For lovers of all things musical, it’s time to pull out the best bib and tucker and get dressed to the nines. From the 19th October to 5th November, Wexford hosts its famous Opera Festival for the 66th year running! That’s some record of showcasing the best in operatic performance in this super seaside town.
From Verdi’s Rigoletto to Joyce’s Dubliners, Lunchtime Recitals and a Gala Concert, this year’s programme is packed full of treats for lovers of grand drama performed in song. National Opera House tours are available for those who want to get up close and personal with this spectacular venue. A full programme of events is available here.
As well as the musical side of things, Wexford is also buzzing with great places to grab a bite to eat while you’re in town. Check out this collection of lovely spots in the town centre.
La Côte Seafood Restaurant
La Côte is French for ‘the coast’. Occupying a prime spot on Custom House Quay by the waterside, this restaurant is ideally named and placed to offer a great seafood experience in Wexford. Owned by Paul Hynes and his wife Edwina, La Côte is a very chic show which has French seafood cookery at its heart. Paul’s cooking credentials are impeccable, having worked with top chefs around Ireland and the UK at Michelin star level. Not a bad CV to have under his belt.
So, you can expect great things from a dining experience at La Côte. Dinner is served here Tuesday to Saturday evenings. Grab an early seafood supper before going to your show – a lovely way to begin your evening at the Opera!
If proper Indian curries are your thing, head to Spice Restaurant in Wexford Town. Spice is an intimate space, with contemporary style. Its muted spice colours and photographs add atmosphere and warm ambience to this dining room – a smart restaurant with gracious good looks. Emma Lett runs front of house with professional hostess service and generous Irish hospitality. Her Asian team of chefs cook everything to order, grind spices fresh every day, providing an authentic Asian food experience.
You can avail of the Early Bird menu before the opera, or get a take way delivered if you are living in the town. Warm up the palate here before you take your seats for the performance.
When your meat comes from the butcher next door and your fish from the shop and wholesale suppliers just five minutes stroll away – that’s local. At Cistín Eile in the seaside town of Wexford, that’s exactly what happens for Head Chef and owner Warren Gillen. The menu here at this little restaurant changes daily – in accordance with what Warren’s suppliers have available. Lunch served Monday to Saturday is informal with a café style ambience and the best of local food served with Warren’s own twist. Dinner on Wednesday to Saturday has a more intimate feel and dishes get a little more sophisticated.
But at the heart of both the lunch and dinner service here is a Head Chef owner who is committed to using the best of seasonal and local and treating it as gently as possible so those flavour shine through. Don’t miss it during Wexford Opera Festival season.
The Yard presents a lesson in day and night time dining. Enter through the yard from whence the restaurant is named. Rather more a stylish enclosed patio, alive with verdant greenery, ivy covered walls, and a real olive tree in the corner. During the day, customers enjoy this sheltered spot. In the evenings, it becomes quite Mediterranean, with flickering candles and soul and jazz on the CD.
Heaters keep you snug these colder months. Great cooking at lunch and dinner focusses on the fresh seasonal produce of the owner’s French Potage vegetable garden. Add to that with Wexford fish and shellfish, local lamb and beef and you have a palate of fresh ingredients with which to paint a delicious culinary picture. A great spot to feed yourself all day long during the Wexford Opera Festival
The Little Yard
As the name suggests, this place is a little version of its big sister. Here is an upbeat spot with a retro feel from homely antique furnishings, bright cushions along the simple banquette seating in the window, colourful art posters displayed higgledy piggledy on one wall, and the smell of fresh ground coffee being poured. The Little Yard caters for breakfasts, quick lunches and light refreshments during the day and becomes a cosy Tapas bar Thursday to Saturday evenings.
Whether you’re looking for a hurried bite to fill the gap between recitals or want a glass of wine and nibbles before a weekend performance, this place caters for all your opera needs!
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