After Hours

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The Independent Culture
Dublin is the best bar city in the world - and walking between them you can combine a serious amount of exercise with getting pissed.

But there are other things, such as set dancing at O'Shea's Hotel, 19 Talbot St, Dublin 1 (010-353-1-836 5665), which is a craze at the moment. You learn the steps in about 20 minutes and it's brilliant fun; the people are nutcases.

There's a great acoustic music scene at the moment - the city's recovered from post-U2 trauma. Tuesday nights upstairs at the International Bar, 23 Wicklow St, Dublin 2 (010- 353-1-677 9250) are hosted by Dave Murphy, a great Dubliner who should really be a classical pianist. Singer-songwriters get up, and it's real fun, not like an English folk club.

For a mellow meal I go to Stoneybatter to Ta Se Mohogani Gaspipes, 17 Manor St, Dublin 7 (010-353-1-679 8138). They love their jazz, and have real quality musicians live at the weekends. Roy and Diana do the cooking, everything from Szechuan to ribs and beautiful vegetarian pastas. It's about pounds 40-50 for a serious evening, but you could eat for pounds 20.

In New York I go to Sin-E, 122 St Mark's Place, NY 10009 (0101-212-982 0370). It means 'That's It' and it was started by Shane Doyle. He came to New York with dollars 200, bought a cappuccino machine and was away. Check out Emer at the bar. It's a lovely place, and all the young Irish go there, but when the music gets too earnest, you can go two doors down to his other place, Anseo, 126 St Mark's Place (0101- 212-473 9734) which means 'Here'. There's just drink - no food and absolutely no music or TV. It's made purely for conversation.

Irish singer / songwriter Luka Bloom's new album 'Turf' is out on 13 June on Reprise

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