If you are planning on waking up and getting out of the hotel/B&B/apartment where you are staying as soon as possible and focusing on making sure you tick everything off the list by the end of the holidays, the following probably will not suit your perfect type of holidays.
Because as much as I like to keep a handy list of museums, sights, restaurants, cafes, book shops and design shops, if I have not visited, seen, eaten and bought everything on it, it will not be the end of the world. It might even be the perfect excuse to plan to visit the town/city/country again.
The reason is that lately, I have enjoyed a slower pace on holidays and weekends away, especially when I really needed it. I might have had my eyes on a specific cafe that I read reviews about but on the way there, something more interesting would come up.
An impromptu stop for a hot chocolate and pastries instead? A sign for a museum that was not even mentioned in guide books but looks intriguing enough for you to pay it a visit?A hidden design/book/clothes shop that looks wonderful and sells all the things you like? Just go for it!
Slow holidays and weekends away also mean that you get to take the time to observe your surroundings, appreciate the little things you would not have otherwise even noticed.
I could really go on about it but I am sure you get the idea. So for now, how about I take you on a mini virtual tour of our latest slow weekend away?
Westport is located in County Mayo right by the Atlantic Ocean. If you love the seaside as much as I do, this is a great destination.
We were invited to stay at our friend’s parents’ house in a lovely area near the sea just a short drive from Westport. Needless to say the views of Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay were a great sight to wake up to.
The house itself was so lovely and cosy. We arrived and got straight to the comfort of the living room where a fire was lit in the stove giving us some very appreciated warmth and cosiness after a long drive from Dublin.
And let’s talk about how great the bed was: I slept like a baby! So much so that even when I woke up early to see the sun rising, I did not need to go back to bed and felt really rested.
As it happens, where we stayed is also listed on Airbnb as a sea loving family house. If you are planning to visit this part of Ireland and looking for somewhere calm and cosy to stay, this would be the perfect place.
Obviously, we did not just sit by the fire for the entire weekend. We explored a bit by taking a walk around Carrowholly. After going through a field up a hill, we reached a little gazebo that was just perfect to protect us from the strong wind (and then, the pouring hailstones!). From there, the view was incredible. All the photos above and below were taken from that spot. Yes, it was cold and wet but it was also quite invigorating.
Since Westival was on, we had booked two events. The first one, Shadows of the Táin, was performed by Candlelit Tales at the Town Hall Theatre. I was not familiar with the Táin, Ireland’s epic ancient tale, and the way it was told with music and shadow puppetry was really interesting and perfect for that type of storytelling.
The second event we went to was Lisa Hannigan’s acoustic concert at Holy Trinity. Her stunning voice, lovely personality, powerful lyrics, great interaction with the audience and the acoustic quality of the venue made for a beautiful performance.
On the day we went to Westival, a group of us also had dinner at Cían’s on Bridge Street (1, Bridge Street, Westport, County Mayo) before heading to Lisa Hannigan’s concert. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this lovely restaurant and the menu was very appealing. We all chose from the early bird menu.
I started with a delicious starter of house gin cured sea trout with cucumber chutney, beetroot, celeriac and wasabi. It was fresh, beautifully presented on the plate and even better than I had expected (I really like trout and if it's on the menu, there is a big chance I will order it).
Since we were on the seaside, I also chose fish for my main course which was hake fillet with chorizo hash, fennel, greens, lemon and caper butter. While I absolutely enjoyed the hake fillet which was so well cooked I would have happily eaten it on its own, the elements accompanying this beautiful piece of fish did not really appeal to me. I felt it would have suited something else than fish, maybe pork filet mignon for example.
For both fish courses, I drank a deliciously crisp white wine from Austria (Gerard Waltner Gruner Veltliner, Wachau). And for dessert, I had honey panna cotta with hazelnut praline and raspberry sorbet. This was a wonderful dessert which was a perfect ending note to the overall lovely meal we had there.
Playlist listened to: Autumn Hygge on Spotify
Book Read: 'One on One, 101 True Encounters' by Craig Brown
What do you think of slow holidays and weekends away?
Is it something that appeals to you?