Timi here again and it’s time for the second instalment of Trails of Ireland; destination? Limerick City! Once again Karli and I got on a bus at 7 am from Dublin (this time without our dogs); bright and early on a beautiful Saturday morning (I even got some pictures of Dublin coming into bloom for the day) ready for the three hour journey down to Limerick!
We had a loose itinerary sorted out thanks to your brilliant suggestions and we were ready to attack the weekend! The journey took about three hours but it was a great trip and a beautiful day for it! The sun was out and there was beautiful scenery all the way down; rolling fields and quaint towns the whole trip down. We even spent a good hour reminiscing songs for the bus (stop the bus I want to wee-wee being favourite).
Getting off the bus in Limerick, the first thing we noticed was the beautiful River Shannon… The city is built around it similarly to Dublin, but the Shannon is much wider (and dare I say grander?) within the city itself. We made our way across the very popular O’Connell Street, through a quaint Ellen Street and onto our first stop for the day.
One of our favourite places of the trip was the brilliant and historical Milk Market! Set under a massive and beautiful tent off Ellen Street, the market is a lovely cacophony of sound from musical instruments, toddlers, stall owners and singers all vying for attention; while the air is filled with the smells of tasty treats being prepared and served, fresh farm produce and fresh fish from out at sea.
We spent upwards of an hour here eating breakfast crepes (the biggest I’ve ever seen), sampling real fresh juices, sipping hot chocolates and tapping our toes along to the music. The atmosphere was absolutely brilliant and it almost seemed as though everyone here knew each other; almost like a family (this would typify the entire trip). The Milk Market is open every weekend from Friday and is a great way to start the day!
Walking back from where we came, our next stop was the beautiful Hunt Museum! A truly unique museum that started life as the old Custom House in Limerick, and then post offices and other such things before the Hunt Family converted it into what it is today; a beautiful collection of items they collected over their lives. We were welcomed into the museum by the lovely Noel and his warmth was only the beginning of the Hunt experience!
Now, if you are to come to the museum (which you must do!), a tour is definitely recommended as the Hunts collected a truly eclectic mix of artefacts, curios and antiques that are best explained by any of the fabulous team at the museum! Karli and I were brought around the museum by Dominique; someone you should meet even if you’re just popping by the city! Dominique is a treasure trove of information on anything ancient (in my case pre the Sega Mega Drive!)
The Hunt Museum is set over several floors with each room dedicated to a different theme. There’s the Red Staircase which is absolutely beautiful and my personal favourite thing on the visit was ‘Slow Day’ in the captains’ room. Slow Day, a worldwide event saw quite a few interactive pieces of art laid around the captains’ room for visitors to touch and get involved with; a lovely touch for people like Karli and I!
One of the places you guys recommended that I was dying to check out! So many people urged us using #TrailsOfIreland on Twitter to come to this beautiful café and truth be told, we were not disappointed! Actually we were astounded; I genuinely think this is one of the top three cafes that I’ve visited and I have a thing for cafes having spent a little too much time in them in Dublin!
The Stormy Teacup is what you expect from a new age café. It melds elements of old and new into an eclectic and alternative experience because that truly is what it offers; the beverages are beautiful but the experience is what you visit for. What Ruth has created here is an amazing experience for any and all visitors. Along with food and beverages, there are a whole heap of events to attend on a weekly basis!
There’s bookshelves lined with books (and they’re all for sale don’t you know) there’s delightful armchairs and tables and cups that feel and look like they’ve been appropriated from the Mad Hatter’s tea party and we didn’t realise it at the time but our table was an old Singer sewing machine; complete with all working mechanisms!
After sipping on hot chocolate in The Stormy Teacup; white for Karli, dark for me, we dropped our bags off at the Pery’s Best Western Hotel (our digs for the weekend) and went for a walk around the city taking pictures and soaking up the atmosphere. It was a lovely day apart from the brisk air but at least it wasn’t raining! For dinner we were recommended the brand new Library Lounge in The Library Lounge on Henry Street so we made our way down…
When we were walked to our seats by the lovely Lilija we knew this was going to be a brilliant call! The Library Lounge evokes memories of a gentleman’s smoking room from a show like Downton Abbey or Mr Selfridge. The walls are lined with antique books (Reader’s Digest being a personal favourite) and there were fabulous ladies having their high tea. There’s mirrors in flattering places and fresh roses on every table. The positioning of the windows are positioned such that you feel you are in an underground palace when you’re actually on the ground floor!
I have to say that in terms of service, this was the best we received in Limerick by virtue of the fact that it was world class! Brenda and Lilija were always on hand to make sure everything was perfect for us and when the food arrived… My goodness. I’m not going to describe it; it was that good. To be fair, after the way we were treated by the team, even if we were offered the most meagre fair, we would have still thoroughly enjoyed it! I had the Thai curry while Karli had the most fabulous looking fish and chip meal I’ve seen in quite some time. Desert was a crème brulee for me and a Bailey’s coffee for Karli. We’ve never been quite so content after a meal! If you pop down to Limerick city and are looking for a classy place for lunch or dinner, The Library Lounge is just the ticket!
We popped back to the hotel for a quick change into some fancy clothes (one venue late) for some (more?) grub and some music to end the night. A quick hop skip and a jump into a taxi to avoid a rain shower and we were dropped off in the main bar of what turned out to be a very cool spot dedicated to music. We dropped down the back and took a seat for some Irish pale ales and hot ports over the most amazing Irish stew; honestly I don’t know where I put all the food.
After grub we popped down to ‘The Warehouse’ where Negative Creeps put on a fantastic tribute gig to mark Kurt Cobain’s anniversary. I’m going to be honest here. I know like two Nirvana songs; shoot me, but by the end of the night I was head banging and foot bopping to the tunes! Dolan’s Warehouse is a wicked spot for a gig and they’ve got some wicked bands on all the time (I missed VANN Music the night before!)
After the gig, we had one more drink and took a walk along the river Shannon to see Limerick at night. We walked past skate parks and bright lights and smiled into the night. We eventually got back to bed after almost twenty hours to grab some much needed sleep and be ready for day 2 of Limerick.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of #TrailsofIreland in Limerick City 🙂 ~ Timi
Did you know we’ve 16 services daily to Limerick City from just €10 one way?