Travelling With Ryan Tubridy
Affectionately known as Tubs, Ryan is one of Ireland’s most successful broadcasters; host of the well known chat show, Late Late Show, and the weekday morning show, Tubridy, on RTÉ. He says he’s not travelled much, but during the course of our conversation, he reeled off plenty of destinations he’s visited over the years.
However, it’s clear that his heart remains in Ireland, particularly Galway, one of Ireland’s most scenic counties. I have to agree, having travelled Ireland so much over the past few years, I marvel at the beauty we have right here on our doorstep.
Let me pass you over to Ryan, who shares some great tips of places to visit, eat and what he looks for on his travels.
Q: Where is your favourite holiday destination abroad and why?
RT: I love to go to New York as much as possible, for a number of reasons, one being that my cousin lives there. I have my little touchstones, places I always visit when I’m there, and then my cousin brings me to new places she knows I’ll like.
I love the East Village, it’s where I’d live if I were to live in New York. It’s funky and bookish and hipstery, which I’m obviously not, but it appeals to me as it’s not too snobby or too much. It’s got great little eateries; I go to a place called Schillers, which is amazing for brunch and the Bua Bar is fantastic for drinks.
I tend to stay in Fitzpatrick’s Hotel, as I like a little bit of Ireland when I go away, somewhere where people understand particular things I need. If I want butter on my toast, they’ll have proper butter and not look at me strangely when I ask for it.
Last time I was in New York I went to Grand Central Station and had a cocktail in a bar upstairs, which was magnificent. I also visited Williamsburg in Brooklyn. It’s the new hipster capital of the world. You sit on the main drag, sipping Margaritas, watching the world go by. Parallel to here, both physically and metaphorically, is the Jewish Quarter. A friend and I stumbled upon the area by accident and it was like stepping on to a film set; everyone was dressed in 1930’s robes and the shops were old-fashioned and quirky. It was like a scene from a movie and in stark contrast to Williamsburg.
But that’s New York, it baffles me with how brilliant it is. I always come home walking on air, as it fills me with optimism and a sense of excitement.
Q: What are your three desert island ‘must haves’?
RT: 1. I go on holidays to read, so I’d have to bring a kindle.
2. Netflicks – I’d never be bored, as it has everything on it.
Q: Where was your best meal (out) in the past 12 months?
RT: I’d probably have to say the restaurant in Ashford Castle – George V. Sitting there is like being on the set of Downton Abbey, it’s another world. They do a great roast joint that they wheel through the dining room and my girls can have a fruit cocktail. You have to wear a jacket and tie, I love the old worldliness of it all.
In Dublin, I go to Chez Max, it’s like going to France. They do a great steak and chips and Edith Piaf trickles through the speakers. I love it.
Q: You have one full week free of charge at a hotel of your choice, where would you choose?
RT: The Library Hotel in New York. I read about it in a magazine and apparently the hotel is decked out with books, each room with their own book collection. I’m intrigued.
In Ireland, it would have to be the Abbeyglen Castle in Clifden. It’s warm and unfussy, which I love. The food is great and the pints are delicious. It’s the kind of place you want to go and just have a laugh.
Q: If you could spend a weekend away with anyone (dead, alive, friend or idol) who would it be?
Bill Clinton and I would have great fun on a weekend away. He’s my favourite recent American President. I’ve met him twice, but it was never for longer than 3 seconds. It was like meeting Santa. I shook his hand and that was it.
One of the main reasons is that he’s a reader. He loves politics, history and reading and even as President he could always list off the books he was reading. I think we’d have plenty to talk about as we’ve lots in common. Between his saxophone and my love of old music, we’d have a blast. We’d sit up at some bar, he’d have a whiskey and I’d have a pint and we’d solve the world’s problems.
Q: You’ve just won the lotto, what holiday are you going to book?
RT: I love trains. I did the Orient Express once, but only for 24 hours. I’d do a great train journey across Russia or Canada. Train travel is so civilized, so Agatha Christie.
Otherwise, I’d do a road trip in a big vintage car across America. I’d visit New Orleans and explore the Deep South. I work so hard I don’t have time to travel, so by winning the lotto, I’d get the gift of time. I’d take two months and visit all the places I want to see.
Q: Where is your favourite place to holiday in Ireland?
RT: Connemara, in the west of Ireland. I love the smell of the turf air and the creamy Guinness. I love the people, the walks, everything about it. I’m at home there.
Q: You’ve travelled a lot over the years, is there one place, other than Ireland, you could see yourself living?
It would have to be London or New York, most likely London as it’s so close and teeming with culture, wonderful museums, theatre and music. However, I’m happy at home. I’m a real homebird and I love Ireland.
Q: Is there anywhere you’ve not been that you’d like to explore?
RT: I’d love to go to Berlin. I’m thinking of going in June. It’s a place people have told me I’d love. I’d also love to go to Russia – Moscow and also The Balkans. I found it intriguing following their story and I’d like to see how they’re getting on. I enjoy combining holidays with my interest in current affairs. When I was in Rome I went straight to the Roman Forum, to where Caesar was assassinated and to the Colosseum. I closed my eyes and imagined the horses’ hooves pounding and crowds cheering. I think history should always come alive when you’re on holiday.
A big thanks for Ryan for sharing his travel tips and favourite destinations! If you are going to NYC, I’d highly recommend exploring the areas not so well known, read up on it here