The luck of the Irish & my top 5 places not to miss if your visiting Dublin

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Just over a year ago I became a proud fiancee to a beautiful human being who truly put his heart and soul into his proposal therefore it would only be rude not to share it with you all and how I felt becoming a bride-to-be after 5 incredible years together.


In September 2014, Jason and I had been planning to go away for a long weekend trip to Dublin with my parents and sister who was joining us later in the weekend and during the time leading up to the trip we’d been reminiscing over our last visit to the city when Jason had planned a surprise trip for my 21st Birthday. We had arrived in Dublin on the Thursday evening and spent the next day getting to grips with our itinerary, mostly shopping and experiencing the live music both buskers and scheduled bands around Temple bar. The night drew to a close and Jason and I decided to stay out a little later as my parents made their way back to the hotel and during this time we entered a four floor live music bar where we were greeted with drinks on the house and LARGE sambuca shots. Before I knew it we were talking about our relationship together and how we felt being back in Dublin after the last trip here which has got to have been one of our favourite spontaneous trips together and one that would be hard to top, until now. We had decided to head back to the hotel and made our way towards the Luis line whereby Jason began to talk to everyone we passed along the way confessing how much he loved me and trying to make general chit-chat amongst some that didn’t want to know and others that were almost as tipsy as himself fully engaging in his conversation. My thoughts at this moment – ‘classic Jason’, he has always been a people person and very confident in himself therefore this was by no means acting out of character for him which I am only guessing helped maintain his secret of hiding a ring box safely tucked away in his coat pocket and me remaining completely oblivious. Before bed he had made a suggestion that the following day we spent time alone re-visiting some of our favourite spots of the city and without hesitation I happily agreed.

I woke on Saturday 26th September and began running through the order of the day, which to my surprise was not needed as Jason had already organised our activities until we had arranged to meet my parents for a traditional Irish show later that evening. He took me to Phoenix Park, also known as ‘Dublin’s playground’ where you can always guarantee a close encounter with wildlife and thats if you don’t decide to visit Dublin Zoo which is a major tourist attraction for those visiting the park. The afternoon couldn’t have been more perfect after grabbing ice creams and hiring two push bikes to ensure we got to view as much of the park as possible. The evening was also just as enjoyable as we polished off a 3 course meal and watched traditional Irish singing and dancing before deciding to head to the bar for a night cap. For anyone that has been to Dublin, you will understand that the night is young and the atmosphere once the sun has set is musically and magically captivating making you want to experience it for as long as you possibly can and Jason’s intentions were clearly supportive of that fact. After a drink or two, I’d taken a trip to the ladies when on my return Jason had told me we were going for an evening walk whilst my parents went to greet my sister.

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We walked for around 40 minutes, stopping to listen to buskers and watching the evening street entertainment whilst sharing conversation, trying to put the world to right’s in our own little version before heading over to the famous Ha’Penny bridge when half way across Jason had stopped and pulled out our camera before asking a passer by if they would mind taking a picture of us together. Little did I know that the moment when I stood and posed for the shot, it would the last few seconds before becoming engaged. Jason dropped to one knee and pulled out a small square box from his pocket, opened it and before my eyes I saw this sparkling ring suddenly fall to the floor. My eyes filled with tears and my hands met my face to try and take in this moment whilst the whole time Jason searched around my feet to try and find where the ring had fallen, only inches away from the edge of the bridge. The next I remember, i’d wiped my eyes to see he’d resumed his position and said “Ashleigh, after 5 years together I want to ask you one thing, will you marry me?“. I paused, cried again and then he asked for an answer. I couldn’t speak but held out my left hand as he placed this beautiful halo diamond ring onto my finger, stood, kissed my forehead and thanked the passer by who was still holding our camera. Turn’s out Jason had set the mode to record and now I will forever have video footage to look back on at what has been the most amazing day of my life so far. The feeling truly was overwhelming and quite unexplainable so I couldn’t have been happier and to top the surprise he’d managed to ask both my mum and dads permission during the trip. Here’s to the true gents of this world.

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For anyone who may be considering a trip to this fine city, here are my top 5 personal favourite places not to miss during your time in Dublin:

  1. The Porterhouse Brewery Company (A live music bar spread over four floors, where you’ll find any drink except Guinness) – http://www.theporterhouse.ie/
  2. Phoenix Park (Be sure to get a glimpse of the wild deer roaming freely within the park) – http://www.phoenixpark.ie/
  3. Cafe Seine (A quirky and beautiful little spot for lunch or an Irish coffee, perfect for couples, girly catch-ups or those with an eye for interior design) – http://www.cafeenseine.ie/
  4. Oliver St John Gogarty at Temple Bar (The most traditional Irish bar – loud & live music, rugby shirts, beers on tap and good pub grub) – http://www.gogartys.ie/
  5. Dax (For the fine diner, Dax has been voted the best restaurant in Dublin, 2014 and serves a mixture of Irish and French cuisine) – http://www.dax.ie/restaurant/

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