48 Hours In... Gorgeous County Galway
Your itinerary for the ultimate weekend out Wesht
A new Lovin.ie series in which we explore one of Ireland's beautiful counties, cities or towns over 48 hours.
Summer is over, but that doesn't mean the adventures have to stop here.
This Autumn you need to pencil in a trip to the wonderful west.
And where better than Galway city to call home for a weekend?
Wanderlust on a time budget can make 'soaking it all in' a bit tricky and stressful at times.
But with a little focus, determination and Google maps, anywhere can be absorbed entirely within 48 hours - and Galway with its many sights, cafes, bars, and restaurants is no exception...
3pm: After our two-and-a-half hour journey from Dublin to Galway, we were exhausted and starved.
We parked the car and checked into The House Hotel in the heart of Galway, right by The Spanish Arch. Super handy for walking around the city as essentially everything is easily accessible from The Latin Quarter.
We managed to get a lovely top floor room with views out over the city and nearby waters.
4pm: But back to our hunger - upon recommendation from our hotel's front of house, we set off in search of Brasserie on the Corner on Eglinton Street for some sociable nibbles.
We had let some friends know that we'd be visiting in advance so they met us in Brasserie and we ordered some gorgeously-presented sharing boards which really hit the spot.
We went for an Artisan Producer meat board of Angus beef rib croquette, Gubeen chorizo, Forage and Cure coppa, Andarl Farm pork rillette with roasted tomato olive tapenade and apple and pear relish and a locally sourced veggie board of cauliflower saffron arancini, beetroot, squash and lentil spring roll, giant cous cous with pomegranate, sweet potato and coriander with smoked aubergine caviar.
We picked and nibbled at them for an hour while catching up and left Brasserie feeling content but not overly full, which was perfect as we knew we'd soon be eating again - at dinner.
The boards were less than a tenner each, so not only were we happy out - our wallets were too.
Heading back towards our hotel, we took the scenic route through town on foot and headed over Salmon Weir Bridge, crossing the Corrib, towards Galway Cathedral for a gawk.
The weather was fine so we wandered around in the sunshine for a while, taking in Galway in all its glory.
7pm: We headed back to explore our dreamy pink city centre hotel and decided to pop into the hotel bar for a wee cocktail... or three.
The House Hotel ain't got no ordinary, boring hotel bar lemme tell you - there were streams of people having the craic as live music played in the funkily-decorated room.
9pm: After rushing around to get ready for our late dinner, we legged it to Galway's Westend to check out a spot that had been on my list for ages - The Universal.
It was such a solid dining experience consisting of loads of delightful nibbles, unreal atmosphere and one too many craft cocktails.
11.30pm: Safe to say we were back in The House Hotel and conked before midnight after a crazy day absorbing beautiful Galway.
10am: Up and at 'em after a wonderful night's sleep, we headed down to check out the breakfast spread and continued to eat our weight in food.
The House Hotel had serious continental breakfast offerings, which we helped ourselves to while waiting for our hot brekkies to arrive.
11.30am: We got ready, packed up and checked out of the hotel, leaving all our stuff in the car, to prepare for checking into our second hotel later in the day.
But for now - it was time to explore and do a lil retail therapy.
I used to visit Willow in Ennis, Co. Clare when I was younger so it was great to see it now flourishing on Mainguard Street in Galway.
1pm: It was time to hit the Galway market at this stage. We were still stuffed after breakfast but this was an eating trip and our mama's didn't raise no quitters.
And there was only one thing on the agenda - The Bean Tree's famous potato and pea madras curry.
Like always - it did not disappoint and we inhaled it in about 0.5 seconds. Extra yoghurt plz.
2pm: After checking out the rest of the market stalls (of which there are LOADS, from fresh organic produce to sushi, cheese, olives, falafel, crepes, jewellery, art, clothing, freshly-made donuts and flowers), we decided to head out to Salthill on foot.
It was as nice a day as we could've wished for so we headed out to Spanish Arch, Claddagh and took the scenic sea road all the way out to Salthill prom.
We leisurely strolled the length of it, breathing that fresh and salty sea air deep into our lungs, and kicked the famous wall at Blackrock.
4pm: We headed back into where we'd left the car near the Spanish Arch and grabbed a quick bite in the Galway's newest burger joint - Burgatory.
For our second night in Galway we decided to #TreatOurselves to one of the finer things in life - the g hotel.
After years of wanting to stay here, we bit the bullet and checked in just after 5pm.
The hotel is unlike anything I've ever experienced. Walking down its long pink-carpeted corridor to peer into each Philip Treacy-designed reception/lounge room is like opening presents on Christmas day.
Like piano music permeates the air and people are set around enjoying cocktails and delish-smelling food.
We headed up to our room, located at the end of a beautifully gloomy and mysterious dark purple second-floor corridor, which was g o r g e o u s, had a TV above the bath and the biggest bed I've ever laid my eyes on.
We popped down to the hotel's spa and booked into their mysterious Thermal Suite for the following morning.
7.30pm: After a little exploring of the hotel and a quick power nap, it was time to get ready and head to dinner.
8pm: I'd been hearing great things about Tribeton ever since it opened so I was delighted that we managed to get a reservation for dinner that evening.
Last time I was in the unusual space that now houses the stunning restaurant, it was a furniture showroom. So it has certainly come a long way since then.
Despite having eaten our way around the entire town, we were pretty damn hangry by the time dinner rolled around.
We ordered a caramelised onion risotto fritter (like an arancini) with goat cheese and beetroot as a starter to share which was only divine.
I opted for a juicy, delicious steak as a main and my veggie other half went for the cassoulet of lentils which was the winner for sure. So tasty.
We washed all of the above down with one-too-many espresso and pornstar martinis, perfectly shaken and frothed. Truly excellent cocktails.
11pm: Needless to say we rolled into our bed back at the g and kipped for the night in a blissful food coma.
10am: After probably the best sleep of our entire lives, our never-ending hunger had already sunk in. Surprise, surprise.
We headed down to Restaurant gigi's (the g hotel's gorge, award-winning restaurant) for the most impressive hotel brekkie I've ever consumed.
A room entirely filled with help-yo'self fruit, cereals, meats, cheese and fry-up components side-by-side with the dining room where you could order even more food from a menu.
I went for eggs benny, obv.
11.30am: Food coma number 3,000 set in for the weekend and there was only one place left to go - the Thermal Suite for ultimate chill time.
In three words, the suite is like a black vortex cocoon.
Black walls, black floors, black heated loungers, black everythang.
It's only a tenner in for hotel residents, so needless to say we were happy out with our bargain, but super fancy, spa day.
It has everything - a vitality hydro pool with water therapy jets and jacuzzi effects, a crystal steam room, lifestyle rain showers, a rock sauna, an ice fountain and tepidarium heated loungers.
1pm: We headed back to our room to shower, pack up and avail of our late check out before treating ourselves to one last treat - because we're worth it.
Afternoon tea the g, dahling.
You can opt for tea or bubbles, but as we were driving back to Dubin we stuck with the tae, sure you can't bate it.
As far as afternoon teas go - this is up there with one of the best we've ever tried.
Teeny tiny, carefully thought out, sumptuous savoury and sweet bites - the dream.
The tea stand was empty in the blink of an eye.
If you'd prefer to Airbnb it - one of these may tickle your fancy.
We hit the road back to Dublin feeling relaxed, revitalised, refreshed and ten stone heavier. We won't forget that trip. Ever.
Well? What are you waiting for? The west awaits.