Gal Power | 

Pick out your gúna and soak up the atmosphere with a trip to Galway

When I had the opportunity to stay at The Galmont Hotel with the promise of an evening of fizz and fashion, I couldn’t say ‘no’.
Galway’s Galmont Hotel

Galway’s Galmont Hotel

Pam Richardson, Sarah McDermot, model boss Mandy Maher, Jennifer Wrynne and Fiona Louise Folan show off their looks

Pam Richardson, Sarah McDermot, model boss Mandy Maher, Jennifer Wrynne and Fiona Louise Folan show off their looks

Simona Va wearing Caithriona King

Simona Va wearing Caithriona King

Edel HughesSunday World

Having had the pleasure of living in Galway city for six years, I always try to make at least one pilgrimage west each year to escape Dublin.

And when I had the opportunity to stay at The Galmont Hotel with the promise of an evening of fizz and fashion, I couldn’t say ‘no’.

The hotel is conveniently situated just off Lough Atalia Road and is just a few minutes’ walk to the hustle and bustle of Eyre Square and Shop Street. There is underground parking, and hotel guests can avail of a discounted parking rate of €10 per overnight stay. However, the bus and train stations are very close by if you’re using public transport.

Pam Richardson, Sarah McDermot, model boss Mandy Maher, Jennifer Wrynne and Fiona Louise Folan show off their looks

Pam Richardson, Sarah McDermot, model boss Mandy Maher, Jennifer Wrynne and Fiona Louise Folan show off their looks

On arrival, I was thrilled to find drinks laid out for us in our room which overlooked the lough. The massive bed was so comfy, I didn’t want to leave the following morning (although part of that was the hangover!) and we had everything you could need for a night away, even a Nespresso machine for a morning cuppa.

Having showered and changed into our gladrags, my other half and I headed up to The Burren Suite to enjoy some refreshments and a fashion showcase from some of Galway’s best-loved boutiques and shops.

With Race Week fast approaching, we had lots of inspiration for the various events from Fashion Fusion, Anthony Ryans, Les Jumelles, milliner Caithriona King and Sheneil Shoes.

While we dined, models including Miss Ireland Pamela Uba, strutted their stuff, as Catwalk Model Agency boss Mandy Maher gave us the lowdown on each look.

“There’s nothing like the Galway Races to get you out of your comfort zone,” she said, before sharing her advice for ladies. “It has to be different. I think the person who is wearing it has to be able to wear it — the piece isn’t wearing them, they’re wearing the piece.”

Model Simona Va wears Caithriona King hat

Model Simona Va wears Caithriona King hat

The food was exquisite. I could’ve dined on the appetisers alone all night, with delectable smoked salmon, brown soda bread that was almost cake-like in texture and a tasty cheese board. It was so good.

The mains didn’t disappoint either, with delicious steaks followed by a dessert of petit fours and tea or coffee.

After dinner, we hit the town to soak up the Saturday nightlife. It was very busy with lots of hen parties but we managed to find a seat in O’Connell’s, just off Eyre Square. O’Connell’s is somewhere I love to go, day or night. Sit in the front if you want to chill — that’s where we spotted Connacht rugby star Jack Carty nursing an arm injury — or head out back to the lively beer garden.

Later, we made for The Skeff on the opposite side of Eyre Square for a dance, with the DJ cranking out all the best cheesy tunes. We made it back to the hotel in time to get a couple of drinks in Coopers Bar, which is open till 3am on Saturdays.

Next time when I’m not so hungover I’ll definitely be trying the Spirit One Spa, with leisure facilities including a pool, gym, sauna, Jacuzzi and outdoor hot tub.

Nursing sore heads, we took a stroll around Galway, taking in the market which is open all year round on Saturdays and Sundays with lots of food and craft stalls. Afterwards, we grabbed brunch and coffee in one of my favourite spots, 56 Central on Shop Street.

We rounded it off with a walk down the docks before picking up our car. And I’m already looking forward to the next visit.

Rates from225 per room per night including breakfast. Visit thegalmont.com for more


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