You survived blue Monday. That first line originally read you’re nearly through the first full week of 2017, but I only managed to get 99% of this post done last week, so I had to reassess.
I’m firmly back in the swing of things in New York but I’m not quite ready to let go of my trip home for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to be back and to have some form of a routine again. But I have been looking back over all of my pictures (mainly because I have delete some of the 16k photos on my phone) and I managed to pack quite a bit in, while still having lots of down time at home. It was the perfect balance.
I was going to do a full trip home recap but for a change, instead of going through absolutely everything I did, I’m going run through some of the highlights… I’m honestly smiled so so much writing this post. It was a good trip…
London for New Year
The thing I’m most happy I did while I was home was going to London for New Year. I LOVE London and nowhere in the world (not even New York!) does Christmas like it. For me, New Year is always that night where no one knows what to do or where to go at home, so hopping on a plane to London was definitely the best option.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been to London (I have a London post if you’re making a trip soon), and I’m always so happy to go back. You can’t beat the High St shopping (again, New York just doesn’t compare). Like I said, I’ve been to London a lot of times before, but London is huge and there is always something new to do. This time it was making a trip to Notting Hill and Portobello Road.
I actually can’t believe I’d never been before. It’s one of THE places to go. I think I’d been everywhere around and close to Notting Hill, but just never quite made it here. It’s just what I expected. So picture perfect and basically an Instagram dream. New life goal is to own a New York townhouse and a house in Notting Hill.
Just like with New York, the food options in London are endless and of course we wanted to tick some new places off the list. For Saturday brunch it was Eggbreak in Notting Hill and I would highly recommend if you’re in the area. Great food, coffee and a really cute/snug setting. It’s right in the middle of all the Notting cuteness too. I’ll let their Instagram do the talking here…
For New Year’s eve, we had the nicest Gossip Girlesque (wrong city I know) night. We tried a new Thai restaurant in Covent Garden called Suda (great food, ok service!) and rang in the new with a bottle of champagne in The London Edition – I literally felt like I was in an episode of Gossip Girl. Not bad for New Year in my opinion.
Believe it or not, I had never been to Dublin at Christmas. Isn’t that crazy? Well I can definitely say Dublin knows how to do Christmas. Everywhere is so damn pretty and the tree in the Merrion Hotel – a must see.
Afternoon Tea at The Westbury
I love love LOVE Afternoon Tea. I think it’s just the nicest treat and do you know what? After a hectic few months my sister and I both needed a treat. My sister had just flown into Dublin that morning and she needed something nice and sweet to kick off her Christmas break. And this was perfect…
I’d heard so many amazing things about The Westbury and I now know what everyone means. It was the nicest experience from start to finish. I have only ever done Afternoon Tea in Ireland at Ashford and they are both so different but absolutely amazing. The service in both places is outstanding, but they are 5***** hotels, so I guess you would expect that.
Something I really loved about The Westbury is how they customized their Afternoon Tea for the festive season. So they started us off with Mulled Wine and all of the food was festive inspired (and super delicious). There was one cranberry and turkey roll that I am still thinking about. The teas were festive inspired too, so it really was the perfect festive evening to help my sister kick off her Christmas. Next time you’re in Dublin, treat yourself to this experience for sure. If there’s only 2 of you, be sure to try to book a window seat so you can people watch as you enjoy your tea.
No trip home for me is ever complete without a trip to Galway. After spending so many years in University here, I always love going back. My first stop every single time I’m there has to be Mc Cambridge’s on Shop Street. I do love the upstairs restaurant but I’m not talking about that. I always need to get veg soup and a wrap from the deli counter downstairs. It’s AH-MAZ-ING! So nice, so clean and so fresh. Oh and also huge. Woah!
The Christmas decorations were fab in Galway too this year. I must say, Ireland has definitely upped there decoration game and I am well impressed.
Cafe Rua – hubba hubba. If you follow me on Snapchat (@lcscloset) and Instagram stories you will know I made a lot of trips to this place in Castlebar. There’s actually 2 of them – Rua and Cafe Rua and they are fab. Honestly. I think they have the best coffee I have ever tasted – like ever. Big statement I know, but I mean it. You may have even spotted the red cup in a few of my Instagram’s while I was home too.
I am a creature of habit, so every time we went for food I got the warm chicken salad (with potato salad instead of boiled potatoes). Why mess with perfection? If I had this place in New York I think my life would be close to complete. I know I have some of the best restaurants in the world at my disposal but that is how much I love this place.
Foxford Woolen Mills
A little hidden gem tucked away in Foxford is the Foxford Woolen Mills. First of all, I want to buy absolutely everything in the upfront store part here. Then hidden down the back is a beautiful cafe with probably the second best coffee I have had in Ireland. The cafe itself is pretty huge and the decor is an Instagrammers dream. I have yet to actually sample the food (it had finished by the time we got back from Penneys in Ballina), but it’s something to try the next time I’m home. I think this is one of my favourite places in Mayo, after Ashford which is and always will always be my fav.
And on that note – One place I wish I’d made it to is Ashford Castle. I just love it there and at Christmas it’s extra magical.
Until next time Ireland,