The Clontarf Baths and Assembly rooms, opened in 1886 to the north of Dublin, Ireland, are being brought back to life. These tidal seawater swimming pools jut out into the bay, and were extremely popular for over a hundred years. They were closed in 1996, but are due to reopen this week.
The unique baths use filtered water from Dublin Bay, and are owned by David Cullen, of Seafield Hotel, Ballymoney, Gorey, Co Wexford. His Clontarf Baths and Assembly Rooms Company has spent €2.4 million to redevelop and refurbish the baths. The site also now features a restaurant and bar with stunning views of the bay.
The menu, like the baths themselves, are inspired by the sea. Rotisserie chickens, steaks, and even experimental dishes like coddle pizza, will not only feature locally sourced ingredients, but will also have nautical twists. The selection of unique cocktails even includes a seaweed-infused creation.
The baths are set to open in the first week of March 2018, but will be made fully available to the public only later in the spring. This is due to safety reasons, and the initial period will see it open on a part-time basis for local sports and swim clubs who will need to provide their own insurance and lifeguards.
The baths in Dublin Bay were once immensely popular among locals and are around 900 meters square. Their maximum depth is approximately 1.9 meters, and as they are filled with filtered seawater, the temperature will be the same as the sea around them. The baths also have changing facilities, toilets and hot showers on site.