I’ve been getting out and about a good bit recently – Little Missy always in tow as she doesn’t like to let her food source out of sight for too long – and I’ve noticed that lunchtimes have suddenly become more complicated. It’s not as easy to hop on a bus and head down to Cork as I used to do regularly, meeting up with one of the Sisters or the Small Brother for lunch at The Continental (Ballymaloe-style food, never as busy as it should be), Annie’s gastropub (the walk up to Sunday’s Well will work up an appetite for their fantastic food) or The Liberty Grill (close to UCC for the Little Sister, with enough big burgers and chunky sandwiches to keep any errant student happy).
Now, with pushchair attached and car a necessity, it’s not as easy to manoeuver our way into the city centre. A trip to Limerick’s Crescent Shopping Centre – H&M there is one of the few places that stock a choice of reasonably priced nursing tops – led to a horribly burnt O’Briens’ toasted sandwich, eaten in the car as I fed Little Missy. A trip to Mahon Point on a Wednesday led to me getting a horrible bagel at The Bagel Bar in their food court, after which I vowed never again to rely on shopping centre food offerings.
An abortive journey – someone forgot their essential photo id – to Cork to get Little Missy registered was made up for with a very pleasant, relaxed lunch at Jacobs (make sure you order the D&B – Date & Butterscotch Pudding – for pudding). After you get past the four steps at the entrance, the airy spacious room is very easy to manage with a pushchair and, if you choose well, lunch need be no more expensive than the rubbish served at O’Briens.
Second time round, registration went without a hitch so, as it was a Thursday, we took the opportunity to meet up with the Husband for lunch at the Mahon Point Farmers’ Market. We arrived there first so there was plenty of time to look around at our lunch options. I picked the steak sandwiches that were being sold by Gar’s Sandwiches, a stall that also had proper spicy ginger beer, brewed down Dingle-direction. The Husband went for a chicken wrap, with juicy roasted peppers and onions although, as some rugby players turned up to order armloads of wraps before him, his wait was much longer than mine. Little Missy insisted on her own lunch as I was eating, something that was easy to facilitate at one of the many tables and chairs scattered around the market.
Free parking, a choice of good food for a sociable lunch and plenty of other stalls for stocking up makes the Mahon Point Farmers’ Market a great lunchtime choice, especially as I get to catch up with friends and family there. Any other suggestions for baby-friendly lunch venues welcomed!