7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
The Grafton Street area boasts all the high street names you would expect - Marks and Spencer, Jigsaw, Oasis, Reiss, Warehouse - but gravitate towards the Temple Bar Area, via South Great George's Street, for more quirky independent boutiques and vintage stores. Costume on Castle Market is expensive but exclusive and is located beside one of the most popular second hand stores Harlequin. For elevenses, the Italian patisserie La Maison Gourmet next door is foodie heaven - you can always work it off in the disco later!
The Northside of the Liffey is more bargain friendly than Grafton Street and it's main strip, Henry Street, offers just as much to the discerning shopper as it's posher cousin. The bustling Epicurean Centre, a stones throw from the Ha'Penny Bridge, is the perfect place for lunch with stalls from around the globe. Itsa Bagel and The C Bar are two local favourites and any queue is worth the wait. You more than deserve a pint at this point, especially if you've been landed with the shopping bags. The Temple Bar in - where else - Temple Bar is a good place to soak up the atmosphere in Dublin's cultural quarter but wander towards the Baggot Street area if you want a side order of rugby with your Guinness. The list is endless. Doheny and Nesbitt's, O'Donoghues, Toner's, The Baggot Inn, Maguires. Getting closer to the stadium you could pop into The Lansdowne Hotel, Searson's or the Waterloo, all lively houses with a sporting atmosphere on rugby weekends.
Whether you want to splash out or keep a tighter hold on the purse strings, Dublin offers a tantalizing range of options for eating out. For more expensive fare, Frere Jacques on Dame Street or the two star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud will fit in with the French theme of the weekend while more budget conscious choices include Mao on Chatham Street, Del Pino on Parliament Street, the Ely Wine Bar on Ely Place and Kitty's Caboodle on Baggot Street.
But it's not all shopping, drinking and eating. Historically and culturally Dublin can hold it's head up with most other European capitals. If you don't have much time, a stroll through Trinity College to view the Book of Kells should satisfy even the most ardent culture vulture while the hop on- hop off bus tours are brilliant value. And you can't truly say you have visited Dublin without a trip to the Gravity Bar at Guinness Brewery.
Breathtaking panoramic views of the city make this the best place in town to sip a glass of Guinness and make that difficult decision about what to do next.
By Roisin Ingle (The Irish Times)