The Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin: The Very Definition of Elegant Escapism

There’s a story Jimmy often recounts. Jimmy – who is Russell’s Dad, by the way – describes how in his youth, 40 or 50 years ago, he worked as a commis chef in The Shelbourne Hotel. It was then, as it is now, the height of elegance when it came to hospitality. The kitchen was always iconic in the hotel, which beautifully overlooks St. Stephen’s Green. But the pastry work, in particular, was heralded. The pastry chef there at the time was a man named Alan Gleeson. With our love of food, you might imagine the story would continue with Jimmy later working his way up through famed kitchens forevermore, but after a number of other jobs, Jimmy spent the remainder of his working life as a Dublin Bus driver. Years after leaving the Shelbourne, when Russell’s parents were getting married back in 1981, Jimmy tracked down Alan who had moved to one of the Dublin Airport hotels, where the Maldron is now and, a long story short, he had asked Chef Gleeson to make their wedding cake.

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