Word from the West

White Gables Restaurant

In a light hearted mood this month, West of Ireland food writer Anne Marie Carroll introduces a unique Galway food tour that celebrates singletons on Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day may be the day of romance and passion, but that doesn't mean that you can't make the day memorable if you are not in a couple. Single guys listen to friends complain about having to buy gifts for their girlfriends on Valentine's Day, while wishing they had someone to buy for themselves. Boyfriend bonfires and copious ice-cream consumption are the yearly Valentine's Day prescriptions for single ladies. It might just be a silly holiday created by greeting card companies, but that doesn’t dull the sting of Valentine’s Day for the newly, or perpetually, single.

The good news is that this year, in Galway at least, being single is actually a blessing in disguise. Rather than being tied down for the night, you’re free to do whatever you like. If you are looking for a reason to get out of the house and have a great evening this Valentine’s weekend, we have the answer.

White Gables in Moycullen are hoping to bring the fun and romance of the popular TV show 'First Dates' to their restaurant this February. Is there anything like watching people find love to warm the cockles of your heart? Well this is what happens on the First Dates show on our TV screens both here in Ireland and in the UK.

The reality show watching single strangers meet has taken the nation by storm. White Gables have decided it’s time for some romance and love, what better way to do that than with good food and the possibility of a new relationship. First Dates at White Gables will be all about bring strangers together for a first date.

Throughout the course of the weekend, Friday 10th to Sunday 12th of February, vetted couples will be brought together at the restaurant to see if they are a fit. Prospective dates will be asked to fill out a questionnaire so in house match maker Sandra Heaney can hopefully find the perfect match. Each couple will be booked into the restaurant over the weekend for their blind date.

Owner of the White Gables, Anne Dunne will act as maitre d’ and Sandra Heaney will be there all weekend to do the post date interviews and hopefully see how many new couples are a match.
“We all love the show, so we wanted to see if we could help bring people together this year. White Gables is a place that is synonymous with first dates in Galway, but we wanted to bring an element of fun and romance with the blind dating. I am really looking forward to matching people together and seeing if they are a fit in reality. We are hoping people take a chance and go for it on this - really there is nothing to lose,” explained Sandra.

Dinner is €30pp; all candidates can apply though White Gables on Facebook, on the website www.whitegables.com or by phoning 091-555744.

It’a a safe bet that large numbers of V-Day resisters are banding together to create an alternative way to celebrate or collectively reject this artificial holiday that really only benefits Argos jewellery and whoever makes those little candy hearts. If you feel more comfortable in a crowd, Galway’s Westend 'Singles Only' food tour is the Valentines evening for you.

Sheena Dignam - Galway Food Tours


Galway Food Tours, the culinary walking tour of Galway, run by Sheena Dignam, is hoping to bring some flirting and seduction to the streets of Galway this February with a very special Valentines inspired food tour.

Join the tour on Sunday 12th February for a fun time in Galway’s westend. "We will introduce our own take on Valentine's night for the foot loose and single people of the town, who love to eat, drink and mingle. You never know what could happen as we stroll around the streets," said cupid wannabe, Sheena.

The tour takes place in Galway’s westend including Kai, Dela, Rouge, Pearla Na Mara, The Universal, Deli La Tosca, Blue Note and Mitzi's Mezze. At each stop, the food tour is treated to a flavour of just what each place offers as well as a little tipple.

Each location has a story to tell and this is the beauty of the tour, you get to experience the inside track on all these brilliant food and drinks haunts in Galway’s westend. “There are always a few stories that will ensure people will leave smiling”, says Sheena.

The tour runs from 6pm to 8.30pm and is priced at €55, places are limited so booking is essential. Call Sheena on 086- 7332885 or check out www.galwayfoodtours.com.


Anne Marie CarrollAnne Marie Carroll is a freelance food writer and member of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild who lives in Galway with her husband and two children. 

With a background in design and illustration, Anne Marie made the switch to journalism with a regular food and wine column in The Galway Advertiser. Her work now mainly focuses on restaurant reviews, writing and editing recipes, the development of food photo shoots, including styling and photography. She also writes for a number of other publications and works as a consultant for small producers, food retailers and restaurants.

Anne Marie writes about all things food from the West of Ireland at her blog, Warm & Snug & Fat. You can also find her on twitter as @Biscuits4ABear


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