24 hours in Limerick: A perfect day in Ireland's most underrated city
Short breaks in Ireland
Aoife Carrigy finds a memorable market, museum and boutique townhouse hotel in the Treaty City.
10am: Make for the milk market
Nowhere harnesses Limerick's energy and charm like its historic Milk Market, with some of Ireland's finest food producers and purveyors under one roof. Lunch options including Green Saffron curry, Rene Cusack's fish and chips, Country Choice deli delights or Silver Darlings pickled herrings (pictured), followed perhaps by some fudge or chocolate from Wilde Irish Chocolates. Bring a bag for those pantry 'essentials'.
How: To 3pm, Fri-Sun; milkmarketlimerick.ie
2pm: Hunt and gather
Limerick's Palladian-style Custom House is home to an extraordinary collection of art and antiquities gathered by John and Gertrude Hunt. This eclectic treasure trove displays Stone Age spear heads and Bronze Age shields alongside paintings from Renoir, Yeats and Picasso and everything in-between - including Limerick's O'Dea gold crozier. Temporary exhibitions include a collaboration with Limerick Printmakers Studio & Gallery in the charming riverside cafe.
How: huntmuseum.com; €5pp (free Sundays)
5pm: Check into No.1 Pery Square
This independent hotel makes a charming city base opposite the leafy People's Park and its excellent city gallery (and a city bike depot, if you fancy exploring the surrounding Georgian Quarter). A word of warning: with afternoon tea served fireside in elegant Georgian drawing rooms, a vaulted spa offering Voya treatments and an artisan wine shop hosting regular wine classes, you'll be hard-pressed to leave this unique period townhouse hotel.
How: oneperysquare.com; B&B + dinner from €109pp midweek
8pm: Dinner at Sash
Dinner in the first-floor Sash restaurant is a deliciously relaxed affair. Don't miss the 'No.1 Pigtown Choucroute', with sauerkraut, fluffy white spuds, ham hock and sausages from Limerick's award-winning O'Connell's Pork Shop. Factor in a drink at the hotel's superbly stocked bar - treats include the lesser-spotted, seaweed-flavoured Voya Gin, the local Treaty City Brewing Co's Harris Pale Ale and a fine selection of whiskeys.