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Lunchbox: Wynn s Hotel

35 - 39 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1 Tel: 018745131 ***

There are certain places that refuse to serve chips and there are others that customarily serve several types of potatoes with your dish. Wynn's Hotel is very definitely the latter. Housed in a listed building and on the go since 1845, Wynn's is its own type of institution. To cross its threshold is to enter a time and space tardis, and you are transported to a posh Roscommon hotel in the 1950s.

The Cost: €11.95 for plaice fillet with vegetables.

The Look: There is a formal dining room, The Playwright, which offers a three-course lunch with tea or coffee for €25, and you can also have a lighter menu in The Saint and Scholars Lounge. Well, when I say lighter ...

The Goods: This is still old-school carvery. There are a choice of five main dishes, the likes of roast prime rib of Irish beef, collar of bacon and roast crown of turkey. And everything is served with various boiled veg and spud variations.

The Bad: It is far from cheap and you'd think there would be table service at these prices.

The Result: But they are very generous servings. My large plate is overflowing with a huge piece of fish, lots of boiled carrots and shredded cabbage, mashed potatoes and roast potatoes; it is exhausting to look at let alone eat, but all very comforting. The lounge is extremely full and it has been a while since I've been the youngest person by a good 30 years at lunch. Someone actually calls me 'a lovely girl' when I offer to carry their tray, and it's been an even longer time since that's happened, I can tell you.

Sophie Gorman

Irish Independent