Irish crisis:

The IMF has such good taste

26 November 2010 – Presseurop

After a hard week chuckling over the future of Europe with my transcontinental colleagues at the Presseurop offices, there’s nothing I can resist quite as much as scooting off to poor banjaxed ould completely knackered Ireland in an Air France jet and just “letting go” at the Merrion Hotel, “one of the finest luxury hotels in Dublin City Centre” as its elegant website informs me. Whether I’m in for a €239 “Superior King Bed” or a “Speciality Suite” at €1100 per night, let me tell you, there’s always something special about the “exquisite service” provided by an army of discreet and wide-cheeked Eastern Europeans, especially when they earn a lot less than me.

Whether I’m laughing my head off in the Carrera marble bath, or chucking down my gullet Half a Dozen Carlingford Oysters (€42.00) at Patrick Guibaud’s “Michelin” starred restaurant – a €98 Roast Lacquered Challans Duck to follow! – one thing about the Merrion is that you won’t hear anyone quacking about “bankers” or “de politicians” because, like me, they’re the only people who can afford to be here – as I guzzle a caramelised pear (€24).

All this to say I would like to raise a glass of vintage port (€25) to the IMF, which have booked no less than 16 rooms at my home from home for a minimum of three weeks, with a bill of anything from €80,304 to €369,000 to enjoy “magnificent views of Government Buildings” – which is apt, considering they are the new government ;-). Like Ajay Chopra and the “lads”, I too have a taste for rooms with “Irish fabrics and antiques to reflect the architecture and original interiors of the 18th Century Townhouses.” And of course by the time Ajay has finished overseeing the Irish budget of €15 billion in cuts, 18th century Ireland it will be! Santé, and here’s to austerity, les amis…