Mr B.'s work often takes him out and about all over Ireland - so, when he announced that he had to drive over to the West, I jumped at the chance to tag along (what with currently being unemployed and consequently a bit bored). It was the least I could do - keep him company on a long tedious car journey ;-)*
This time it was Spanish Point and then on to Ennis. We stayed at Spanish Point on Thursday night, where I completely forgot to take any pics - memory like a sieve at the best of times. And it was pretty grey the next morning, so a photo wouldn't have adequately conveyed the windswept drama of Co. Clare. Bleak but beautiful.
So here's a shot of the colourful O'Connell Street in Ennis on an overcast day:
And what do you know - the farmers' market takes place on a Friday... I swear I didn't know that until we arrived in the morning! It's a small market but what's there is worth investigating: cheese, bread, veg, interesting garden plants, baked goods and sweet treats aplenty. I scooped up some jam for the in-laws and a jar of Irish honey to drizzle on my morning porridge (after the plum compote runs out), along with some tomato salsa for snacks and a seven-grain loaf to try out.
Mr B. disappeared to get on with his work so I went for a wander around the medieval streets**, poking my nose into all the shops and finding lots of interesting nooks and crannies. It was refreshing to walk around a place that wasn't swamped with all the usual high-street suspects. Good things included:
- Chocolat - funky little shop offering all manner of mouth-watering chocolate treats.
- Food Heaven - the busy but aptly-named cafe where I stopped off for lunch. Friendly staff and an enjoyable warm plum tart.
- Scéal Eile Books - fantastic new and second-hand bookshop with a helpful, chatty owner.
- Open Sesame - a comprehensively-stocked wholefoods shop where the ladies behind the counter seemed to be having so much fun that you wanted to join their gang.
Unfortunately, we had to leave Ennis before dinnertime. But I'm sure we'll be back at some point - there was idle talk of a holiday in the Burren some time next year... So we'll maybe have a chance to explore places for dinner another time. Looking forward to it :-)
*Altogether now, '10,000 bottles of beer on the wall, 10,000 bottles of beer...'
**A lot like my home town of York.