Friday 20 July 2018

Anna Nolan: 'A glass of wine in a paper cup down by the canal will do for me'

The Marker Hotel is located at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin
The Marker Hotel is located at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin

I ended up sitting outside a pub on the Grand Canal recently, sipping some yummy chilled white wine.

The canal bank was packed with after workers, some drinking beers they had purchased in the local bar.

Others, like myself, were pouring the wine from a brown paper bag into an Insomnia paper cup.

Stay classy, Anna.

It was funny for me because I grew up in a house overlooking the canal down in Rialto. For me, the canal used to be a place where the rats swam, the swans rested and the kids played at the Suir Bridge.

But now it's oh so cosmopolitan. Outside eating and drinking in Dublin has changed so much since I was young. And I am not completely at ease with it.

My memories of al fresco dining as a child are of chip sambos on Bray beach, flasks of tea and custard creams on the cement walkway in Seapoint, and Loop De Loops sitting on a swing in St Stephen's Green.

We went as far as picnics up by the Hell Fire Club but the thought of eating outside brought fear into my seven-year-old heart.

Rain, flies, wine, sand, sunshine, other kids - it could all effect my enjoyment.

Today, you can have your fusilli all'amatriciana with your chianti while practically sitting on the road.

Any little place that sells even a packet of crisps now flings out a chair or two onto the path.

The more upmarket places have invested in those see-through plastic sheets, so that you feel like you are in a Tupperware box as you eat your grub.

As much as I love the fact that we now have the option to consume while inhaling the fumes, I still have the fear of outside eating.

I prefer to chew with a roof over my head. Yes, everything might taste better outside but I am an Irish girl.

Eating for me is better when there are no threats around.

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