I cant believe we moved here in 2013 and have only just made it to Cork. Its been on my Ireland bucket list for ages and finally we decided to go for a few days a couple of weeks ago. After driving straight down to Cobh, you can read about that here, we headed into Cork to our hotel. Dinner our first night was our ‘posh dinner’. Of course I ended up taking no photos!!! We all dressed up and headed to Luigi Malones in central Cork where we sat as a family for 2 entire hours and ate our meal. No moaning, only one spillage, and no less than 4 people complimented us on our children. Its one of my sources of great joy – how well they all sit and do when we go out to eat. I fully believe, and live by, if the parents are relaxed then the kids will be too. In fact I know the the times when my kids will play up, and that is because we are with people who are of the ‘eeeek dinner out with 5 kids is gonna be a disaster’ frame of mind, if we as parents are on edge the kids will be too. My bestie can attest to this relaxed view as she has witness the pre and post parental relaxation and trusting kids dinners. Relax, enjoy, its good.
The weather put a bit of a damper on our break away but we tried our best to see lots anyway. After breakfast one morning we headed to the English Market. Famed for being one of the oldest indoor markets with a huge selection of produce it did not disappoint. Loads of Irish produce and heaped up stalls of everything you can imagine.
We picked up the most delicious breads and cheeses, as well as armfuls of fruit. The kids were gawking at all the stuff to see, it was like an assault to the senses in the best possible way. We walked from here back over to the area around our hotel and saw the Butter Museum, The Crane, and St Annes Sheldon’s but didnt ring the bells because well, babies + stairs + loud noises + child with processing issues = disaster waiting to happen.
For the afternoon we headed out to Fota island, our hotel deal came with a pass to fota for 2 adults and 2 kids and luckily I have 3 kids under three who go free!!!. So, my main Fota tip is TAKE A BUGGY. We didnt, we walked, it rained, and there isnt much undercover if you are following the suggested route. Thankfully we flagged down the little land train. The train was fun, well, it was a bit of a whirlwind (or as whirlwind as you can be at 4mph) get on – tigers, cheetahs, monkeys, ducks, giraffes, zebras, ostrich doing a poo, GIFTSHOP. To be honest we were all really underwhelmed by Fota, I feel like given a nice day and a pushchair we could have done better but my older kids remember London Zoo and even Chessington World of Adventures and their zoo there which are more child friendly with more to do.
After Fota we drove out to Ballymaloe house. When we first got cable tv, when I was 15 instead of revising I used to watch The Food Network, Rachel Allen cooking from Ballymaloe, so I’ve wanted to go for ages, and so did Luis, because we love baking (we are currently doing the bake off challenge and loving it!). We wanted to spot Rachel or Darina but sadly we saw neither!! We did manage to spend a small fortune on cakes though which we had planned on eating during a picnic on the grounds and gardens, sadly the rain came down which prompted what I now call the boot picnic. All the seats in our car fold flat, and we sit in a circle on a rug in the boot of the car! I’m quite shocked that in 4 years of driving the Mum Tank I’d not thought of this sooner!
After our afternoon exploring the rain really started to come down so we headed back to the hotel for a swim and a rest before heading out to Kinsale later that evening, thats a whole other spiritual blog post though!