Monday, 5 May 2014

Galway - Foodie Town!

Galway has been nominated as a Foodie Town of Ireland. This gastro scene is simmering away in Galway right now with the only Michelin star restaurant on the entire west coast (Aniar) as well as many other consistently great eateries, an extremely active Slow Food group and a wealth of quality artisan producers as well as the oldest food festival in Ireland, the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival each September and the newer Galway Food Festival at Easter.

Can you spare a few minutes? Read with us and picture yourself in Galway for the day - we guarantee you'd love our 'Foodie' day out....

IMAGINE....The birds are singing......the sun is rising........and the sky is brightening into the cool fresh blue of a crisp summer's morning. After an early morning coffee at Gourmet Tart, the perfect Galway day always starts with a brisk walk on Salthill Prom. Stretching 2km, the prom is a hive of activity no matter what the weather. Couples - new & old, friends, families, grandchildren & their pets all gravitate to the coastal walk. Some breathe in the fresh sea air, others enjoy the stunning view of The Burren (UNESCO site), talking at nineteen to the dozen swapping their week of stories in less than an hour but ALL 'kick the wall'. No-one really knows how this started but it’s a tradition that we all uphold and observant visitors join in. 

The Salthill Prom leads into The Claddagh, Galway's original fishing village and the home of a graceful bevy of swans. Feeding the swans is an enjoyable way to build up an appetite for brunch and a great activity for families as there is an adjoining playground. The sound of 'higher higher' mingled with excited squeals of fun are all part of a good day in Galway.

In addition to weekly brunch at The g (Jazz brunch 1st Sunday of every month), there are a wide range of options in the city from the vegetarian friendly Kitchen at the Museum, the Boho Ard Bia at Nimmos, An Cupan Tae Tea house with sinfully good cakes as well as over 30 loose leaf teas and many more in the Latin Quarter.

Once you are nicely full, stroll under Spanish Arch, across old Fish-market Square where the women of Claddagh used to sell their fish up to the early 20th century. Pedestrian Quay Street will be teeming with locals and visitors enjoying the much loved atmosphere in Galway. If you're lucky, a group of talented musicians may be balancing above you on bollards as they entertain the crowd that have gathered. The mood is light, smiles are bright and life is good in Galway.

Further up the street you'll arrive at Galway's famous bustling market which has been trading by St
Nicholas' Collegiate Church for centuries. Winding though the stalls, you will glimpse stunning photography, colourful woollen knits, aromatic pestos & marinades, Galway oysters, Irish cheeses, hand carved wooden furniture, a falafel stall, spicy curries, freshly dug up carrots beside seasonal fruit bursting with flavour and so much more. The market is open all year round on Saturdays from 8.00am to 6.00pm.

Still walking off your brunch, continue to the boardwalk along the River Corrib and make your way towards the Cathedral and Salmon Weir bridge to watch the fisherman as they stand firm against the fast moving waters to claim their prize. Beyond lies Lough Corrib, the 3rd largest lake in the whole of Ireland and home to some of Europe's greatest pike fishing.

If your love of cheese is as strong as ours you'll be drawn back towards Sheridan's Cheesemongers & Wine Bar for a nibble (maybe even a tipple!) where you'll no doubt meet a range of people with competing opinions but a shared love of food and the local landscape. Whiskey lovers will have discovered McCambridges by now, dating from 1925, this family run business is a great supporter of local producers and the spot to pick up a taste of Galway or treat yourself to a gift of whiskey. The manager Luke is incredibly passionate about their offering, as is Jimmy Griffin of Griffins Bakery further
down the street, who's family have been baking bread for the people of Galway since 1876 (their congar bread is a particular favourite). As they say, food without passion is just a business and the foodie peeps of Galway have a dynamism in their veins that is brimming with potential.

Overall, the city of Galway has the humming vibe of a city but the gentle heart of a village and we hope your imagination could hear the sounds and smell the aromas of a city that deserves the title of Foodie Town of Ireland.

Love Food? Vote Galway!