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Lovin Galway

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Lovin Galway

 

At this point most people know that I’m from Mayo but Galway has well and truly stolen my heart, (except when it comes to sport obviously) It’s a truly special place, the old adage of Galway being the graveyard of ambition is beyond a farce, most people’s ambition is to be happy and I’ve rarely seen as many happy faces anywhere else I’ve visited. Here’s a few reasons why I believe its Ireland’s greatest treasure.

 

Festivals

 

The only city on the Wild Atlantic Way is famous for its festivals, some say Galway has more festivals than I’ve had first dates. With 65 festivals that I can think of the figure is obviously much lower than my dating endeavours but it’s still an impressive tally. There is genuinely something for everyone from the most famous and my annual highlight The Galway Races, to the Galway International Arts Festival to a Ukulele Festival in September and everything in between. The diversity in this tiny place is heart warming, easy to see why its Europes Capital of Culture in 2020.

 

Small

 

Galway is technically a city but it’s a town really, while the traffic is a serious issue once you have the car parked up it’s a joy to circumnavigate. Shop Street itself is a tonic, no matter what day of the year you make your way down it’s cobbled streets the vibe is just amazing. You can’t leave Shop Street in a bad mood, even if you get caught in a Galway shower, but if you’re not prepared for a drop of rain in Galway then it’s your own fault, and I know a man that wants to sell you a few jars of Galway air. From end to end Galway is a comfortable walk and with heels you can easily enjoy a tour of the city on a night out.

 

Food

 

In the last few years Galway has become a gastronomic hub with a sensational array of excellent eateries. From Michelin Star restaurants to brilliant barfood, instagramable café’s, epic pizzas, sensational seafood and mouth-watering burger joints, its now wonder the prom is always so busy with people trying to walk off the amazing dishes. I created a list of places I want to try last year and despite working my way through a fair few the list continues to grow. Galway is a treasure for foodies there are a few people in particular that were catalysts for this but it’s great to see the passion for food spread across the city and county.

 

 

Nightlife

 

I often get asked, why “Galway Player” why not “Mayo Player” and its an easy response, you think of Mayo you think of football, you can mention Galway to someone and you just watch them glaze over momentarily as they fondly recall a childhood holiday or a weekend away with friends. Galway is hands down the best place to go out in Ireland, 7 nights a week, 364 days a year you will find a session and a great atmosphere in some or all of the cities amazing pubs. As someone who works in the hospitality industry I am painfully aware of the blood sweat and tears that go into creating the unique Galway spirt. From the buzz of students mid week to tourists in the early evening, to the locals catching up it’s always a good night out in Galway. For a town the endures so much rain it has some exceptional beer gardens and some of the friendliest bar staff you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting.

 

People

 

Speaking of friendly people that’s probably what I love most about this place. I came to Galway a very shy lad from Bonniconlon but partly down to my love of sport and mainly down to the people I have loved every second in this place. One of my fondest memories was the Galway 2020 announcement, I was on Mainguard Street amongst a 2000 strong crowd awaiting the announcement. After weeks of tireless campaigning in with the business pulled together in an inspiring fashion, I was standing on the podium under the huge screen (where else would I be) and to watch the sheer joy and emotion from an extremely diverse yet passionate group of onlookers was honestly inspiring.

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Best Brunch in Galway

Sunday Brunch has become one of the must have meals of the week and when I’m not togging out in some far flung gaa hotbed in Mayo I try to visit one of Galway’s many amazing brunch venues. Here are a few of my favourites based on nothing but personal opinion;

 Caprice – just over two years old now this is one of my favourite places in Galway. The décor is stunning, the staff friendly and the menu delicious. They host a number of themed evenings during the year which are well worth checking out.

Caprice Cafe Galway

Caprice Cafe Galway

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dela

Dela

When you say brunch you invariably mean Dela, drive through town on a Sunday morning and the queues outside it’s door will attest to that. The interior is superb again, the staff are very welcoming and helpful and the food is sublime. My most recent visit saw an elderly lady stop and ask what I was eating as it looked so good. It was the “posh egg’s” a mouthwatering dish with scrambled eggs, chrizo and prawns. Absolutely devine.

 

https://www.facebook.com/delarestaurant/

Hyde

Hyde Bar

This new kid on the block has to be included and not just because I work there. The interior is stunning it’s an Instagram dream. Hyde is famous for it’s enormous Gin selection but it’s quickly become a very popular brunch venue, the flower wall and Glasshouse are particularly popular areas to sit and enjoy this scrumptious menu.

https://www.facebook.com/HydeGalway/

 

 

Kai

To be fair its ages since I’ve been here but from what I hear standards haven’t dropped a bit. The philosophy of this multi multi award winning restaurant is very simple, head chef Jessica sources fresh, organic produce from local suppliers to create daily menus bursting with flavor, texture and colour. All menus change on a daily basis dependent on what is fresh and in stock from local suppliers.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/kairestaurantgalway/

 

 

Ard Bia

Another very popular venue with waiting times of up to an hour on a Sunday and it’s worth the wait. Located in the Spanish Arch this cosy little restaurant is full of nooks and crannies ideal for catch up’s on the previous nights shenanigans. An exquisite meun with a stylish twist on all your favourite’s awaits diners. I have to add the staff are excellent and understanding especially the lad that was able to tolerate my super fussy friends on Ladies Day.


Ard Bia

Ard Bia

kai

https://www.facebook.com/ardbia/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honourable mentions include, Coco Cafe in Salthill, especailly on a sunny day, Tribeton, 1520, The Corrib Tea Rooms. 

 

Am i missing any? Where is your favourite, let me know! 

Dela

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Environ Friendly

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Environ Friendly

Self care is not selfish!

It’s a quote I heard again recently and absolutely love. A few weeks ago I was invited to Westport to undergo a skin consultation in Gearldines Skincare Clinic after a recommendation from my good friend Hayley Coleman. If you follow Geraldine on social media you will know that she is really encouraging men to look after their skin and is treating Mayo GAA legends like Aiden O Shea and Lee Keegan and boxer Ray Moylette in order to encourage men to look after their skin better. So when I told my friends I was going for a facial I was greeted with replies like, “isn’t it good for some” or “aren’t you good to yourself”! Skincare shouldn’t be seen as a luxury it’s a necessity.

Environ combines the best of science with cutting edge technology to offer skin care principals that provide superior scientific-based skincare for all. The man behind Environ is Dr Des Fernandes who designed Environ to help correct the visible effects of the chronic deficiency of vitamin A that everyone suffers from in the exposed areas of their skin. Few people understand that this deficiency leads to the appearance of major skin problems we develop and attribute to aging and sun damage. 

The formulae of Environ are entirely based on the need to help replenish all the essential skin nutrients lost by exposure to the sun and environmental factors, and at the same time moisturise the skin's appearance. Environ skin care products have been formulated to combat and relieve the harmful effects of today’s harsh environmental changes, specifically pollution and ever-increasing doses of radiation from the sun due to the thinning of the protective ozone layer. Added to these are the modern-day effects of social and work stresses and poor diet. 
 

On my first visit I had an Environ Hydraboost Treatment using Hyaluronic Acid. This holds up to 1000 times its own weight in water. It is used to hydrate and plump the skin reducing premature wrinkles caused by dehydration and general ageing. The facial felt amazing but most importantly I was given a number of products to take away and use. I have been using these for three months now and while this is a relatively short amount of time I can already see and feel the improvements.

Each day I use an Environ Cleanser, Toner and Moisturiser (I’ve just moved onto level 2 of the Environ Vitimin Step- Up System) and Advanced Nutrition Skin Vit A Capsule’s so my skin is getting treated from inside as well as outside.

Now all I need is to sort out the diet and drink more water!

A huge thanks to Gearldine and her team for the treatments and the great advice during the treatments

 

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Petite Beaute

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Petite Beaute

Life is pretty stressful and takes its toll on all of us. Between work, events, sport and a social life, it’s rare that I get time to myself. Even rarer that I get to enjoy a treatment that helps me unwind and relax away from the cursed phone.

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Wedding Bells

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Wedding Bells

Any excuse that I get to visit the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point I will grab with both hands. After my amazing recent stay I make the return trip to see the hotels wedding fare. After experiencing the incredibly warm West Clare welcome I knew that all perspective couples would be in for a treat when they met the team.

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Skincare - not just for girls

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Skincare - not just for girls

Blogging has taught me a great deal, about myself, the world around me and the importance of looking after your skin. I have got to try lots of great brands and one of the best is without doubt Clairns. I was recently sent two new products by the legendary French brand.

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Common Scents

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Common Scents

Anyone that follows me on social media will be well aware that I am a big fan of aftershave. As my collection grows so too does my interest in different and scents and brands. I’m not the kind of person that sticks to one fragrance for a while, I like to have a selection suitable for a whole host of occasions.

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Anti Wrinkle Galway

Botox, a simple safe beauty treatment or a shameful, risky vanity indulgence. Talking to the majority of my friends it would appear to be the latter. When it came to getting Botox, like every decision making process in 2017 I threw the question into a trusted What’s App group.

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Shopping Local

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Shopping Local

I’m all about looking forward: the next gadget, the newest hotspot in town, I’m on it like CNN on Trumps latest daft tweets. However, every now and again it’s nice to enjoy and appreciate some of the more traditional local business’.

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Fancy a Cuppa

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Fancy a Cuppa

Last week I had my first ever cupping therapy session. I think like a lot of people I first noticed it during the Olympics when Micheal Phleps amongst others had those distinctive marks on their back after the treatment. I was delighted to accept the offer from Lorraine and travel out to Claregalway for a treatment.

Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a therapist puts special cups on your skin for a few minutes to create suction. You can get it for a whole host of reasons, friends of mine go to alleviate pain, I just with the goal of relaxation and wellbeing.

To begin I was given a massage with oils and then the suction cups were applied. Lorraine, my lovely masseuse talking me through the entire process gently moved the cups around my back, at all times ensuring that I wasn’t feeling any pain or discomfort. I honestly found it so relaxing, it was such a lovely experience.

The basic principal is that as the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum. This causes the blood vessels to expand which causes your skin to expand. The cups were gentle moved around my back to stimulate the entire area and encourage blood flow throughout.

I’d honestly highly recommend a treatment, I feel so great afterwards, really relaxed and refreshed. I met a friend just after the treatment and he asked if I had just woken up, as I looked so relaxed.

I think its critical to unwind and relax nowadays. I have always found playing sport an amazing way to relieve stress but as I get a bit older its harder to play as often as I’d like to. This or any treatment that you find helps you to relax and feel reenergized is so worthwhile. Treating yourself a few times a year can have serious long term benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing.

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Feeling Jaded

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Feeling Jaded

The poor old English get blamed for a lot of things in this country, most unfairly but some is justified. The Irish were a randy bunch back in the day until Queen Elizabeth and the gang stopped all the fun.

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