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Blackrock Cottage celebrates first birthday in style this weekend

THE popular Galway café and restaurant, Blackrock Cottage, is celebrating its first year in business this weekend.

And the Cottage’s award-winning head chef, Martin O’Donnell, believes that a combination of ‘an iconic location’ at the end of Salthill Promenade and ‘serving the quality food that people want’ are the main secrets of its success.

Martin and the team at Blackrock Cottage have been winning rave reviews in the last 12 months and are marking the first birthday on Sunday.

Galway Bay FM will be broadcasting live from the Cottage on Sunday morning from 8am to 11am, and everyone is invited to pop in to share in the celebrations.

There will be face-painting for the kids, some sweet treats, mimosas for the grown-ups, spot prizes, and a few surprises as well.

“The first year has been absolutely incredible,” admitted Martin, who has won two prestigious awards this year — ‘Best Newcomer in Ireland’ at the Restaurant Association of Ireland awards and ‘Best Chef in Connacht’ at the Food and Wine Restaurant of the Year ceremony.

“But I think the greatest satisfaction is looking into the restaurant from the kitchen and seeing it full, every day of the week.

“We’ve actually built a restaurant for the community of Salthill, the surrounding areas, and Galway city, which is lovely.

“It’s an iconic location, and we’re serving the quality food that people want,” he added.

“We’re serving an amazing breakfast, that’s seasonal, using quality local produce.

“People see that now, they want value for money.

“The menu is very modern and creative, with an Irish sense, and it’s quality over quantity for us. We get a lot of positive feedback from people about our menu, they love seeing local producers mentioned and used.

“And people really feel they get value for money at the Cottage.”

Blackrock Cottage has also become very popular for evening meals, with dinner served from Thursday to Sunday from 6pm to 9pm.

“The mood is a lot calmer and more relaxed for dinner,” explained Martin O’Donnell, who is also well-known for his regular appearances on the Ireland AM TV show.

“There’s a lovely cosy atmosphere here in the restaurant in the evenings. We would say that the food is of a very high standard, but it’s served in a casual and intimate way.”

Martin, led the culinary team at the award-winning Twelve Hotel in Barna for 15 years before joining Blackrock Cottage, had this message for their loyal patrons.

“Firstly, thank you. Thanks for the support. Without that loyal support we wouldn’t be here.

“Everyone appreciates the support that we get, and every guest and person who walks through the door is an important person for us, whether they’re having a coffee, a pastry or a three-course meal.

“Anyone who hasn’t dined with us yet, come and try us! Pop in and you won’t regret it.

“If you haven’t been with us, just try it once and you’ll be hooked, like the rest of Galway!”

For more information and dinner reservations, go to blackrockcottage.ie or call 091 399280.

Pictured: Cottage’s award-winning head chef, Martin O’Donnell

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