First up on Alanna Gallagher’s whistlestop tour is the Déise capital
Waterford in the south-east was founded by the Vikings in 914AD and claims to be Ireland's oldest city. It has invested heavily in marketing its Viking quarter, which now includes some very browsable stores. While much of the city centre is dominated by big chainstores, scratch its surface and you'll find stand-out independent retailers worth visiting. Don't leave town without paying your respects to chiropodist Mamie Cox whose shop window at 85b The Quay changes with each season and features all manner of miniature shoe. To avoid problems in later life, she says feet should be treated as often as you would have your teeth cleaned and treats everyone from the local hurlers to the elderly. A consultation costs €35 - far less than it would in Dublin. Tel: 051-875469 waterfordvikingtriangle.com
€20 or less
Pick up a paper and take a pew in the Book Centre, a browsable bookshop cum café in an old art deco building, once home to the Savoy Cinema, whose screen and stage features have been retained. Buy local author Karen Power's latest Butterfly Barn novel, On Butterfly Wings, €12.99, order a latte, and read it upstairs in Poppy's café where lingering is encouraged. 25 Roberts Square, 051-873823; thebookcentre.ie
€50 or less
Waterford is home to several glass companies. When Waterford Crystal closed in 2009, master glass blowers Tony Hayes, Derek Smith, Richard Rowe and master glass cutter Danny Murphy pooled their talents and set up the Irish Handmade Glass Company, in the swish Kite Design Studios, a space they share with other local designers. There you can browse the collections, including these rose-coloured love birds (€39.95 per pair) and, on occasion, see the men in action. Irish Handmade Glass, Kite Design Studios, 11 Henrietta St; 051-858914; kitedesignstudios.com
€100 or less
Fashion boutique Muse is run by Clodagh Roche and stocks a variety of labels from Marc Jacobs to Hoss, By Malene Birger and sweaters by Irish cashmere queen Lucy Nagle. She also stocks Damsel Fly, a cool collection of scented candles and unisex fragrances by Laboratory Perfumes, formulated to react with the wearer and evolve over the day. Recall your time in the south-east with a bottle of Amber, Gorse or Samphire, €85 for 100ml. Muse Boutique, 92 The Quay; 051-854448; museboutique.ie
€500 or less
Staff at John Palmer’s music shop noodle around on the stock during quiet periods, so you hear all sorts of sounds emanating from the premises. It stocks instruments, music books, does repairs and caters for everyone from beginners to pros. By far the biggest selling item is the ukulele. Prices range from €15 for a kid’s style to €350 for this professional Martin ukulele.
John Palmer Music Centre, 7 George's Street; 051-879333; johnpalmermusic.com
€1,000 or less
Waterford is synonymous with crystal, and no visit is complete without a tour of the House of Waterford, a contemporary space that has revived the brand's craft of blowing and cutting. Watch master craftsmen turn molten glass into beautiful crystal and oogle the upscale pieces by British designer Jo Sampson, whose latest collection includes this mirror- and leather-lined desktop bar, a tabernacle-like design that includes the gilt-topped decanters and tumblers. It costs an eye-watering €13,000. 28 The Mall; 051-317 000; waterfordvisitorcentre.com; waterford.co.uk.
Head to Ardkeen Quality Food Stores for a Jaybee's egg-free chocolate cake, €8.50, made by the local Amish community. Dunmore Road; 051-874620; ardkeen.com
Blaa, blaa, blaa
Sample Waterford's world-famous breadat the Farmer's Market on Jenkin's Lane. Open Saturdays 10am - 4pm. loveyourlocalmarket.ie/waterford