Monday, 22 June 2015 at Restaurant gigi's

We are regularly visited by International and Irish media who write great articles on travelling to Galway for a midweek break, a weekend escape or a summer getaway. The food at the g Hotel & Spa is also featured on a regular basis and since Cedric Bottarlini took over the reins of the kitchen last year, we have welcomed a number of well known faces. One of our favourite recent reiews is from Niamh Mannion of We just love her way with words so have blatantly copied segemts of her review and the link to the full aticle is below.

"Like the rest of the hotel, Restaurant gigi’s is sumptuously decorated in deep rich colours and plush fabrics that are warm and inviting. Despite being spacious there is nothing stark and minimalist here but rather, this is a room that encourages you to spoil yourself! With this in mind, and after being shown to our table, we decided to have cocktails whilst we examined the menu in greater detail. Sipping on a very well-mixed Negronis and nibbling on the wonderful selection of breads which had arrived at our table soon after we were seated, we decided to opt for the ‘Indulge’ menu."

"Our starters of Crab & Asparagus and Crisp Irish Free-Range Pork-Belly were both beautifully presented and we descended upon them with gay abandon. Mixed through the crab were little nuggets of diced apple which complemented the crabmeat perfectly and leant a fruity freshness to the dish. The quenelle of crab bavarois presented atop the crabmeat was, by contrast, rich and silky-smooth and completely addictive. The classic paring with steamed green asparagus along with a spear of lightly pickled white asparagus and an asparagus purée excited the taste-buds as all the best starters should… leaving an air of anticipation regarding the dishes to follow."

"The other main course of Sliced Peppered Sirloin Steak & Braised Rib was absolutely superb. Here wonderfully flavoursome sirloin steak had been perfectly cooked medium-rare to order. This was a well-aged, prime cut of quality beef so perhaps it was to be expected that it would be good, but the slow-cooked rib was every bit as good. Thinly sliced radishes with their fresh peppery crunch and sweet heritage carrots danced a metaphorical jig across the plate, so artfully had they been placed. This was a dish that screamed EAT ME! The spinach purée with its iron-rich flavour was faultless........As an aside, I would strongly recommend the Sweet Potato Fries… believe me, they are truly exceptional!"

For the quality of the food on offer, Restaurant gigi’s offers great value for money. Rather cleverly, the
restaurant has managed to provide options that will appeal to the more conservative diner but also something for those with adventurous palates. Each dish that I ate was beautifully presented and contained elements that surprised and charmed in equal measure.....Each individual menu in Restaurant gigi’s arsenal is just the right length and overall there is plenty of choice and many tempting dishes. More importantly, what restaurant gigi’s does, it does well… very well! Service was impeccable with staff who were friendly and attentive and well-informed about the menu and the ingredients used. This is a restaurant that clearly has high ambitions and a desire to create a delicious dining experience using quality, locally-sourced ingredients. This it achieves and it is easy to see why it has been awarded and has retained an AA 2 Rosette rating for three years running."

Thank you Niamh for visiting and for your kind words. Follow Niamh on Twitter or SEE THE FULL REVIEW HERE

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Galway Hookers - Traditional Fishing Boats

Galway has a long established connection with the sea and it is easy to see references to our maritime history from the iron fountain at the top of Eyre Square (rusted to mirror the colour of Hooker sails) to the logo of Galway itself. We are a city that grew through port trading and of course fishing. The Claddagh area was originally a fishing village and there was once hundreds of vessels known as ‘Galway Hookers’. They are an iconic symbol of Galway and an integral part of Irish heritage. 

With the arrival of electricity and the improvement in road transport the hookers were no longer able to earn their keep and fell into disrepair. Also the fishing industry went into decline due to increasing competition from larger trawlers fishing in Galway Bay. This gradually led to reduction in the city hooker fleet as the larger and more efficient trawlers began to take over. However in 1978 the Galway Hooker Association was formed to promote and preserve these wonderful craft and to oversee the annual regattas. Since then new boats have been commissioned and built in Connemara and then more recently the Claddagh Boatmen or in gaelic Bádórí anCladaig came together in the city of Galway. Now you will regularly see local Claddagh Boats taking part in Festivals and city regattas. There is nothing more magical than watching the rich maroon hues of a Galway Hooker sail up the Corrib with Spanish Arch in the background.

There are two companies offering excursions on Galway Hookers - Bow Waves based in the city and Wild Atlantic Adventures based in Roundstone. It is a fantastic experience that gives an unrivalled view of Galway Bay and the surrounding countryside and highly recommend you take the time.

There are four classes of Galway Hooker:

  • Bád Mór (pronounced bawd more), 35-44 ft
  • Leath Bhád (pronounced la fawd), 32 ft
  • Gleoiteog (pronounced gloychug), 24-28 ft
  • Púcán (pronounced pookawn)
 For further information on Galway or accommodation, please see