After what has only felt like an eternity, January is finally over! We can look forward to longer evenings, better weather (wishful thinking?) and best of all, a return to one of the many things that Cork does best - festivals!
The month of March is really when things start kicking off. What better festival to set anyone’s pulses racing than the annual St Patrick’s Day festival. It’s wild! It’s crazy! It’s the one time of the year where pinning sprigs of shamrock and donning ridiculously oversized leprechaun hats is deemed acceptable. Dare I say, it’s possibly the one time of the year where we almost buy into the search for that lucrative leprechaun or perhaps that’s just the effect of too much green beer? One thing is for sure though: Cork is undoubtedly the best place to be in Ireland for St Patrick’s Day and our charming city centre hotel complete with our award winning restaurant and cocktail bar is excellently located to celebrate all things near and green.
Of course, the highlight of any St Patrick’s Day Festival is the unforgettable St Patrick’s Day parade, a show stopping spectacle of colour, music and pageantry with all members of the community taking part. It is an international celebration bringing together all sections of the community from schools, artistic and sporting clubs to members of the defence forces and various cultural institutions.
If all of this feels too intense for you, fear not! There are still ample ways to escape the mayhem all within 5-10 minutes’ walk from Hotel Isaacs. The Crawford Art Gallery provides a welcome respite for those in search of some quiet and reflection, whereas the English Market will work up a different kind of appetite. Take a climb up the Shandon Bell Tower and take in the atmosphere from new heights whilst ringing the famous bells of Shandon or why not just marvel at the architectural masterpiece that is St Finbarr’s Cathedral? There are also endless possibilities for daytrips all within 30 minutes of the city, be it the charming fishing town of Kinsale, the rugged beauty of the Ballycotton cliff walk, the historical legacy that lies in Cobh or the mythical magic awaiting you in nearby Blarney.
Struggling to make it for the festival? Fear not! There is never really a bad time to visit our great city. The French Film Festival will be kicking off the month of March alongside some point-to-point horse racing in Bandon. Directly across the street from us, the Everyman Theatre will be bringing their highly anticipated production of Beckett’s Watt to town on March 11th and that’s before I even mention the Spring Poetry Festival later in the month. Excited a little bit? We certainly are! Don’t wait to find a leprechaun to place Cork on your wish-list for this March.
Colette is a hotel receptionist working at Hotel Isaacs Cork. Her favourite part of the job is meeting the many guests coming from all corners of the globe and sharing with them all the wonders that Cork City and County has to offer. One of her great passions is travelling and exploring new places especially museums, galleries and castles. "One of the things I feel very strongly about is how so many people in Ireland are completely unaware of some of the hidden treasures right on their door-steps. When people go abroad, they push themselves to see all the cultural delights on offer but too often, they have no idea how great what is right in front of them, readily available every day is. I came to Cork as a student in 2008 and I too limited myself and didn't push myself to explore. It took a friend to take me off and show me how truly amazing this city and county is and this is what I want to share with my guests and readers.