take around 30 to 40 minutes, depending on how lucky you are with the weather. 

Seafood 

As I mentioned before, I wanted to have some real Howth seafood. My collegue suggested me to go to Octopussy. Weird name, delicious food, adorable restaurant. You can tell it's a good restaurant as it is always packed. In the weekends it opens at 12 and people are standing in line to get the first table in the sun. Don't be afraid, you don't have to wait in line from 12 onwards. You can go at any time, and yes, sometimes you do have to wait for 10 minutes. However, it is totally worth it. It is a tapas restaurant with only fish-based dishes, and some side dishes such as bread, potatoes and salads. You can see your dishes getting prepared in the open kitchen and while you wait you can look out on the harbour with a nice glass of (white) wine. If you're with a group, it would be good idea to choose the mixed platter. This will include mussels, crab, and dublin prawns. Even writing about it makes me want to go back. Sure, there are loads of other restaurants to have delicious fish dishes, but none have the same cosy atmoshpere as Octopussy does. 

If I could give this place 10 stars, I would. Unfortunately I can only give 5 so that will have to do.. Hopefully you guys will like my review, and if you're ever in Howth and see someone desperately trying to eat all the seafood at Octopussy, that'll probably be me. 

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