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As we always do in Ireland, we did our fair share of eating and drinking on our last visit. Food in Ireland is really good; people who think otherwise are missing out!

Below are just a few of the bites and sips that we enjoyed in County Galway just a few weeks ago.

O'Grady's on the Pier Seafood chowder, brown bread, and pints of Guinness at O’Grady’s in Barna, a must visit every time I am in Galway

 

champagne and strawberries

Champagne and a board of Irish seafood at Gaslight at the Hotel Meyrick in Eyre Square Galway – this was the perfect spot for a little rest from the crowds during the Galway Races.

Irish seafood board Irish coffee

Irish coffees with a view in Roundstone, one of my favorite County Galway towns

Roundstone Ireland

bank holiday in Galway Plenty of Jameson and ginger ales on a Sunday Bank Holiday

Connemara Red Ale Irish craft beer! I loved this Connemara Red Ale from Independent Brewing Company of Ireland. Years ago I wondered why Ireland didn’t have many craft brewers, and now the scene is full of great craft beer. I wish I had opened a brewery then!

goat cheese salad Goat cheese and local veggie salad at An Cruiscin Lan in Spiddal

 

99 ice cream cone 99 ice cream cones with a Cadbury Flake – Irish soft serve ice cream is the best!

 

 

queen cakePink Queen Cakes – Queen Cakes come with many different colors of frosting, but mine has to be pink. I love these delicate little sweets at tea time.

 

Ard Bia Galway  A romantic date night at Ard Bia, dripping candles, local fare, and a great wine list included

Ard Bia Ard Bia has some of the best food in Galway, and I stuck to my seafood theme with the crab cocktail and mussels with a lovely grapefruit topping.

mussels

baked Irish oysters

Galway oysters baked with a creamy roux, made by my mother-in-law – the oysters were so fresh and briny, and we gobbled them  down right out of the broiler.

Vindaloo

Veggie Vindaloo from Kahsmir Galway, my favorite Indian restaurant ever – my extra spicy meal is always the topic of conversation, but truthfully I don’t find it that bad at all!

 

G Hotel Galway

Drinks and a cheese plate in the fancifully-decorated G Hotel in Galway – always a favorite spot for a cocktail and to people watch, and to admire the decor

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Tags: Dining out, Food, Galway, Ireland, Irish coffee, travel. Travel Tuesday, wine

Every trip to Ireland takes another little piece of my heart and makes it that much harder to leave. Our visits to Ashford Castle, just named world’s best hotel, are always special treats. We visited Ashford last fall for lunch on our last Ireland trip, and this time around we decided to take a boat ride on the Isle of Inisfree. The day we chose ended up being the only cloudy, windy, rainy day we had in 10 days, but despite the weather we enjoyed a gorgeous cruise on Lough Corrib.

Isle of Inisfree

You can board the boat either at Ashford Castle after paying five Euros per person to have access to the grounds, or you can park at the pier in Cong and hop on just for the price of the cruise. Since we knew we would want to have drinks in the hotel after, we parked on property.

Ashford Castle

Soon enough we were being whisked into Lough Corrib, tossed about by the swells from the windy day, surrounded by the freshest air and green scenery.

Ashford Castle boat house

 

 

Lough Corrib

 

Ashford Castle from Lough Corrib

Lough Corrib is home to 365 islands, one for each day of the year. The boat ride from Ashford Castle typically stops at Inchagoill Island so that passengers can explore monastic ruins, some dating back to the 5th century. Unfortunately for us, due to the rough conditions of the lough, we couldn’t safely land the boat, and that portion of the trip was cancelled. It just gives us another reason to return!

Lough Corrib  Lough Corrib

In addition to the natural beauty of Galway and Mayo, one of the best parts of the trip was the musician on board. Martin Noone sings, plays accordion, tells stories, and has passengers on their feet, dancing and singing. He was so sweet and so part of what I love about Ireland, song, story, tradition, and good fun. boat from Ashford Castle

After the cruise, we were a little chilly and more than ready to warm up inside Ashford Castle.  I can never get over how grand it is.

Ashford Castle We were dressed for boating and decided to sit in The Prince of Wales Bar, which felt a little more casual.

Ashford Castle   What’s better than an Irish whiskey tasting in a castle? We were warmed right up as we explored different notes of the whiskeys and chattered as we listened to the rain hit the window. It was one of those perfect moments that you think about later and just want to be in again.

whiskey tasting Ashford Castle Ashford Castle

 

Happy 9th anniversary to my love, Eric! There’s no one else I would rather have as my adventuring partner-in-crime.

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Tags: Ashford Castle, Ireland, Mayo, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger, Travel Tuesday

Well that was the longest blogging break I have taken since I started back in 2009! I would love to say I was totally unplugged, but the reality is that I have been crazy busy with work and spent the past 10 days working from Ireland. In between emails I got in sightseeing and family time though, and while heartsick for my favorite place on earth, I am also feeling energized to enjoy the rest of the summer and to conquer the work and travel ahead.

While in Ireland, we spent a lot of time with local family and family visiting from Boston and Italy, and we also enjoyed some unexpected beautiful weather after their miserably rainy July. I have a few posts on activities in Ireland to come, but as  I slowly reenter everyday life and shake off that heavy heart that always goes with leaving, I thought I would share some favorite photos of the trip. Enjoy!

Galway St. Nicholas Church {Blue skies over St. Nicholas Church in Galway on Saturday Market Day}

 

Irish roses {One of the hundreds of gorgeous roses in my mother-in-law’s garden}

 

sunset on Galway Bay {Watching the sun go down on Galway Bay from Rinville}

 

running in Galway {Windy day on Galway Bay}

 

cows in Ireland {Mama and baby cows!}

 buskers in Galway  {Incredibly talented buskers on the streets of Galway}

 

nights out in galway

{Huge smiles and drinks to-go on a night that ended at 3:30 am during Galway Race Week}

 

Irish coffee

{The perfect Irish coffee at Pat Cohan’s in Cong}

Connemara pony {One of the Connemara ponies I tried to kiss}

Connemara

{Gorgeous Connemara beaches}

 

house in Ireland

{The gorgeous house near Carraroe, where the whole family spent a couple of days}

Gaeltacht Ireland

{The front lawn of the house, and it’s sea views}

currach county galway

{Currachs in Connemara}

 Ireland sunset {Sunset in Connemara}

house in Connemara

{The view from the upstairs of the house we stayed in}

Connemara

{Beautiful Connemara}

view from Errisbeag

{Views from Errisbeag}

 

Connemara horses in Ireland

{Horses on the road}

Abbeyglen {Abbeyglen Castle}

 

We spent two beautiful days at an amazing house in Bealadangan in Connemara and had time to play outside, go hiking, have a picnic, and cook big family dinners. Walks to the pier, wine glasses in hand, running around in the front yard, and enjoying the stunning views were top priority. We also went for a hike of Errisbeag, not making it to the top as we had the last time, due to high winds and our little hikers, but having lots of fun on a lovely Connemara day. Instead we went to the Abbeyglen Castle for cocktails and Cokes, not a bad trade off.

More to come on boating, zip lining, and eating in Ireland!

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Tags: Connemara, countryside, County Galway, Galway, hiking, hotel in Ireland, Ireland, Irish countryside, Travel, travel blog posts, travel photos

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