Our Trip to Cork, June 2005


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Diary of a Weekend in Cork, June 2005

Day 1: Dublin to Cork
Day 1: Checking out the Nightlife in Cork
Day 2: Cork to Blarney
Day 2: The Midleton Jameson Distillery
Day 2: A Visit to Historical Cobh
Day 2: Night out in Cork City
Day 3: Cork City Gaol
Day 3: Fota Wildlife Park
Day 3: Homeward Bound - Cork to Dublin

Day 1: Friday June 17th 2005 - Checking out Cork Nightlife

En route to Princes Street, we encounter a parade of kids all in their country stripes, some carrying hurls, others banners and posters. We seem to have come across the 'Feile na Gael' parade - a parade organised by the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) with kids from all around the country all in their county colours - the atmosphere is fantastic!

It's a beautiful balmy evening in Cork city as we make our way up Patrick's Street toward Princes Street. The city is teeming with people, some finishing up a day's shopping, others on their way out for a night on the tiles. We made out way to Princes Street where a number of restaurants, Asian, Indian and good old Irish line the street. One of the most famous restaurants in the country is to be found here 'The Ivory Tower' - from the outside it looks dingy and dark but take yourself through the old doorway and up the rickety stairs for a very special dining experience. Unfortunately, the menu was just a little out of our budget (expect around EUR50pp for the set menu). Further up the street on the right hand side is a small Indian Restaurant called Indian Palace where we decided to go for dinner.

Dinner at Indian Palace
There wasn't many in the restaurant when we arrived, just 2 other tables, we were seated at a table in a small booth in the corner. There is a good Indian feel to the place, with the mandatory Indian music playing in the background and Décor is very much along the lines of a good Indian restaurant. The menu is extensive and varied - you can pretty much get any Indian dish you can think of here! There is also a good wine and beer menu; we sampled Indian Cobra beer and also the Tiger beer. There is so much choice, we actually had difficulty deciding what to order, but eventually we decided on the combo platter (chicken wings, vegetarian samosas etc.) and a portion of Onion Bahjis to start. Ciara had vegetable Karahi, I had Tandoori Chicken, and Elaine had Chile Chicken Bhuna with Naan Bread and Pilau Rice.The starters arrived eventually, and were well received. Vegetable samosas, chicken pakora and chicken wings made up the mixed dish and we had onion Bahjis accompanied them. We were all pretty happy with the starters. For the main course, my tandoori chicken was excellent, it came with baked veggies and a good sauce, and the chicken was just perfectly cooked. Myself and Elaine enjoyed our mains very much, although Ciara was a bit disappointed with hers. Overall though, it was a good meal. The bill came to E84 - quite reasonable for 2 courses each, a couple of rounds of beers and a couple of coffees.

Hotels in the Area
If you wish to stay nearby in this very central part of Cork city, there are a number of hotels available. The 3* Imperial Hotel is a very popular place to stay for young people visiting Cork and a great location for touring the sites of the city. Another option is the Fantastic Clarion Hotel in Cork City. Probably the newest hotel in the city, the Clarion Cork is wonderfully designed and decorated. All rooms are trendy, modern, bright and spacious. Enjoy a drink in Kudos bar, a meal in Synergie or work out Sanovitae Health centre.

Stop-off at 'The Vineyard', Market Lane
Refuelling done, we headed back to Patrick Street. We had gotten a recommendation of a bar called Reardons from the waitress in the Indian Palace. We stopped off en route at The Vineyard - a modern cocktail bar on Market Lane just off Patrick's Street. When we got there around 11pm, it wasn't very busy but we reckon of we had come back a few hours later, it would be a hive of activity. The cocktails were reasonably priced (E7.50) and the bar staff really put time and effort into all the drinks. They also served Tiger beer in large bottle much to my delight!

Live Music at Rearden's
Next, on to Rearden's, a late bar and nightclub, known by the locals as one of Cork's best venues. There is live music on here most nights and Havana Browns nightclub is part of the same building. There was a small cover charge of E4 but is well worth it. The band we saw; Transmitter; were excellent - got the crowd going, great atmosphere and great tunes. There was a DJ on afterwards playing hits from the 80s and 90's. Havana Browns nightclub is upstairs from Rearden's - there's an additional cover charge to get into the nightclub. The music finished up around 2am, and we headed back to the hotel, tired and happy! Slept like babies!

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