Best of the West

Going to Galway? Don't leave town without checking out our favourite hotspots.

1. EAT: Ard Bia Caf? at Nimmo's
Overlooking the Claddagh Basin on the River Corrib, Aoibheann Mac Namara's Ard Bia has become the go-to eatery in the West. Cool staff, quirky crockery and a delicious menu of local fare, which is nourishing, wholesome, and served up with a Middle Eastern twist, make this a spot that's not to be missed, no matter how short your trip.

2. SHOP: Ast?r
You know those incredible places people speak of in hushed tones and travel miles for? Those special shops tucked away in less-than-glamourous settings? Well, this is one of those places. Run by designer and stylist Triona Lillis, who was been working as a costume designer in film and theatre for more than 15 years, Ast?r is home to a jaw-dropping collection of designer vintage g?nas and lots of eclectic antiques and mid-century homewares. A great place to find everything from a pretty vintage clock to a so-weird-it-works bit of taxidermy.

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3. SLEEP: The Heron's Rest B&B
There's no such thing as a guilt-free treat - or is there? The gourmet breakfast at this B&B is made by your host, Sorcha Mulloy who, when she's not running one of the most popular B&Bs in the city, is a trained nutritional therapist. This means your brekkie is not only delicious (we can vouch for the pancakes) but deceptively good for you. Cheeky tip: Try to nab the top room, which has a skylight that opens right and gives you a gorgeous 360? view of Galway - right up to the Burren Hills.

4. DO: Indie Wine Weekend at The Twelve Hotel
Inspired by Electric Picnic, but with much less muck and almost as much mayhem, The Twelve has cemented its reputation as the home of the quirky getaway with this fun wine-themed weekend. Dance at a silent disco and sip your way though some delicious independent wines, which have been specifically selected to match the tunes.

5. BUY: Ethical style at Sirona
Head to this elegant and hip boutique for eco-loving finds with a luxe touch from a wide range of Irish and international designers. We particularly love their collection of Emma Manley pieces, which are pretty and feminine, but boast a cool urban edge.

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