Eat, drink and be merry at the Harbour Hotel, Galway

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Shauna McCrudden talks about her stay in the Harbour Hotel in the heart of Galway City

Brunch at Dillisk on the Docks

As I sat with my stein (German one-litre beer mug with a handle!) of beer in the middle of the Galway Christmas Markets, I huddled up in my coat while occasionally yelling cheers for Argentina (on the lead-up to their World Cup win!) as they won in penalties against the Netherlands.

This was on one of the coldest nights of the year and my friend Aine and I were buzzing as we walked away from the smell of pastries, and towards our hotel.

Thankfully, we were staying at The Harbour Hotel, which is barely a five-minute walk away from the centre of town, so we weren’t freezing for long. The Harbour Hotel is in an ideal waterfront location to experience all the excitement and vibrancy of Galway City. 

I was so surprised at how close it was to the biggest shopping street, Shop Street, Eyre Square, and the cultural and entertainment mecca, Quay Street. 

McDonaghs Seafood House is a famous stop we just had to eat at – when you’re in the west, do as the westerners do, I say!

When we got back to the hotel, I was so happy for the warmth and good service offered to us. But we didn’t lose that Christmassy feeling, as the lobby and bar had a festive twist and were all decked out in Christmas-themed décor. 

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Once we made it up to our twin room, I immediately enjoyed the amenities to warm me up again including the beautiful-smelling Rituals products (always a nice touch!), before drifting off, finally warm and cosy.

Brunch time

One sleep and a breakfast buffet later, we continued on our journey to discover Galway City. Some Christmas shopping, a stroll around the University of Galway, and a visit to Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, with its labyrinthine maze of over 100,000 books, made us very hungry. 

So, it’s a good thing we had booked our brunch at The Harbour Hotel. Dining at The Harbour Hotel’s restaurant, Dillisk on the Docks, will never disappoint. The award-winning restaurant has stylishly rustic décor and overlooks Galway Harbour, so you have some of the best views while enjoying freshly made dishes. And since Dillisk on the Docks now offers a full brunch menu, we knew we had to try it out.

And they have created something special. The restaurant brings you on a voyage of culinary discovery, with their hand-crafted brunch menu inspired by their maritime location. Feast on far-away delights, complemented by bespoke signature cocktails. Brunch at Dillisk on the Docks is served from 1pm to 4pm, every weekend. 

Shauna and Aine

They have a remarkable range of dishes which celebrate all that is great about Irish food and Irish cooking. I enjoyed the Batten Down The Hatches choice. This had jalapeno waffles with buttermilk spiced chicken and I couldn’t believe how delicious it was. The word ‘jalapeno’ made me think it might be too spicy, but the meal was mild and had all the right flavours. I cleaned my plate! 

Jalapeno waffles with buttermilk spiced chicken

My friend Aine chose the Loose Cannon option, made up of pea and mint hummus, roasted garlic Portobello mushrooms, and mixed greens all on grilled sourdough. And of course, we had to wash it all down with their signature cocktails, the sweet, Malibu-based Eliza Battle and the fruity, rum-based Octavius.

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To say we were full after this would be putting it mildly – I was thinking of delaying my dinner plans for the evening! 

But it wasn’t just the delicious meal which made our brunch date successful. The service was impeccable, and the atmosphere was not only friendly, but fun! The ocean-influenced interiors were so charming that it made me want to stay and enjoy myself for longer. 

But alas, the time came for us to depart back out into the wintry weather. However, I knew right then I’d be back, and The Harbour Hotel would be my first choice.

The Brunch menu has signature cocktails

The Harbour Hotel has a January Bedroom Sale right now!

Welcome 2023 the right way and enjoy 10% off your New Year getaway at the Harbour Hotel when you book a one-night stay. 

  • Valid on B&B and Room Only Rates
  • Valid on all room types
  • Booking period: Dec 23rd – Jan 10th inclusive
  • Stay period: Jan 1st – March 31st, 2023
  • Black-out dates apply
  • Free cancellation 24 hours prior to arrival
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Visit harbour.ie for more on booking

Which brunch choice will be your favourite?

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