You don't need to fly to have a lovely break away.
Booking a little city break is the ultimate treat – who doesn’t love traipsing the streets of a foreign city, taking in the sights and stuffing your face with local fare?
But flying is expensive, not to mention stressful and bad for the environment, and we have more than a few world class cities right here on our doorstep. Simply hop in the car (or better yet, the bus or the train) and be a tourist in your own country.
First up in our series on local city breaks: 48 hours in Cork City, bai.
The iconic Metropole Hotel has recently been given a makeover, with a sparkling new restaurant and updated bedrooms. Team STELLAR was recently invited down to stay in one of the beautifully refurbished suites – and if you’re looking to make your trip to Cork especially romantic and special, we’d recommend you do the same. Our room was had charming period details, fluffy carpets, and a massive king-sized bed, and we couldn’t help but feel like royalty ourselves.
The Met is a few minutes’ walk from the city centre, just far enough from the hustle and bustle to ensure a peaceful nights’ sleep, but not so far that you can’t easily join in if so desired. There’s a swimming pool and leisure centre that we gratefully availed of on a rainy Saturday afternoon, and the staff could not have been more welcoming and helpful to us. For rates and to book, check out their website.
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And some day-lit Saturday (and everyday apart from Sunday) shopping. Perfect escape from drudgery of supermarket shopping. Slightly dated picture but still lovely! Posted @withrepost • @ierlandtoerisme Als je in Cork bent moet je wel even langs de English Market. Deze markthal is het sociale hart en de gourmet hub van de stad, met veel ambachtelijke kraampjes die een grote diversiteit aan lokale en internationale specialiteiten aanbieden🍽 Deel jouw Ierland foto's met #ontdekierland #ierland #cork #englishmarket #eten #drinken #foodmarket
It is absolutely essential that you pay a visit to the city’s famous English Market, where you’ll find all sorts of local produce. Even if you’re not shopping, the Victorian building is a sight to behold – make sure you wander down the side lanes too to scope out cute vintage and gift shops.
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Ireland in Space #1 Over 5000 years ago Stone Age astronomers in Ireland built monuments to track the Sun. In the 19th century the Leviathan of Parsonstown was the largest telescope on Earth for 70 years. Today Irish astronomers, space scientists and researchers work on world changing missions. Our unspoilt night skies are protected as Dark Sky Parks and Reserves This exhibit is a taste of Ireland‘s place in Space. Credit: Super moon rising over Blackrock Castle, Cork. Killian Jackson killianjacksonphotography.com Brought to you by CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory and supported by ESERO Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland.
If the weather is good, head out to Blackrock Castle Observatory, which sits about 5km away from the city centre and affords you beautiful views River Lee. Entry includes both a tour of the castle itself and access to its astronomy exhibition, so you’ll learn loads.
If the weather is most definitely not good, the Mardyke Entertainment Complex is basically a one stop shop for craic. There’s a bowling alley, pool hall, ping pong tables, and karaoke bar for you to get competitive over for a few hours. Ideal!
Cork City is a foodie’s dream. For brunch, stop in to Ali’s Kitchen – everything is made on site using local ingredients, so the menu is small, but extremely delicious. You’ll get your brunch classics like French toast and Eggs Benedict, along with their inventive daily specials. Try something new, it’s worth it.
Meat lovers will want to get themselves to Elbow Lane Smokehouse, where they serve up fantastic steaks and ribs. One thing to note, though – they don’t take reservations, so you’ll want to get there early or be prepared to wait. Elbow Lane is also a brewery, so you can get a nice beer as you do so.
Back at The Metropole, The Met restaurant is lovely for a special dinner. There’s something for everyone on the menu, from veggie curries and risotto to the most delicious roast lamb.
Cork is the home of Franciscan Well Brewery, and there’s no better place to sample their wares than in their own pub, situated just a little ways down the River Lee away from the city centre. If you don’t fancy moving on for food, their in-house pizza restaurant is great, too.
For something a little more quirky, head to Arthur Mayne’s, a 120-year-old pharmacy that’s been turned into a wine bar. The shop has been preserved as it was from its time as a chemist, and you can enjoy a glass of wine amongst antique medicine bottles, cosmetics, and ‘apothecary accoutrements’. Very Insta-friendly, if we do say so ourselves.
Have we convinced you to head south for a city break?