When the reporter on Galway Bay Radio this morning announced that Lydons Restaurant was to close, memories came flooding back.
I suppose I’m going back 45 years at least. The excitement of going to Galway – we’d have been on our best behaviour for days beforehand, my good dress, shoes polished, face shining, our old Prefect – the windows beginning to show opaque at the corners, the journey full of familiar but wonderful landmarks. But, all the time, the expectation, the high point was still to come – our dinner in Lydons.
I remember walking along the Eyre Square railings past Frank McDonaghs, impatiently dragging my mother from her window shopping; past Corbetts and Glynns, wishing to go faster. Up the stairs, at last, sinking into the deep red carpet and then the beautiful room. The remembered tables, the silver, the soft buzz of conversation, the smiling waitress. I remember the mystery of the food trolley disappearing deep into the depths and coming back laden with our order. I really wanted to climb onto it and travel down to the source of all the treasure.
We always finished with buns and tea. The buns arrived on a two-tiered silver plate, with six on each tier; lacy paper peeping out of the edges – my mother explained that it was called a doily.
Which to chose? The chocolate éclair overflowing with cream? The gooey pink icey one? The little pie? – what was inside? The cream slice? This was the biggest but would I really like it? The meringue that looked like a snowball with cherries? A mouth-watering decision to be made. I’d turn the plate round and round, Dad’s impatience eventually putting an end to my indecision. And Mrs Lydon presiding over all – tall, elegant, black hair drawn back in a chignon, beautifully dressed. How special I felt when she spoke to us as if we were old and valued customers.
On Saturday October 8th 1994 it closed – and now its going to be the biggest music store in the West.
Can this be progress?
Written by Anonymous
Published here 09 Feb 2021 and originally published August 1995
Logainmneacha / Placenames
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