In search of a quieter life in west Donegal

LAST month Lorraine Quinn and her fiancé Roberto Peruzzo closed the doors of their busy bistro in the North East corner of England in favour of a quieter life in West Donegal.
With the gentle noises of the countryside as her soundtrack, walking her son Ben to Scoil Conail, Bunbeg, on a bright clear June morning was not something that Ms Quinn ever thought she would do. The scene is a world away from the pressures of running Caffe Tirreno in Alnwick, a large market town in north Northumberland, for twelve years.
Last week, she opened a gift shop ‘Harbour Road’ in Bunbeg and she’s now looking forward to experiencing life at a vastly different pace. Born and raised in Belfast, Lorraine has swapped the rat race for a quieter country life.
“Three months before we moved over here, if you had told me that that’s what I was going to do I would have just laughed at that,” she said.
Before she changed her job and her life, Ms Quinn was working ‘twenty-four seven’ in the catering industry.
“I was looking for something that was outside the life that I had, but I didn’t really know what that was,” she said.
“All that I knew was that I needed to get away from what I was at. I needed to slow things down a bit – work at a slower pace,” she added.
Around that same time, the couple were presented with the opportunity to relocate to Donegal.
“I wanted to come back to Ireland and had been looking at various options. I have been on holidays a few times to Donegal and when the opportunity to move to Gweedore came along we grabbed it with both hands,” she said. On Saturday last, the couple opened the doors to ‘Harbour Road’ – their craft shop business in Bunbeg.
“We stock a lot of quirky gifts with as many suppliers from Donegal as we can. We’ve a bit of everything. From ceramics, to art, prints, candles and skin care products.
“Bunbeg is the smallest fishing harbour in Ireland and our shop is on the way down to Harbour Road so hence the name of our business.
“We want to appeal to local people. Harbour Road is a place to go to get that special birthday gift or anniversary present,” Ms Quinn said.
“We plan to keep the shop open all year but we’ll take the odd day off – unlike our catering days when everything was twenty four seven,” she added

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