19 January 2023
By Roger Kennedy
Winter in Ireland can definitely put a downer on dating. Rain, sleet, and snow can turn even the most perfectly preened princess into a bedraggled and soggy sight, whilst the darker evenings can make many of us just want to stay on the sofa and watch First Dates instead.
Thankfully there are dating solutions to this cold, damp weather. The first is to see these colder evenings as an excuse to cuddle up a little closer and the second is to take advantage of all of the indoor activities that Cork has to offer. Sure, there’s the pub, but in a country that’s well known for less than balmy weather, there’s a whole lot more to explore too. We’ve put together a dreamy date night that you’re very welcome to use as inspiration.
Watch the Sun Go Down at Elizabeth Fort
If you’re lucky enough to have a precipitation-free day, then starting the date with a short walk is a great way to get to know each other a little better. Walking has been proven to help us relax, allowing thoughts and ideas to flow in a way that sitting down face-to-face sometimes doesn’t. The nerves will, hopefully, melt away as you wander around the fortified walls of this impressive 17th-century fort.
Elizabeth Fort was originally built as a fortification to protect the city, but has had many different uses throughout its time, including a police station, a prison, and even a military barracks. However, nowadays it’s a very scenic and historical place to visit, which happens to have just the right elevation for the perfect sunset spot. There’s nothing more beautiful than watching the sun go down over the city and this is the perfect place for that. Wrap up warm, enjoy the spectacle, and then get ready to kick things up a notch.
Get Competitive at Barcadia
Time to get in from the cold and warm up for some serious competition. Barcadia is part of the brilliant Mardyke Entertainment Complex which, if you’re not into gaming, has some other great options that you could check out instead. For those who are into gaming, or have a competitive streak, Barcadia is a brilliant choice.
Part bar and kitchen, part games night from your dreams, Barcadia has a huge range of retro arcade games and board games that could keep any gamer amused. Order yourself a drink from the craft beer bar and settle down to a game-off. The arcade games are particularly great, with many of the retro titles from the 80s and the 90s, along with their especially nostalgic and engaging soundtracks, lovingly restored by the staff that work here. Enjoy the games for a maximum of two hours and then it’s time to grab some food.
Enjoy a Little Romance at Jacobs on the Mall
Just a five-minute walk away, Jacobs on the Mall is a beautiful contemporary restaurant that serves elegant European food. The interior is a stunning emerald green, accented with black marble and dozens of plants. Brass details and jewel-tone furniture all come together with moody lighting to create a wonderfully romantic cocoon in which to eat. All of the produce is sourced as locally as possible, with a focus on seasonal vegetables, meaning you’re guaranteed top-quality food. They often have a competitively priced three-course dinner menu, but if you’d like to go A La Carte then it’s not too expensive and is guaranteed to be a meal to remember.At the moment, we love their brilliantly inventive combination of monkfish tail and crab claws, served alongside devilishly crispy pancetta and asparagus, sat atop a peppery rocket and sweet potato mash, and drizzled with a sumptuous and silky lemon beurre blanc. With that said, we’ve yet to try a dish that was anything less than outstanding, so choose with abandon, and don’t forget to sample the wine list. Once your meal is over, you can head home, or if you want to carry on then The Gables is just around the corner for live music and lager.