After all of the countries I have visited, Ireland is possibly the most beautiful and I feel blessed to call it my home. It will always be home for me even with my desires to travel around the world. This year I have set myself a few new goals and they involve Ireland. Last year some of my goals involved running in different 5/10k races around Ireland and now this year I want to hike different peaks in Ireland. The first on my list was Croagh Patrick in Co.Mayo. I have climbed Croagh Patrick before but the day itself was overcast so I have never witnessed the views so I prayed for a clear day this time. My prayers were answered and look at the views.
Westport, as you can see from my photos is incredibly beautiful. I am lucky to have Darragh as my photographer who captured some stunning shots. This coastal town in Co.Mayo was perfect for our weekend away. I actually won a voucher from irelandhotels.com so this covered the cost of our stay in Westport Woods. The reason behind choosing this hotel was because it has a leisure centre. After the long hike of Croagh Patrick, I knew that the feeling of sitting in the Jacuzzi would be amazing. From the pictures online this hotel was a bit of a let down and a little bit dated. This didn’t make a difference to us as we weren’t there for the luxury, just to relax. Just before we left Darragh captured this stunning photo from the car park of the hotel that over looks Croagh Patrick.
The food, where do I start! I had possibly the best fish dishes of my life in Westport. I wish we had been there for longer so that I could have eaten in more places. I am the ultimate foodie and plan my day around where we are having dinner while away. We simply googled restaurants in Westport and had a look at pictures on Twitter and Instagram.
A tip for finding cool and quirky places while travelling: look up the area on Instagram and hashtags associated with the area. That is how I find different places to visit. It is a great way to research and also to find out ‘instagramable’ places.
We ate in two really cute cafes during the day. Just Baked was the first place we saw when we arrived in Westport and is located in the centre of the town. It has the best looking cakes I have seen in a long time. Trying to make a decision was very difficult. After our hike we stopped in ‘The Creek’ so soup and a sambo. Unfortunately we were so hungry I don’t have a photo to show you our meal. What I really liked about this cafe is that it over looks Clew Bay which is very picturesque. Along the bay front there are a few pubs and restaurants so a must do if you are in Westport and they are less than 5 minutes outside the town.
Dinner, now this was what left me wanting more in Westport. On our first night we ate in Mango’s and I loved it. A colourful outside in the centre of the town with a warm and cosy inside. This place is tiny in size so be sure to book your place as it is well worth it. I had a seafood platter.as my starter. Words cannot describe how much I loved my starter. The fish was so fresh and tasty. Go hungry as the portions are large but we were delighted. Darragh chose two courses from the specials menu and both were an excellent choice. He had mackerel as a starter and this was the favourite among both of us. Mango’s has an extensive menu with several fish dishes, one more temping than the other. I usually always order fish in a restaurant, even more so when staying in a coastal town as you know it will be the very best.
On our second night in Westport we ate in An Port Mór. Now this is a restaurant everyone needs to experience once in their life. The art of cooking is taken to the next level with this meal. The flavours were exquisite. My starter was my favourite meal of the weekend. I had a trio of fish; tuna, mackerel and salmon accompanied with a homemade chutney to suit the texture of the fish. I was blown away with this starter. I nearly didn’t want to eat it the presentation was so lovely. An Port Mór was named in the top 100 restaurants by The Irish Times and I 100% agree with them. I loved both meals that we had but An Port Mór is a gourmet restaurant in the heart of Westport.
I plan to have more ‘Staycations’ in Ireland this year and this summer. Let me know your recommendations & tweet me @k8_kell.
Love Kate x