Saturday, July 24, 2010

Seeking Inner Enlightenment in Castletownbere

The Olde Bakery

Service *** (cheer up girl) Food **** (scrumptious) Atmosphere ** (thank god for the great company)

With only a few hours sleep, well I had about six, but that’s not enough beauty sleep for me to have a decent face with no bags and a beaming personality on! I dragged myself out of bed to visit Dzochen Beara at 8.30am on a Sunday morning.

The weather was beautiful and I was looking forward to going to a Buddhist Temple in the never ending quest for enlightenment or at least getting to look at something pretty. I was in the back of the jeep so managed to get sneak in an hour or two’s sleep which staved off the travel sickness and the GPS brought us to the Dzochen Beara Buddhist Centre… at which point I was starving as was everyone else in the car, but we had a picnic with us! Anyway, I saw the signs and I could fill the inner peace coming to me already! That is until I saw the sign saying ‘We are closed to the public for the weekend due to a Buddhist workshop’.

Workshop!? I’ve just got out of bed at 830am on a Sunday morning, slept for TWO hours in the car and I can’t go see the Buddhist centre because people are WORKING on inner peace? And I’m hungry! And it’s just started to rain?!? There goes the picnic… Best laid plans!?

Thankfully Driver had done his research on Google before departing in the early morning and had suggested we all go to eat in The Olde Bakery. He reviews said it was the only place that offered any kind of service and even if that was bad the food would be good!

How far? How far? We all questioned!

It’s only 10 minutes away!

So, convinced the Buddhists had known of our coming and decided they didn’t want to meet us or give us inner peace we headed to The Olde Bakery, for inner fulfilment instead!

On walking into The Olde Bakery, you are barely greeted, seat yourself at a table that has not been laid properly and expect to sit for about 20 minutes until a blackboard is brought over to you with today’s menu. The menu was interesting with mainly Asian starters and good Euro-Irish main courses – interesting mix, but it worked! The three of us, Driver, Passenger and me ordered three starters to share. After having the cutler slammed on the table by a waitress who was clearly suffering a hangover the pork ribs & prawn toast, squid and spring rolls arrived – they were all delicious!! I could feel I was closer to inner satisfaction – forget having a light inside me – put food in!!

Main course of Lasagne and Salad for myself, was delicious I had not had lasagne in a couple of years, but this was the real Italian deal. Driver & Passenger had traditional roasts which too were mouth watering, piping hot, good whole comfort soul food! After some more plate and glass slamming from HO waitress, bright and bubbly waitress cleared our plates and the service improved immensely and she brought us wonderful desserts of Strawberries with Meringue, Bread & Butter Pudding & Chocolate Fudge Cake.

The Olde Bakery certainly offers a warm place, with funny quirks service wise, and a scrumptious menu! Forget inner enlightenment and just fill yourself up with some food instead.

I still fully believe the Buddhists knew we were coming as I decided to join Driver & Passenger the following week at another attempt to get there and also in the hope we would eat in The Olde Bakery again, but we turned back halfway as they had clearly sent their light to the sky and asked it to rain and fog up as much as possible… perhaps we’re just not ready for them yet!