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galway

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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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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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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Dear Galway Player

Dear Galway Player  

This is the strangest letter I’ve ever had to write but it’s been a while coming. Just over five years ago after an exasperated conversation about the world of dating you were born. It was impossible to predict then the profound change of my life the simple act of setting up a twitter account.

 

In all honestly I was struggling at that time, struggling with my confidence, self esteem and my direction in life. Despite my amazing friends and family I felt lost and it took you, an alter ego, a fictional character to teach me who I really am. The joy and happiness that I have experienced thanks to this blog over that has been immeasurable, but more importantly resulted in my personal development and the restoration of my self-confidence. I have truly never been happier, working in my dream job as part of the marking team for An Púcán, The Connacht Hotel and Active Fitness.

 

The world of blogging has taught me more about life and myself that I ever imagined. Marketing is about standing out and I certainly achieved that, maybe I took the saying that ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity” a little too far but I am so proud of my achievements with this sometimes divisive character. If you told me six years ago that I would have written a book on dating and have a regular segment on national radio giving advice, I’d have laughed, proof I guess that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.

 

Being anonymous was both the best and worst thing about that blog, now however is the time to part ways. The Shift and Drift lifestyle was a lot of fun but it’s time for me and the blog to move on to the next step. I have been fortunate to work with amazing companies in the past and look forward to working with more and sharing my personal thoughts and experiences. I have developed a previously unknown love of writing and a passion for fashion and male grooming, I hope that the next stage of the Galway Player Blog can be a source of reference to Irish typical Irish guys, like myself.

 

From the bottom of my heart thanks so much to everyone that I’ve met and has supported me on this journey, far too many to mention here. So Galway’s worst kept secret is officially out, see you all soon.

 

Kieran O Malley

The Galway Player

 

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Faking It

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Faking It

As a celebrated singleton friends frequently inquire if I ever get bored of the endless stream of meaningless one night stands.

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Daft Ireland

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Daft Ireland

The similarities between looking for somewhere to live and dating are actually remarkable when you think about it.

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Valentines Day 2016

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Valentines Day 2016

  Valentines Day is rapidly becoming one of the most dreaded dates on the calendar as it reminds forlorn single women of their hopeless lonely plight. 

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'Tis the Season for Giving

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'Tis the Season for Giving

Its all about Giving There’s about four shopping days left until Christmas, so it’s almost time to start thinking about sorting out a gift for the missus. Its strange how stressed out guys get about making this purchase.

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Fitness for Xmas

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Fitness for Xmas

I’m a few weeks into my #FitnessForChristmas drive so I thought I better do a quick post to keep you updated on my progress.

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