In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, my second favorite holiday (after my Birthday), I am sharing three really lovely pubs that I visited in December in Kilkenny, Ireland. This was my second visit to Kilkenny, Ireland, and Kilkenny is home to many great pubs and restaurants. As such, there are certainly other great pubs in Kilkenny, but I enjoyed these three a lot!
TYNAN’S BRIDGE HOUSE BAR
Tynan’s Bridge House Bar was, by far, my favorite pub in Kilkenny, and ranks among my favorites of all time. Tynan’s is located right of the River Nore in the heart of Kilkenny. Tynan’s is a quintessential Irish pub that is filled with character and charm. The bartender gave us a very warm welcome despite it being 11 AM on Christmas weekend…. Like any real Irish pub, Tynan’s serves no food and there are no TVs in the bar. I enjoyed several Guinness here during my visit in December. Tynan’s is a must-visit for pub lovers in Kilkenny.
After a big family trip to Italy over Thanksgiving in 2021, we did another group trip trip to Ireland this past Christmas and New Year. This time we had 9 instead of 8 people, including my parents, Dan’s siblings, our friend Pryor and her husband and mother, and stayed for 11 days! We toured a decent bit of Ireland and I think everyone remains on speaking terms, LOL. I’ll be writing about more specific bits of our trip later, but here is a summary for those interested in doing something similar!
Christmas in Ireland!
DAYS 1 – 4: KILKENNY, IRELAND & MOUNT JULIET ESTATE
After an overnight flight from New York, we landed in Dublin early in the morning. A van, with a lovely driver, John, was waiting for us and drove us 1.5 hours to the Mount Juliet Estate, just outside of Kilkenny, where we had booked a four day Christmas package. We got lucky and blue sky came out just as we arrived at Mount Juliet Estate.
In light of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday (i.e., my favorite holiday after my birthday!), I am writing all about Dan and my vacation to Ireland over Christmas and New Years! On this trip, since we visited with a number of Ireland first timers and whiskey lovers, we visited three whiskey distilleries in Dublin! This is my comparison of the three, after having visited each multiple times.
We’ve been to Galway a few times, and Galway always offers fun restaurants serving good food. Some previous favorites are Ard Bia at Nimmos, the Dough Bros., and Kai Café. Ard Bia and Kai Café, my standbys, were closed this trip because we visited between Christmas and New Years, so I tried a new restaurant opened in 2020 – Ean! Self-described as “an inventive bakery, restaurant & wine bar,” Ean is a product of Galway’s Michelin-starred Loam (closed during my visit). Located on a quiet street, Ean’s interior is a clean space of large tables perfect for sharing. We made a reservation for 9 people via email about a month prior to our visit.
Galway during the holidays! Highly recommened.
Making the reservation was easy and an email confirmation was sent a day or two in advance. We arrived right on time and our table was waiting. While it changes daily, Ean’s dinner menu is a selection of dishes meant to be shared in a variety of sizes, ranging from small croquettes to large dishes that could serve as a main. The wait staff helped us select a number of things to share between nine people, which I’ll go thorough below.
To celebrate the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022, Dan and I flew to Lisbon, Portugal (where we got married!) for four nights and five days. We had great weather and a lovely time, despite the crazy Omicron Covid testing requirements in place at the time (no longer in place). This article details what we did, ate, and drank in Lisbon in the winter!
Me and Dan celebrating 2022!
DAY ONE – LANDING IN LISBON, EATING AT THE TIME OUT MARKET, & A 25 EURO TASTING MENU!
Dan and I arrived in Lisbon very early in the morning and luckily, we were able to immediately check into our hotel room at the Intercontinental Lisboa. Not surprisingly, the Intercontinental Lisboa was still decorated for Christmas and everything looked very nice. Due the early hour of our arrival, a nap was most certainly in order.
Christmas decor at the Intercontinental Lisboa!
After a pretty sizable nap (we did arrive before sunrise), Dan and I walked from our hotel to Lisbon’s TimeOut Market for lunch. The walk from the Intercontinental Lisboa to the TimeOut Market goes through some pretty parts of Lisbon and we took lots of photos. We also picked up some Covid tests en route, as the rules were super strict and if we couldn’t get a PCR test, we would need to self-test before entering any restaurants, etc. Unlike the US, at-home Covid tests were cheap and plentiful.
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