I never thought I’d have a beach holiday in Ireland, but so it happened as this lovely island spoilt us with clear blue skies and what we would call a heatwave over on this side of the globe for the last week or so. My dear husband kept reminding me of the very positive sounding weather forecast while I was packing our bags so with slight scepticism I threw in a few of my summer dresses. Well I’m glad I did, those dresses were worn more during that week than they have been since I bought them last summer!
Sunday morning we packed the car and headed down to Waterford. We had booked a self – catering lodge at Waterford Castle for the week. Located on an island just outside Waterford city, it promised to be a great holiday with the Little Messers! We had plenty of space with three good size bedrooms and bathrooms, big living area downstairs with a patio at the back of the house facing the golf course and a playground about 20 meters from the house! The kitchen was well equipped, towels and bedlinen were all provided and the club house is only a short 10 minute walk down the road serving delicious (and reasonably priced!!) food and good pints of Guinness.
The best part of the holiday was the beach. The kids were absolutely delighted to be able to spend three days on the beach, running around and splashing in the water, mucking in the sand and no-one telling them to stop. Yes, the poor car is booked in for a valet… I have to admit I did enjoy the heat myself! And the splashing around, although the water was freezing. We went to Dunmore East where you have two lovely and sheltered beaches so even if it’s a bit windy, it is nice and toasty and won’t blow all the sand in your face, hair, nose…
JACK MEADE’S BAR AND RESTAURANT
We heard about this place from someone who knows someone who lives nearby this place. The minute I heard the words good food and big playground for the kids I was sold. So Thursday afternoon after a day on the beach with our bellies rumbling we decided it was time to give it a go. What a great place! The playground is big and is located right beside the dining area with only one way out, through the dining area! Perfect for letting the Little Messers go and have fun on their own.
And the food. Yum yum yum! I had their ranch burger with chips and a side salad and Daddy Messer had the steak sandwich, also served with chips and salad. The Little Messers had chicken nuggets and chips and we had a jug of squash to wash it all down. It felt like a real holiday and cost us just under €30 which is great value. My burger was one of the better ones I’ve had, it was nice and soft and not dry at all. Daddy Messer’s steak sandwich was so good that he went for it the next time as well 😉
They also have some farm animals on the grounds so once we had our bellies full and managed to lure the kiddies out of the playground, we took the “Pillwalk” around the grounds and greeted the donkeys, a goat and a few ponies. There is also a nice little stream with ducks and a wishing well on the other side of the stream so it’s a great place for a day trip.
So yes we went there a second time too, but it was a Saturday evening around 6pm. I probably wouldn’t take the kids there again that late (even though that’s not even that late) on a Friday or Saturday night as it was getting a bit rowdy. There were a lot of families with kids but also quite a few groups of adults getting ready for a drunken night. It’s nothing to fault the pub (or the adults for that matter) about but just something to bear in mind in case you’re like me and don’t want the kids to see that. It wasn’t too mad and would be fine if I was out without the kids but I don’t think my two messers are quite old enough at 5 and 3 to see all that drinking and swearing.
Saturday morning started a bit overcast so having spent most of our holiday on the beach, it was time to do something else. And what a better place for two little monkeys than Tramore with its amusement park by the sea. The excitement levels went through the roof when the kids saw all the rides!
Mr Messer saw a massive water slide and wanted to get on it. So off we went to get our tickets, hopped on the sled that brings you around the slide and once the thing started moving he got such a fright we had to get off. I was surprised he wanted to get on it in the first place so it didn’t surprise me that he wanted to get off once he realised how big and high up it is! The poor little man was out of sorts for a good while afterwards and was afraid to get on the usual carousels and rides he’d normally go on without a second thought.
We hadn’t checked what time the amusement park opens so we had a bit of time kill (i.e. go for a stroll and a brunch!). We found a lovely little place called The Vee Bistro on the Main Street. They serve very reasonably priced food that was absolutely delicious! Our breakfast blaas* that included a fried egg, bacon and sausages and pancakes for the kids plus the required cappuccinos only cost just over €20. They also do dinner in the evenings and the wine list looked yummy! The service was super friendly with colouring books provided for the kids the minute we sat down. They were really busy with most tables full as we arrived, but the service was very friendly and quick. I would highly recommend this place with the kids, they also have a nice kids menu.
*Blaa is a doughy, white bread bun specialty, particularly associated with Waterford. (Wikipedia)
With two smallies, you often wonder if the holidays are more hassle than they’re worth. Especially if you’re heading abroad as the airport roulette can be quite exhausting! I must say that we had an absolute ball and were well refreshed and energised from the holidays. I would highly recommend holidaying in Ireland!
I’ve previously posted about our Irish holidays in Co. Cork (you can read part 1 here and part 2 here).