With last month’s official opening of the new Aviva stadium on Lansdowne Road in Dublin and the impending return of rugby to its hallowed grounds, I thought it was time to spill my favourite pre-rugby match secret: breakfast at Ariel House.
Officially the closest hotel to the stadium, Ariel House is a cosy little boutique hotel known to a select group of avid rugby-insiders as the place for a pre-match breakfast.
The hotel’s breakfast chef, Rose, an award-winning porridge maker and something of a Lansdowne Road institution, whips up various goodies – from my favourite honey and walnut porridge to freshly-baked brown bread, homemade jam and, of course, a full Irish breakfast, all served in the hotel’s antique-furnished dining room overlooking the stadium. Or, if you ask, she’ll make you a breakfast to go, or “breakfast in a bag”, as she calls it (very popular with late risers making a dash to the stadium).
My Irish, rugby-mad grandfather was such a fan of Ariel House and of Rose’s porridge that, when he passed away, he left the hotel’s owners a treasured, delicately-carved 18th-century sideboard (previously owned by his father, and grandfather before that), upon which you will now find an assortment of Rose’s delicious, freshly-baked creations.
Breakfast from around €10. Rooms from €69, including breakfast.