A few weeks ago, we visited the annual Christmas Market in Galway. It was actually my first time there and Let me tell you, it was Great. The atmosphere was mesmerising.
Where: The Spanish Arch, Galway City | When: 20th November – 22nd December
After almost three weeks away, my amazing husband ‘surprised me’ with ‘we’re going to Galway for the weekend’ (not because I have been pestering him constantly, of course). We decided to stay a few nights in Galway after Elvis’s gig in Limerick so that we could visit the Market and do a little exploring.
Being away for any length of time often makes you think of home. And, do you know what one of the best things about living in Ireland is – The People. A friendly smile or a kind ‘Hello’ from a stranger, is never uncommon. And I find that travelling abroad is always great but, and it must be that I’ve now lived here too long, coming home to the atmosphere here is just magic.
And so our story begins…
The air was laden with heady Christmas smells as we tramped our way through bustling crowds. The last remnants of crumpled soggy leaves clung to drains and footpaths. Throngs of people draped in woolly hats, gloves and scarves trailed from stalls. Queues of chatter and Christmas songs filled the air. It was cold with not a hint of rain in the clear sky, surprising for the the middle of November. Irish weather is so unpredictable, as the next day brought with it a damp, muggy drizzle that lasted a week.
Anyhow as the day went on, smoke rose in tendrils from chimney’s all along the square, puffing away contently to the sound of Christmas. I can close my eyes and be transported right back to that moment. There was magic in my air.
We ate freshly cooked hot dogs, ketchup dripping onto our cold fingers and drank steaming cups of mulled wine. We soaked in every ounce of the Christmas Spirit.
And that was the moment Christmas kicked in…
So, as the cold began to creep into our boots, gnawing slowly at our toes, we decided to go on a little adventure to find a tea house that I had read about on tripadvisor. It’s a quaint little place that is terribly difficult to find when your phone has died. But worth it in the end.
The Secret Garden is a pretty tea room with an expansive range of teacups and pots that even I was jealous of.
As the door opened in, a warm wave of aromatic smells washed over me. Bathed in an ambiance of fruity herbal teas and candle light, I had met my heaven (If you know me, you know how much I LOVE TEA). It was the perfect end our Market Adventure.
Ok, it wasn’t exactly the end, we still had to walk 20 minutes back to the Hotel, which really is the best way to get acquainted with a place, I think.
We had an amazing panfried salmon dressed in a beautifully tangy basil pesto. Resting, oh so precariously, on a bed of baby potatoes, rocket leaves and garden peas. Ok, I’ll stop, I’m making myself hungry just writing about it…
And that, my friends, was that…
To find out more about a Market near you, visit my latest blog post on Ireland’s Christmas Markets