What’s the name? The Lighthouse Tea Room
Where is it? 8, Abbeygate Street Upper, Galway, Ireland
When’s it open? 10:30 – 17:30 Mon-Sat / 12:00 – 17:30 Sun
What’s on offer? Vegetarian; vegan; gluten-free
I’ve often sauntered along Galway’s Abbeygate Street and peeked into the Lighthouse Tea Room thinking, “I have to check out that little place sometime”. But it wasn’t until my buddy Laoighseach and I adopted a plant-based lifestyle that I made it my business to stop off there this week. Laoighseach has gone full-on vegan, while I’m easing my way in with plain-old vegetarian living – I can’t seem to break off my life-long love affair with omelettes. Can someone please invent vegan eggs?
Living plant-based wasn’t an overnight decision. On a trip to India four-years-ago, I eliminated meat, and similarly, Laoighseach sampled veganism during a four-month trip to Germany’s vegan haven, Leipzig. This year, after months of deliberation, discussion, and debate, we kicked the carnivorous bucket and began munching on all things living. We read blogs; we watched documentaries; we fell off the wagon and ordered meat-feast dominos; we educated ourselves on the multifaceted benefits of this new lifestyle: more antioxidants, more energy, healthier skin, less sugar, the often-forgotten environmental impact, and most importantly, a longer life.
Of late, Galway City seems to be going through what some may refer to as a ‘food renaissance’; nowhere is this more evident than in the quirky, bijou, and nutrition-filled eatery that is the Lighthouse Tea Room. The café’s interior is simple and quaint, reflecting a back-to-basics ethos which appears to be resonating with grub lovers, given how tricky it is to get a table in the place. Yesterday afternoon, we managed to grab a cosy little corner at the back to sample some of the delicious fare on offer.
I love nothing more than when a restaurateur offers a small selection of dishes. But some complain where I celebrate. Do a few things, and make sure those few things are simply delicious. That is exactly what is happening in the Lighthouse. For our mid-afternoon meeting, my dining companion and I both decided on the very reasonably priced roast pepper and lentil soup, matched with vegan rolls and gluten-free bread, respectively. And guess what! The G.F bread actually tasted like…bread!
Of course, given my unyielding penchant for coffee, two almond milk flat-whites were also on the agenda, along the most sumptuous piece of carrot and walnut cake I have ever had the pleasure of demolishing; I’m glad we were hidden away in the back – no one should be subject that sort of culinary carnage.
Despite having full bellies and smiles to boot, food envy kicked in when the couple at the table next to us were delivered two plates stocked with culinary magic: falafel burgers with enough fresh, fragrant, and colourful salad to feed most of the Galway’s Westend!
So, Nitelife Magazine gives a very rare 5 stars. We’ll see the team at Galway’s Lighthouse very, very soon. Put the kettle on gals.