Next stop Father Ted’s house!
I had found some directions on the net but they weren’t that easy to follow – OH and I took a couple of wrong turns so hopefully if you follow these directions you will have more success than I did with the ones I followed. Just remember these are back roads and you will be convinced you are on the wrong road but keep the faith.
Father Ted’s House from Limerick
Father Ted’s House is about 1 hour’s drive from Limerick.
- From Limerick follow signs to Galway and the N18. Stay on the N18.
- Continue onto the M18.
- At Junction 14 take the R458 exit to Inis/Ennis/Gort Lomán/Barefield
- At Barefield Roundabout, take the 2nd exit
- The junction is very slightly staggered but you want to head straight on (keeping the pub on your left) which is heading towards Toormore. Drive for approx 6.5 km
- During that 6.5km you will come to an unsignposted junction – bear to the right.
- At Ruan, turn right (past the telephone box) and drive for 500m. Turn right, then left again – it’s another slightly staggered junction but you’re basically going straight on.
- Continue on this road until you come to a definite crossroads. You’re going straight on. There is a signpost pointing you towards a fishery. This is the road you want.
- By this point you will be convinced you’re on the wrong road because it’s single track and looks like it leads to nowhere. You’re fine – continue on this road until you come to a definite T-junction. You will immediately recognise that this is a more main road (there’s lines but the only signpost is a give way) Turn right onto the R460, then take the first left (past the houses). Follow the road round (there’s a bit that looks like a Y junction – stick to the road and bear left).
- Continue straight on until you come to another definite junction. Again no signpost but there is a give way one. Turn right. Stay on this road. You will pass a parking lay-by on your right with an information board about the landscape. Now you will definitely know you’re on the right road.
- Father Ted’s House is on this road on your left so just drive. Go on, go on, go on.
When we arrived this nutter was sitting on the wall showing us where the house was – you might not be so lucky.
After many Kodak moments we headed up to Galway.
As it was our anniversary I had booked us into The G Hotel, a lovely 5 star hotel. Just as you drive into Galway it appears on your right as your drive down the dual carriageway, an impressive modern building oddly sited in the middle of a retail park. I have to admit I had expected it to be on its own, perhaps with its own grounds. It just goes to show the benefit of hiring good photographers to do your PR. Saying that, once you are in the building you quickly forget where you are as you are surrounded by plushness, sparkles and baubles. An eye catching marine fish tank replaces one of the walls in reception and boasts, amongst many other things, 2 pairs of seahorses. I was enchanted watching the couples interlock their tails and gad about together.
I couldn’t contain my smile when the receptionist very kindly informed us that we had been upgraded to a deluxe room. I had requested on my booking form that I would like a quiet room for an anniversary celebration. Whether this had any bearing on the upgrade I don’t know but when we got to our deluxe room there were 4 (very rich) dark chocolates and 2 white cupcakes. There was also a lovely little card wishing as a happy celebration. It’s thoughtful, little touches like this that really makes a difference to a hotel. The room was genuinely comfortable and had everything you could need. Well, everything except an iron and as I hadn’t mentioned to OH that we were staying in the G he hadn’t really brought anything dressy and the one thing he did have that was suitable was a bit creased. However, a steamy walk-in shower soon put that to right and after a couple of glasses of wine we headed down to dinner.
We sat at the window with a view of Lough Atalia and ordered a bottle of Rioja. The menu was varied enough to suit everyone but didn’t have too much to overwhelm you either. OH went for the G Caesar Salad – poached chicken, air dried ham crips, shaved parmesan, croutons and creamy dressing. I had the roast carrot and rosemary velouté with roasted garlic cream. The soup was amazing and had depth and layers of taste. I’m not a fan of rosemary but it was a delicate flavour and it did add to it in a positive way. OH’s salad looked filling but it didn’t last long in front of him.
For my next course I had butter basted fillet of Claire Island salmon, tempura oyster, baby spinach, fondant potato, Prosecco velouté. It was a little salty but I enjoyed the different textures and tastes. The tempura oyster was my favourite part of the dish and I could easily have had another. Unsurprisingly, OH plumped for the Char grilled rib-eye steak of Irish beef (done rare), white onion creamed potatoes, buttered broccoli and red wine jus. He let me have a bit of his steak and I could taste the char grilling. It didn’t take much chewing and left me with a beautiful taste in my mouth. Throughout the meal we were well looked after and nothing was too much trouble.
Feeling content and sated neither of us could manage dessert but there was Cookies and cream cheesecake, Zesty lemon posset and a selection of ice creams on offer.
After dinner we headed into town, which was a welcome 25 minute walk after the meal. Liverpool was playing Sunderland that night so we managed to watch the first half in Garvey’s Inn and the 2nd in Garavan’s, both friendly, old style pubs. Btw It ended 2-1 to Liverpool.
The next morning we actually managed to make it to breakfast. I rarely book a hotel breakfast nowadays, much preferring a long lie to having to get up and dress for a particular time. It’s much more fun finding somewhere local for breakfast at a more reasonable hour. Anyhow, this morning we made the effort and it was an effort because the bed was one of the comfiest I have ever slept in!
Downstairs we were greeted warmly and did the usual thing of walking past the cold breakfast offerings to be seated just so we could then stand up again to go and help ourselves to juice and cereal etc. I helped myself to fruit and yogurt and then opted for an omelette – nothing exciting to report there, whilst OH had the full Irish and scrapped his plate clean. Our stomachs content once more we headed back into the city centre to finish off our visit to Galway with a trip around the museum and a wander along the riverside.