When I first moved to Dublin in the summer of 2017, Bewley’s was a place held in high regard by the people of the capital.
It was being revamped and when it opened up again, it was going to be mega and draw crowds like you’ve never seen before.
I didn’t understand the hype. It was just another tall building in the middle of Grafton Street, what makes it different to any other place that serves tea, coffee and food?
The name above the door?
Although I couldn’t understand the whispers that surrounded its opening, I still couldn’t wait to see what it looked like inside.
My sister and I went for a tea on the opening day, just to have a look, and it was the longest I have ever waited to consume a hot drink in my whole life.
I’m a big lover of my full Irishs, mostly after a night out on the beer, I feel it’s the only thing that can get me through a banging hangover and that can combat the multiple pints of Guinness which float around the belly.
My once upon a time flat stomach probably doesn’t thank me for all these full breakfasts and several pints, however.
I read somewhere at the start of the year that getting a breakfast in Bewley’s would cost nearer to €20 than it would to €10.
I waited until myself and herself were out one Friday night two weeks ago in the capital to put it to the test…
— Bewley’s Ireland (@BewleysIreland) April 20, 2018
I want to start off by saying that this isn’t a review to slate Bewley’s on Grafton Street. From my experience, the staff are great and the food is equally as good.
But I can’t get around paying €13.50 for a fry and then having to part with an extra three euro for a pot of tea/one coffee.
Call it greed, call it me being a savage when I’m hungover and hungry, but in my mind for €13.50, food should be falling off your plate. You shouldn’t be able to stand up after eating for that price, you should be helping each other roll out the door.
We both got the Bewley’s Breakfast – two sausages and rashers, pudding, one black and one white, eggs and a tomato, (I, without fail, will always pass my tomatoes on to herself, can’t stand them) served with toast.
And don’t get me wrong, we both devoured it
Is there not some rule of thumb, however, that suggests that if you get a breakfast, tea and coffee comes with it? If you’re forking out money for food, especially this much, I’d expect them to come free with it.
We assumed this was the case but as the saying goes, ‘never assume, it makes an ass out of me and you’.
A pot of tea and an americano were plonked down beside us as we shared vows about ‘never drinking again’.
We were taken aback that the bill came to €33 in total – when we had expected it to be just the price of the fry as seen on the menu.
Compare it to my local breakfast spot in Terenure – The Village Bistro. You get two sausages, two rashers, two of each pudding, a hash brown, more toast than you can imagine and a tomato slice plus an orange juice and tea/coffee for €10.
And for €12.50 in the same spot, you get all of that along with beans, mushrooms and chips.
That’s one euro less than Bewley’s before you take the drinks into consideration.
As I said before, this is not a direct attack at Bewley’s. I’m an avid tea drinker (I’m talking cups and cups of tea, especially if I am idle) and their tea is the business. I’ve landed at their door since looking for Hot Chocolate and Tea and have never been disappointed.
And the thing is, herself and myself love paying for an extra, tea/coffee after our breakfasts that aren’t included in the fry – just to relax for another ten minutes and digest the details of the night out that we are currently recovering from.
If the Bewley’s fry had been cheaper (or even if the original teas and coffees came with it), there’s a good chance we would have hung around for the second cups.
But that wasn’t going to happen that morning. That would have meant parting with almost €40 and if that was the case, we could have gotten 2 breakfasts each in our local just a mile down the road.
The Breakfast is good, and I wouldn’t insult them by saying it’s not €16.50 good, that would be the wrong wording.
It’s not €16.50-worthy.
And I felt bad as we exited, because, there was a long queue of people as we were leaving who would have gladly taken our table if 40 minutes early, we had seen the menu and just said, ‘no thanks’ and left.
Maybe the price of the fry wasn’t the problem. Maybe I’m not Bewley’s Breakfast worthy. I wasn’t there for the original café, maybe I just don’t get it.
It is, however, obvious to see that Grafton Street wasn’t Grafton Street until Bewley’s reopened and with the crowd of people that go there each day, it’s a given that it’ll always be a huge part of that strip of Dublin until it decides to close its door again, if it ever does.