Day two in Waterford started brilliantly! I drew back the curtains in the Tower Hotel and light came flooding in. Blue skies and still waters over the river and a sign of things to come!
I popped down into reception and checked out of the fab hotel (I was quite sad to leave) and went for a walk along the quays to find some breakfast! A quick jaunt along and I popped past the tourist information centre and had a quick wave at Breda before getting to Lilly’s chocolate cafe! I decided to sit outside in the sunshine because who knows when next we’d get it!
I had a lovely tuna sandwich and a chai latte (because I’m off coffees permanently) and sat watching the square buzz around me… The lovely ladies serving on the day were full of smiles and were so helpful in giving me directions around the city. The chai was also one of the best I’ve had in a very long time! A great people watching spot if you’re into that!
I’m going to admit that heading to my next destination, the New Street Gardens, I got very lost. I eventually had three lovely people tell me how to get there; indeed one of them actually walked me halfway there!
That really shows the community spirit that exists in Waterford city. The New Street Gardens is a regeneration program by the community where local businesses and people have gotten involved to make a garden space complete with a stage, an outdoor stone oven hidden alcoves and even marbles embedded into the paths. It encapsulates what I love about the city and is a credit to everyone involved.
A quick walk back to the main city (and it’s really not that far, how did I get lost?) and I popped into a very cosy little café, Portico Coffee which is run by a group of very enthusiastic Americans for a hot chocolate.
There’s a lovely outdoor space here also and it’s full of people hanging out and watching the world go by. Inside the café is just as lovely; some lovely exposed, low hanging bulbs give it some atmosphere and there’s a chalkboard with some lovely quotes to boot! It’s a lovely stop for a coffee store with a difference!
Next up was Reginald’s tower, which I’d passed by with Jack the evening before; this time however, I’d be going inside to check it out! I’d gotten an Instagram comment from the lovely Kate and so down I popped. The tower stands proudly at the corner of the Viking Triangle and is very deceptive! When you walk in, it is HUGE!
The best way to describe it would be similar to stepping into Dr Who’s Tardis! There’s three levels to check out with great information on the history of the tower and also Waterford city! Highly recommended is the top floor, where there’s a great video and also great views of the surrounding city!
Sticking on the theme of history and culture,Bishop’s Palace on Parnell Street was my next port of call. The grand house is home to many a story and some of the most decisive events in the history of the country.
If you are coming here, I would definitely recommend you take the guided tour of the first floor where the guide accompanied by an actor take you through every fine detail of each of the beautiful rooms; the rooms contain some absolute gems from the past including the oldest landscape painting of an Irish city hanging proudly in a large living room and it is absolutely stunning!
With time running out on my Waterford adventure, I popped into a place I walked by the previous evening, Aoife’s Café; I’d popped by and seen it looked lovely but this time I thought I’d grab a quick snack for the long journey home! Spoiler alert: I’m glad I did. Aoife’s café is run by one of the most positive people I’ve met in my life; Aoife has turned what is a very historic place into one of the warmest places I visited in the city. The tables and chairs are laid out in neat little rows and there’s that sense of love just surrounding the air. I walked up the stairs in the back and was greeted with a marvellous sight.
Upstairs is a beautiful high ceilinged gallery with floor to ceiling windows and a 180 degree view of the street. Aoife pointed out that this was the room where the legendary Thomas Meagher first planted the tricolours of the Republic and standing in that space you can almost feel are almost transported to the very moment…
Probably the best thing about Aoife’s is the suspended meals and coffees they do; you can leave behind some money behind the counter for someone who’ll need it in the future. Once again, the community spirit of the city shines through.
Already late after spending too much time in Aoife’s, I ran up the street and just made the bus home! The trip home flew by as I reminisced over the previous two days. Waterford is the nicest city I’ve been in so far in terms of the generosity of complete strangers; and I loved it!
You can experience all of what Waterford City has to offer from just €10 one way?