|Clarion Hotel Limerick on the river Shannon|
This was our first trip as a family of five so it was really important to us to have a stress-free holiday where we could enjoy maximum family time and just catch up with each other after a hectic few months. The Clarion Hotel Limerick (see their website here) is really well set up for this. I had some peaceful mornings in the large open-plan Kudos bar enjoying herbal teas or a decaf coffee (yes, I'm back off caffeine and actually able to open my eyes pre-10am again). Barry would take the boys to the swimming pool after breakfast (and my god what a breakfast, it's going to get a paragraph of its own) and I'd sit with Little Miss enjoying the views of the ever-changing November weather on the beautiful Shannon river outside. The bar is great in the evenings too, relaxed yet elegant, there were families like ourselves enjoying bar food, groups of friends celebrating birthdays or older couples enjoying each others company. I discovered a new favourite beer, Rebel Red, brewed in Co. Cork, and enjoyed a pint of that on a few occasions.
Now to the breakfast, this is my favourite meal of the day and I have to say all my favourites were on offer here. As I'm a veggie I don't go in for a fried breakfast, but my family were delighted with the full Irish breakfast on offer, including hash browns, grilled tomatoes and baked beans as well as sausages, bacon, black and white pudding and scrambled eggs. I opted for poached eggs on toast every day which were done to perfection, this is one dish I cannot master at home no matter how much I try. There is a continental breakfast selection, a beautiful platter of cold meats (my 4 year old loved the chicken breast slices) and cheeses, with yoghurt, fresh fruit salad, rhubarb compote, berries, nuts and seeds, honey... Then there's porridge with whatever toppings you want, cereals (my kids thought it was Christmas with Coco Pops every morning!), lots of milks including soy, a gluten-free selection of breads and cornflakes, croissants, pains au chocolat, jams, juices... I tried a bit of everything over our stay and it was all so good. It really set us up for each day, a "four course breakfast" as my eldest said.
|Fab view from our room by day...|
|... and even nicer by night|
The staff were so thoughtful and helpful, remembering our regular breakfast orders, printing out directions to local attractions, just going that extra mile to make you feel really special. We were delighted to be treated to some passes to local attractions which were brilliant days out, Thomond Park, St. John's Castle, Delta Adventure City and the amazing Bunratty Castle and Folk Park which was a real highlight. I hadn't been there in about 30 years and it is still as quaint and authentic as ever.
We found a great eatery in Limerick city we'd never visited before, The Grove Veggie Cafe on Cecil Street served the best veggie lasagne I've ever had with gorgeous salads, it's really worth a visit for unprocessed vegetarian food, see their Facebook page here. We had a great pint of Guinness in Tom Collin's pub opposite, and did a bit of retro shopping in the funky Lucky Lane which was also selling some lovely cooking apples fresh off the tree. The Milk Market on a Friday is fab, we enjoyed watching a lady spin fleece into wool, and I yabbered on about keeping bees and chickens with the knowledgeable Declan Gaffney who was selling Rye Riot sourdough and his own organic free-range eggs.
|Serious pastry-rolling action in Bunratty Folk Park|
|Bunratty Castle, 20 minutes from the hotel.|
|Gorgeous autumnal colours in Bunratty Folk Park|
And finally I'm excited to announce the first ever The Mama's Hip giveaway!
First prize is an overnight midweek Bed and Breakfast stay for 2 adults and 2 children in the Clarion Hotel Limerick (Valid 1st January - 30 June 2016)
Two runners up will receive a family pass (2 adults and 2 children) to Delta Adventure City, an indoor play area for kids with trampolines, slides and inflatables, see their website here.
How do you enter? Firstly leave a comment below with your name, then go to The Mama's Hip Facebook page (link here) and give me a "Like". That's it, peeps!
Terms and Conditions:
This Giveaway is sponsored by the Clarion Hotel Limerick. Giveaway will be open for 7 days, closing at midnight on Thursday 19 November 2015. Only one entry per person please. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents (over 18 years) of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Each entrant will be assigned a number in chronological order of commenting and winners chosen using Random.org. Winners names will be published on this blog on Friday 20th November, and they will have 10 days to contact me with their details or a new winner will be chosen. Prizes will be posted out. The Clarion Hotel Limerick will post the voucher directly to the winner. Please note that The Mama's Hip blog (Niamh O'Connell) is not responsible for sponsors who fail to fulfil their prize, though I will endeavour to ensure it is fulfilled and in a timely manner. Prize is one night's midweek accommodation with breakfast for 2 adults and 2 children in a Family Room in the Clarion Hotel Limerick, to be redeemed between 1st January and 30th June 2016. Two runner's up prizes of a family pass 2 adults and 2 children for Delta Adventure City Limerick.
*My family received 3 nights accommodation with breakfast in the Clarion Hotel Limerick in return for this sponsored blog post. As always all opinions are my own.
Good luck everyone!