Last Friday, after I’d checked into my hotel in Cork, I went for a bit of a wander round the town until it was time to start looking for the venue for the gig, and I discovered the English Market. (That’s ‘discovered’ in the sense of Columbus discovering America, of course, since lots of people already knew it was there.) It’s a covered market that somehow winds its way behind the ordinary shops – there are at least 3 entrances that I found and there may well be a few more. And it’s a place of many gustatory delights.
I didn’t buy anything that first day, even though there was a man on one of the stalls frying potatoes, which looked lovely, and a sign behind him saying Potatoes and Sausage 4 Euros. But I had had such a huge breakfast in the Dublin hotel that morning that I really wasn’t hungry. I knew I was only going to get a ‘mini breakfast’ at the Cork hotel the next day so I decided to come back to the market after that – there would be time for a second breakfast before I caught the bus to the airport. Instead I went in search of the venue, which doesn’t have much of an internet presence (for instance, there’s no map showing it), and was surprised when I found it that there was no queue there yet, although it was 3 o’clock by then; so I started one, and was subsequently interviewed by the local radio station and achieved my aim of being leant on the barrier immediately below TP’s mic when the gig started. But I’m not talking about the gig here, of course. This is about the market.
The next morning I found that the hotel’s definition of a mini breakfast wasn’t the same as mine and I was once again not hungry when I turned up mid-morning at the English Market again. I had hoped that my appetite would’ve returned, but it hadn’t, so the potato and sausage man had no business from me. I bought some white chocolate buttons from the chocolate man, though, and sat down in the cafe with a coffee till it was bus time…Incidentally the coffee I had in Ireland was (nearly all) wonderful, even the kind provided by Aer Lingus.
Though there were stalls with all sorts of food in the market, the majority were of interest to carnivores only, especially fans of chicken and fish. (They didn’t even have that much fish in Kirkcudbright!)
Several of the stalls had tripe. On this one there were also ready-battered burgers. I was not sorry to have to leave both those things behind. I walked along to St Patrick’s Quay and sat down at the bus stop, only to find I’d left the chocolate buttons in the cafe. Well, they’re bad for you anyway. And at the airport they had Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.