Toasties and wine at Dublin's Loose Canon were among "the stuff we daydreamed about in lockdown", says the influential travel magazine
"When I was in Dublin last, I went back four days in a row - half the time for the wine, the other half for the grilled cheese sandwiches."
So writes Meredith Carey in Conde Nast Traveller's Gold List for 2021, singling out Dublin's Loose Canon as one of the best bars and restaurants in the world to visit in 2021.
"It’s not much of a bar, per se, in that there are only about six stools and people are constantly coming in and out to buy cheese to take home with them," she continues.
"But the folks who work there are top notch, know their stuff, and are friendly to boot."
The Gold List is the iconic magazine's annual list of editors' "forever-favourite" hotels, flights, cruises, experiences and destinations around the world, and carries huge weight with travellers.
"This was the stuff we daydreamed about in lockdown, and a few places we were actually able to visit - all that sustained us in a year of curtailed travel," the magazine says.
Loose Canon ranks alongside other renowned bars and restaurants like the bo-ho Absintherie in Prague, The Prince rooftop bar in Tel Aviv and Yuji Ramen in Brooklyn, New York.
Wines are natural and toasties "a thing of beauty" at the small Drury Street space, as Katy McGuinness wrote in her Weekend Magazine restaurant review last year.
"Made on Le Levain bread and filled with cheese and other deliciousness that change daily, they might include felicitous combinations such as smoked mozzarella and Gubbeen chorizo, sobrasada (cured pork sausage from the Balearics) and washed rind cheese, and goat's cheese with beetroot crush."
As well as serving cheese, wine, charcuterie and toasties, the shop offers a click-and-collect hamper and gifts service.
Condé Nast's nod of approval is the latest international vote of confidence in an Irish tourism industry that has remained out-of-reach to overseas visitors throughout 2020.
Ashford Castle, Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg, Adare Manor and Dromoland Castle all featured in a list topped by the Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa in France.
Meanwhile, EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum was named 'Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction' at the World Travel Awards, with the Jameson Distillery, Bow Street ranked 'Europe's Leading Distillery Tour' and the Dublin Convention Centre winning 'Europe's Leading Meetings & Conference Centre' for the fourth year in a row.
You can read the full Condé Nast Traveller 2021 Gold List here.