You can go home again - your guide to life in Ireland à la Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander
When it comes to celebrity watching, there are few more joys than when two bonafide A-listers set up camp in Ireland.
When Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds moved here last year while she filmed The Rhythm Section around Dublin and Wicklow, there was a veritable parade of paparazzi shots of two of Hollywood's most influential actors on a regular basis. "The people are very warm and friendly and open and willing to chat about, you know, whatever. And when they ask you how you're doing, it's an actual question," Reynolds said of their time here earlier this week.
Now it's Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander's turn. This is less of a shock to the system due to the fact that Fassbender is Irish - from Killarney, Co Kerry, specifically - but his star power is no less impressive. He's been nominated for two Oscars, three Golden Globes and four BAFTAs and this time around, he's joined by his wife, who won her first Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2016.
The couple have set up camp in Dublin in recent weeks as Vikander dives headfirst into filming The Green Knight, a sci-fi epic filming in Tipperary and at Ardmore Studios in Wicklow, opposite Dev Patel and Barry Keoghan; which makes for a consistent feed of pictures and updates of this A-list pair's antics in the capital.
What to do
Alicia has visited our shores numerous times over the years in a personal capacity as Fassbender's long-term partner. She visited his family home in Kerry for the first time in 2016 when her husband was inducted into the Order of Innisfallen, the highest honour his hometown issues for being an extraordinary citizen.
“My dad has been there four times in his life and it’s actually one of his favorite places. I’ve grown up hearing about this beautiful place and I finally got the chance to go there last year. The coastline and the mountains are just stunning," Vikander told the Irish Sun in 2016. “So I was very happy to finally get the chance to travel around Kerry for the first time. It’s really nice and I feel quite at home in Ireland.”
This time around, she has been making the most of her time in Dublin and was spotted socialising earlier this month at Stephen's Green club 9 Below Ex Machina co-star Domhnall Gleeson, Patel, actor Joel Edgerton and girlfriend Christine Centenera, as well as Liam Cunningham and Love/Hate's Laurence Kinlan.
Where to stay
When it comes to long-term luxury in Dublin for visiting stars, there are two options: one is a luxury home rental and the other is a stay in either The Shelbourne, where Patel is holed up, or The Merrion, where Vikander is currently residing. The five-star hotel located in Merrion Square has hosted countless celebrities over the years including Cameron Diaz, Bruce Springsteen, Mark Wahlberg, Rihanna and former US president B ill Clinton.
There's only one entrance which means it's harder to make a discreet entrance or exit, but it makes up for it in opulence. On Saturday, Vikander was pictured using crutches as she made her way to her temporary digs after reportedly injuring herself on-set.
Where to eat
Since landing in Dublin, Fassbender and Vikander have been availing of a myriad dining options around the city, shunning the usual upscale options in favour of more down-to-earth choices. To ring in Fassbender's 42nd birthday, they dined at Shouk restaurant in Drumcondra, enjoying a quiet meal for the occasion. "They both seemed really relaxed and were enjoying their evening like any other normal couple," a source told us at the time.
While their Hollywood pals flew into town, they were pictured at Rosa Madre, the legendary Italian restaurant in Temple Bar. The eatery is considered one of the best Italian seafood restaurants in the city and if not for some gracious posing with staff, their visit would have gone entirely under the radar.