Sophie’s

Today I had brunch at Sophie’s, a restaurant in the Dean Hotel. A friend had booked it for a long overdue catch up and it was an excellent choice. There aren’t many places in Dublin with rooftops views, so it was lovely to eat in a place where we could enjoy the view. The food was delicious, and even though the table was only available for an hour and a half we didn’t feel rushed. In fact, we ended up snagging a table outside and availing of the sunshine and chatting over a bottle of prosecco. It had been a long time since the three of us had met so we had a lot to catch up on. I will definitely be back, for food and drinks, as it was good value for money and a nice central spot.

Sophie’s

Things Which Sparked Joy This Week

Having a half day off work and being able to dine out for a birthday midweek (which never happens when I’m in work).

Going for my fitness assessment update in the gym and finding out I’ve lost five and a quarter inches. New gym shoes here I come.

The anticipation of a busy weekend of meeting old friends and new ones. I’m never out on a Friday and Saturday night. I think I’ll be having an early night on Sunday.

An empty laundry basket thanks to the sunshine and juggling of clothes inside and out.

Trying something new and a little scary and finding out its actually fun and exciting.

Things Which Sparked Joy This Week

Grin and Bear It

I met a friend for lunch in Bear today. It’s my second visit, the first being the last time we ate there some months ago. I’m being thoughtful about my food choices these days so I had a chicken salad and stuck to water. I’m not sure I’d have enjoyed my salad without the chicken (which I had as an optional extra). It was a large portion and wouldn’t have been as interesting without the meat. I’m a carnivore, but I love salads. This one was nice, but a little bland. I’m also not terribly keen on the high stools and tables but the atmosphere is really pleasant for lunch. And a nice hour catching up with a friend is always a recipe for enjoying yourself.

Grin and Bear It

Thirty Five Is Not Twenty Five

In The Agony and the Extasy, the women of Sex and the City ruminate on being single in their 30s. Well, I turned 35 yesterday and thankfully it was much better than turning 25 a decade ago. I’m not single. I’m far more secure in my opinions and choices, I’m in a completely different job and I’ve gained and lost friends.

I’m not quite sure when you’re supposed to feel like a grown up. I’m trying to remember if I felt like a grown up on my 25th birthday. I remember wearing a black dress and going to a nightclub that didn’t survive the recession. I probably wondering if I was ever going to meet Mr. Right. I remember feeling a little frustrated that many of the people I’d been in college a couple of years earlier were doing a lot better than me in the career stakes. I wasn’t in a particularly challenging job and I don’t think I had a huge amount of interest in it.

I remember going home alone, and I remember feeling down about that. I remember wondering why other people seemed to meet love interests with relative ease and I remember wondering if I was going to be like Carrie Bradshaw, wanting to admit I was lonely but still feeling a bit pathetic on my 35th birthday. I remember thinking life was passing me by, in some ways, and I could be doing a lot more with my time.

I probably wouldn’t listen to my older, and somewhat wiser self, but I’d tell myself to calm down and stop worrying so much. This is advice I could probably give my 45 year old self too, in fairness, in ten years’ time. I’d tell 25 year old me to stop stressing over the choices other people make-some of them make moderately good choices, others have veered widely off course and no one is as happy as you seem to think they are, all the time anyway.

I’d tell myself to be a little more ruthless when necessary and little kinder when you know it’s the better choice. I’d tell myself to enjoy eating whatever you like, because you won’t be able to do that forever. I’d tell myself to listen to the Sunscreen song, and heed the lines about friendships a little more. I’d tell myself that things will work out just fine, and while your definition of ‘fine’ might change, you’ll know that it is fine when you find what it is you weren’t sure you were looking for.

Thirty Five Is Not Twenty Five

I Don’t Usually Love Cheesecake But…

Last night I had a great evening of eating, drinking and chatting with friends. I had found it a little difficult to get a reservation, so we ended up eating in San Lorenzo’s. I’ve eaten here a couple of times before, and on the last occasion I had brunch and then we decided to split a slice of cheesecake. I am not a fan of cheesecake-I like my cream cheese on bagels, with or without smoked salmon, but definitely not whipped with gelatine and/or baked into a sugary dessert. However, the Nutella cheesecake I split over brunch with one of my very best friends was delicious.

Amazingly delicious, so much so that when we had already eaten starters and main courses last night, I waxed lyrical about this cheesecake so much I talked the others around to splitting one slice between the three of us. It’s a very rich dessert and we had Irish coffees too, so one slice was more than enough. But it was as delicious as I remembered, maybe even more so because I had the delight of expectation to add to the deliciousness. If you’re going there, have the cheesecake, even if you don’t like cheesecake.

It isn’t often I’m out two nights in a row these days. I’m as happy watching TV while doing the ironing sometimes. I am looking forward to another dinner out with friends tonight though, even if it’s a different restaurant that doesn’t have Nutella cheesecake on the menu.

I Don’t Usually Love Cheesecake But…