Next, we headed to Limerick, which was not far from Adare at all. We stumbled upon a wonderful breakfast café where all the locals seemed to go and the waitress knew everyone’s name. After breakfast, we were in search of the Milk Market which we heard was quite fabulous. The rumors were true! There was vendor after vendor of cheeses, breads, sweets, and other prepared foods, as well as flowers, clothes and crafts. We were all almost drooling over all the goodies and if most of the stuff didn’t require refrigeration, I am sure we would have loaded up on purchases. Instead, we decided this would be an ideal place to come back for lunch later (I really wish I would have gotten some pictures inside the market).
In the meantime, Tom and Winnie really wanted to go to the Hunt Museum and King John’s castle. Neither of these places were really high on my list of things to see, but I just went with the flow and followed the group. The first stop was the Hunt Museum. I had never heard of the Hunts before, but I guess they fancied themselves as “collectors” (I prefer the term hoarders). The museum was 3 floors of all the “treasures” (a.k.a. junk) they have collected for several decades. One notable piece spotted by Rob was a regular dinner fork with a description card that said “20th century, stainless steel utensil, originating from Asia.” Imagine that….a common dinner fork, made in China, now in a museum pretending to be something more than ordinary. Ok, enough sarcasm about the museum (I just can’t help myself sometimes). Tom and Winnie enjoyed it and that is all that matters. Me…I should have saved my 5 euros for a pint!
The next stop was King John’s castle. Usually, I find castles very interesting and worthwhile to visit. But for some reason, this castle was completely underwhelming to me. And at the rate of 9.50 euros to see it, I was not really that interested. I walked the castle grounds looking for good photo ops to make this stop a little more enjoyable, but all I could find were these two pigeons. I am not sure why, but they seemed to be the only things interesting to me at the time (they kept staring at me!).
I would have been content with only this exterior view of the castle on the River Shannon (and saved my 9.50 euros for 2 more pints!). In my opinion, it was much more interesting from afar.
After the castle tour was complete, we high-tailed it back to the Milk Market to get the lunch that we had been thinking about all morning and well into the afternoon. But we were too late. The market was over and the vendors had packed up and left. Damn you King John!! I had my heart set on these beautiful stuffed mushrooms and they were gone. Here is the part where I have to admit that I started to get a bit grumpy. You would completely understand had you seen the food in this market. We found somewhere else to eat lunch and then we headed back to the villa. I was in desperate need of a nap to sleep off my sour mood.
After waking up and feeling refreshed, we all walked into town for dinner. We walked by the Wild Geese Restaurant which was highly recommended by my colleague and we decided to give it a try. It was a very different dining experience because the hostess brought us into the “bar,” which was actually like a parlor room in a home. We all sat on the couch and she gave us our menus there and took our drink orders. She made our drinks right there at the small wood bar in the parlor and then she took our dinner orders. After our orders were placed, then we got seated at our dinner table. I have never seen it done like that before, but it was a fun experience and the food was really fabulous.
After dinner we strolled on down to Bill Chawke’s Pub for drinks. It was a Saturday night and the place was packed! There was nowhere to sit inside the bar, but they had a lovely outdoor beer garden and we were able to get a table. In addition to enjoying our drinks, we were able to enjoy live music by some locals at a table nearby. They weren’t hired entertainment; they just brought their instruments to the bar and started their own jam session. They were really good!