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Welcome to a world of travel, entertainment and culture, curated from a global collective of writers, photojournalists and artists. Each article of our award-winning magazine is sure to inspire, no matter which of our destinations you call home.
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Travel to Dublin


Wall and Keogh, Dublin

1 April 2015

Words: Andrew Birbeck IMAGE: WALL & KEOGH

Oliver T Cunningham believed so strongly in the old addage ‘you just can’t beat a good cup of tea’ that he fled Dublin’s IT scene in 2007 and took off backpacking across the globe in search of the perfect cuppa. His travels took him to Guatemala, India, Brazil and Vietman, where he learned the craft of sourcing the very best loose leaf tea on the planet. 

“When I got back in late 2009 it really hit me how poor the tea scene in Dublin had become,” Oliver tells me. “Most cafés I went into were soulless places and the tea being served wasn’t great.” Oliver realised that he could put all he’d learned to good use and he went in search of suitable premises. One day he was wandering through the bohemian district of Portobello, adjacent to Dublin’s Grand Canal, and spotted a derelict shop. 

“It hadn’t been used since the 1960s,” he says. “And I loved the name, which was still visible under all the cracked paint.” A hunt for the landlord ensued and eventually a deal was struck to bring the place back to life. “Wall & Keogh just seemed right, I got a feeling about it. It suited the idea,” says Oliver. 

The shop became an instant hit. Portobello, just a stone’s throw from the city-centre, was rejuvenating and attracting a hip young crowd. Oliver too wanted to create “an alternative to the pub. A place where people could hang out, get a bite to eat, play music, read and meet friends”. 

Alongside the café, the wholesale side flourished, with Wall & Keogh now supplying many of Ireland’s premiere food retailers. So, I ask Oliver, what’s the best cup of tea you’ve ever had? He replies with a grin, “Well, apart from one right here, it’d have to be Orange Valley Estate, Darjeeling. It really doesn’t get any better.”