Where to eat in Cork – and where to stay, to boot! | Rosemary recommends
Before heading to UCC last week to speak at Fempower, their Feminist Society's feminist conference, I took to Twitter and Snapchat (@rosemarymaccabe) to ask my followers where to eat in Cork and, while I was at it, where to stay. I got tonnes of recommendations and, of course, we couldn't try everywhere! So I thought it would be helpful to share – not only where we did stay and eat, but every bit of advice I got on where to stay and where to eat in Cork.
Where we stayed – the Cork International Airport Hotel
This hotel was one of the top recommendations for where to stay in Cork. It's a beautifully plush hotel around a 15-minute drive outside the city (by the airport, quelle surprise) with some really quirky elements – check out the ladies' toilets (above) by the lobby. We stayed in a suite on the second floor, which had a massive living room and kitchen area, a queen-sized bed and a double bed, and two bathrooms.
We were there as guests of the hotel – as it happens, a friend of mine works with them and got in touch to offer us a one-night stay with breakfast. (There was no obligation to write a blog post or do any coverage on social media.)
Where we ate – lunch at the Cork International Hotel
We had three meals in Cork – we got the train down on Saturday morning, ate lunch when we arrived and, after the conference, we went for dinner.
We decided to eat lunch in the hotel and, as it turns out, it was a great decision! I had a turkey club sandwich on a Waterford blaa, served with fries and relish (I suspect, homemade). Stephen had the burger, which also came with fries and (again homemade) coleslaw. I don't know what it is about travelling, but whether it's by plane or by train, I always end up starving – and lunch really hit the spot!
It was also pretty good value, I thought; for the two of us, with two drinks, lunch came to around €26 before the tip.
Where we ate – dinner at Electric's Fishbar
For dinner, we ate in Electric's Fishbar (above). When I asked for recommendations on Twitter, a few people tagged Electric in their replies. Then the restaurant reached out and invited us in for dinner. (I promise that's not why I tweeted – I tried that before, at The Rolling Donut, and it's never worked!)
Everything about our experience at Fishbar was wonderful. My Stephen pronounced it "one of the best restaurants we've ever been to" and I totally agree. They do daily specials and the menu has a lot of smaller dishes. You can do a starter and main course, or eat tapas-style.
We went down the tapas route: prawn skewers with homemade sweet chilli jam; salt and pepper calamari with mango mayonnaise; mussels in a garlic, cream and white wine sauce; with Electric chips and green beans with crunchy onions (those beans were amazing). Then, because we're pigs, we ordered crab mornay too. And for dessert? Flourless chocolate tart – which was fine, but not spectacular – and sticky toffee pudding, which was incredible.
Our waitress, Sheena, was beyond nice and the food was out of this world. I'm not the biggest seafood fan in the world but I was in the mood for it yesterday – and I was not disappointed. The calamari was unreal, the mussels were really delicate and delicious and the crab mornay alone would be worth a return visit.
Where to eat in Cork – for next time!
I know this is ever so slightly ridiculous of me but I always forget Dublin isn't the only big city in the country. (I know, I know.) Anyway, I was shocked by the sheer volume of recommendations I got for where to eat in Cork! I haven't eaten in any of these restaurants and can't guarantee their deliciousness, but I have faith in my followers. Here are just a few of the top picks:
- Market Lane, Oliver Plunkett St
- Fenn's Quay, Sheares St
- El Vino Restaurant, Eglinton St
- Elbow Lane, Oliver Plunkett St
- Il Padrino, Cork St
- Liberty Grill, Washington St
Where to stay in Cork – the best bunks in town
If we hadn't stayed at the Cork International Airport Hotel, we would've taken the advice of some of my Snapchat followers and stayed at one or other of these. Full disclaimer – these are recommendations I was given. They're not places I've stayed in, with the exception of the Kingsley Hotel, which I did stay in last year and found lovely.
- The Kingsley Hotel, Victoria Cross
- Maryborough Hotel & Spa, Maryborough Hill
- Hayfield Manor, Perrott Avenue
- The River Lee Hotel, Western Road
Rosemary recommends is my attempt to inject some positivity into your lives – and mine! – with regular posts detailing things I love and think you should buy or try or visit! Previous instalments include the facial oil you never knew you needed; books y'all really should read; and super-hyped things that are actually worth the hype.