A Return to Westport, Ireland


Hi, friend! Happy Wednesday! If you read my February Monthly Musings post, you’ll know that Boyfriend and I recently had the opportunity to visit one of our very favourite little towns in Ireland: Westport! Pre-pandemic, we used to visit the Co. Mayo gem at least once a year, but since Covid struck, we hadn’t been back since my birthday in September 2019. As you can imagine, we were thrilled when they finally lifted the hotel ban/restaurant curfew a little while back and we were able to visit again! Now, I’ve written about Westport before – Winter Weekend in Westport – but the post is a few years old and some wonderful new spots have popped up in the meantime. I thought it’d only be right to bring you an up-to-date guide: A Return to Westport, Ireland.

For the most part, Westport seems to be doing well in this wild Covid-19 world. There’s a bunch of businesses in town that opened towards the end of 2019 and have somehow remained standing despite the struggles they must have faced – it’s wonderful!

As always, there’s heaps of information and thoughts listed below! Enjoy 🙂

a return to westport

quick links

1. where we stayed

2. where we shopped

3. where we ate

4. where we stopped for a pint

a return to westport
a return to westport

where we stayed

The Wyatt // sadly, not as good as before. Initially, we’d booked into a ‘Standard Double’, but due to some extremely loud 2AM singing neighbours, we were upgraded to a ‘Deluxe Double’. The difference between the rooms was like night & day: the first was grotty, the second was ultra-modern. However, none of it mattered, because the soundproofing everywhere is non-existent. We were woken again in the night by more loud neighbours, and had to suffer through it because we didn’t want to be the complaining couple. Side note: why are people so obnoxious in hotels? Aside from the sleeping debacle, I’m sad about the turn our visit took because the hotel is ideally located and the staff are nice. We also enjoyed tea & scones by the fire one rainy day, and they’ve upped their offering since Covid-19 to include a breakfast bag delivered to your room. Address: The Octagon, Westport

a return to westport
a return to westport

where we shopped

In all my time writing travel guides, I’ve never included a where we shopped section – but there’s a first time for everything! All three of the shops listed below are wonderful, filled with Irish products and so much more. Here’s where we hit:

Market 57 // the only oldie of the three, this is mostly a home goods store, but with a small selection of foodie items available up the front. It’s the kind of store that you can browse around for an age without noticing the time go by, which we do every. single. time. Cups, serving platters, baking tins, and every obscure utensil in-between, they have it all! We left with a Marlene’s Make At Home Hot Chocolate (major win!), a litre of fancy EVOO, and a new shot measure. Would recommend. Address: 57 Bridge St, Cahernamart, Westport

Townhouse // another home goods store – but the kind that you’d be afraid to break something in. The stock is more luxurious than the above – fancy glassware, lambs-wool throws, large pieces of art/mirrors etc. – making it a rather beautiful spot to (carefully) browse around. We fell head-over-heels for these rippled champagne coupes and just couldn’t leave without them – they’re the perfect whiskey sour vessel! Would recommend. Address: Shop St, Cahernamart, Westport, F28 Y152

The Store Next Door // a fantastic little foodie store! It’s rather hard to find any information about it online, but I’m fairly certain it’s owned by next-door neighbours This Must Be The Place. We visited a couple times to make sure we didn’t miss one single item and really took our time examining everything – they have some lovely stock! Would recommend. More info: where we ate snacks, below. Address: High St, Cahernamart, Westport, F28 Y440
*2024 UPDATE: This Must Be The Place has now shut the cafe next door and melded these two businesses together into a cafe/shop; it looks very nice! We browsed the shelves, the stock is still lovely, although maybe a tad pricey.

a return to westport
a return to westport

where we ate lunch

Now, on to the actual meals! We had two rather delightful lunches: one a more casual pub affair, the other in a beautiful bistro-come-wine-bar.

An File // the new club sandwich of our dreams! A behemoth of a sandwich – chicken, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, tomato and lettuce with mayo – that comes with a side of fries, and is extremely reasonably priced. We enjoyed one to share with a pint of Heineken each. Yum! Would recommend. Address: 1, The Octagon, Westport
*2024 UPDATE: An File have started selling Mescan Blonde – our favourite Westport brewed beer! They’re still reasonably priced, and the food is still wonderful!

Savoir Fare // an incredible little spot! I came across SF on Instagram entirely by accident one day, and I’m so glad I did – it was great! We stopped by for a boozy and luxurious meat + cheese platter lunch, and were bowled over by how wonderful it was. Irish artisan cheeses and charcuterie – Corleggy, Gubbeen, Young Buck, and the likes – served with marvelously crusty homemade sourdough baguette and some fantastic wines (Verdejo for me, Chianti for Boyfriend). We’ll be back! A must visit. Address: Bridge St, Cahernamart, Westport

a return to westport

where we ate dinner

I’m sorry, but we are incapable of visiting Westport and NOT dining at our two very favourite restaurants. The two are in a near-constant battle in my mind for the ‘absolute favourite restaurant in Westport’ title, and I can never seem to call it! Sigh – I suppose we’ll just have to keep eating at them both until I can conclusively decide..

An Port Mór // the restaurant we always send people to when they ask for recommendations, and it’s still fantastic. This time ’round, I went for the Thai duck breast, Boyfriend went for the steak, and both lived up to the extremely high standards we’ve come to expect over the years. We also shared a cheese board for dessert, which came with an impressive array of homemade crackers & chutney. More on our last visit here. A definite must visit. Address: 1 Brewery Place, (Adjacent to Bridge Street), Westport, F28 KP70

The Pantry & Corkscrew // still superbly good! I was nervous after reading that they’d evolved into a takeaway burrito place during Covid-19 – but thankfully this was ill-founded. Aside from the amazing homemade focaccia and soda bread we devoured upon sitting down, we also enjoyed: corned beef with pommes Anna to start, honey + whiskey fried chicken & potato hash for mains, and chocolate crémeux with salted caramel ice cream & peanut praline for dessert. Everything was delicious, but especially the corned beef! Read about our last visit here. A must visit. Address: The Octagon, Westport
*2024 UPDATE: sadly, The Pantry & Corkscrew closed down in February of this year. Extremely sad news!

Sage // honestly, we didn’t love our meal here. It was the only new-to-us dinner of the trip, and it just couldn’t compete with either of the above. The food was fine, but the service was cold and I found the space rather impersonal. Admittedly, as non-fish eaters we wouldn’t have been the target-customers, but you can’t blame the service on us ordering the wrong thing. Address: 10 High St, Cahernamart, Westport

a return to westport
a return to westport

where we ate snacks

Snacks are basically as important as meals, right? We had some superb snacks upon our return to Westport, all from little spots we’d never visited before, and if I can convince you to try out one in particular: go for the shortbread.

Krēm Gelateria // a fantastic little Irish gelateria! It wasn’t exactly the weather for gelato when we visited – it was, in fact, snowing – but we persevered for the greater good of our taste-buds. I tried the Cookies & Krēm, Boyfriend went for the Achill Sea Salt Caramel, and both were amazing. We sat in to enjoy our cups and it was surprisingly busy for a snowy day! Would recommend! Address: Bridge St, Cahernamart, Westport

The Store Next Door // while conducting reconnaissance for fancy foodie items to bring home with us, I spotted a mountain of homemade shortbread sitting on the counter. Weak regarding all things shortbread – and generally, butter – I had to have one. It was amazing! Insanely buttery, crumbly, and so melt-in-your-mouth that we went back to get more for the drive home! Added bonus: it was only €1! Dream shortbread at a dream price! Would recommend. More info: where we shopped, above. Address: High St, Cahernamart, Westport, F28 Y440

Cian’s on Bridge Street // we’ve never actually eaten a meal here – and based on reviews/our own personal experience with attempting to book, I wouldn’t want to. However! I was intrigued by a few reviews mentioning good doughnuts, and so we popped by for one before a walk. One pillow-y soft doughnut, stuffed with Nutella and topped with a Flake, to takeaway, cost us €3.90. It was really very good, but my skeptical eyebrows have more than a few thoughts about the price. Address: 1 Bridge St, Cahernamart, Westport
*2024 UPDATE: now permanently closed!

a return to westport
a return to westport

where we drank

You should know: we love an old man pub. And, if you’re visiting Westport, you should hop on board too, because those are basically the only kind in town. I can think of no better place to enjoy a Mescan!

Moran’s // the dictionary definition of an old man pub. It feels kind of like this spot never moved into the present day: a small grocery at the entrance, no music playing, one communal conversation, and everyone drinking Guinness. If you’re lucky – like I was, on our first visit – you could be the only woman inside, which is definitely an experience! Would recommend. Address: 15 Bridge Street, Westport

McGing’s // our forever favourite pub in Westport. The loveliest spot in town to sit down by the fire and enjoy a nice cold glass of Mescan Blonde. It so homey and comfortable – trust us, it’s just somewhere you have to experience. Read more here. A must visit. Address: High St, Cahernamart, Westport

Cronin’s Sheebeen // our second favourite pub. It’s slightly outside of the town, about a 40-minute walk, but it’s worth it – even in the freezing cold snow. We both got the distinct impression that they’re suffering since Covid – reduced hours & food on weekends only – and it made my heart break, because they don’t deserve to struggle. If you’re visiting Westport, please consider making the journey out here! Read about our last visit here. A must visit. Address: Rosbeg, Westport

Matt Molloy’s // similar to McGing’s, this is just somewhere you have to visit in Westport. My favourite spots are a) just inside the door on the left, where you can stretch out and watch everyone come in, b) down the back near the fire and musician’s corner, and c) at the bar, examining the US police badges. More here. Would recommend. Address: Bridge St, Cahernamart, Westport

a return to westport

And there we have it: A Return to Westport, Ireland! A little recap of everywhere we visited during our much anticipated trip back to Co. Mayo. Have you been to Westport lately? I’d love to hear any thoughts or comments you have – use the box below to share!

Until next time,

Hugs xo

related posts:

A Weekend in Kilkenny, Ireland
24 Hours in Galway, Ireland
Seven Days on the Dingle Peninsula, A Staycation Guide

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