The food of love

Sheena Dignam of Galway Food Tours will lead a Valentine's-inspired singles-only culinary tour through Galway’s West End.

Sheena Dignam of Galway Food Tours will lead a Valentine's-inspired singles-only culinary tour through Galway’s West End.

Valentine's Day is the day of romance and passion, but that does not mean that you cannot make the day memorable if you are not in a relationship. Single guys listen to friends complain about having to buy gifts for their girlfriends on Valentine's Day, while wishing they had someone to buy for themselves. Boyfriend bonfires and copious ice-cream consumption are the yearly Valentine's Day prescriptions for single women. It might just be a silly holiday created by greeting card companies, but that does not dull the sting of Valentine’s Day for the newly, or perpetually, single.

The good news is that this year, being single is actually a blessing in disguise. Rather than being tied down for the night, you are free to do whatever you like. If you are looking for a reason to get out of the house and have a great evening this Valentine’s weekend, we have the answer.

White Gables in Moycullen is hoping to bring the fun and romance of the popular TV show First Dates to the restaurant this February. Is there anything like watching people find love to warm the cockles of your heart? Well this is what happens on the First Dates show on our TV screens both here in Ireland and in the UK. The reality show which invites us to watch single strangers meet has taken both nations by storm. White Gables has decided it’s time for some romance and love, what better way to do that than with good food and the possibility of a new relationship? First Dates at White Gables will be all about bringing strangers together for a first date.

Throughout the course of the weekend, from Friday February 10 to Sunday February 12, vetted couples will be brought together at the restaurant to see if they are a fit. Prospective dates will be asked to fill out a questionnaire so in-house matchmaker Sandra Heaney can hopefully find the perfect match. Each couple will be booked into the restaurant over the weekend for their blind date. Owner of the White Gables, Anne Dunne, will act as maître d' and Sandra Heaney will be there all weekend to do the post date interviews and hopefully see how many new couples are a match.

“We all love the show, so we wanted to see if we could help bring people together this year. White Gables is a place that is synonymous with first dates in Galway, but we wanted to bring an element of fun and romance with the blind dating. I am really looking forward to matching people together and seeing if they are a fit in reality. We are hoping people take a chance and go for it on this - really there is nothing to lose,” explained Sandra Heaney.

Dinner is €30pp; all candidates can apply though White Gables on Facebook, on the website, or by phoning 091 555744.

It is a safe bet that large numbers of V-Day resisters are banding together to create an alternative way to celebrate or collectively reject this artificial holiday that really only benefits companies which make cards, jewellery, and those little candy hearts. If you feel more comfortable in a crowd, Galway's West End singles only food tour is the Valentine's evening for you.

Galway Food Tours, the culinary walking tour of Galway run by Sheena Dignam, is hoping to bring some flirting and seduction to the streets of Galway this February with a very special Valentine's inspired food tour. Join the tour on Sunday February 12 for a fun time in Galway’s West End. "We will introduce our own take on Valentine's night for the footloose and single people of the town, who love to eat, drink, and mingle. You never know what could happen as we stroll around the streets," said Cupid wannabe Sheena Dignam. The tour will take in Galway’s West End including Kai, Dela, Rouge, Pearla Na Mara, The Universal, Deli La Tosca, The Blue Note, and Mitzi's Mezze.

“At each stop, the food tour is treated to a flavour of just what each place offers as well as a little tipple. Each location has a story to tell and this is the beauty of the tour, you get to experience the inside track on all these brilliant food and drinks haunts in Galway's West End. There are always a few stories that will ensure people will leave smiling,” says Sheena. The tour will take place from 6pm to 8.30pm and is priced at €55, places are limited so booking is essential. Call Sheena Dignam on 086 7332885 or check out


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