A collection of the people, places and things I love.
The Garden Terrace at The Merrion Hotel
When the sun is out, I couldn't think of a nicer place to have. morning meeting than the Garden Terrace of The Merrion Hotel. Just beyond the hotel's grand drawing room, the Terrace is a beautifully planned and planted and hugely Instagrammable space, certainly the most elegant private garden space within the city. The Merrion is my favourite hotel in Dublin but it's not often I can enjoy its garden, so when weather permits, I am first to arrive, looking for my latte.
Sage-green painted trellis and huge stone planters give the terrace a chic Provence feel, and generous tables which seat four or six, are shaded by huge white parasols, so you have a proper breakfast or conduct a very civilised meeting over coffee and pastries, or have lunch or afternoon tea. Beside the reflective black pool, and against the creeper-clad walls of the hotel, there are smaller tables for two or three.
At aperitif time, after a busy day, I have been known to enjoy a chilled glass of bubbly with friends, lingering long after the sun has set. The service? That great Merrion easy, gracious hospitality, rather than fussy, formal hovering.
Living on Merrion Square, I don't have a garden of my own but if I did, I would like it to look like this one. Neat box hedges line the formal beds which contain mature trees underplanted with a profusion of lavender, salvia and fragrant white roses. Huge ferns and foxgloves flourish in the half-shade. It's chic and romantic, ordered but not overly so.