A shopping trip to Newcastle West, Co Limerick’s largest town, will satisfy the hungriest and most discerning appetite in the approach to Christmas.
With an abundance of diverse shops to visit, your first port of call must be Sonas Health Foods in the heart of the town to enjoy a bracing caffeine hit of Coffee Culture whilst perusing the shelves for some mouthwatering presents.
If you are expecting house guests with special dietary requirements during the festive season, check out the “free from” products such as Rigney’s gluten free granola which won gold at last year’s Blas na hEireann / Irish Food Awards.
Having broken the back on your lengthy list, lunch beckons and options include the Silver Room on Market Yard which won Best Newcomer in Limerick at this year’s RAI Irish Restaurant Awards, Sultana Coffee House in Harrold’s Court, Marguerites Bakery on the Square or perhaps you would prefer to appreciate the view over the River Arra at The Mallard on North Quay.
You will face a difficult decision choosing the location for a well deserved mid afternoon pitstop.
The eclectic Objekt on South Quay with its multitude of Christmas accessories, gift options (there’s a section dedicated to wine!) and seasonal necessities such as napkins, candles and cards, is ideally located if the OH wants to nip across the road to Cleary’s Bar for a cheeky craft beer (or to one of the other welcoming family owned pubs such as Whelan’s Bar or Dan Cronin’s) whilst Objekt proprietor Aoife Hayes takes on the role of your personal barista. Alternatively, check out the latest addition to the town’s culinary scene – the coffee bar in the G Boutique on Bridge St.
Before you leave town, pop in to Yoshi Sushi to Go and pick up some Japanese fare freshly prepared with Irish crab and prawns by Polish couple Martina and Martin or why not check in to the recently refurbished Longcourt House Hotel, home to Table 21 and Chasers Bar Bistro, which is celebrating the end of its first year in business.
And finally if you have spoiled yourself to a new outfit in one of the many beautiful boutiques or on trend menswear shops that Newcastle West boasts, the Mustard Seed in Ballingarry provides the perfect opportunity to show off your latest look. The Thursday Tidings package will put the final polish on your festive spirit and at only €60.00 per person for a 4 course dinner with bubbles and canapés on arrival, a night out at the award winning country house is a must.
Sharon Noonan is a freelance chartered marketer specialising in the food and drink industry. As featured on RTE’s Nationwide, the Newcastle West native hosts private culinary tours in her home town and Limerick city and presents the food and drink radio show, Best Possible Taste, on West Limerick 102FM every Tuesday at 8pm. BPT is repeated on Wednesdays at 8am and the podcast is available to listen to on www.sharonnoonan.com