And almost as quick as you can say “Boo” Halloween has been dumped and replaced by Christmas. No hard feelings eh? We certainly don’t. Christmas is our favourite time of the year at Hotel Isaacs. Glitter, tinsel, trees, lights, baubles…you name it, we have it! Yes, our elves have been busily decorating our boutique hotel the past week and we can’t wait to show you. We like to create our own Winter Wonderland at this time of the year. Our courtyard will soon be a glitter with lights and no doubt, our huge Christmas tree will steal the show at Cork City’s only waterfall. Our biggest challenge is trying to restrain ourselves from hitting play on the Christmas playlist. We might last one more week before we cave to the delights of silly season. The chefs are already putting the final touches to our Christmas themed menu and did someone mention after dinner cocktails in Ireland’s number one cocktail bar, Cask? In the meantime, if you haven’t already gotten into the Christmas spirit and considered a trip down to Ireland’s real capital, allow us to give you some pretty good reasons why you deserve to put Cork top of your “Nice List”:
1. Christmas ShoppingWe believe there are two ways of attacking the Christmas shopping. One involves sitting at home frantically scrolling through pages and pages of potential gift ideas but endlessly doubting whether those slippers will fit Uncle Jim or how about that pyjamas for auntie Margaret- does it look too tacky? If only you could feel the material? And on and on it goes with arduously slow progress. The easier and infinitely better option is to make Christmas shopping an event that is easy, stress-free and fun (yes, it can be). Our city-centre hotel located in the heart of Cork’s Victorian Quarter is within walking distance of everywhere you need to be. Interested in hitting the high street stores? No problem, you’ll be spoiled for choice on Opera Lane with River Island, H&M, New Look and Next! Looking for larger department stores? Check out Brown Thomas and Marks and Spencer! Or, want to get something more unique that can’t be found anywhere else? Cork is literally brimming with independent stores, be it homemade Turkish Delights from Sultan Delight (right across the road from us), the quirky alcove of the Mother Jones Flea Market around the corner and the truly unique craft designs from family-owned Unbound.
2. Christmas Markets
Is it really Christmas shopping without a wander through the Christmas markets, sipping on some warming mulled wine and enjoying a warm crepe or pretzel? We think not. This year, prepare yourself for no less than four Christmas markets coming to Cork (and that’s only at the time of writing). Directly opposite Cork’s famous English Market, check out the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Markets on the banks of the River Lee. Or for those that want to combine refreshing winter walks with some shopping, choose from the huge Marina Market on the way to Blackrock, or the Mardyke Market, adjacent to the picturesque grounds of Fitzgerald’s Park. For those that fancy going a bit further afield, for the first time ever, Farran Woods will also be hosting some Christmas markets. A perfect opportunity to check out the resident deer too!
3. Cork Santa Cycle~4th December:
This hugely popular annual Christmas charity cycle returns this year for another 7km hiatus around the city. As the name suggests, prepare to see double with over 500 Santas spreading Christmas joy and cheer around the city.
4. Glow-A Cork Christmas Celebration
Perhaps one of Cork’s most popular festivals, Glow is a Christmas lighting extravaganza taking place in the Bishop Lucey Park in the weekends leading up to Christmas. Adjacent to the Christmas markets at Grand Parade including the magnificent Ferris wheel, Glow makes a fantastic night out to illuminate the dark winter days.
5. Alpine Skate Trail at Fota House and Gardens
Don’t feel you have to fly abroad to have the Christmas skating experience– simply hop on the 10 minute train to Fota, pop on your skates and spend an hour gliding around the gardens at Fota House. With cosy tearooms, a stunning Regency-style house and tree species from around the world, prepare for a skating experience with a difference.
It’s that time of year again (oh yes it is) and if there’s one thing that Cork knows how to do well, it’s panto. Choose from Cinderella taking place in the stunning Everyman Palace Theatre literally across the street from us or why not take in the Cork Opera House’s Sleeping Beauty. And for adults in search of something a bit more risqué, the late night Improvised Panto at Cork Opera House is something that’s sure to put you on Santa’s naughty list this Christmas.
7. Wreath-making Workshop for Cork Penney Dinners
And for those good with their hands, why not show off your talents in this wreath making workshop and all for a good cause. Might get you back on the nice list too!