Thursday, 06, November 2014
Secrets of a Concierge - What to do in Cork
First up is Kevin Nelligan, Front Office Team Leader at The River Lee Hotel in Cork.
"My favourite spot in Cork City is the English Market on the Grand Parade. It’s one of the largest indoor farmer markets in Europe, and the Cork accent sings out above the hustle and bustle of it all. At any time of day, just a stroll through the stalls is so enjoyable. Free samples are provided at some of the stalls, and it’s not just food on offer – there’s some clothing and craft stalls too. When you’ve finished browsing, you can head up to Farmgate on the first floor and try some traditional Cork dishes like Tripe and Drisheen. But be warned, they’re not for the faint hearted!
If you only have a couple of hours to experience the best of Cork I’d recommend heading to the Shandon area of the city. St Anne’s Church (or the Shandon Bells!) is one of our main landmarks. Built in 1722 out of sandstone and limestone, the red and white colour combination is so popular among residents that they designed the city’s flag to match. You can make your way to the top of the tower and ring the eight bells, then take in some of the best views of the city while you’re there.
When you come out of the Church, you can pop into the Cork Butter Museum next door where you will get a surprisingly engaging and multi-faceted view of the history of Cork. Just around the corner you will find Linehan's hand made sweets, where the Linehan's have been cooking up old-fashioned boiled candies like clove rocks, butter nuggets and apple drops for four generations.
St. Fin Barre’s Cathedral is the most recent ecclesiastical site, located where the saint is believed to have founded his monastic school in the 7th century. The building contains more than 1,260 sculptures, a particularly ornate pulpit and even a 24-lb cannonball, a legacy of the Siege of Cork in 1690. The attraction proves popular with all of our guests and is open all year round.
If you want to really explore the city I would recommend following the city’s four main walking trails. These trails link places and buildings of heritage interest throughout the entire city. As well as being very informative and interesting to local people, the walks provide a very attractive and enjoyable experience to tourists and visitors to Cork City. Each walks takes about 90 minutes to complete, so it’s not too strenuous either!
Personally,I have two favourite places in the city. Pairc Ui Chaoimhis home to the Gaelic Games in Cork, and both Hurling and Gaelic Football are played regularly at the stadium. Both sports are very exciting and for anyone that hasn’t witnessed our games before, Pairc Ui Chaoimhis a must-see while in Cork.
Fitzgerald’s Park is an area in the city where I spend a lot of time. It’s just a stone’s throw from the hotel, and home to Diarmuid Gavin’s Sky garden, Cork Public Museum, and a new band stand with several festivals taking place through out the year. You’ll find trails along the river if you just want to head for a walk or a jog, there’s plenty of picnic areas and also a playground for the little ones.
I love telling people all about Cork. I would have to say the best thing about my job is getting to meet the people who visit the hotel. You get to meet some really colourful characters and personalities. We all try and go that extra mile for our guests, because it is a really good feeling to see people get so much enjoyment out of the little things we can do at the hotel. We get to meet people from all walks of life and it makes our jobs so interesting and enjoyable."