Cinemas don't have to be about overpriced snacks, and stained seats. A few lovely cinemas are after cropping up in Dublin over the past decade, and the Lighthouse happens to have a very nice café as part of the package...
What am I drinking?
A chai latte
Where am I drinking it?
The Lighthouse Cinema, the venue responsible for revolutionising how we approach film snacks, with their fantastic café of hot drinks and grown-up eatables. As well as the novelty of being able to take reasonably-priced coffee and tea (as well as delicious cakes) into the screens with you, the café spaces upstairs and downstairs – though a little dark – are great spots to relax and hang out and play a few of the thoughtfully-provided boardgames before the film starts. It makes you want to get there plenty early, and hang out afterwards.
What does it taste like?
Perhaps a little surprisingly for a cinema, the Lighthouse does one of the best chai lattes around. It’s smoky and spicy with just the right amount of sweetness and lashings of cinnamon, and the baristas always seem to manage to get the perfect stiff frothy milk. I can’t recommend it highly enough for a bit of late night movie-watching.
What does it look like?
Foamy milk thick enough to balance your brownie on. It comes in a take-away cup for bringing into the screen so not much they could do with presentation, but it still looks really appealing.
Where does it come from?
Chai is a Pakistani invention. The word itself comes from the Chinese for tea, cha: the spicy version with steamed milk is properly known as masala chai, to differentiate between it and just plain tea. Consisting of strong black tea such as Assam mixed with spices such as cardamom, cloves, ginger and pepper, a Western chai latte usually uses a ground tea-and-spice mix.
What effect does it have?
The sweetness and creaminess of this chai latte feels really decadent, a real late-evening treat.
Where can I get it?
Almost every café in town has a chai latte – the best ones are served with good, well-steamed milk.
Is it worth the try?
A chai latte is a much better accompaniment to a good film than dry popcorn or overpriced and nasty nachos. It’s even better when paired with something chocolatey though, so treat yo'self!