When I stumbled upon Eventbrite - a great place to find, create and manage events (and also a platform where I save my must-go events before I forget about them) - I was excited to contribute to their Hometown Hunt project, which asked me to share/suggest my favourite spot or event in Dublin. Hence, I accepted the challenge and picked one of this city's best kept secrets. Mind you, nobody paid me to sugarcoat my personal experience, what you see is what you get. I had the opportunity to go on a canal cruise for the first time ever in Dublin and let me tell you, it was a Wes Anderson-looking dream come true kind of experience! The moment I stepped into that lovely barge I knew I was in for a treat. La Peniche is a charming floating restaurant where one would find a fusion between French-inspired cuisine and some good old Irish grub, also offering evening cruises - and if it's a sunny day, you can pig out and drink gallons of Sauvignon Blanc on deck. There's a distinctive Titanic-meets-houseboat vibe once you sit down and enjoy your boat ride from your velvet seat, while the captain speaks.
Regarding the menu... You're probably wondering where are the bloody food pics. I couldn't even think about neglecting my meal for a second and fetch my camera to snap a few food shots. Sorry! You will have to imagine, I suppose. So, I had a duck & brandy paté with quince jelly, which was scrumptious, to say the least, but the cheese and charcuterie platter stole the show. Starters were definitely an early climax. Main course was meh: beef bourguignon with more mushrooms than meat didn't really meet my expectations but hey, it can't all be perfect, and I'm not even a big stew lover anyway. The dessert made up for it though - delicious Baileys cheesecake with raspberry coulis. You can't go wrong with that. The ultimate winner, however, was the yummy crusty bread, straight out of the oven. Never underestimate the power of bread and butter.
The atmosphere was cosy and the ambience romantic and not too over-the-top-fancy. Dining afloat sounds like fun, huh? If you're looking for something different, unique, special or just an evening to remember, you can make it a memorable dining experience on the Grand Canal - and you will surely impress/surprise your date, if that's the case. The restaurant is on the barge MV Riasc (riasc means marsh in Irish), moored on the Grand Canal alongside Mespil Road. And yes, they accept credit card.