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Posts tagged ‘Waterford City’

My Favourite Places #4: Butlerstown Farmer’s Market

Caolan Harrington, market founder and vendor at Crough Farms Venison

Caolan Harrington, market founder and vendor at Crough Farms Venison

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I love farmer’s markets.

I’m sure I’ve talked about the Brickworks in Toronto or the Wolfville Farmer’s Market in Nova Scotia, where I went to university. These are the two best markets I’ve ever been to – as far as what’s sold, the level of community support and how much of my weekly shopping I can get done, these two win out for me every time.

It took me awhile to find a market in Waterford. Not that there’s any shortage of markets; just the contrary: there are so many on different days of the week and with different vendors, it’s hard to find a market where I can consistently get a lot of my weekly shopping done.

Also, I need a weekend market in my life. I don’t drive, so midweek marketing in another town is not an option. I’ve heard good things about the Thursday market in Dungarvan, but since Pat works during the week I can’t get there.



This all leads to the Butlerstown Farmer’s Market, which is this month’s favourite place!

It takes place every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am outside the Harvey Norman on Waterford’s ring road. A consistently great bunch of vendors gather here every weekend. There’s great banter – always music playing and picnic tables set up. There’s hot food, baked goods, venison and a really talented espresso slinger on hand. Really, it’s what I was looking for in a market.




Caolan Harrington, one of the founders of the market and also a vendor, strives to make Butlerstown Farmer’s Market a one-stop shopping destination and is always on the lookout for new vendors.

I personally love the baked goods and specialty products that are on offer here. I like the fact that I can grab a cup of coffee and a bite to eat before getting my veggies and meat.




Vendors include (but are not limited to):

There are always fresh, seasonal vegetables on offer, too. A great way to do your weekend shop!

You can find The Butlerstown Farmer’s Market on Facebook and Twitter – they update regularly!





My Favourite Places #2: No. 9 Barronstrand Café


That No. 9 is a favourite place of mine may not come as a surprise to some of you. I mean, I practically live there.

Whether I’m running errands downtown and need a quick break with the baby or need to get out of the house to work on the many, many (many) pieces I need to get written right now, I like to come here for the food and relaxed ambiance.

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You’re probably thinking “It’s a café, duh, of course its relaxed”, but unless you’ve been out in public with a baby who’s prone to screaming fits you wouldn’t really understand. No. 9 is seriously baby and toddler-friendly.

I meet my mom-friends here about once a week – they have a playroom with toys that would appeal to any baby/toddler/child, including a mounted television playing “Peppa Pig” on a loop. They also have coffee, which most moms need to get through their day. The staff put up with our screaming children and are helpful and kind.


Even though nearly every mom, grandma and baby in Waterford is at No. 9 on any given day, don’t worry – there’s always, somehow, just the right number of highchairs for everyone. They have a smaller infant swing with dangling toys if your baby is too small for a highchair, but you have to ask for it specifically.

They also encourage breastfeeding on their premises. This is great – you don’t get stares that seem to ask “Why aren’t you feeding your child in the toilet?” or “What makes you think you can partially expose your breast to the patrons of this establishment?” Not that I get those stares a lot. It’s just nice to know you’re welcome to feed your baby, however you choose to do it.


They have an extensive menu at No. 9, along with freshly baked cakes, scones and puddings. The food is good. They have excellent American-style hot wings, a different roast dinner on special every day and (my personal favourite) they serve an all-day breakfast menu. I love their full Irish & Spanish Eggs (sunny side-up with chorizo, tomato, potato rostii & caramelized onion) and Patrick always orders their Eggs Benedict.

There aren’t too many places in town where you can have a proper brunch, so this is just another reason why No. 9 is packed on weekends.


They also have free wi-fi for their customers – just ask for the password when you order. I have spent entire afternoons at No. 9, just writing and eating (which is my idea of heaven, really).

You’ll find No. 9 on the upper level of George’s Court Shopping Centre, just across from the upper level of Mothercare. If you park on the quay (Clock Tower lot is easiest) and spend 20 Euro at George’s Court you get one hour of free parking – just get your ticket validated at the Chocolate Café on the lower level of George’s Court.

You can follow No. 9 on Twitter or like them on Facebook for more info.


My Favourite Places are written on an entirely voluntary basis. The aim is to promote local small businesses I visit regularly and who are doing amazing work in our community. I receive no incentive to write these posts and visit each place a minimum of three times before writing.

Walking through Waterford

I was just going through some of the older pictures on my camera and came across these shots I took in early January. Pat, Maeve and I took a walk downtown and it was such a beautiful day. Winterval was over at this point but the massive Winterval carousel was still up and running, making things look, if not Christmas-ey, then at least a bit more festive than usual.

Just thought I’d share these shots of Waterford with you all; it is, after all, a beautifully old city (the oldest in Ireland, I hear!).

The People's Park, where there's Buggyfit on Mondays, two awesome playgrounds, a gazebo and even a skate park.

The People’s Park, where there’s Buggyfit on Mondays, two awesome playgrounds, a gazebo and even a skate park.

Dunmore Rd.

Dunmore Rd.


This was our first home in Waterford...

This was our first home in Waterford…

Along the quays

Along the quays

Reginald's Tower and our viking protector, Valgard.

Reginald’s Tower and our viking protector, Valgard.

Not really a Waterford pic, but Maeve will. not. keep the blanket on her legs when we take her in the buggy.

Not really a Waterford pic, but Maeve will. not. keep the blanket on her legs when we take her in the buggy.

The pedestrian shopping area, near George's Court shopping centre.

The pedestrian shopping area, near George’s Court shopping centre.

One of my favourite Waterford shops. You can find ANY exotic/ethnic ingredient here, seriously.

One of my favourite Waterford shops. You can find ANY exotic/ethnic ingredient here, seriously.

The carousel...

The carousel…

How I Celebrated Rhône Wine Week in Ireland

Last week was the first ever Rhône Wine Week in Ireland, celebrating all things Côtes du Rhône. I couldn’t have been happier; this region in France has long been my favourite wine appellation. I’m no expert by any means, but I like that these wines tend to be delicious whether you’re pairing them with food or drinking them on their own. The grapes used in this region – Syrah (or Shiraz) and Grenache, to name a couple, make flavoursome and full bodied wines.


When I found out La Bohème in Waterford was planning a Winemaker’s Dinner showcasing one Côtes du Rhône winery in particular, I booked my sister-in-law to babysit and secured a table for me and Patrick. The menu, consisting of five courses (including an accompanying glass of wine), was a steal at €50 per person and sounded delicious.

The star winery that evening was the Domaine de la Citadel located in Luberon. Their winemaker, Cyril Delvalat, was there to present his wines and came to each table during each course to discuss the wine and why it was chosen for the particular dish it accompanied. He was extremely friendly and clearly loves what he does (who wouldn’t love that job?). His wines were gorgeous and have inspired us to plan a trip to France sometime in the not-too-distant future. It should be noted that this was the first time any Domaine de la Citadelle wines were ever showcased in Ireland.


The dinner started out with French farmhouse cheese gougères which were waiting on the table when we arrived – gooey and warm, as they should be. We were offered artisanal bread and then our salmon course was brought out – a trio of smoked, cured and tartare alongside a carpaccio of Dunmore East scallop.


The third course was a generous portion of roasted monkfish, du puy lentils, glazed shallot and a buttery herb sauce. You can easily overcook monkfish to the consistency of rubber. Happily, I sliced through my serving as if it were made of butter.


The fourth course featured local venison prepared two ways – a pithivier with wild mushrooms and roasted loin with crème de cassis sauce. This was my favourite course of the evening. The loin was cooked perfectly and was so very tender (you can see the fork marks in the photo!).


For dessert, we were brought an entrement of hazelnut and chocolate. A base of chewy nougat was a great offset to the chocolatey mousse and we even got a dollop of mocha ice cream on the side. We took home a goody bag with information and maps of the region and the Domaine de la Citadelle (also: an awesome, bright red apron).

Out of the four wines we tasted my two favourites had to be their Les Artemes white (2011) which was sprightly, citrus-ey and went perfectly with the salmon course and the Le Gouverneur Saint Auban red (2009) that accompanied our venison.


Rhône Wine Week Ireland also had daily competitions on Twitter – I won a lovely cookbook featuring world cuisine to pair with Rhône wines (go me!). I’m already looking forward to next year.

Waterford Spraoi Festival


It was a great Bank Holiday Weekend in Waterford as we (Patrick, me and, now, my mom) were able to experience our first Spraoi (pronounced “spree”) Festival.

What’s the Spraoi Festival, you ask? Well, for the past 21 years the city of Waterford has been attracting street performers from around the world to come and show off their stuff over the August Bank Holiday Weekend (beginning on Friday and ending Sunday evening). It’s similar to the Halifax Busker’s Festival, which is always a great time and features some spectacular street performances every summer in Nova Scotia, where I’m from.

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral


Knowing what fun the Halifax Busker’s Festival can be, I didn’t want to miss out on the Spraoi Festival in Waterford. My mom arrived from Canada last Wednesday and I thought it would be a great introduction to Irish summer festivals and Waterford City itself, since it involved a lot of street wandering.

The city was so busy and full of life all weekend! It was a great atmosphere. If I wasn’t nine months pregnant I would have divided my time between watching street performances and sipping pints outside the pub, watching all the action unfold. Next year.



On Friday evening, we parked down on the quay and worked our way up Henrietta Street, catching street performances all along the way. The performers worked with each other to ensure they weren’t all playing at once, which was great as you could watch one performance, move on a bit and then catch the next one from the very beginning.

The City of Waterford Brass Oompah Band was playing on the quay, so they were the first group we came across. As we walked up the hill, we came across several more artists including performers from the Dublin School of Flamenco, Hooks and Crookes (a male singing group specializing in sea shanties – they were phenomenal!) and Geraldine Dunne, a fabulous cellist. The weather was lovely and it was such a fun and relaxing way to spend a Friday evening in the city.



There were events going on around Waterford City all weekend, but we missed out on Saturday since the weather was so sunny and warm – we took my mom around the Copper Coast Road instead of staying in the city.

The quay on Sunday night

The quay on Sunday night


Sunday evening ended the festival with a great parade, which went straight through the city, and one of the best fireworks displays I have ever seen. It was the perfect send-off.

This year was special as it was Spraoi’s 21st birthday, but I’m sure next year’s festival will be just as wonderful. The city, although congested, was very well organized with volunteers working together with city officials to ensure things were running smoothly at all times. I never felt overcrowded or unsafe with so many people around, although finding parking on Sunday night was a bit annoying.

The annual Spraoi Festival has officially been added to my list of reasons to love my new home. Thanks to all who worked so hard to make it happen!

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