If you’re are a bit of a city centre dweller and don’t tend to venture into the more suburban areas of Dublin, then you may have not heard of Ashton’s Gastropub.
Its location, though perfectly picturesque, is not the easiest to trek to without a car. It sits right next to the river Dodder in Clonskeagh, and looks like a pub you’d see in a storybook.
White with slate & gold accents, bright colored flowers dripping from every ledge, warm and welcoming vibes pretty much wafting out the door.
It appears quaint and cosy, somewhere you’d be happy to hide away in the winter with a hot meal and pint of Guinness.
Upon walking in this assumption is confirmed, as Ashton’s does immediately look wonderfully snug. But continue through the bar and you’ll suddenly realise three things - first, this place is absolutely massive. Significantly bigger than you’d ever imagine it to be from the outside.
Second, it’s beautifully decorated. It has all the mannerisms of a traditional Dublin pub, with a plush twist. Every corner of Ashton’s has beautiful little nooks that you would be happy to snap for Instagram.
The third and most wonderful realization is that Ashton’s has not one, but TWO lush outdoor terraces. Upon inspection it’s clear that both terraces have been well thought out and could easily be in the running for the nicest in Dublin.
The top terrace is smaller and shady, surrounded by breezy willows and crafted from a lovely dark wood. The tables along the edge allow for the sun to peek through and provide a beautiful light, without ever having to directly face the sun.
The bottom terrace is much larger, in a big, bright, sunny space right next to the river with lots of seating options and some lovely lights strung up for when the evenings get shorter.
My date and I decided to have our meal on the top terrace on this particular occasion. We popped in for lunch and were surprised to see that along with their salads & sandwiches they offer a carvery buffet from 12pm every week day.
Though I wasn’t particularly keen on a hot lunch in the 27 degree weather, my date was all for it.
For €10, you’re offered a variety of traditional roast options, including fried potatoes, potato gratin, turkey, pork, stuffing, shredded cabbage and veg. My date loaded up his plate so that we could get a taste of everything.
Though we found the fried potatoes disappointing (very dry, flavourless) everything else was delectable. Unexpectedly, the potato gratin and the cabbage stole the show. Cabbage is a HARD thing to make taste delicious and desirable, and they orchestrated it perfectly.
The gravy was a bit thin for our liking but still flavourful, the meat was perfectly cooked, the stuffing and veg both lovely. An excellent option for those who love a carvery.
I on the other hand was craving a more fresh, summery option, so I went for their Smoked Salmon Salad (€11) and the Club Sandwich (€10).
The salad consists of flavourful thin cuts of smoked salmon, topped with mixed leaf salad, capers, spiced golden beetroot & a tangy citrus dressing. Let me tell you, it was love at first sight.
I personally adore a beautifully presented dish and this one was really, really gorgeous. It looked like something you’d see in a Los Angeles brasserie. I’m thrilled to announce that it tasted just as good as it looked. So fresh, so light, everything was spectacularly paired. A perfect summer dish and surprisingly filling for what you get.
Now, a club sandwich isn’t something I’d normally order, but the bartender insisted it was the best on the menu. The club has all the traditional elements of a normal club yet was somehow phenomenal.
Despite being served on ciabatta bread and stuffed with savoury crispy bacon it wasn’t disgustingly heavy. It came served with chips that, again, also looked plain and normal but went above and beyond in my expectations. 10/10 would order again.
In case anyone needed a reminder, Dublin is having one of it’s nicest summers in years, so terraces are a hot commodity.
Everyone in town flocks to the same few places for their terrace fix, typically to find them completely overrun.
Ashton’s terraces are an incredible place for lazy summer meals and drinks without the crowds.
Here’s the best part: if you don’t have a BBQ at home but are dying to host a shindig, Ashton’s has got your back. You can rent out one of their terraces and throw a BBQ for you and all your friends!
Great food, incredible ambiance, lovely hospitality and one of the nicest outdoor spaces a Dublin pub can offer - what more could you possibly want?