Dispatches from Dublin: Le Cool Experience

Contributor post by Emily Westbrooks of From China Village

Icon Factory Artist Co-operative, Dublin

Hello again, Poppytalk readers! I'm back with another Dispatch from Dublin.

While most of North America was enjoying that heat wave a few weeks ago, Dublin got a dose of early summer as well. In the breezy sunshine, I had a chance to take a walking tour I'd been meaning to take for months.

You may have heard of the Le Cool guides to various European cities. You can visit their website or subscribe by email for your city and get a weekly email about art, design and culture happenings around that city. I love when the Le Cool Dublin guide hits my inbox because it's always a great roundup of under-the-radar happenings around the city.

Through their guide and a few pieces in local papers, I had heard good things about Le Cool Dublin's walking tours, called Le Cool Experience. When the new series of dates was posted on their website, I signed myself up. The tours cost 15 euro each and they notify you by email the night before the tour where you'll meet your guide.

Samuel Beckett Bridge

We met at the new Samuel Beckett Bridge and walked east toward Dublin port and then back along the River Liffey toward the City Centre. Our tour started with a welcome and introduction from our tour guide, Michael, who told us a little about the bridge's architect before leading us on a rambling walk around the City Centre.

Aoife Walsh, editor and publisher of the South Circular,

One of the features of the Le Cool Dublin tours is to introduce participants to locals involved in the art or culture scene. Stopped along the Liffey, Michael introduced us to Aoife Walsh, editor and publisher of the South Circular, a new e-journal of short stories from emerging, Dublin based authors. Aoife talked a little about the process of putting together the South Circular and then read to us one of the stories from the first edition.

Icon Factory Artist Co-operative

Each tour is unique; a previous tour visited a letterpress studio and heard a talk from a local coffee shop owner. Our tour involved an impromptu stop at the Icon Factory Artist Co-operative, a chat with a local tailor, and a visit to one of Dublin's oldest barbershops. And along the way, Michael shared little snippets of information about the city and various projects and initiatives going on in the design world.


The tours last about two hours, but you get the feeling Michael wouldn't mind wandering around the city with you for hours, just chatting away.

If you're thinking of visiting Dublin and you know the typical literary or historical walking tours won't be your cup of tea, I would give a Le Cool Dublin tour a try. Just be prepared for a little improvisation - the best parts of our tour weren't even planned!

More pictures after the jump!



Waldorf Barbershop




Emily Westbrooks is a Dublin-based creative and travel writer, artist and blogger. Raised and educated in Maine, Emily married an Irishman and moved to Dublin in 2008. She lives with her husband, Michael, on the northside of Dublin. Originally planning only to stay for a year, she now calls Dublin home. She loves exploring Dublin, adventuring through the hills of Ireland, and traveling around Europe,. And she really loves to write about her adventures, which she shares over on From China Village. She's passionate about design, and can't wait to change your perception of Irish craft and design.

Jan Halvarson


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Unknown said...

what a great tour. inspired to check it out myself. :) thanks for sharing and also the Le Cool concept is really awesome