Lunches with Little Missy

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!



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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6 Responses

  1. Kieran says:

    Sorry about the belated congrats, but congrats! Will be interested in the baby friendly venues for when we happen down Cork way. We’ll have to get the little ones together sometime for a mini-foodie feeding frenzy!

  2. Caroline says:

    I think you’ve been pretty busy yourself, although perhaps not as busy as Manuela! If the three of you are in Cork, then I’d definitely recommend Jacobs for a sit down lunch or, if you’re about on a Thursday, the market is lots of fun and your fellow Foodtalk interviewee Arun is always there with fantastic curries.

  3. Manager says:

    O´Briens Crescent here. would you like a voucher to make up for the sandwich you were not happy with?

  4. Caroline says:

    While I appreciate the effort to make up for that particular experience, to be honest I don’t think I’ll be back. I thought the sandwich was very overpriced (around €6.40, as far as I remember, and that was for a takeaway) even before the fact that I discovered that the bread was burnt. I would have brought the sandwich straight back to you on the day but for the fact that I was eating it in the car and trying to feed Little Missy at the same time.You did me an inadvertent favour, though. Since then, and after my experience at The Bagel Bar, I’ve been making sure I never leave the house without an easily accessible supply of flapjacks, dried fruit or nuts. It just doesn’t make sense to waste money.

  5. Catherine says:

    Okay, that does it, definitely heading Corkwards for the bank holiday weekend, I’m hungry just reading your post!

  6. wendy says:


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