Friday, 6 February 2015

The Wild Atlantic Way

Thank you all for the very lovely, encouraging comments you have been leaving. I'm really pleased that so many of you like the way my coat is looking so far. I can't wait to get it finished but it is definitely a project that requires my full attention and therefore doesn't get worked on as often as I would like. A big welcome to some more new followers too. I hope you will continue to enjoy this little blog.

Are you wondering about the title of this post? Well, the husband and I recently headed off for a two night (good deal) break in a hotel near Sligo. And Sligo is on the coast of Ireland known as The Wild Atlantic Way.

This was what greeted us on the morning we were to leave. We were worried that we wouldn't be able to go at all but were determined to give it a go. The husband was driving so that made it a lot easier for me! I worked away at my blanket to try and take my mind off the awful conditions. Thankfully, once we had reached the main roads, driving wasn't too bad. The closer we got to Sligo the less snow there was to contend with.

The hotel we were staying in is between Sligo and Rosses Point so, before checking in, we drove out towards Rosses Point to see what it is like. Wild Atlantic could not be a more apt description. The wind was howling, making the waves crash against the shore. We parked in a car park overlooking the beach (well, that's what it said on the sign!) and watched, mesmerised by the force of the wind; it was making the car rock so I didn't even get out to take any photos; they're all taken from inside the car.

There's something I don't understand. The waves look very feeble in these photos! Maybe I just missed the worst of them.

There wasn't much snow apart from the little there was on the higher ground.

We retraced our journey back to the hotel and checked in. This was our room.

The bed was huge! That's my Country Living magazines left out for me to read. I managed to finish December's issue. I'm really behind with my reading.

Our main objective for this wee break was to chill out. Relax. Unwind. Do as little as possible. So we made our way to the rather excellent leisure facilities and availed of the pool, sauna and steam room. These were probably the best I've ever used in any hotel.

The stormy weather was getting worse. The wind was blowing the rain horizontally. There was even lightning. We were so glad that our deal included free dinner in the hotel! For starters, the husband had Assiette of Claire Island Salmon and Crayfish Tails ... 

... and I had Spiced Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup. Both were delectable.

Usually when we eat out, the husband and I don't pick the same main course. On this occasion, though, we both chose the Smoked Rack & Shoulder of Ballinasloe Lamb.

We were both very impressed with this dish. Here's how it is described on the menu: Heather and turf smoked rack of lamb paired with polenta and herb crusted pressed lamb shoulder, smoked garlic and potato puree, minted lamb jus and a sheep dip whiskey jelly. The smoked rack of lamb really tasted of heather and turf. Totally amazing. The only bit neither of us liked was the sheep dip whiskey jelly!

The most important part of any meal is the dessert. Well, isn't it? My choice was calorie free* coconut panna cotta served with caramelised pineapple, lime syrup and spiced biscuit crumb. It was exquisite.

The husband had White Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse. As you can see, he couldn't even wait long enough for me to take a picture before tucking in.

We wrapped it all up with a coffee and then went to do a spot more relaxing. The husband loves the pool so he went for another swim. I was happy enough to sit in the viewing area and crochet. Still listening to the wind rattling anything it was possible to rattle. At one point the power went off, leaving us all in darkness for a short time until the generator kicked in. 

The next day wasn't quite as stormy but it was bitterly cold. We spent some time in Sligo town, finishing with coffee in a Costa Coffee shop. Then we went for a bit of a scenic drive round the coast, stopping to take a few photos. The scenery is spectacular.

Rather than driving about all afternoon we went back to the hotel for more relaxing at the hotel spa followed by another lovely meal (not free this time). Of course I brought way too much yarn with me to do some crocheting. I managed to make a pair of fingerless gloves and another pair of the Simply Crochet socks. No pictures to prove it as they've already been given away.

Bye for now. Hopefully I'll have some more crafty progress to show you next time. I must apologise for never seeming to be able to keep up with all your lovely blogs. There never is enough time to read and comment on all your posts. But I'm trying.

* you guessed it - wishful thinking on my part.


  1. That looks and sounds like just a perfect weekend away, with the added excuse of the horrible weather meaning you didn't have to go far. Ooh, and your meals look too delicious!
    Happy weekend,

  2. These are the best sort of weekends away, ones where you have nothing planned and you can just relax in lovely surroundings. The food looks lovely, I bet you're glad you didn't have to venture out in that weather to find something to eat.

  3. Dear Gillian,
    what a great idea to take two days off from routine! It seems you've spent two relaxing days at the coast. The dinner looks delicious, I just realise that I'm quite hungry. And the pictures of the sea are gorgeous, the forces of natur are striking, aren't they? My husband and I should also escape the routine once in a while but our children are not yet old enough to be left alone for two days. And unfortunately there are no grandparents near by. But in a few years.... Have a nice weekend, Viola

  4. Looks like the perfect weekend. The food looks to die for!

  5. Wow what a great get away! I love a good storm. Your dinner looked divine! Keep warm!

  6. I love how some of the food was served on slate! Is it a local stone?
    And did you have your fingers crossed when you ate the pannacotta? Because then it really is calorie free!
    I'm glad you had a lovely time. It sounds very relaxing!

    1. I'm not 100% sure but I don't think the slate would be local.

  7. That soup looks and sounds great!!! I love a wintery beach but like you I like to stay in the car to look at it now to be out in it :) It looks like you had a great time!

  8. Short trips are so great to unwind and relax away from the normal routine, that it often feels as if you have been away much longer! Your trip looks lovely, and the food sounds delicious. Loved the pictures of the sea, I always love to watch it in all the different weathers.
    Happy weekend, Gillian.
    Helen xox

  9. What a wonderful time away! The scenery is beautiful and definitely less snowy than you had at home when you left! So glad for you that you had such a good time. xx

  10. What a wonderful mini-holiday - the views are lovely and the food doesn't look too bad either :-) My favorite holidays are the ones that are not planned down to the last detail, so much more relaxing.

  11. I'm glad you both enjoyed your weekend off!
    Unfortunately I've never visited your beautiful island, but having written my bachelor's degree thesis about W.B. Yeats I read quite a lot about Sligo and nearby places, must be wonderful to visit! But then, I think that's true for all of Ireland, you have such beautiful landscapes, not to mention culture and traditions... : )

  12. This looks and sounds like a glorious vacation! The photos of the sea and mountains and your comfy,cozy room are beautiful and your dinner looks yummy from start to finish. I'm happy for you that you got to enjoy some quiet time away from home.

  13. So glad you had a great time.The sea looks wonderful. Yummy food all looks incredible.

  14. Sounds like a truely wonderful holiday! I love being at the see (and I wish I could eat all of that wonderful food!)!

    Take care
    Anne (Crochet Between Worlds)

  15. Hi Gillian! It sounds like a wonderful break! Glad you had opportunity to do some crochet. The scenery looks stunning, and the food delicious!

    have a good week!

  16. It is exciting to see the storm, you have libations you with good food on tour I see.
    Good new week to you.

  17. Wow, that sea swell is something else, I can imagine the sound! What a lovely break you had, even though you were confined a little, but the food looked amazing and I love the way they have presented it on the slate (hmmm, gives me an idea - but best leave off the gravy!!). I hope you are nicely relaxed and have finished your magazine now. Take care xx

  18. What a perfect winter getaway! It looked like a very gourmet dining experience! Now I'm keening for a coconut panna cotta! Yum! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  19. What a wonderful little chill out break! Sx

  20. Hello Gillian,
    Nice shots of your trip.
    Great the view along the coast and wonderful with the rocks. A nice room and what a delicious and special food.
    So very delicious that fried shrimp...hhmmm..!!
    I think you must have be a good time Gillian.

    Many greetings,

  21. It sounds like a perfect break, a real getaway. I love to be by the sea when it's wild and windy, it's all the more fun to be cosy indoors. Your meal looks so delicious. x

  22. Just to let you know that I have nominated you for an award, the details are on my blog. Please don't feel under any pressure to accept, I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your blog.

  23. I would love to have a winter break there, it sounds just the sort of place to go in the winter so you can feel all cosy inside xx

  24. Ha - calorie-free dessert. If only. Our children sometimes get a back-to-front dinner where they eat dessert first. I think it is only my duty as a parent to teach them about the joys of sugary treats :). Even in spite of the weather, I can see that it is a beautiful part of the country. Never fear though, summer is almost on its way.

  25. Two day-trip is a perfect choice, isn't it?
    It looks sooooo cold in the photos, but how cold was it? Was it below 0C?
    Here in Japan, we have coldest season in a year and it is 0~10C.
    Oh, by the way, I miss Costa shop so much! We used to go Costa many times during our stay in the UK.

    1. I think it was about 2C but felt colder because it was so windy.

  26. That looks like a lovely break. I don't think I would have ventured far from the hotel in those weather conditions!

  27. Love wild weather. I am from the coast up north in Norway, above the Arctic Circle. So I am used to lots of weather. I live in the south now. Have a nice week end.

  28. hello gillian,
    what a wonderful the photos from the coast.your dinner looks delicious!!!
    have a nice weekend,


  29. Feliz Sant Valentin. Ha estado un regalo el visitar tu bloc, he encontrado cosas muy interesantes, te invito a visitar el mio y si te gusta me encantaria que te hicieras seguidora y asi compartir nuestros blogs


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