Escape to Spiddal for a cultural and culinary treat

The winding coastal road west of Galway gives way to sweeping views of the Burren across the bay and brings you to the coastal town of Spiddal, only 20 minutes from Galway city. Here, in the heart of the Gaeltacht, you will find treasures and treats for the senses in the Ceardlann Craft Village and the award winning Builín Blasta café and bakery.

Located across from Spiddal beach, the Ceardlann Craft Village is home to a variety of traditional crafters including basket weaving, ceramics, glass craft, screen printing, traditional weaving, and art. Each of the studio’s is artist owned and operated, giving you a chance to meet the maker and pick up that perfect gift for yourself or someone you love.

After you have met the artists and taken in the striking scenes of Galway Bay, you can rest your feet and treat yourself to the bounty of Builín Blasta café and bakery. This daytime café from Canadian born chef Heather Flaherty is well loved by locals and famous for its freshly baked breads, cinnamon rolls, cakes, and pastries baked in house each day by dedicated pastry chef Helena Pavlickova. Keep your eye out for vegan, gluten free, and paleo options for the not-so-guilty pleasures as well as the guilty ones like salted caramel brownies, homemade jammy dodgers, and sticky toffee pudding. There is a new celebration cakes menu in the works, so keep an eye out for news coming soon.

Not only renowned for its baking, Builín Blasta also offers an award winning hearty and wholesome hot food menu served every day from 10am to 5pm. Highlights include breakfast (the sausage rolls are a must try ), smoked mackerel salad, vegan lentil Bolognese, monkfish goujons with chermoula and tzatziki, and one of the best chowders you will have on Galway Bay. This is food at its finest — fresh, local, authentic, and cooked with passion by head chef Jenya Hardziyuk.

Tasty food? Check. Tempting desserts? Check. What else makes the perfect café? Great coffee, of course. Hand roasted by Bean West roasters in Westport, the café has its own blend unique to Builín Blasta. If you are in a hurry, you can take yours to go in one of the reusable mugs (the café is and always has been eco-conscious with compostable packaging and a waste reduction scheme ) or buy the beans to brew at home. The tea is Cambell's loose-leaf (the kind your granny used to drink ) and there is a wide selection of Suki Tea from Belfast on offer too, not to mention local beers, wine, and homemade lemonade.

Have we mentioned that Builín Blasta is an Irish language café? The name means tasty loaf (trust us, it’s tasty ) and the wait staff out front will be happy to serve you í mBéarla nó í Gaeilge and you can pick up a cúpla focal to practise at home.

It is not by chance you have heard of Builín Blasta café and bakery — it is the café anyone mentions when they hear you are heading to the Connemara Gaeltacht. If you haven’t been, make it your mission to visit this summer. If you have been, you already know it’s worth the drive.

Builín Blasta café and bakery, 091 558 559, www.builinblasta.ie, www.spiddalcafts.com, Instagram @cafeBuilín.

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