When I went to Galway at the start of the month (yeah, yeah I know..I’ve been lazy with my posts) I had a totally new experience. It was brand spanking new experience because every single time I have travelled, I have always stayed in hotels, with the exception of the very odd time where I’ve stayed in a guest room or rested my head on a kind friend’s couch for the night. So to spend a couple of nights at a bed and breakfast was totally new to me, but in this case particularly enjoyable. The idea to stay at a B&B was planted in my head by two Spanish friends o’ mine, who have sadly since left and headed back to the mainland. I wanted to find somewhere nice for us to stay, somewhere they would always remember. Somewhere modern, clean, local and affordable. It wasn’t long until I found this little gem.
The B&B is owned by a lovely couple (Russell and Emer), who have really put their heart and soul into creating something amazing. The Stop was really easy to find, and from the moment we arrived Russell made us feel relaxed and at home. He showed us to our rooms, gave us a tour of the sitting room and dining area. He presented us with a hand drawn map of Galway with plenty of tips on great places to visit. Russell is a great guy; he’s incredibly genuine – nothing at all is too much trouble and you can tell he really enjoys looking after each and every guest. Unfortunately we never met Emer but her delicious homemade cookies were always available and often replenished in the sitting room (they’re pretty popular!) to accompany a cup of coffee and selection of teas.
The bedrooms at The Stop are very clean and warm with just the right amount of space – the rooms aren’t huge but certainly aren’t tiny either. The beds were like clouds (I found it difficult to get up in the mornings) and although some might find the bathrooms and showers a little small, I had no issues, and they too were spotlessly clean. The décor is quirky, with a lot of the images on the walls created by local artists. Old tin cans hold cutlery and napkins on the dining tables, a selection of guide books and magazines including Vogue and Dazed & Confused provide some entertainment, fairy lights create a warm and comforting setting…Russell and Emer have really used every inch of space as wisely and as efficiently as they could, all the while creating a wonderful atmosphere.
The breakfast at The Stop was my favourite part of our time there (I like to think you know me by now). The dining room is bright and homely, with basil pots on the windowsills. The soft jazz playing and the healthy breakfast buffet (fruits, cereals, juices, homemade bread, jam, honey) easy you into the day…
…generous (and bottomless) pots of tea and proper coffee are freshly made and piping hot which you make your main breakfast choice. The big colourful board advertises a few droolsome dishes you can choose from (pictured below!) You can chop and change as much as you like, depending on your dietary needs, how hungry you are, whatever. Russell is a wonderful cook and wants to keep everyone happy, full and satisfied!
You’ll soon find out why the basil plants are on the windowsill – they have their own starring roll at breakfast time.
Scrambled eggs, roast cherry tomatoes, basil oil and feta…
French toast with vanilla, nutmeg, honey and cinnamon (I had this the first morning..it was incredible!)
Free range fried egg, balsamic tomatoes and basil oil, Hetridges bacon and sausage. Hetridges sausages are really unique (and pretty famous at The Stop) – they are quite spicy, which I loved. The Hetridge’s bacon was also a winner – American style almost; flavoursome and crispy, but with less fat..I’m going to put that down to Russell’s cooking though, because I’m biased.
The Stop B&B is located on Father Griffin road, right across from an ATM and a SuperValu supermarket, which was handy for the morning newspaper and any other bits and pieces we wanted. The location is excellent – just a five 5 minute walk from the city by way of the Spanish Arch, and The Stop is located near fantastic Galway restaurants, including Kai and Ard Bia. I can’t recommend The Stop enough, and if you stay and feel like staying really local, there’s plenty of bars and restaurants just a stone’s throw away too. The hustle and bustle of the city is so close though, I very much doubt that will happen.
Rooms at The Stop are €35pp/€45pp depending on the season, and there is ample (and very safe) parking and free high speed WiFi.
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