Cocktails

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Whenever we visit Ireland, we have a list of old favorites we have to stop at, most being in Galway or out in Connemara. It can get a little overwhelming, catching up with friends and family, finding time to do all we need to do, and getting to every stop on our list. As a result, we often miss new places.

(For all of my Ireland travel tips, visit my Travel Blog Posts page)

Not this time! Through my various social media channels, I’ve been following  the consistently expanding food and cocktail scene in Galway, so when we went back for Thanksgiving, I had a few new places in mind.

 

Meet Tribeton

Tribeton Galway

 

Tribeton Galway

 

Tribeton Galway 

During my husband’s childhood in Ireland, Tribeton was a hardware store, and he couldn’t believe the transformation. When you arrive at Tribeton, after entering their festive lobby, you ascend a staircase to an open, airy loft that is just stunning.

Tribeton Galway

 

Tribeton Galway 

I went in expecting to order a simple hot whiskey as I often do in Ireland and was instead greeted by a cocktail BOOK with pages and pages of cocktails, including a huge focus on gin, and Irish gin in particular.

Tribeton cocktails Gin is definitely having a moment in Ireland, as evidenced by the shelves and shelves of gin bottles at pubs and the multi-page gin and tonic menus. It was not easy to make a decision!

gin and tonic menu I ended up going with the Dingle gin from Kerry, with the recommended Fever Tree tonic, cucumber, and lime. It arrived in a giant, beautiful balloon glass that really showed off the garnishes, pops of color with the icy, clear gin. As we wandered around Galway throughout the rest of the week, I noticed all gin and tonics being served in such glasses, and now I need to find some for myself!

gin and tonic My husband went with one of the bartender’s favorite Negronis, which was also presented beautifully and was strong, bitter with notes of citrus, and ice cold.

Negroni This might have been one of my favorite unplanned moments of our trip to Ireland. The cocktails were so delicious but also packed a punch so we sipped them very slowly. And since it was mid-afternoon, Tribeton was quiet and sunny, perfect for just soaking in the moment of being in our favorite town.

 

gin and tonicWe loved Tribeton so much that we ended up returning later that night with my sister-in-law. In the evening it was a bustling scene of diners and people getting ready to go out on the town. I opted for the Thin Gin from Waterford this time around, with Fever Tree Elderflower and fresh, juicy oranges for a refreshing nightcap.

Tribeton is part of the new Galway, delightfully and tastefully put in alongside the old, with touches of Irish history and design throughout. Even the name is a nod to Galway, City of Tribes.

In just a few blocks you can see the city’s centuries old walls, a church that goes back to Columbus’ time, traditional pubs, and some of the newcomers that breathe in fresh life without taking away from the tradition and history we love so much.

Learn about the Galway influence in Tribeton’s design here, or book yourself on the next Aer Lingus flight to Shannon to discover it yourself!

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Tags: bars, cocktail blog, cocktails, Galway, Ireland, Restaurants, Travel, travel blog, travel blog posts

Our home base in Old San Juan was exactly what we wanted in terms of location (and everything else). It was so close to many restaurants and beautiful spaces that it encouraged us to walk and explore all over, burning off some of the rum drinks that we enjoyed while relaxing in Luquillo.

rum tasting in old san juan

Casa Melaza was the cute rum bar just around the corner from our hotel. It was a lovely space with door open to the street and a healthy selection of rum. We enjoyed all of the rums we tasted, but we weren’t thrilled with the service. There was no menu or tasting list with prices, and when I asked the staff member got an attitude. I’m not sure what it was, maybe a little arrogance, that just got to us, and we agreed we would hesitate to go back.

 

Mallorca sandwich

Aside from that, everything was perfect, with delicious food and lovely people.  One of the staples of my Puerto Rico diet (and half the reason I need a real diet now) was my love for Mallorca Paninis, thin pressed sandwiches stuffed with ham and cheese and sprinkled with delectably messy powdered sugar. The salty ham and cheese paired with the sweet? Heavenly.

Anam Spa and Cocktail Lounge

Also heavenly? A salon/spa/cocktail lounge in one. We discovered Anam Cocktail Spa in the evening as it was about to close and had a quick cocktail on their terrace in a beautiful, dusky setting overlooking the city and the sea.

And we vowed to return the next day for cocktails and spa!

al fresco drinks in Old San Juan

Massages were $1/minute, and anything above $20 included a glass of sangria.

Anam Spa Old San Juan

Our massages were done side-by-side in an airy room with light music playing in the background, and I swear I would fly to San Juan just for this massage. It was blissful. I was in a sleeping/awake state the whole time, and then gazed out the door with a strong and delicious sangria after.

Anam Spa

 

 

El Convento

We spent a good chunk of our time in Old San Juan visiting El Convento, an iconic spot in the city, and for good reason. This was one of the only places we visited on our brief layover on the way home from Grenada, and we knew we wanted to go back. It was our first stop, for a morning mojito in their gorgeous courtyard.

mojitos at El Convento

 

mojitos And then we went back later to El Picoteo, a practical tapas institution that was recommended by many people, including Molly.

We had rum drinks and a couple of tapas, followed by a long walk for the sunset.

san juan sunset

Followed by another walk and then a return to El Picoteo for more rum drinks and tapas. It actually felt really good to stretch out the meal and drinks with some movement and fresh air.

el picoteo

We loved the bartender at El Picoteo, who had moved from Michigan (or Wisconsin?) with his fiance, gotten married there, and stayed. It made me want to pick up my life and move there too!

We had some amazing sausages in wine and classic gambas al ajillo, in addition to Manchego with truffle honey. Yum.

cheese and truffle honey

And we loved El Convento so much we returned for breakfast the next day, and you guessed it, a Mallorca Panini (with mimosas).

Mallorca sandwich

Our final day in Puerto Rico was super hot (even for me), so in addition to lots of wandering, we also sought cool breezes in shady courtyards with cold drinks. You can’t go to San Juan without a trip to Barrachina for a Piña Colada where they were created!

original pina colada

We talked cocktails with the fun bartender while sipping slushy, coconutty deliciousness and loved it. The only downside of that experience was the arrival of throngs of cruise ship passengers in town for the day. They basically fit the stereotypical American tourist bill; loud, pushy, rude, unwilling to try new things. We had a chuckle and bushed it off, too happy with our cocktails and relaxation to let their takeover bother us.

ceviche

empanada

All good things must come to an end, so before we left for the airport we had one last taste of the flavor of San Juan. Nono’s was another open-air spot with a huge menu, and we went for a tangy ceviche and lobster-stuffed empanadas. Delicioso!

San Juan has so much to see, do, and taste, and we only got started on making our way through this magical little city. We fell in love with Puerto Rico, and I hope someday that you get to as well.

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Tags: cocktails, Dining out, Food, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, rum, Travel, travel blog

Looking through my phone’s camera roll, it appears I have been eating, drinking, and being pretty merry (and eating and drinking some more). It’s time for a roundup of all of the greats of late that somehow haven’t made it into the blog!

lunch at Abe & Louie's

I learned all about the natural beauty of Germany and German tourism over an incredible steak salad lunch at Abe & Louie’s. This was the second Germany Tourism event I attended, and just like the first one on travel to Bavaria, it made me want to plan a trip to Germany soon!

 

Cidergeist

Cidergeist launched in Boston! I was in Puerto Rico for the launch, but they sent me samples, and I loved the Semi Dry Hard Cider.

Dorset Hall Dorchester

Dorset Hall

Dorset Hall shepherd's pie

We went to a new local Dorchester spot, Dorset Hall on their opening night and fell in love.  Their cocktails, raw bar, pork chop, and shepherd’s pie are all awesome, the space is huge and beautiful, and the staff is great. They nailed it so much on that first night we have been back three times since. It’s a nice addition to our Dorchester restaurant lineup!

New England Boat Show We went to the New England Boat Show and bought a boat. Oops.

It wasn’t spur of the moment though. We went two days in a row did hours of research before we decided on a brand new Stingray. I can.not.wait to get back on the water. The new boat is completely different than the old one. It’s a bowrider, which means the front is open and perfect for sunning and jumping into the sea. Not having a cabin means it is shallower in the water, easier to beach on islands out in Boston Harbor for lazy days, and yet it still has a bathroom (my requirement).

 

Two Shepherds wine club

Spring wine clubs starting arriving. We love Two Shepherds Wine, and now that Massachusetts laws have changed, getting our favorite wine is so much easier!

Hotel Northampton

I started working with two new clients, Hotel Northampton in Hampshire County Massachusetts and gardenUP, a turnkey solution for design, delivery, and installation of gardens.

gardenUP

gardenUP exhibited at the Boston Flower and Garden Show. Between the media preview of the show and visiting the gardenUP booth, I went to this beautiful event twice!

Boston Flower and Garden Show

gardening

It inspired me to get planning for my own garden, which is one of my favorite activities to do all year. I can’t wait to see things growing!

Tango Arlington I made a visit up to Arlington for a friend and business dinner at Tango, steak tips, seasoned veggies,  and Malbec, which was basically all I was craving. It was so simple and flavorful and perfect.

North Plank Tavern

We visited family in NJ for Easter and made another stop at the amazing gem of a restaurant, North Plank Tavern, which we found at Christmas. I had the Applejack Manhattan, made with Laird Applejack, which was once made in this historic building! Sitting at the bar is always my favorite, since we like to chat. At this place, every time we visit we learn a little more about the tavern, which has such an interesting history. And we confirmed it also has a few ghosts.

 

Michel Schlumberger wine prime rib dinner

My family put together some amazing meals including our Saturday dinner of a 13 pound prime rib and vegetable sides, paired with a bottle of incredible Le Sage Merlot from one of our visits to Michel Schlumberger in Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County. I miss Sonoma something fierce these days.

sparkling wine by the ocean

And finally, we have enjoyed some outdoor bubbly (in glasses we picked up at Shanga in Tanzania). This was from a Sunday night at the yacht club where it was just the two of us around watching the sun sort of set on a cloudy evening. Perfection.

What bits of this and that have you been enjoying?

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Tags: boating, Boston, business, clients, cocktails, flowers, Food, gardening, Travel, wine

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