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Loko Waterford – Dog Friendly​ Restaurant Waterford

Loko Waterford – Dog Friendly​ Restaurant Waterford

Loko Waterford, Restaurant Review: Dog-Friendly Restaurant, Waterford

Loko Waterford is located on the Dunmore Road about 10 minutes from Waterford city centre in Ireland. The restaurant is located on the same retail park as Ardkeen Quality Food Stores. Loko is quite a large restaurant which spans over three floors. The decor is very trendy indeed with lots of quirky and interesting items decorating everything from the ceiling to the lampshades. You will also find some great pieces of art hanging on the walls.

I had been to Loko a few times before but I recently heard that they allowed dogs. With the recent change of legislation in Ireland, more and more restaurants are allowing dogs inside. As a dog owner, this is great as there is no more having to leave the dog at home, eat in the freezing cold in the outside area of a restaurant or just having to eat a take away in the car (all because a restaurant won’t take a dog … well done to Loko on that stroke of genius). Some restaurants treat you as if you wanted to bring your pet rat inside … those restaurants need to change with the times! Some restaurants say ‘we are dog friendly’ and then put you in a covered outdoor area but Loko actually bring you inside.

 

Booking a Dog-Friendly Table at Loko

So we booked a table for 2 humans and one dog. On arrival, we were greeted and shown to the doggy friendly area downstairs. We were given a water bowl for the dog and menus. You will find lots on the menu for you to enjoy. I do like seafood, and there is normally quite a selection on their menu. On this occasion, we had the monkfish scampi and the roast chicken. The Roast Chicken was superb as it came on a bed of mash, with onion gravy and large dumpling style balls of delicious stuffing. The scampi was light and perfectly cooked with a really crunchy panko style coating. 

During the meal, the owner came down to see if our dog would like to try some doggy beer. “Bottom Sniffer” is an alcohol-free, non-carbonated doggy beer. Apparently, the label says that it is the ultimate doggy refreshment which will help make your dog the leader of the pack and will have other dogs sniffing their bottoms with jealousy! (a marketing text which would work for this beer but probably would not work for Budweiser)

Of course, we enjoyed dessert afterwards, Bread and Butter Pudding and a brownie as far as I recall.

Loko is a very trendy and very enjoyable place to eat, with a menu which will suit almost every diner and welcomes everyone, including the canine members of the family. We really enjoyed our meal and we will certainly be back again soon.

The only thing is that the portions are on the larger side and for me, I would need to be hungry, even for some of the brunch items. (but hey, that’s just me)

On other occasions I have also enjoyed the PoBoy Seafood Baguette, the Sting Onion Rings and also the most amazing cinnamon rolls with icing that you have ever tried in your life. The staff are very friendly and there is a lot to enjoy and savour at Loko Restaurant Waterford.

 

Loko – Photo Gallery 

Contact Loko Unit 1 Ardkeen Shopping Centre Dunmore Road Waterford Phone: 051 841 040 Twitter: @loko_ie Facebook: facebook.com/LokoWaterford Instagram: @lokowaterford

Loko, Ardkeen, Waterford

Loko, Ardkeen, Waterford

20 Things to Do in Waterford City

20 Things to Do in Waterford City

 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Waterford

Waterford has recently been voted the best city in Ireland to live in, and as a resident of this historic city, I can certainly agree. Waterford is located in the southeast of Ireland, we call it the Sunny South East, and is full of history. Over the years Waterford has become synonymous with quality Crystal Glass and Waterford Crystal is known around the world. Some of its other historic claims to fame include that it was once the capital of Ireland, Both the Normans and Vikings had influence in the city, the Vikings founded the city in 914, it is Ireland’s oldest city and Waterford is the only city in Ireland where the Catholic and Protestant Cathedrals are designed by the same architect. The city is within reach of many beaches and also mountains, all only about 30 minutes drive from the city center. This post will discuss some of the key / Top-Rated attractions and things to do in Waterford.

Some of the highlights include exploring the Waterford Treasures museums in the Viking Triangle, seeing how Waterford Crystal is made, exploring the city walls, taking a trip to the coastal towns, visiting and exploring the Waterford Greenway, and also perhaps exploring the local gardens of which there are many.

The House of Waterford Crystal

You can actually watch the famous Waterford Crystal start off as a red gooey blob of molten glass and then finish as a beautifully cut and sparkling piece of Waterford Crystal. The House of Waterford Crystal is located on the Mall and it shows you a behind-the-scenes view of the creation process. Waterford Crystal was located on the Cork road but after a troubled few years in the early 2000s, the brand has rebounded and found new success in its current location. Here, you will find the manufacturing facility which can include a guided tour and the visitor center which is now one of the key tourist attractions in Waterford. You can also purchase a finished piece of Waterford Crystal before you leave.

Address: House of Waterford Crystal, 28 The Mall, Waterford, Ireland

Official site: https://www.waterfordvisitorcentre.com

The John Robert’s Cathedrals

Waterford is the only city in Ireland where the protestant and catholic cathedrals are designed by the same architect. The catholic cathedral is called the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity Within and is located on Barronstrand Street near the clock tower. The protestant cathedral is located near the Viking Triangle and you can’t miss it as it has a very tall spire. Both cathedrals are normally free to enter (unless there are special events or concerts taking place) but both are worth seeing for different reasons. The catholic cathedral has a wonderful pipe organ and stained glass windows and the protestant cathedral also has a very impressive pipe organ and many historical features inside.

 

Mount Congreve Gardens

There are many great houses and gardens in Ireland’s Ancient East and one of these is the beautifully landscaped gardens at Mount Congreve, Waterford. These amazing gardens stretch across 75 acres of woodland and landscaped gardens including a beautiful four-acre walled garden. The house and gardens were owned by Mr. Ambrose Congreve, and after his death, the gardens were left to the state so that the public could enjoy the splendour of these amazing gardens. Mount Congreve backs onto the Waterford Greenway which is a walk/cycle way that stretches all the way to Dungarvan. Mr. Ambrose Congreve’s achievements were acknowledged by Queen Elizabeth, who awarded him a CBE, and by Trinity College Dublin, which granted him an honorary doctorate. These gardens are a real joy to explore and are a must-see on your visit to Waterford. In the past month (October 2022) a brand new area called The Stables Café has opened. The Stables Café is set in a beautiful setting for enjoying a coffee, breakfast, or light lunch. In these stunning surroundings, you can enjoy the local produce combined with the fruits, vegetables, and herbs from the Mount Congreve gardens. I know of many people who have stopped going to their usual city center coffee stop and are now coming here. Either way, Mount Congreve should be on your list when visiting Waterford.

Official site: https://mountcongreve.com/  

The Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens

It may be strange to find Japanese Gardens in Waterford but there is a historical reason why these gardens are here. They are dedicated to Victorian writer and Japanese translator and journalist Patrick Lafcadio Hearn who grew up and stayed in Tramore in his early life.

These Japanese gardens pay homage to the fame he attained in Japan through his incomparable literary descriptions of the people, customs, and culture of that country. Here, you can follow Lafcadio Hearn’s life journey, first through the Victorian Garden, then to the American and Greek gardens, until you eventually arrive in the Japanese gardens. Lafcadio Hearn is still known today in modern Japan.

Official site: https://www.lafcadiohearngardens.com/

The Lismore Heritage Centre & Castle Gardens

Lismore Heritage Centre was opened in 1992 with the aim to document and exhibit the history of Lismore and its surroundings. Lismore is most famous for the magnificent Lismore Castle which was built in 1185 and the castle itself can be visited separately through the Lismore Castle Experience.

The castle has beautiful gardens both within the castle walls and comprise 7 acres and boast spectacular views of Lismore Castle, the River Blackwater, and the surrounding countryside.

Official site: https://www.discoverlismore.com/

Waterford Treasures Medieval Museum

The Waterford Treasures Medieval Museum is Ireland’s only purpose-built medieval museum and the only building on the island to incorporate two medieval chambers, the 13th-century Choristers’ Hall and the 15th-century Mayor’s Wine Vault. Waterford Treasures is located near Christ Church Cathedral (the previously mentioned protestant cathedral. Some of the stunning historical artifacts which are exhibited here at Waterford Treasures include a fantastic array of ancient vestments, period artworks, The oldest wine vault in Ireland, a Relic of the True Cross, Pilgrim badges, the earliest gold ring brooch in Europe, The Great Charter Roll of Waterford, the Sword of Edward IV, King Henry VIII’s Cap of Maintenance and much more.

Official site: www.waterfordtreasures.com/medieval-museum

Waterford Museum of Treasures

Waterford Museum of Treasures

Reginald’s Tower

Sitting on the corner of the mall and the quay is the formidable Reginald’s Tower. The tower has been used for many different purposes over the centuries, originally part of the medieval urban defense system, Reginald’s Tower is the oldest civic building in Ireland and it is the only urban monument in Ireland to retain a Norse or Viking name.

Construction began in 1253 on the site of the original Viking fort named after Ragnall who founded the City in 914, and the walls are about 3 meters thick. At one point someone fired a cannonball at the tower and it did no damage, but is still stuck in the wall to this day.

This building in the past was used as a prison, a mint, and a military store and is now a museum, namely the Viking Museum, and part of Waterford Treasures. 

Here you can take a journey through time and discover historical and archaeological artifacts showing Waterford’s Viking heritage, many reproductions of items from this time, Viking warrior’s weapons, the exquisite 12th-century Waterford Kite Brooch, even pieces from ‘hnefatafl’, a Viking board game similar to chess, a model of what Waterford looked like hundreds of years ago and a replica Viking longship which sits next to Reginald’s tower. 

Official site: www.waterfordtreasures.com/reginalds-tower

Reginalds Tower Waterford

Reginalds Tower Waterford

Experience the Suir Valley Railway

The Waterford Suir Valley Railway which is located close to the village of Kilmeaden is a very popular tourist attraction in Waterford and is an ideal activity if you are travelling with children (even though it is enjoyable at any age due to the scenery along the river). The Waterford Suir Valley Railway is a community heritage project which brought back to life locomotive activity along 10 kilometers of the abandoned Waterford Dungarvan line but now on narrow gauge lines.

The current train on this line in its past life worked in industrial capacities across the UK and at one time even moved excavated debris during the construction of the UK-France Channel Tunnel. 

The hopes for this line are that the railway will eventually extend all the way into Waterford City and will also end up operating with a steam engine. Works are already underway to extend the platform into Waterford for the Greenway.

Address: Train Station, Kilmeadan, Kilmeaden, Co. Waterford, Ireland

Official site: www.wsvrailway.ie

Waterford Suir Valley Railway

Waterford Suir Valley Railway

Dunmore East

Dunmore east is about 25 minute’s drive from Waterford and is the quintessential fishing village. Dunmore East is certainly one of Waterford’s hidden gems – certainly a lot less crowded than Tramore but still remains a very popular place for tourists, especially during the summer months. 

While there enjoy a stroll around the park, before walking down to the working harbor if you fancy a swim there are 2 bathing areas available. There are also many restaurants in the area including the Haven Hotel, the Strand, and also a variety of smaller shops and takeaways – you have to stop at East-Pier fish for freshly cooked fish and chips.  There is also an adventure center in Dunmore East if you like water sports and this is ideal for all ages.

Address: Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, Ireland

Dunmore East Waterford

Dunmore East Waterford

Tramore

Tramore is located 10km away from Waterford city and will take you about 20 minutes to drive. Tramore is a holiday location for many and one of the main places for the people of Waterford to head to during the summer. Tramore has everything you will need for an enjoyable holiday stay or visit. There are a variety of Hotels, Guest Houses, B&Bs, and self-catering options and there are leisure activities such as Splashworld, which is the largest indoor aqua adventure playground in the South East, as well as surfing, fishing, hiking, horse riding, golf, mini-golf and large Amusement Park which is ideal to amuse all ages. In relation to Surfing, Tramore has a number of surf and sup schools available and the surfing activity takes place all year. Along the section of the beach where the surfing takes place, there are many cafes and restaurants such as Moes, Mollys, and The Sandcastle Café. There is also a very good park area, unofficially called Lark Park, where birds like skylarks, egrets, and curlews can be observed from the park and the nearby bird hide.  The beach is very long and there is a looped walk (just watch the tides) down the beach, around the headland (The Sandhills), and back along the back strand. This walk should take you about 2 hours. Tramore also has Guillamene and Newtown Coves (well signposted in Tramore) and these are ideal for strong swimmers who want to do some sea swimming. Carparking is available but unfortunately, the toilets can end up being locked in the Winter months (which makes no sense to me). But Tramore is a wonderful place and I normally take the drive from Waterford to Tramore for a walk at least once a week.

Newtown Cove Waterford

Newtown Cove Waterford

10 More Things to Do in Waterford

  • The Irish Silver Museum
    This museum explores the story of Ireland told through the medium of silver.
    https://www.waterfordtreasures.com/irish-silver-museum
  • The Irish Museum of Time
    If you like timepieces or horology then you will love the Irish Museum of Time. The museum features the oldest Irish-made grandfather clocks, table clocks, and watches in the world.
    https://www.waterfordtreasures.com/irish-museum-of-time
  • The Bishops Palace
    A wonderful museum set in a beautiful building along the Mall.
    https://www.waterfordtreasures.com/bishops-palace
  • The Comeragh Mountains
    Located about 45 minutes away from Waterford. Take the N25 towards Dungarvan and follow directions to Comeragh Drive.
  • The Waterford Greenway
    A 45 km route ideal for walkers and cyclists with stunning views of the countryside. My only dislike of this attraction is the many ‘sports cyclists’ who are in the Tour-de-France lycra who decided to use this as a raceway. (I almost got flattened one day by a cyclist who must have been trying to do a personal best along the route). But early morning you can enjoy the views and the fresh air and it is certainly worth a visit. Carparking is available in many of the areas along the route.
  • The Spraoi Festival
    A city-wide event which takes place in the August Bank Holiday Weekend with music, street performers, and outdoor art installations. A must-see.
    https://www.spraoi.com
  • Waterford Nature Park
    The former location of the Waterford City Refuse landfill has been transformed into a wonderful area with looped walks, trees, and great views of the city.
  • The People’s Park
    The People’s Park is located not far from the Mall and is the largest public park in Waterford City. This 16-acre park was laid out around 1860 when the marshy land around the John River was drained. The park contains a Victorian-era bandstand, a skateboarding park, a children’s playground, and a separate baby playground. The old caretaker’s house has been converted into the Park Lodge café (well worth stopping off for a coffee)
  • The Viking Sword
    Located behind the Munster Bar just off the quays – you will be amazed by the size.
  • Jack Burtchaell Waterford Walking Tours
    If you want to get to know a city, then you have to walk it. The Jack Burtchaell Waterford Walking Tours are very good and Jack will bring you on a 1-hour walk that covers over 1,000 years of history, and includes four National Monuments, two Cathedrals, and historical figures who dominated the city’s history.
    https://www.jackswalkingtours.com

 I hope you enjoyed this article on the Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Waterford. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

Support Solas Cancer Care Waterford – Film for Life 2018

Support Solas Cancer Care Waterford – Film for Life 2018

Film for Life 2018

Film for Life is in it’s second year. This year, I decided to give it a go; not in the area of photography (being the camera) rather as an actor. Over the past 6 weeks rehearsing and filming, I have been involved in acting out a scene from a famous movie.

This years movie is The Hangover and I play Phil, the Bradley Cooper character. 

Over a 6-week training programme we were tutored by a professional actor. And at the end of May we shot a few scenes from The Hangover. The Film for Life premiere will take place at a red carpet themed event in the Tower Hotel, Waterford on Saturday 16th June. The inaugural 2017 Film for Life event was great fun and seemed to be enjoyed by all who took part.

Tickets for Film for Life 2018 has now passed and is over – but check out the Solas Cancer Care website for details of the next events This exciting Film for Life event helped to fund the activities and services that will be provided by the Solas Cancer Support Centre in 2018.

I have really enjoyed bring involved and I hope you can support my sponsorship to raise funds for Solas Cancer Care – click here for details.

Solas Cancer Care - Film for Life 2018

About Solas Cancer Care, Waterford

The Solas Cancer Support Centre offers free cancer support to those affected by cancer, their families and carers in the South East. These services are available in their centre at Williamstown in Waterford City and in their West Waterford service based in the Alternative Health Clinic in Dungarvan.

Support my "Film for Life" Fundraising event

If you wish to donate to my “Film for Life” fundraising event please click the button below. Any amount will make a difference and I appreciate all donations to this worth cause.

Everyone who supports the event will be mentioned later on shanemcdonald.ie !

Total € Donations So Far including Offline Contributions

Thank You …

I would like to thank the following people and businesses who have donated so far.

Maria McEvoy

Vera McEvoy

John & Caroline Duggan / Hawkeye Falconry

Greg Porter

Fergus McDonald

Mary Murphy

Sarah McGrath

Kay Murphy

Maria McDonald

Karen McDonald

Elaine O’Sullivan

Carol McGrath

Brian Kavanagh

Valerie Leahy

I will add the names of individuals and businesses here as donations are received

Lunch at The Bay Tree Bistro, Waterford – Restaurant Review

Lunch at The Bay Tree Bistro, Waterford – Restaurant Review

The Bay Tree Bistro

The Bay Tree Bistro opened in Waterford in 2015. Within a few months I was hearing about this amazing restaurant above a pub in Ballybricken. The restaurant later moved to the quays in Waterford and it has established itself as ‘the’ place in Waterford for fantastic food. In fact the Bay Tree Bistro was voted the Best Restaurant in Waterford 2018 by the Restaurant Association of Ireland.

I have eaten in the main restaurant upstairs and I can guarantee that it is a full-on dining experience. The tastes and combinations of ingredients are sublime. I will review this very soon when I return…

Earlier this year the Bay Tree Bistro started doing a lunch menu. The menu is served downstairs and is very different from the usual lunch menus. I spotted a few dishes I wanted to try and on one particular day I found myself being nearby and I just had to try it.

Lunch – Croque Madame

One of my favourite snacks / comfort foods is the croquet madame. You have bread, cheese, ham and a soft fried egg. What’s not to like? To my surprise and delight the croquet madame at the Bay Tree had 2 fried eggs. I was hoping to have the duck eggs, which are a small bit extra, but there were none on the day. The 2 eggs which were there were indeed delicious and perfectly cooked.

The red cabbage slaw which accompanies the dish is a perfect contrast to the croque – I also found that the raisins in the slaw were an unexpected taste sensation. There was also a delicious fresh side salad. The salad had cucumber, tomato, onion, spring onion, and leaves have a dressing which is fresh and contrasts with the heartiness of the egg, cheese and bread.

The relaxed atmosphere and nice music was a relaxing setting to enjoy a lunch at leisure. There was a lot on the menu which I would like to try on a repeat visit.  The specials of the day were very nice also, one was an asian pork noodle dish. I later saw photos on twitter and that might be one for a return lunch.

If you are in Waterford and you don’t want the usual boring ham sandwich for lunch, then try the Bay Tree Bistro.

Croque Madame - Lunch at The Bay Tree Bistro, Waterford - Restaurant Review

The Lunch Menu

The Lunch Menu on the day I visited the Bay Tree Bistro was as follows;

SALADS

Warm Thai Chicken
Waldorf Salad 
Tuna or Chicken Nicoise
Mediterranean Vegetable and Feta Cheese
Add Homemade Chips

SANDWICHES

Croque Monsieur
Croque Madame
With Hen Egg or Duck Egg
Tuna Melt           Ploughman’s          Vegetarian Ploughman’s
Chicken, Sundried Tomato and Smoked Cheese
Roasted Vegetable, Tomato and Mozzarella

SAVOURIES

Pork and Caramelized Onion Sausage Roll         Quiche of The Day

Soups, chowders and cheese boards were also available and are very reasonably priced. 

There are a few options on the menu I would love to try, including the sausage roll, the ploughmans, and the warm thai chicken. There is something for everyone on the menu and you won’t be disappointed – portion size is just right!


 

Bay Tree Bistro – Map Location (Permanently Closed)

Bay Tree Bistro, Waterford, Ireland

Bay Tree Bistro

16 Merchants Quay, Waterford, Ireland

Website : http://www.thebaytreebistro.com

Restaurant Detail Update – November 22nd 2018

I have just seen on TripAdvisor that the Bay Tree Bistro is now closed. I passed the establishment a few nights ago and just thought they were closed on that evening. I hope that the Bay Tree Bistro will reopen soon as I truly enjoyed the food at this great restaurant.

First Use of the Lee Filters system

First Use of the Lee Filters system

Over the past 7 or 8 years, I have experimented with using filters. I started off using very cheap ones I got online for under £10. Those were really rubbish but I could see the potential.

I then upgraded to brand name filters, I won’t name the company as those filters resulted in soft photos and a colour cast on some occasions. They worked to an extent but you could not rely on them.

For those who don’t know, filters block a certain amount of light which means you can leave the shutter open longer. Longer shutter time means more time passes and you can get longer and longer exposures as are required. If you choose the wrong photographic filters your images may have colours or tones which are not actually there.

After doing some research on Twitter (basically asking photographers which filters they used), I found that the Lee Filters system was the one to go for. While I was in London recently I decided to take the plunge. I got the adapter ring for my 24-105 L series lens, the foundation kit holder for the Lee filters and the Lee Filters Big Stopper. The Big Stopper is a whopping 10 stops of a filter, so a 1-second exposure becomes a 16-minute exposure using the Big Stopper.

In the past 24 hours I have tried out the filters and they work really well as you can see yourself below. I hope to post more photos using these filters on my photo website at www.shanemcdonald.me and on my Instagram account www.instagram.com/shanesphoto

Sample Photo using Lee Filters

Photo of Waterford using Lee Filters