The Irish capital is pitching itself as the new Paris. We sent FHM writer Jordan Waller to sample the romance… on his own.
Travel : British Airways offers return flights from £140 while ferries cost around £69.
Stay : A double room at The Westbury Hotel starts at €230 (approx £103).
Drink : A pint of Guinness will set you back €5-6 (£4.70).
Romantic suite for one
“Walking into The Westbury Hotel, you’ll be bowled over by top-hatted doormen, four poster beds scattered with rose petals and a carpet so lush it hugs your feet. I can’t imagine a sexier setting that doesn’t exist outside a Mills & Boon novel. It’s like Pretty Woman. The same thought (but different sentiment) probably also runs through the minds of the front desk when I explain that there isn’t a Mrs Waller sharing my magnum of Champagne because I’m here solo.”
Prices start at €230 for one night, breakfast included
Gorge on poetry and food
“The Winding Stair (named after the Yeats poem) is an old bookshop downstairs, but upstairs it’s the type of eatery that couples suggest to their other loved-up pals over Sunday brunch. Though the patrons were a nice bunch; I got many a sympathetic nod as I was sat on my own with a newspaper.”
Get a cut throat shave in a man cave
“If you want to make yourself feel a little bit better about being alone, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Grafton Street Barbers. Billed as the ‘barbers to gentlemen and their sons’, they’ve tidied the crops of celebrities such as Morgan Freeman, Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp. And afterwards, they’ll thrust a cigar and brandy into your hand like you’re an Irish Don Draper.”
Prices start at €18 for a dry cut
Sink a Guinness
“Before you reach Ireland, every man and his Irish uncle will say you’ve never tasted the black stuff properly until you’ve done it on the Emerald Isle. Downing a solitary pint in a pub straight out of Angela’s Ashes is a poetic man moment every guy should have. I drink five and consider going back to the bridge.”
Seduce your stomach
“Walking distance from the centre of Dublin, the Balfes restaurant is a seductively candlelit treat offering modern takes on Irish grub. I went for the veal, which apparently sells out quicker than red roses on Valentine’s Day. But I’m a strong, independent man; I don’t need to worry about things as trivial as love holidays. Oh no, just give me the veal. My single portion of veal.”
Get down on one knee at the Ha’penny Bridge
“The sun is slowly sinking into the River Liffey, Irish accents are drifting from nearby restaurants and there’s a bridge glistening with padlocks left as tokens of undying love,” says Jordan. “This is truly romantic. Even on my own with couples around me, I feel compelled to run through my ideal marriage proposal aloud to myself.”
James Joyce, author of the Irish epic Ulysses and one of the most influential Irish writers ever.
Say: “You are my only love. I know and feel that if I am to write anything fine and noble in the future I shall do so only by listening at the doors of your heart.”
She’ll think: You’re like a wordy version of Ryan Gosling.
Oscar Wilde, the Dublin poet renowned for his wit.
Say: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
She’ll think: You’re a kind of funny but selfish lothario.
Bram Stoker, the gloomy author who brought us Count Dracula and, as a by-product, Twilight.
Say: “I have crossed oceans of time to find you.”
She’ll think: You’re a vampire.