At least the weather’s not too bad.
With home visiting now banned as part of the latest raft of Covid-19 containment measures, you’ll need to be a little more creative if you want to fit in a little safe socialising during the coming weeks.
As part of “enhanced Level 3 restrictions”, all household and garden visits are prohibited from midnight tonight, except for essential childcare and compassionate reasons. Up to six people from no more than two households can meet outside of the home, provided you follow social distancing rules and stay 2m apart at all times.
The new restrictions make meet-ups tricky, but not impossible.
The weather is playing along for now so as long as you have a decent coat and a comfy pair of walking boots, the city is your oyster.
Here are five fun alfresco mates dates to plan this month:
1. Cardio and caffeine
Meet your most energetic mate for a brisk walk or a jog through the Lee Fields – you can catch up on all the gossip while torching some calories and getting all those feel-good endorphins going.
Park at the car park on the Carrigrohane Straight and you can nip across the road to Bosca Coffee afterwards for a well-deserved Soma brew and a Kinder Bueno, Milkybar or Oreo brownie.
Bosca is open Saturday/Sunday: 8am-4pm, Monday-Friday 7am-4pm.
Lee Fields – Picture: Sean Murphy (@seanmurphyjpg)
2. Tranquility and Tea-quila
Starting in the city, stroll down Proby’s Quay to St Finbarr’s Cathedral, where you can wander the beautiful grounds, Instagram the Gothic architecture and check out the meditation labyrinth in the southeast corner of the gardens.
Afterwards, swing by the street-side counter at O’Sho on Barrack Street and pick up a boozy hot chocolate or a Teaquila (steamy hot chamomile infused tequila with cloved local honey, lime, and a sweet salt rim) to go.
O’Sho is open Thursday, 5pm, Friday- Sunday 2pm-10pm.
3. History and whiskey
Take a walk down North Main Street and check out this beautiful stone archway hidden down a city alley behind Supermacs while keeping an eye out for this mysterious fireplace, the last remaining feature of the Medieval Skiddy’s Castle.
If you’re feeling the chill, head for the Old Town Whiskey Bar at the Bodega where you can get a takeaway hot whiskey with lemon and cloves from the hatch to warm your cockles or cross the bridge to MacCurtain Street for a proper Irish coffee to-go from The Shelbourne.
4. A Marina stroll and a Sexy Chocolate
Listen up, chocoholics; there’s a new drink to try at Guji, the fun pink coffee dock at the Marina Market on Centre Park Road. Their chocolate ganache is kept at room temperature so it’s liquid: “Then we add hot (64C) milk … the same exact temperature we serve milk for our flat whites. And when you add this to the chocolate ganache it means it’s the perfect temperature to enjoy immediately. so it’s never ‘piping hot’ but it’s still kinda hot enough … so we call it sexy.” they explain.
Sounds like heaven after a relaxing walk along the pedestrianised Marina or a visit with the ducks at the Atlantic Pond.
5. A Docklands walk and drinks at dusk
The views from Cork’s Docklands are changing almost weekly so if you haven’t been down there in a while, now is a good time to check it out. Start at City Hall and pass the spot where The Sextant Bar (now demolished) used to stand and look across the water to see the changing landscape.
Afterwards, drop by Elbow Lane on Oliver Plunkett Street for a warming Gluhwein or Hot Apple Cider to sip on the way home. They’re open Friday and Saturday, 5pm – late.
Docklands – Picture: James Lynch (@jimjam194)