Showing posts with label Celtic Ross. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Celtic Ross. Show all posts

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dine by the Water

Dine by the Water
Superb food and superb views

Bunnyconnellan's
I’ve been very lucky this past few years to have dined in some well placed restaurants and cafes, places from Cork to Donegal that have a dining room with a view over water. Sometimes over a river, maybe over an estuary, over a lake perhaps, and then sometimes over the ocean. I was lucky too to have brilliant weather in most of the places.
Carrig Country House

Caragh Lake is in Kerry, not too far from Killorglin, and you have great views over its waters when you dine in the splendid Carrig Country House
Screebe House - their photo

There are some similarities between Carrig House and the lovely Screebe House  in Connemara; great food and great views. 
Blairscove

And in West Cork, near Durrus, there is Blairscove House. Here you can enjoy a splendid dinner and views over Dunmanus Bay.
Breakfast view (just a small section of it!) from the Trident's Pier One

There are no shortages of views in Kinsale. One of my most recent visits was to Man Friday on the hills above the bay Man Friday. And another recent visit was to the Trident Hotel, right in the town and so close to the waters that you think a boat is going to come through the dining room windows.
Sunrise at Garryvoe
The Samphire at the Garryvoe Hotel has expansive views of Ballycotton Bay and the lighthouse, excellent food too. And across the bay, its sister hotel, the Bayview has an even more spectacular cliff-top situation.
Hake at Celtic Ross
The views at Rosscarberry’s Celtic Ross, where French chef Alex Petit maintains a high standard, are quieter but no less pleasant.
Cliff House View
Ardmore’s Cliff House is renowned for the food, the views over the bay and their 3-word tweets!
Pier 26
Back again to Ballycotton and to Pier 26. This restaurant overlooks the harbour and the lighthouse island and the fish is highly recommended, of course! And down in Schull, L'Escale is right in the harbour area; the lobster here is a must try.


And if you really want a 360 degree ocean view while dining then take a trip from Ringaskiddy in Cork to Roscoff in Brittany on board the Pont Aven.  Splendid food and views!

Dingle

For harbour views, you'll find it hard to beat the sights as you come and go to Dingle’s Out of the Blue. And close by is the Boatyard. Fish will be on the menus of both for sure. Then again, there's a splendid view of Cork Harbour from the tea rooms at Camden Fort Meagher (below).
View over Cork Harbour from Camden Fort Meagher

Rosapenna

No shortage of seaside restaurants in Donegal. One of the best is the Seaview Tavern in Malin Head village even if the view to the sea is somewhat interrupted by the cars parking across the road. No such problems at the Rosapenna Golf Hotel, whose dining room overlooks Sheephaven Bay and the beach at Downies. Further west, the bar at the Cove at Portnablagh, another top restaurant, overlooks a different part of the same bay.
The Bayview, Ballycotton

Perhaps the best ocean view is that enjoyed from your table in Bunnyconnellan’s, a very pleasant view and very enjoyable food here at this renowned Crosshaven (Cork) venue.
Islander's Rest on Sherkin
Back to West Cork and to Baltimore and Le Jolie Brise where I’ve sometimes enjoyed a dish of mussels as the day drew to a close with the island of Sherkin out in front. Speaking of Sherkin, the Islander's Rest sure has great water views!
Ostan Gweedore
Hard to top that. One view that comes close, maybe level, maybe even better, is from the Donegal restaurant of Ostan Gweedore where there is the most fantastic view over the beaches and the waters of the Atlantic.

Turbot at Electric Fish Bar
Perhaps you prefer river views. One of the best in Cork is from Electric, especially from the Fish Bar. From the first floor of the South Mall building, you have fine views of the southern channel of Lee to the west and to the east.
River Lee Hotel, top left
Also in the city, you hand almost dip your fingers in the Lee as you wine and dine at the Weir Rooms of the lovely River Lee Hotel.  
View from the Spinning Wheel in Dripsey Garden Centre

The Spinning Wheel, above the same River Lee, is at the very popular Griffin’s Garden Centre in rural Dripsey. Here you can enjoy some of Granny Griffin’s delights as you watch the water-skiers speed by down below.

Never know what you might see passing as you dine in Cobh
You have no shortage of harbour views in Cobh where you’ll find The Quays and The Titanic Bar & Grill.  And you’ll also find pleasant estuary views not too far away at Murph’s  in East Ferry. 
Kenmare Bay
The Boathouse at Dromquinna, near Kenmare, is also well situated, right on the northern flank of the bay. And, in Limerick, the place to be is Locke Bar
Locke Bar's water-side tables

The Puffin Cafe on Long Strand, Castlefreke, Co.. Cork, is my latest addition (09.07.17). It overlooks that long beach and the ocean.

Have you a personal favourite view over water while dining? If you'd like to share, please use the Comment facility below.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016: Best Places to Stay

Best Places to Stay 2016

Stayed in quite a few places this year. From Kerry to Meath, from Donegal to Dublin, from Limerick to Waterford,  from West Cork to Wexford. These were the best. Suggestions for 2017 welcome! 

 Screebe House, Connemara

Killiane Castle, Co. Wexford
Anyone for croquet at Killiane?

Cahernane House Hotel, Killarney.
Cahernane
Cork Recommendations
East Cork
Garryvoe Hotel, East Cork
Samphire Restaurant, Garryvoe Hotel
West Cork
 Celtic Ross Hotel, West Cork
Warren Beach, Rosscarbery


2016 Reviews - see also
Cafes by the side of the road.
Best Hotel Dining Rooms
Meals with a difference

Best Steaks & 3 Best non-Cork Restaurants 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

Breton Night At The Celtic Ross

Breton Night At The Celtic Ross

Ancient East Meets Wild Atlantic Way

ap1200251
We expected good things aplenty when guest chef Eric Thezé from La Bohème in Waterford and host chef Alex Petit of the Celtic Ross teamed up at the West Cork venue to present a Brittany Tasting Menu as part of A Taste of West Cork festival. And good things was what we got!
Both chefs are from Brittany and while the vast majority of the ingredients were local, from West Cork itself, it was no surprise that the two brought in some superb vegetables from their homeland. Many of you will have driven through Brittany from the ferry port at Roscoff and will have seen the fields of artichokes.
ap1200252And the artichokes featured in our first dish, the Mise en Bouche: Coquille St. Jacques, Roast Purple Artichoke, cauliflower purée and smoked lardons. Manager Neil Grant said he “allowed” Eric bring the scallop from Kilmore Quay but the artichoke was probably the star of the plate, its gorgeous mild flavour a perfect foil to the scallop and part of an excellent combination.
Again, many of you will have tasted another Breton speciality, the Buckwheat Galette. Our starter was packed with a generous amount of smoked salmon, with leeks too and topped with a lovely Chive Créme Fraîche. We were up and running, enjoying the food and a glass of wine. The wine was all French and I must say I was surprisingly impressed with the Les Folies Landiers Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, a Sur Lie version, dry and fresh.
ap1200254Now it was time for the fish course: Roasted Monkfish on the bone, Mussels, Coco de Paimpol, Armorique bisque. What a superb dish. The perfectly cooked fish, the creamy beans and the rich lobster sauce. Wow!
ap1200256And more richness to follow as the meat arrived: Duo of Irish lamb, rump and croquette, sel de Guerande, sauce Paloise, Jerusalem artichoke two ways. The Paloise is exactly the same as Béarnaise but you use tarragon instead of mint and the salt comes from near the small walled town of Guerande in the south coast of Brittany. Again, it all came together so well.
We were happy punters in the Celtic Ross but there was still one final treat to come: Sablé Breton (a Breton shortbread), Rosscarberry strawberries, salty caramel ice cream, Crème de Cassis Liqueur. I don’t think I need add to that, a very lovely end to a smashing evening that had started with a kir based on the local Stonewell Cider. If you’re coming to the East Cork Festival next September, do watch out for this event.ap1200257

Friday, September 9, 2016

THREE CHEFS (FROM MANY) AT A TASTE OF WEST CORK

 THREE CHEFS (FROM MANY)
 AT A TASTE OF WEST CORK
Matthew checking down under!
Made my mind up early this year to get a little deeper into this month's A Taste of West Cork. Rather then driving down and coming back on the same day, I'm going to stay for three consecutive nights. And as it happens, the three nights give me the chance to see three very different chefs, beginning at the Celtic Ross on the 15th with Breton Eric Theze in action. On the Friday, Kiwi Matthew Brownie takes us all down under in Skibbereen's Eldon and, on the Saturday, West Cork's own Rob Krawczyk serves up a feast in Ballydehob's Levis Bar. That's the nights catered for - just have to fill in the days now!
Eric (left)

Thursday September 15th:


Eric Theze; Irish Restaurant Awards Best Chef in Co. Waterford 2016 offers up 5 courses ‘a La Boheme’.
The coastal location of Roscarberry will play host to one of A Taste of West Cork’s international dining experiences, as the Celtic Ross Hotel welcomes guest chef Eric Thezé, who will present a delicious five-course tasting menu featuring dishes from Brittany. The chef, who is proprietor of La Boheme in Waterford, will be joined by Alex Petit, Head Chef at the reputable Celtic Ross Hotel. This luxurious dining event will take place on Thursday 15th September and will showcase not only the talents of the chefs involved, but also the diversity of the annual A Taste of West Cork Food Festival. Visit www.celticrosshotel.com.  


Friday September 16th:

‘DOWN UNDER’ NIGHT
Friday, September 16th
7.00pm 9:30pm


The Eldon Hotel, Bridge Street, Skibbereen/7pm to 9.30 pm/€25/Booking essential numbers limited /028 22802

G’day mate! Ever wondered what the other side of the world eats - well this is your opportunity to find out! The Eldon Hotel’s Kiwi Head Chef Matthew Brownie and Bar Manager Brett Cleary will create nine tasting dishes from the Southern Hemisphere including kangaroo. Many surprises in store along with music in the bar afterwards.
Charcuterie by Krawczyk
Saturday September 17th

 From Leinster to Levis’ with Love - Rob Krawczyk at Levis Corner House, Ballydehob.  
Indulge in an unforgettable dining experience at this year’s A Taste of West Cork Food Festival on Saturday 17th September (7.00pm), with a feast prepared by West Cork native and RAI’s Best Chef in Leinster Rob Krawczyk, served within the atmospheric surroundings of Levis’ Corner House Pub in Ballydehob. The intimate venue, which is lovingly run by former Fred frontman Joe O’Leary and his partner Caroline O’Donnell, will provide the perfect setting for a night of great food and music, with internationally-renowned Irish composer Maurice Seezer on hand for the evening to entertain diners. Those in attendance will even get an opportunity to perform alongside Maurice as they attempt to ‘sing for their supper’, with the most talented entry eating free of charge! This is most certainly a treat for the senses that is not to be missed. Visit www.leviscornerhouse.com.


Chefs in West Cork

There'll hardly be a street or a boreen in West Cork without a chef over the next week or so.  Talented chefs featuring at many different venues include Matt Williamson, celebrity Chef Derry Clarke (of Michelin Star L' Ecrivain restaurant fame), Freelance Chef Chris Hedges, Jessica Stutchbury, Chef and Forager Kevin O’Connell, Journalist Joe MacNamee, Takashi Miyazaki (Best Chef in Ireland 2015 – McKenna Guide), TV Chef Catherine Fulvio,  Danni Barry (Michelin Star chef),  Paola Vais, Ali Honour, Rachel Allen (Chef, author and television star), Blogger Louise Kelly, Eric Thezé (Irish Restaurant Awards Best Chef in Co. Waterford 2016), Leylie Hayes (Executive Chef at Avoca and esteemed cook book author), Francine Thurnheer, Rob Krawczyk (winner of the National Restaurants Association of Ireland Best Chef in Leinster 2016) and West Cork’s very own Martin Shanahan.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

West Cork in 36 Hours. So Much To Do, See, Eat!

West Cork in 36 Hours
So Much To Do, See, Eat!
Busy at Inish Beg
It’s bluebell time in Ireland and the magic flowers were a highlight of our last weekend's 36 hours in West Cork but there were also Tiger Prawns, Basking sharks, Sicilian Cauliflower, even a Mobile Sauna.

The Mobile Sauna came early on, spotted by Garrettstown beach on Sunday morning as we took the long way west. Don't think there were too many customers in the tented facility. Indeed, the weather was too fine for the Garrettstown surfers yet some of the food outlets were doing well as we headed up the hill (not to Ballinspittle) to take the coast road, passing an old creamery stand and three well weathered churns on the way.
The Food Depot's extension

We were taking the long way over Courtmacsherry Bay. We soon joined the R600 from Ballinspittle, went past the lovely Harbour View beach and then drove up the estuary to Timoleague and its ancient monastery, now an impressive ruin. Over the bridge then and off to Courtmacsherry. We have sometimes walked along here - think it’s about 4.5 kilometres, all on the flat (the path is over an old railway line) and arrived in Courtmac beach shortly after noon.

The queues were already starting at the Food Depot, the truck that features the amazing cooking of Diana Dodog. We parked the car, had to look hard for a space, and got our order in!  Mine was the Grilled Tiger Prawns Salad Box, Garlic & Herb Oil. The Salad Box is a a bit of an understatement containing as it did, couscous, beetroot, pickled cucumber, hummus and more. It was a very tasty box, full of colours, textures and flavours, all for eight euro.
Popular prawn dish; garnish changes from time to time
CL's choice (the menu regularly changes) was the Grilled Cajun Chicken Wrap, Zesty Slaw, Aioli, sweet chilli, another well balanced piece, an excellent example of what a wrap should be! Well priced too at seven euro.


Our second “mission” in Courtmacsherry was a visit to the bluebells in the wood. Take a rising path that starts by the beach car park - it is part of the Seven Heads Walk (total over 40 kms, but some shorter loops as well!). Some detail on the walk here.
Wild garlic in Courtmacsherry wood, by the sea
The bluebells come early on in the walk, as soon as you enter the wood. Even before you get there you see the magical blue "haze". And there are as many Ramsons or Wild Garlic and I also noticed some wild mint growing in among the garlic. There is a huge bank on your right among the trees as you enter. Look. Smell. Enjoy. As you come out of the wood, you get a clear view of the ocean at and near Wood Point. And it was close to here that we spotted the fin moving swiftly through the waters below. “Basking shark,” I heard a local say.

We had turned back by then and were soon on the road again, taking the long way again, over towards Butlerstown, past the Seven Heads, past Dunworley Bay and on towards Ring where Deasy’s Pub (another well known food venue) stands. Into Clon then and time for a break from the sun and a drop of Dungarvan Pale Ale in the well known pub/restaurant called An Sugan.
Courtmac bluebells
Next stop would be the Celtic Ross, our base in Rosscarbery. They had a deal on for the Sunday, quite an attractive one: dinner for two, and B&B for €78.00 total. They have lots of deals, so be sure and check here   How often have you been down in West Cork, wishing you could stay and couldn't get last minute accommodation? It has happened to us on a few occasions so we took up this offer and were very happy with it. The Ross is a fine friendly hotel and, between Clonakilty and Skibbereen, so well placed for exploring West Cork.

We took a walk in the sun down to Warren’s Beach to join quite a few people there, young and old, some in swimming. We were down that way again later on to get a few shots as the sun sank behind the village.
A bank of primroses on the Seven Heads Walk
In the meantime, we had enjoyed an excellent 3-course dinner. We had a choice of three starters and I enjoyed every little bit of the Sticky Chicken Wings, Jamaican Jerk Style, Blue cheese and sesame seeds. CL was also happy with Peter’s famous Fish Cake.

We each had the same mains: Local Hake Fillet, Sicilian cauliflower, nutmeg potato, black olive oil, Sauce Vierge, Port. This was outstanding, particularly the raisins and the pinenuts, with the cauliflower, adding a touch of texture, sweet notes too from the raisins and the Port, and the fish had obviously just jumped up from the waters outside, such was its freshness. Top notch overall.
Galley Lighthouse, from Warren Beach in Rosscarbery
Breakfast is served in the same area with a very friendly vibe, quite efficient too. We had a nice bit of fruit and yogurt and a variation of the full Irish (not quite a full Irish!). Checked out then and headed west through Skibbereen and out the Baltimore Road.

We were on the lookout for Inish Beg on the left, an island, but one with a bridge. It is a private estate where you may stay in various type of accommodation. There is also an indoor swimming pool (in the walled garden!). Lots to do here. You may even get married on a mini island, reached by a small bridge. Check it all out here.
Warren Beach
But we were here to take a walk - its costs a fiver - through the gardens and the woodlands. The walled garden is in great nick. You start there and then follow your map where you’ll come across features such as Pumpkin's Puddle, Bird Hides, The Boat House, The Gypsy Retreat (where two caravans provide your accommodation), the Sunken Garden, the Bamboozle (a couple of bamboo tunnels) and the Orchard.

There is a good scattering of bluebells around the place at the moment. They seem of a slightly darker shade than those of Courtmacsherry but that is a non-scientific observation! Perhaps the best display was that under the old trees in the Orchard.
Hake in the Celtic Ross
It was getting close to lunchtime and so we headed for Baltimore. We had been hoping that the Glebe Cafe would be open but, being Monday, they weren't. Le Jolie Brise was though and here a big bowl of mussels and a smaller one of fries did the business.

Time was running out for us and it was with some regret that we left behind the increasing blue of the West Cork skies and headed back to the city. Glad to say the blue came too at least for this May evening.
Inish Beg's wedding island

Bamboozled