|The Marker Rooftop Bar & Terrace|
I love the predictable panic that comes with a bit of sunshine in Ireland. The second the sun peeks out from behind the clouds, we throw our thermals to the side, fling off our wellies and run out to soak up as much vitamin D as we can.
The panic is completely justified, too - we all know how quickly a day can turn from scorchio to terrible.
As we're seemingly in the middle of a warm spell, there's no better time to get out and grab a table at one of Dublin's al fresco hotspots. After all, who wants to eat inside when there are valuable rays to bask in?
The MarkerI'll always remember The Marker for having one of the best timed openings of all time. The Grand Canal hotel launched, complete with a jazzy rooftop bar, during one of the best spells of April weather in recent memory. It couldn't have been planned any better. The rooftop bar is one of the hottest spots in the city when the sun shines, so getting a table is no easy feat - get there as early as you can and cross your fingers, as bookings are only taken for groups of 10 or more. Priority is given to hotel guests, or to those with leaders club membership. Always check on the site before you make your way over - it's available for private rental, so is sometimes closed to the public.
Where: Grand Canal Square
Open: Generally from 5pm - 11pm
The Stone LeafThis brand new restaurant opened its doors last week, and it has a killer outdoor terrace. With greenery lining the walls, hanging baskets teeming with flowers and astroturf underfoot, this is a great spot for a sunny afternoon.
I was there for the launch where, fortuitously, the sun was shining so fiercely that we were all hiding in the shade (that's some midday wisdom to be proud of). The burger is king here - try the marinated chicken option, served with incredible sweet potato fries.
Where: Leeson Street Lower
Open: The Gastro Bar & Terrace is open from 12pm - 3pm for lunch, from 5pm - 9pm Mon - Thurs, or until 10pm on Fri and Sat.
TonersSometimes you don't want an artisanal cocktail. You just want a cold pint, with condensation on the glass, and the buzz of a beer garden. This is when Toners comes up trumps - sure, it'll be busy as sin on a sunny day, but that just adds to the charm.
Where: Lower Baggot Street
Open: 'til late
The Dylan TerraceThe terrace at The Dylan is a dream on a sunny day. But the fact that you can book makes it a great choice for those adverse to queuing. Opt for the ultimate summer dish, a Carpaccio of Irish beef, and enjoy with a glass or two of icy cold rosé. There are some great sharing platters too, if you'd rather have a nibble of a few things.
Where: Eastmoreland Place
Open: Terrace menu from 3pm
Stephen's GreenWhen all else fails, grab a picnic from Fallon & Byrne (or an ice cream cone from Murphy's) and head to the green to soak up the sun. Sure, you won't have table service (or a table at all) but at least you'll out enjoying the glory of the summer sun.
Unless... shit. Is that rain?