Charlie's Bar is a great bar, full of character. In the winter it has an open coal fire which added to the darkness and really makes for a great atmosphere. Just by the City Hall on the riverside so you can't miss it.
It hosts live music most evenings from rock 'n' roll to blues.
You will find the gigs list on the website.
This area looks like any inner city area now, with rows of terraced houses. However there is an interesting history behind the bricks and mortar.
The Albert Road area around the docks in Cork became a Jewish quarter from the end of the 19th Century.
While there were some Jews in Cork from the mid 18th Century, a big influx of Jews from the Vilna and Kovno areas of Lithuania arrived from the 1880s onwards. These folk were fleeing Russian pogroms and settled in the Albert Road area.
People always wondered why Jews settled in Cork, a city in what was then a very Catholic country. Allegedly the immigrants with no English may have thought the port of Cork was in fact ‘New York’.
Whatever the reason for their arrival, the area became locally known as "Jewtown" though not in a pejorative way. While poor it was more a Jewish quarter rather than a Jewish ghetto.
At its peak the Jewish population of Cork in the early part of the 20th Century was about 500 with the bulk living in Jewtown. Now the Jewish population is estimated somewhere between 20 to 30 in a city of almost 200,000.
The most famous Jewish native of Jewtown was Gerald Goldberg (several times Lord Mayor of Cork). While not Jewish, James Joyce's father, John Stanislaus Joyce, lived near the Goldberg family home in Jewtown.
Today, the streetscape is more or less as it was more than a century ago but alas there is very little trace of the Jewish community today. The Jewish meeting house at the corner of Electric Terrace is now a residential property. The nearby synagogue (technically Orthodox) on 10 South Terrace which is well over 100 years old is still in use. There are sadly only a handful of Jews in the congregation though it is occasionally inflated by visitors.
Additionally there is a green area called, Shalom Park opened in 1989, in the heart of Jewtown. In Dec 2011 an art installation marked the Jewish Hanukkah festival and a similar lighting show is planned for the next 50 years!
There are a few decent bars in the area (on Albert Quay) such as the ‘Idle Hour’ and ‘The Sextant’ which serves food.
Hibernian Buildings, Albert Road, Monrea Terrace and Eastville streets in Cork.
Google map: bit.ly/HNIPca
Great food market located in the centre of Cork city. Open as a market from 1788 and still thriving. When the British Queen visited Ireland in 2011, the English market was one of the places on her itinerary.
Quite a range here from exotic fruits, vegetables, artisan breads, handmade chocolates, fish and meat. Additionally there are numerous cafes in which you can take a pit stop.
Peaceful and stunning if you are interested in stone circles but feel nothing at over commercialised sites come here, aligned for winter solstice, you will really feel a connection with people from the past.
Masters of Tradition is six days of pure, traditional Irish music, performed in the library of the magnificent Bantry House, west of Cork. Performances are intimate, relatively informal and are delivered by some of the finest musicians from across the world. Loose yourself in the music or gaze out of the windows into the beautiful formal gardens (which you are free to explore during the interval).
Perhaps the best food I've ever eaten, and in an environment that tells you why: expert and insightful people in a cyclical farming, learning and catering environment - led by legendary Darina Allen and her daughter-in-law Rachel. I went there as a musician when the drawing room was the venue - now Rory Allen has converted the Grain Store into a world class venue for the great and good of the Irish music scene. Who could ask for anything more?
Only one hour (on your favourite budget airline) from London, Liverpool, Manchester or Cardiff, Cork City is a great place to go for a pub walk with pubs and bars conveniently spaced about 50 metres apart in any direction and a hearty Irish pub welcome to be had at them all. Start off with a pint of Purgatory at the Francsican Well, a micro brewery on North Mall facing the river Lee and with a spacious beer garden for all those that like to drink their beer in the sun or smoke a cig. Wander over North Gate Bridge and along North Main Street to South Main Street & the Spailpin Fanach for some traditional Irish music at this busy old fashioned pub opposite the mock Tudor splendour of the Beamish factory in the middle of town.
Pop around the corner for a 22 Ounce steak at Soho whilst watching the rugby on their myriad screens then across the road by the English market and along Oliver Plunkett Street with around 30 traditional old Irish pubs to choose from on a 400 metre pedestrianised strip through the heart of Cork’s shopping district, you are spoilt for choice and the intrepid pub-walker will never discover what it is like to work up a thirst
Then finish up, inevitably, (if you are still able to walk) at the Crane Lane around midnight to catch the start of some late night bohemian jazz or burlesque, through until 2 and where the craic is always 90.
And with the compactness of Cork City you’re almost never more than a five quid cab fare from home, or hotel if you don’t feel up to the walk back.
So much less the tourist-clogged path of its neighbouring tour, the Ring of Kerry, the trip from Cork City to Dingle in Kerry, by the south coast road (N25) across the toes of Ireland is an opportunity to dip into unpolished, but majestical Ireland.
Bypassing the standard stops such as Kinsale, pitch up for the night in towns such as Clonakilty (home of Jimi Hendrix's bass player Noel Redding - his guitars hang in De Barra's pub), Rosscarbery (a gem of a town hidden by a causeway and a bypass many years ago) and head past Skibbereen to Cape Clear islands for a day trip.
Along the way gather random information off locals to such places as the most bizarre and hidden archaeological museum in the world near Union Hall, or simply point the car towards to coast and get a little lost.
Continue at your own pace along sheep strewn roads to the Dingle peninsula stopping short for a night or two in tiny Annascaul. There, you can revel in the cosiest bars in the world. Take in the story of the local explorer legend Tom Crean in the South Pole Inn too. Dingle itself then, a gem of Atlantic perfection like a well deserved pint at the end of a journey.
South West of Cork City, right there by the Atlantic ocean.
I just spent a week back in my old town Cork. Stayed here and could not believe the value. Got a room for just €69 a night. For a 4-star hotel with a leisure centre and good location I was more than pleased. Will be back.
An unassuming hostel, up the side of a hill, near Dunmanway in Co. Cork
Quiet and peaceful, you can camp, stay in an old gypsy caravan, sleep in the dorm, or take the family room with private bathroom.
One of the best things about Cork (and there are many!) is that you have a choice of two stouts that aren't Guinness.
Murphy's is brewed at the Lady's Well Brewery in Blackpool and Beamish and Crawford is brewed on the South Main Street, just across the road from An Spailpin Fanach, one of Cork's better pubs and a great place for folk music.
Both brews are delicious - but don't take my word for it, I'm a native! Do try them if you're in the city.
Much is made in Ireland these days about the decline of the traditional pub, and that is indeed a sad event. But on the other hand, it’s hard to halt change, and when it takes the charming form of this tapas/wine bar, why would you want to?
The atmosphere is warm and friendly all through the week, the food is small and tasty, and the wine list is copious. The prices are a little higher than the pub round the corner, but it’s a case of chalk and Camembert.
One of the best restaurants I've ever eaten in, vegetarian or otherwise. They now also have a few bedrooms upstairs
Walk west about three minutes along Washington St. from the city centre, and it's on your right.
Tel. +353 21 4277939
Upmarket lounge club in the city centre. Intimate and luxurious, Liquid Lounge is like something you'd find in San Francisco. Lovely VIP area and fantastic smoking garden.
29 Marlboro St
Means “that’s it” in Irish, and, like the name suggests, it’s a no-frills pub that lets the atmosphere do the talking. Usually packed with a good mix of ages and nationalities, with music and comedy gigs, it’s a buzzing place. And that’s it.
Address: Coburg Street, Cork.
Sometimes you wanna go where nobody knows their own name … Crazy pub down by the docks that attracts a bizarre and eclectic mix of Cork society in to dance, sing, perhaps play the air guitar on the bar to a cheering horde, generally forget their troubles and go wild. Alcoholic drink may be involved.
Location: Corner of Albert Quay and Victoria Road.
A Cork institution, barely touched by the years and all the better for it. The renowned speciality is the doorstep sandwich served up at lunchtime, but my personal favourite is the “self-cleaning” gents toilet that is open to the elements. They don’t make them like this any more.
Address: Winthrop Street, Cork.
Telephone: (353-21) 4272144.
Like entering your grandmother’s front room, if your grandmother was a crotchety, curmudgeonly old man who was inclined to throw people out for using mobile phones (fair enough) or giving “looks” (a bit harsher), but who on the plus side serves up a great pint of stout and stubbornly refuses to enter “modern” Ireland. An island in a sea of change, the Hi-B is a haven (provided your phone is off).
Location: Corner of Oliver Plunkett Street and Winthrop Street, upstairs.
Telephone: (353-21) 4272758.
This wonderful restaurant and hotel is a big old house where they source the food locally with fish from Ballycotton, superb beef from Cloyne, vegetables from their own gardens and cheese from local indepedent cheesemakers. If you have the time do visit Ballymaloe Cookery School. Their cookbook is well worth buying.
Ballymaloe House and Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, Midleton, Co Cork.
Tel: +353 (0) 21 464 6785.
Ballymaloe is about 20 miles east of Cork.
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