A closer look at Dublin’s neighbourhoods
Dundrum, home of the Ugg boot cult. When Dundrum Town Centre opened, Saturdays consisted of girls in Ugg boots shopping in groups of tens or twenties. Thankfully they seem to have outgrown this phase – and possibly their boots too.
It certainly doesn’t feel like eleven years ago that Dundrum Town Centre opened. But then again I barely remember it before the shopping centre. Living across from the centre, as I did until recently, had its benefits. Sitting out at the fountains on a sunny day with a frozen yogurt from Mooch and music playing from the speakers feels like being in a theme park on holiday. Many times I’ve made a ‘quick dash’ to Tesco for milk and ended up coming home with a Zara bag, shoes and dress to my flat mates – who complained that they wanted their tea two hours ago. This could be the benefit of living in Dundrum or the root of all my spending problems but it’s probably a bit of both!
Although the shopping centre is great, there’s a lot more to Dundrum than credit cards and shopping bags. Dundrum has not lost its village charm. My favourite shop, Moss Cottage, can be found on Dundrum’s main street in a little red brick cottage. Cloud cut-outs decorate the windows and pink umbrellas hang on the door. It’s full of quirky gifts, beautiful stationery and wedding décor. As a designer I could spend hours in there rummaging through the paints, stationery and graphic posters. They stock some Irish brands such as Clean Slat candles and Dusty Boy stationery which makes me feel even happier about my purchase because I’m supporting local businesses.
When the hectic life of shopping and socialising gets too much, stroll up the road to Airfield Estate, a working farm with food and ornamental gardens. Here you can escape the hectic city buzz and feel a little bit closer to nature. Airfield is the sanctuary of this thriving town. The colourful gardens are beautiful for a roam around, with little chalk boards plotted around the place displaying quirky facts about the gardens. It’s the little details like this that make the place so special. It’s great for children and offers an opportunity to learn about food and farming with activity days and workshops. It has a local artisan and crafty feel, not a tourist attraction one. In the buildings and outhouses there are old cars on display, play areas for children, a woodland walk and a working farm yard with animals. You can even grab a bite to eat (or in my case a giant slice of cake) in Overends Restaurant. It’s a real farm-to-fork experience and not to be missed when visiting Dundrum.
Although Dundrum still has a lot of its locals, the recent surge of the urban sprawl is making this town younger. Beyond the newer apartments blocks its beautiful residential housing estates are slowly filling up with young professionals and students. The rent prices are not as insane as the city centre and you still get to live the city life in this urban development. While people are scrambling to live in Rathmines and Ranelagh, Dundrum feels like city living at lower cost – and you can beat the LUAS crowds by actually fitting on at Balally.
I moved out of my apartment in Dundrum last week. I’ll definitely miss the city/suburb vibe. Hopefully my over-spending on clothes and shoes has come to an end. But I will definitely be back to buy and admire the stationary in Moss and sit at the fountains with a frozen yogurt.