Waterford Writers’ Weekend 2013 is fast approaching. This is one of the smaller of Waterford’s many festivals throughout the year, but that doesn’t stop it from being a vital, vibrant weekend.
One of the challenges faced by festival organisers the world over is to vary the content of their festival programmes from year to year. The Waterford Writers’ Weekend organisers, Waterford City Library, Galanta Events and Vanessa O’ Loughlin of writing.ie, certainly seem to have achieved that this year. The focus of the programme is on emerging writers, self-publishing, independent publishing and social media.
The Weekend has a selection of official venues and partners, all of which are great and worth visiting. I thought it might be useful in the run-up to the festival to attempt to complement the official list by posting reviews and information on additional venues from the viewpoint of a local person.
These venues are perhaps lesser known for whatever reason, but offer people something different and a good reason to venture off Waterford’s main thoroughfares and do some exploring.
I’ll make my reviews as practical as possible by including information on parking, toilet facilities, accessibility, child-friendliness, availability of wi-fi and any other useful tips.
Here’s my first venue review!
Harlequin cafe-bar, Stephen Street
Food and drink: Authentic home-made Italian food – such as gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce – great coffee, good selection of Italian wine. The staff don’t mind you popping in for just a coffee and pastry or a glass of wine.
Service: Excellent. Beautiful native Italian coming from the staff as they work. Some of the best-looking male staff in the city (sorry, men of Waterford!).
Layout and accessibility: compact, tables close together. Buggies have to be folded up and even at that there is not much space to stow them. Having said that, the staff are very welcoming of families with small children. Wheelchair users should be able to get in the door easily as there is no step.
Toilet facilities: on same level, basic, clean, slightly cramped, no baby changing facilities.
Free wi-fi: yes.
Parking: on-street outside the cafe or nearby Mayor’s Walk. Charges: up to €1.80 per hour.
Accessibility to festival venues: maximum 10-minute walk (if you’re a slow walker – five minutes power-walking!).