The clue is the name: on the site of this hotel was once Neal's New Musick Hall, where on 13 April 1742, the nearly broke GF Handel conducted the very first performance of his epic work Messiah. All that's left now is the original arch, restored to something like its elegant original. Every year the Messiah is performed in an open-air concert on Fishamble St – Dublin's oldest street – to commemorate the event.

Ironically, Jonathan Swift – author of Gulliver’s Travels and dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral – suggested the choirs of St Patrick’s and Christ Church participate in the original performance, but then he revoked his invitation, vowing to punish vicars who took part for their 'disobedience, rebellion, perfidy and ingratitude'. The concert went ahead nonetheless.