My daughter went through a lot during lockdown. Like most of us, she lost contact with all her extended family and friends, and then overnight, there was no more Montessori.
It is confusing enough for an adult but for a two-year-old it was very stressful. To make matters worse for her little mind, a baby brother arrived on the scene, and he wasn’t a quiet little doll she could play with. Late-night screaming and feeds didn’t fit into her world. My heart broke for her and I mentally promised her the best day out as soon as we could. I didn’t think it would be almost 18 months later. But enough about that.
She always seems to have the best fun when we visit The Shelbourne, so I decided to organise a ladies lunch there.
We started the day full of excitement and spent a good 60 minutes choosing the right dress, headband, shoes, and jacket for an outfit for a princess. From there, we took an exciting taxi ride to St Stephens Green where I surprised her with ice cream on board a horse and cart ride.
This was a truly magical addition to the day and at €40 it was worth splashing out. After all, she had missed two birthday parties with family at this stage. The horse and cart brought us around the green for 20 minutes before dropping us at the Shelbourne Hotel. I can’t tell you how excited she was.
The hotel didn’t disappoint this little princess. The doors were opened for us and in she strolled, almost like she was actually in her own personal palace. She stopped to smell the gorgeous flower display and wanted a photo there for her teddy.
After that, we made our way up the staircase to the outdoor terrace area. This is a relaxed little courtyard with a view of the sky. It’s a real treat on a sunny day or on a cold one as it has outdoor fires and umbrellas to ward off the rain.
The staff made a huge fuss over her. Her delight at everything was elevated when she saw her aunt and a friend sitting there waiting at the table. The waitress suggested a princess cocktail for Ali and a glass of prosecco for me – heaven indeed.
The visit to the Shelbourne Hotel was during the recent heatwave so we decided on lunch over afternoon tea. The menu was absolutely divine. We settled on a shared seafood platter of mussels, whiskey cured salmon, Liscannor crab, Dublin Bay prawns and Guinness bread followed by a Knocklara salad.
We ordered the chicken goujons from the kid’s menu and it was simply delicious. Afterward, we had cake and a cheeseboard and went on a tour of madams castle for some more photos.
She was so impressed with the hotel that I was told (quite firmly) that we should tell Dad and her brother to get ready to ‘move in here’ on our arrival home. I fear I have given her the 5-star hotel experience too early on in life!