Baile Átha Luain – town of Luan’s ford or Athlone lies on the River Shannon and near the southern shore of Lough Ree. In the Midlands it’s the largest town with about 20.000 inhabitants.
We originally went to Athlone as we stayed near it, in an even smaller place called Glasson. My father went fishing on Lough Ree and we stayed in small apartments there, enjoying the scenery and the calm.
Glasson doesn’t offer much, but there are a lot of food options which all seem to be worth checking out. Unfortunately every time when we wanted to try them, they were closed. (so don’t forget to check the opening times beforehand!)
Athlone offers shopping centres, a big Tesco, lots of stores with interesting goods, a castle and a lot more than at first meets the eye.
First some food options:
Fine Wine & Food Co
A store in the main shopping street and easy to find – but also easy to pass, as is small, really small. But the drinks are good and the staff is awesome.
More seats would be great, but apart from that I really have nothing negative to say! I’d say it’s a bit of a Hipster café with vegetarian und gluten free food.
The Prince Bar
From the outside this Bar looks okay. But when you’re inside it’s simply wow!
We went in there because my parents wanted to have some coffee, but we chose some cake and a toasty as well. Both were tasty and price-wise totally okay. The service was friendly.
We then chose a seat upstairs and I could not help but take lots of photos! It looks great!
For those interested in the history of the town there’s Athlone castle.
When I asked a local if the castle was worth a visit, I earned a confused look and the answer ‘Not sure about that… ‘.
I still paid a visit and at first was delighted to see that you could enter the castle without any fee. There is an interesting exhibition in the middle, as well as a museum and the tourist office. The lookout was nice as well, you could see a lot of the city of Athlone.
However, for me as a young adult, the castle itself was quite boring. It is really small and there’s not that much to be seen. If you happen to be in Athlone, go there and take a look at it, but it’s really not a ‘must see’
Now to the place we stayed at – the Killinure Chalets.
The first part of my review will focus on the chalets, the second part on the pub and the food there.
We stayed there twice now. The first time with booking beforehand, the second time really spontaneous. Both times we got one of the chalets and spent a great time there. The kitchen is well equipped, the living room nice and warm. The bedrooms are good. The bathroom might need an update during the next years but there’s everything you need. Apart from a TV maybe.
The view from the window on to the lake is really lovely!
We also had dinner at the pub nearby. During our first stay we were really happy with both – the food and the service. The second time, in May this year, the experience was quite mixed.
The first evening we were served swiftly and the steak was awesome. The second time, however, was almost horrible. The service was terrible slow although the pub wasn’t full at all. We got our first course after one hour (!!!) of waiting. My main course was good, but my father chose a camembert which was nothing but a wobbly mass of fat. I don’t know if that’s how the Irish eat camembert, but it was disgusting.
It was like we visited two different restaurants. Only the waiter always tried his best. He really was awesome and friendly!
So, if you want to eat steak – this is a good place, although it seems to be a bit of a gamble if you’re served swiftly or not.