Take me away to someplace warm and beautiful please! Away from crazy, insulting neighbor drama and snow and commuting in freezing rain and cancellations all over the place. Can we just make that happen, please?
Probably not, so amazing travel memories are the next best thing, I would say. I love poring through photos from all sorts of trips throughout the years and feeling the warm memories that come with them, even if they are from places like Galway, that can be chilly.
On the day of our engagement anniversary, after spending a long day in Connemara, we wandered into the center of Galway to see what was going on about town.
Ireland can be mild and lovely in the winter, but when it’s not, the cold gets right into your bones. On this evening, we realized we needed to duck into someplace warm for a little bit of food and wine, and we made our way to Cooke’s Wine Bar. I always laugh when we walk by Cooke’s because when I was a student in Galway, I lived just a couple of blocks away, but it was one of those nice places we didn’t go to, even though I always really wanted to. We would walk by it, coat-less of course, on the way to the nearby nightclub, freezing to avoid a one pound coat check fee, seeing all the grown-ups inside enjoying a nice dinner. Ten years later, I finally made it to Cooke’s!
Galway is a medieval city, and many of the buildings are old, like 1500′s old. Cooke’s is housed in a stone building and decorated inside with rich fabrics, antiques, and tall taper candles. It’s cozy and romantic, and it is a gorgeous, multi-level space that I would recommend exploring. The top floor, on a quiet night, however, was a wee bit creepy. So much history there! I love the candles, but I also have a history of accidental menu fires, so I was sure to steer clear.
Cooke’s might be in an old building, but the cuisine is fresh and new, incorporating the many cultures that have found their way to this beautiful little city. The wine list is worth the trip alone; it’s not overwhelming like some places can be, but it is full of little gems. You could easily sip a rainy night away, chatting to locals and tourists and making new friends. As we ate, new diners came in to be seated, all saying hello and chatting a bit with us.
The menu was difficult to decide on. My cold hands needed some warming up, so I decided to go with the Moroccan Tagine
(Spiced chickpeas, carrots and potatoes, served with mint infused couscous and topped with Greek yogurt). I would usually pair a Sauvignon Blanc, un-oaked Chard, or Gruner with a dish like this, but I was all about being warm, so I had a Tempranillo instead, a gorgeous wine, but white definitely would have paired better.
This dish was so full of spices and flavor with just enough heat to warm me up. I needed vegetables after so many days of vacationing, and the veggies and couscous were more than enough for a hearty, healthy meal. I love this place.
This past weekend was a mix of fun and stress, ending on the stressful side, our home once again feeling like a hostile place we don’t want to be, thanks to other people’s lack of consideration. Writing this post reminded me what a fun little escape blogging can be and why I keep on doing it. Despite being really down last night, it was nice to be reminded how much this little blog has done for my life; I’ve met so many of you. Thanks for reading. And can my awesome blogging community just be my new neighbors too?
If you were in a blizzard zone this weekend, how did you fare?