Our little town, the people’s capital-Cork, is a great place to spend a day, or night in. Whether you’re basking in the sunny Lee Fields in the summertime, or taking shelter from the rain in one of Cork’s many bars in the winter, this city always feels like home.
Here is my round up of my favourite places in the city for all seasons:
The beautiful Fitzgerald’s Park is located on Cork’s Mardyke. Recently renovated, the park now houses a stunning hanging garden for you to enjoy. The park also features gorgeous gardens, a pond speckled with water-lilies-and the odd duck or two, a new amphitheatre and a cute little caf to chillax in. This has been our go to haunt for the summer months, when it’s particularly pretty with its amazing rose gardens and impeccable lawns. I’m sure we’ll be dragged in to the park’s playground in the winter too though. It’s a definite hit- Cork’s Treasure 🙂
2) All the Lanes
(Jason having a pint of stout 🙂 )
Tucked away on a little lane way off Patrick Street, Mutton Lane is one of Cork’s hidden gems. This small, snug bar is ideal for a cosy winter drink, and is guaranteed to cheer you up on a rainy day.
One of Cork’s best pubs can be found on Sullivan’s Quay. Sober by name, sober by nature? Not if Sober Lane charms you with its copious beverages (of the alcoholic variety) and its yummy cocktails (who can refuse a Strawberry Daiquiri?). The quirky bar menu, which is varied as-serving everything from pulled pork to parsnip chips to pizza, will entice you to eat and sure, after that, you will stay for another. Oh, the irony 🙂
Finally, let’s rock on over to The Crane Lane has been a firm favourite of mine, since it made its debut on Phoenix Street way back when. The Crane has been voted ‘Best Live Music Venue in Munster’ and whether you’re hanging out in the Courtyard, posing by the Stage Door, chilling in the Crystal Bar or taking in a gig in the theatre, you’re sure to have a great time!
Cork’s main street, Patrick Street, is the epicentre of Cork. This historic street is home to many of the stores that we know and love. Brown Thomas, Debenhams, Penneys, Oasis, Monsoon, Coast and Dunnes first ever store, can all be found on Pana. Cork’s vibrant Opera Lane is also only a stone’s throw away.
Although, it has won the award for Ireland’s best shopping street twice, since its redevelopment in 2004, it’s sad to see so many of our favourite stores have closed in recent months due, I suppose, to the economic downturn and the ease of internet shopping. Hopefully, there will be a new lease of life in our city soon. There are some brilliant plans in the pipeline, from what I gather-sure, what more would you expect from the Cork folk? 😉 Here’s hoping that a bit of vibrancy will be re-injected into our lovely Leeside shops soon 🙂
4) Cork Markets and Fairs
Every now and then, Cork goes all out and really shows what it’s made of. Local food fairs and markets really demonstrate our flair for food. My absolute favourite is the market on the Grand Parade at Christmas time.
Stall after stall lines the street-all selling amazing Irish produce such as O’ Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages, O’ Conaill’s hot chocolate, fish and chips and cakes and sweets (Man of Aran fudge, Honeycomb, yum!). Bishop Lucey Park looks stunning when its decked out in fairy lights and ice, and the Grand Parade is spectacular when it’s lit up by the old style big wheel and pretty carousel. Stroll around and take it all in, while bundled up in your warmest coat with a hot drink in hand. You might even stumble upon some local handmade gifts on your journey down the Grand Parade, and when you’re there-drop into Deep South or Electric for a mulled something or other. We’ll say a prayer that this year won’t be a wash-out. I CANNOT WAIT! 🙂 🙂
5) Beer Fests in the Franciscan Well
I know they did Oktoberfest in the Beamish and Crawford Brewery last month, and it looked amazing. Sadly, we couldn’t make it. However, it’s that time of year again, where we are really looking forward to the Beer Fest in the Franciscan Well, and to the jazz weekend and Halloween and yada yada… Me, putting the cart before the horse in the last paragraph-on about Christmas and it’s not even Halloween yet 😉 I can’t wait for banana beer! 🙂 I love that they’re doing a Winter and Cask Ale fest in February now too. How very medieval! 😉
Cork’s feel good pub-complete with cheesy choons, lots of drinkies (is Captain Morgan on special again? 🙂 ) and lots of crazy dance moves. We love this place. It has such a great atmosphere-all of the time 🙂
The Crawford Gallery, Emmet Place, is a great way to spend a day. Get lost viewing the extensive gallery, which spans many floors, and grab a coffee in the quaint cafe on your travels. Pop on over to the Opera House, when you’re done. Take in a show if there’s something good on, and Bob’s your uncle, you’ve a nice way to spend the evening. Simples.
This is another one for Sullivan’s Ouay to add to its belt. The menu boasts wholesome food, such as yummy carvery, soups, sandwiches and paninis, and sort of reminds you of what your mammy would serve up, except on a grander scale. There is such a homely feel about The Flying Enterprise and the staff are so welcoming, warm and friendly. The Courtyard Quarterdeck is a great place to have a few scoops, and it’s the place to be on a sunny day. Many a day was spent there back in the good ol’ college days and I have nothing but great things to say about everybody who helps in the running of one of Cork’s nicer spots.
This is what Cork is to me. A little town, full of friendly faces, which is bustling with creativity, culture and life. I love this city 🙂 There are so many other places that deserve a mention, (Bar Pigalle, Tom Barry’s, Fionnbarra’s, the Hugenot Quarter) but I’d be here all night. Let me know where all your favourite places are.
xx ❤ Sarah