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Andres Poveda

Planning a night out over Christmas? Club activist Andrea Horan ranks her top spots for festive cheer

Andrea Horan of Absolut’s Clubbing Council brings us through her suggestions for a good night out in Dublin over Christmas.

AS WE ENTER the traditionally busy festive period, our calendars are looking very busy as we try and balance meeting up with friends, sorting out everyone’s presents, and watching enough Christmas movies to feel that Christmas magic.

Some of the most memorable nights out of the year occur in the merry month of December, as we welcome back old friends from abroad and end the year with a bang. Sometimes planning these big nights out can be an enormous task, as pleasing everyone is a tough job. 

With that in mind, we caught up with Andrea Horan of Absolut’s Clubbing Council to run us through her top spots for a Christmas night out in Dublin.

Andrea is the founder of nail bar Tropical Popical, The Hunreal Issues, co-founder of No More Hotels, and is a familiar spokesperson at the forefront of clubbing in Dublin  Her local expertise is always welcome when planning a night out in Dublin. Whether you’re looking for a nice meal in town, or the best places to go after dark, Andrea gave us a superb list of recommendations for you to check out this Christmas. 

Initial drinks

To start, gather your friends for a few deserved pints. Andrea’s favourite places to start the night are all local haunts for her in Dublin 8.

“I love going to restaurants and having some food and then a few beverages. For pints in my neighbourhood, I’d go to All My Friends on Francis Street or Fallons, and Fallons do coddle which is stunning.” 

“If I was just going into town to have drinks, I’d probably go to Sidecar at The Westbury and have some boozy cocktails and pretend I’m fancy.”

Elsewhere in the city, old-school boozers such as The Long Hall and Kehoes are a great place to meet up with pals, and bring a real traditional feel to your Christmas pints.

For a gorgeous pub with a great selection of spirits, as well as the chance of dropping in on a trad session, The Palace Bar on Fleet Street is worth checking out, even just for the amazing Victorian stained-glass windows alone.

Food time

When it comes to organising your mates around a table for some food, Chinese restaurant Hang Dai is “fab for drinks and dinner before going out and bonus, it turns into a dancing spot itself as the night goes on,” according to Andrea.

HD_Gold-bar-2 Hang Dai Hang Dai

If you’re more into some boozy brunch fare rather than a dinner, The Well on Stephen’s Green offers a great central location for breakfast, and you can complete the day with a stroll down Grafton Street for some window shopping.

In a similar vein, Bow Lane Social Club is another option for a central brunch says Andrea. “Really interesting nights coming through here, and they run supper clubs and drag brunches with Davina.”

If being awake in time for brunch is not in your schedule this Christmas, L’Gueuleton is a great option for a meal that allows you to get a lie-in. “If you love Espresso Martinis, this is the one. Delicious food till the DJ comes on for an absolute bop,” says Andrea.

L'Gueuleton l'Gueuleton l'Gueuleton

On the tiles

After you’ve had your food and are in the mood for some drinks or a dance, Andrea also has some first-rate suggestions around Dublin.  

“If I was going out, I’d go to The George for a drag show, always a winner. They have a drag show on a Wednesday, Davina on a Thursday, and bingo on a Sunday so you’ve good choices there. Centre Point has good lineups, and as we don’t really have purpose-built clubs anymore it’s kind of a make-do situation, but obviously you have the likes Here & Now and Centre Point too. 

“I would follow more club nights that are operating in places rather than venues anymore because everyone’s just trying to figure out somewhere where they can let people dance.” 

Mother is a stalwart that you’re always guaranteed is on in the same venue, and is always going to be a buzz. So if there is any kind of spontaneity you have, you always have that because it’s always deadly.”

rhk-christmas-in-the-courtyard-dublin-venuesearch-4-1024x576 https: / /venuesearch.ie/christmas-in-the-courtyard-at-the-royal-hospital-kilmainham/ https: / /venuesearch.ie/christmas-in-the-courtyard-at-the-royal-hospital-kilmainham/ / /venuesearch.ie/christmas-in-the-courtyard-at-the-royal-hospital-kilmainham/

“There’s lot’s of once-off stuff like in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham there’s that big event space with drag shows and Bingo Logo on and there are so many once-off events at the moment, so it really is a case of having to see what’s on that particular night these days, but always count on Mother.” 

If you do head out in the city centre over the coming weeks, make sure to drink responsibly. 

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