Showing posts with label Clonakilty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clonakilty. Show all posts

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Richy Virahsawmy. Clon’s Renaissance Man

Richy Virahsawmy
Clon’s Renaissance Man
Richy Virahsawmy is something of a renaissance man. He is a restaurant owner, a cook, a teacher, a consultant, an active contributor to the local community in Clonakilty, a TV chef, an author, and a farmer. He has cooked for you and me, for celebrities (Michael Flatley), in big houses (Castle Hyde, Castlefreke), for large crowds (World Web Summit and at the National Ploughing Championship), for Prime Ministers and their guests (in Downing Street and in his native Mauritius).

I won’t go into all the details in this post but you may read all about his background here. The Irish leg of his career began when he joined the staff of Inchydoney Lodge and his dream of opening his own restaurant became reality in 2002 when Richy’s was established in Clonakilty.

And, ten years later, worried that a restaurant that only opened a few days week might not be enough on its own, he reinforced his position in the town with the opening of the adjoining cafe, turning the operation into a multi-functional one. Now he had two types of dining room in the one premises.

Superb chowder, with Murphy's & Walnut Brown Bread
 Now too he could really get to grips with expanding his teaching. Autumn/Winter Courses include fish cookery, Canapes and Small Bites, Slow Cookin, Sushi Making, Cooking for Friends are among those available. These are all interactive classes: you cook and, at the end of the evening, sit down with your fellow students and eat!


And Richy loves teaching children to cook and every week he has classes for a small group (eight to twelve) of kids with autism. Indeed, in an attempt to meet the threat of obesity, he plans to increase his work with schoolchildren and has earmarked an old house on his farm for that purpose, and more. Watch this space.

He, his Finnish wife Johanna, and their three children, live on the farm in nearby Rosscarbery in a cleverly converted barn! The farm is worked and they have established a market garden there with herbs, and greens, tomatoes and so on, grown for the restaurant. Richy finds it hard to understand why so many Irish farmers stopped doing this for themselves. Another bonus is that most of the restaurant waste is composted here.


Back at the restaurant, it is all go. But not with the staff. He has a good team, twenty four strong, his chefs “stay longer”. The place, the flow of work, is tidy, highly organized, everything in its place.

“Ninety per cent is made in-house. You can't go much higher than that.” And the menus rarely stand still, always a few on the specials boards, He had taken an “office day”, on the day of our visit, to work on the Spring-Summer menus for 2016. A few years back, he introduced a pizza menu and that is going strongly.

When Richy started up in 2002, he knew he wouldn't have to go far for good produce. It is all around here in Clonakilty, in the fields of the local farms, and in the nearby seas. And he makes great use of it as we found out, again, last week.
There were at least five specials on the board and I started with one of them: the West Cork Seafood Chowder, packed with little chunks of fish and a few mussels in their shells, a terrific chowder and a great starter on a cool enough day. Meanwhile, CL was warming up with the Buttersquash and Sweetcorn Soup.

Again, I found my mains on the Specials list: Tuna Nicoise Salad, boiled egg, anchovies and green beans. A superb combination of flavours (the meaty tuna and the salty anchovies), colours and textures (crunchy beans, soft eggs). And the salad, from the farm, was simply outstanding.

That well dressed salad also made an appearance in CL’s dish: Chicken, avocado and pomegranate salad, Gubbeen bacon, balsamic and extra virgin olive oil. Again, this was one to savour, take your time with, a pleasure to eat.

We would have loved a dessert and were tempted but settled for a cup of coffee, a chat with the man himself and a tour of the kitchen.
The R Cafe (left) & the restaurant

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Taste of the Week. So Milky Milk Chocolate

Taste of the Week

So Milky Milk Chocolate
One of the bonuses of visiting Clonakilty recently for A Taste of West Cork was the chance to meet chocolatier Allison Roberts at the tasting event in Spiller’s Lane. She was one of the local producers showing their wares and I stocked up on her chocolate bars, including the So Milky Milk bar, our Taste of the Week.

This has no “artificial anything” and is “Gluten free”. Aside from Cocoa, the other main ingredient is Coconut Blossom Syrup. And the milk is not from the cow but from the goat!

Clonakilty Chocolate is a Fairtrade operation, the beans coming to Clon from the farmers of Kokoo (Ghana). Even the wrapper is bio-degradeable. Eating it, the chocolate that is, will make you feel good in more ways than one!

Other bars include: Chai Chilli, 100% Cocoa, Decadent Dark, Wild West Salty, and Seriously Minted. The Salty and the Minted are also among my favourites but do sample and take your pick from a great choice.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

In Spiller’s Lane. Choc And Aah!

In Spiller’s Lane
Choc And Aah!
Allison, on her bike, with her Clonakilty Chocolate
Clonakilty hotels and restaurants were out in force as A Taste of West Cork festival kicked off in the town’s Spiller’s Lane on Saturday. The sun came out too and so did hundreds of punters as the local mayor opened the event.
With music playing, we sauntered up and down the narrow lane and started off with a delightful cocktail from Fernhill Hotel. Ingredients were mostly local, of course, and the "Corktail" included service with a smile. Neighbouring stall saw the Emmet Hotel dishing out loads of delicious small bites. We sampled canapés featuring Union Hall Salmon and Chicken Paté, both excellent.

An Sugan (top)
and Richie's bun.
A beetroot salad? The offer came from the man at the Baile an Ard Foods Stand and, of course, we said yes. It was very impressive. He told me the salad, along with quite a few others, may be bought in local shops and supermarkets and that they also do catering for events such as Communions, Confirmations, parties, even Christmas. So now you know.

An Sugan had quite a menu on offer and we picked their Scallops with a parsnip and potato puree. Three big juicy scallops, for a fiver! 

And we did well next door too with Richy’s Bistro where the man himself served up their Steamed Pork Bun, based on a dish by a top New York chef. Ricky took a while to figure out how to reproduce it but it was worth the wait as it is a beauty, another gem for a fiver.


The Lettercollum Project
On the way back down (maybe up!), we stopped for the speeches alongside the Clonakilty Black Pudding stand. And then there was ice-cream from the lady at Clonakilty Homemade Ice Cream. The Honeycomb was delicious and a reasonable two euro for a boule. They have a shop in the town and do outdoor events and supply to restaurants and hotels around West Cork. They’ve been doing it for the past ten years and all the ice cream is made on the premises.
We had lots of other samples as we made our way around but our final stop was at Clonakilty Chocolate where Allison was not alone displaying her range of freetrade bars but also the newest addition to the family, the baby sleeping soundly despite the crowds. No need to sample here, we know how good her chocolate is.

We did buy a few bars, including the favourite Mo Milk Chocolate. This includes goats milk and Coconut Blossom Syrup, a creamy compromise between the bean and milk. Enjoying it now as I write this. Tough going!

  • A Taste of West Cork continues all this week with events, big and small, taking place across the area. Get your hands on the brochure or check it out here .

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fish Seafood Deli. Fresh from the Ocean

Fish Seafood Deli
Fresh from the Ocean
I am eating a Fish Pie, a simple fish pie. It contains Whitefish, Smoked Fish, Salmon, Milk, Onions, Butter, Flour, Potatoes, Seasoning, Breadcrumbs, Cheese. Nothing exotic. Nothing than I can’t spell. No preservatives, no artificial colourants. Mainly it contains fish. It has been baked in the oven for 25 minutes and a bunch of broccoli has been added to the plate. Simple stuff but simply superb.

I’ve also been sampling fish cakes and they too are excellent, easy to prepare and easy to eat! The cakes and the pie are encouraging signs that Irish fishermen are taking more control of their own destiny. They’ve been produced in Rosscarbery by Fish Seafood Deli and much of that fish has come from their boats.

Ex fisherman Peter Shanahan founded the business in 2011 when he opened a retail shop in Rosscarbery. Since then he has been joined by Monica Buckley and her husband Niall Deasy. Niall operates fishing trawlers out of Union Hall port, fishing for prawns and whitefish primarily. And the business has expanded.

Many of you travelling in the area will be glad to see one of their outlets, the Fish Basket in Rosscarbery, on the main road west of the Celtic Ross Hotel. This is a busy spot and yes fish and chips is the most popular buy. But you can also get a prawn sandwich here, maybe a crab salad.
Fish Seafood Deli now employ 15 staff, between :
2 Retail premises (Rosscarbery and Clonakilty);
2 mobile units serving the  Cork area;
Wholesale business supplying Hotels & Restaurants with fish directly from the fishing boats of Union Hall/Baltimore & Kinsale;
2 full time chefs producing cooked products e.g fish cakes, fish pies, Prawn Cocktail, seafood quiches, breads.
Fish Basket located at Newtown, Rosscarbery,  serving fish and chips and specials such as crab & prawn parcels with pineapple salsa.
Monica tells me the mobile units have regular spots they sell at. “For example one of the units is in Whitechurch and Carrignavar each Monday. They would have different towns they go to every day of the week.  The mobile units sell fresh fish and also a selection of our cooked seafood range.”

The retail shops each have a wet area where you can buy the freshest of fish. The Rosscarbery one is just east of the village, located next to Ryan’s Service Station, on the main road to Clonakilty. We got some cod there for dinner last Saturday night and it was just first class, the flesh pristine on the plate.

 You can also buy the cooked seafood range here. Indeed, the company’s kitchens are here. The Clonakilty shop does both fresh and cooked and is in Ashe Street.


Peter spent almost three years working in Glenmar fish factory in Skibbereen before training as a carpenter. But it wasn't the best of times to be in the construction industry. Following the collapse of the Tiger and two P45s in quick succession, he returned to the fish industry and spent several seasons on prawn and tuna trawlers.

The idea of opening a fish shop had been in his mind for a while and became a reality in July 2011, when he opened the doors to Fish Seafood Deli just outside his home town of Rosscarbery.

“I feel that in an ever-increasing health-conscious society that fresh fish is something that people are going to want more and more of. I also believe that West Cork has some of the finest seafood in the country!  And if you don’t believe me – call into our shop and see for yourself!”

I think we’ll be hearing more from Fish Seafood Deli!


Fish Seafood Deli



Rosscarbery
Burgatia,
Rosscarbery,
West Cork
Phone: (023) 8869612
Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm
Sat: 9am-4pm
Closed Sunday & Public Holidays
Clonakilty
42 Ashe Street,
Clonakilty,
West Cork
Phone: (023) 8859981
Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9am-6pm
Closed Sunday & Public Holidays

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Clonakilty Hotel’s Copperpot Restaurant


The Clonakilty Hotel’s Copperpot Restaurant
Goats Cheese
Glad I followed up a recommendation from a friend the other day and called to the Copperpot Restaurant in Clonakilty for an evening meal. The restaurant is part of the Clonakilty Hotel but has its own entrance as well on the corner of Wolfe Tone Street and College Street.

It has an Early Bird menu - two courses for 19.95, three for 24.95 - but we were at our leisure and went for the A La Carte. This is also fairly priced and is available from 3.00pm. Starters included Soup of the Day, Chowder, Chicken and Bacon salad, a Chicken Liver Pate and also Fried Scampi.
Sea-Bass
You regularly see Deep-fried Brie as a starter but they came up with a Golden Fried Goats Cheese, Crumbed and deep-fried and served with a red onion and mixed pepper jam. This was a terrific starter, very flavoursome, for €6.95.

While I was studying the menu I was tempted by the Mussels Thai Style (6.95). I remembered a dish they used do at the former Thai restaurant in Bridge Street in the city where they served very large mussels. But the Copperpot used local mussels with a hint of chilli and ginger and served with crispy baguette. This was a great change to the usual Moules Mariniere, indeed a delightful one. I was very happy with that choice and would pick it again without hesitation.

Pork
So we were off to a good start. How would the main courses measure up? No problem here either. There is a quite a choice on the regular menu but we picked two from the specials board. Mine was Pork Fillet served with a Mushroom Sauce (11.95). A great piece of pork, tender and delicious and enhanced no end by the sauce.

CL went for the Sea-Bass with its Chilli Cream Sauce (16.50), another perfectly executed plateful, a satisfying combination of flavours with the sauce a well judged addition rather than an overpowering mask. The side vegetables were perfectly cooked as well.

All the while I was sipping away at my Stonewell medium dry cider and that really came into its with the pork. Hopefully the cider is the first of local craft drinks to appear on the menu.


It had been a long time since a quickly snatched lunch so this time we had room for dessert. CL picked the Poached Pear in a Cinnamon Syrup and with Vanilla Ice-cream. Very impressive! I hadn't heard of Glenowen ice-creams so I said I’d try the Selection of Glenowen Farm Hand-made ice creams from Middleton(?). It came in three delicious flavours. Still not sure though who makes it, haven't been able to find anything on the internet. Have any of you heard of it?

Overall though this was a very satisfying meal indeed and you can add the Copperpot to your Clonakilty list.
Pears

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Clonakilty Chocolate. From Ghana to Clon.

Clonakilty Chocolate. 
From Ghana to Clon.

Allison (centre) in Ghana with farmers
Allison Roberts of Clonakilty Chocolate held a very enjoyable and informative chocolate and tapas evening in Molly’s Bar last week. She is treasurer of the town’s Fairtrade Group and has been active in that role too as Clonakilty recently highlighted its commitment to the Fairtrade idea. Read all about it here.   

Clonakilty Chocolate import their beans from Ghana and owner Allison, who has visited her suppliers there, started the evening by explaining where the chocolate beans come from and the importance of the fairtrade idea. She explained about the hard work in producing the crop, the cacao pods, the hand-harvesting. 

By going through the Fairtrade route, and Clonakilty town is the leader here, the profit-taking middleman is eliminated and the producers get a fair price for their hard-won produce. Read here to see how the interaction between Clonakilty and Ghana plays out.
The new bars
Once the chocolate beans are in Clon, Allison has some hard work to do herself and she took us through the technical aspects of producing chocolate and the different types. The hard work though is well worth it: Cacao is an amazing product…highest concentration of antioxidants in any food..gets our blood flowing better…make us feel happy……a life giving treat..it is a powerful aphrodisiac..a gift of love… food of the gods…”

Everybody in Molly's seemed happy enough and with women making up about 90 per cent of the audience, there must have been some surprised stay-at-home husbands in Clonakilty beds last Thursday night when the wives came back!

The evening began with a welcome Prosecco and some shards of 65% Chocolate with Puffed Brown Rice. Some we were into the Savoury Spread:
Bluebell Falls Goats Cheese with 75% chocolate, honey, garlic and thyme;
Roasted fennel Dip with ground Cacao nibs;
Aubergine Caponata with 100% chocolate;
Spicy Mixed Bean Mole with 100% grated chocolate;
Puy lentil Toasted Tomato Salad with Raspberry Chocolate vinagrette.

They had some suggested drinks and I was happy to go with the Mountain Man Hairy Goat beer. The Aubergine was perhaps my favourite from the list, though the goats cheese and Rosemary Tartlet were pretty close to the top as well.

 Goodies at the tasting and, bottom right,
a conche to grind beans "into Fairtrade silky velvet".
Top right is my favourite, the Aubergine caponata.
Then a break for music before heading into the Sweet Selection:
Dark Chocolate Beamish Cake with mascarpone icing;
Chilli espresso cake with 75% dark chocolate with coconut sugar;
Beetroot Chocolate Brownie with fennel seed glaze;
Orange truffle cake;
Black-eyed bean dark chocolate loaf;
Hazelnut rum raisin and Honey sage truffles.

I think we were all feeling happy at this stage!

Hard to get the Irish away from their milk chocolate but one of Allison’s new products could well do that. She also loves goats and her new chocolate with Coconut Sugar and Goats Milk went down a treat at Molly’s. It is really excellent and she herself is also very happy with it. 

So look out for that Milky Milk and also for other new products including Seriously  Minted, Decadent Dark, Chai Chilli, and Wild West Salty with a pinch of Irish Salt & Seaweed.


Allison, who works out of her own home (the back has been converted into a chocolate factory), had help on the evening from Kate of flavour.ie. who handed out her recipes for the Rosemary Tartlet and also the Beetroot and chocolate brownies. Home-cook Kate already runs supper clubs and you’ll see details and lots of recipes on her blog flavour.ie. Soon too she’ll be running Food Tours in and around Clonakilty for visitors.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Lettercollum Cookbook Local Ingredients. World of Flavours.

The Lettercollum Cookbook
Local Ingredients. World of Flavours
I like the freedom and flexibility afforded by Karen Austin, the author of the just published Lettercollum Cookbook. The book tends to the vegetarian but there is no preaching, no straight lines to follow. Quite the opposite. Plenty of flexibility and there is a chapter on chorizo, another on fish.


Karen and her husband Con have been operating in West Cork for the last thirty years and that remarkable story, progress from a crowded dilapidated old mansion to their own walled garden plus an ever so popular shop in Clonakilty, the Lettercollum Project, is told in a couple of pages early in the book.


Not detailed in the book is the couple's input to a recent Cork/Beirut collaboration. Here, along with Sally Barnes of Woodcock Smokery, they took part in ‘Make Food Not War’. This included cooking with war widows in Tripoli, helping them create dishes that can be sold in the markets, a step towards freedom.
Author Karen having fun with her two sons, Darren (left) and Ronan
both professional jugglers.


The freedom in the book that I’m talking about is of a different kind. For instance, in talking about a vegetarian Leek, Sweet Potato and Spelt Soup, she says: “If you have a chicken carcass handy, throw it in”. In a Seafood Chowder: “if you don't like mussels, add more fish”. In a Potato and Chorizo Tart you are invited to try Puy Lentils instead of the potatoes. Her recipes are not straightjackets, though the likes of myself would probably do well to pay close attention to the basics!


The book is well laid out, not cluttered, with some terrific photographs of the food (my favourite is not of food though but the spread with the bird nesting boxes). Some beautiful salads in the first section, many of them for the summer time. But some too for these short days, including a Red Cabbage, Celeriac, Apple and Hazelnut Salad. And you also have the Asian Slaw, “equally delicious summer and winter”.


The New Potato and Smoked Mackerel Salad looks tempting. While it is perhaps, as indicated, one for sunny weather, methinks it would do just as well at this time of year, especially if using Fresh Hederman’s fish.


And speaking of freedom and flexibility in the kitchen, there is a Rooty Toot Soup. “This is a bottom of the vegetable basket type soup - just chuck in whatever you have.”


Sometimes, when on holidays in France we buy fish at the market. We don't want to do much cooking, and it usually ends up with cherry tomatoes. And, in the fish section, Karen has a very “quick to make” recipe here: Grilled Cod with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Basil. Just the job, for Ireland or wherever. Think we’ll be trying that soon.


Quite a few recipes for Chorizo and one that caught my eye was the Chorizo and Cabbage Paella. Lots of very good chorizo available locally nowadays.


Karen must be delighted to see the increase in the variety of local produce over the past thirty years and her Linguine with Tomato and Mozzarella, in the vegetarian chapter, would no doubt see many of us using the super fresh Toonsbridge Mozzarella. Here too, the Pindi Channa looks amazing, Karen referring joyfully to the “fresh, sweet explosions of the jewelled pomegranate seeds”.


There are recipes for a string of gorgeous savoury tarts and she details how you can make the Lettercollum savoury pastry (they have had many requests for it over the years). Of course, there is a Sweet Things corner. Recipes that got my attention here are her takes on Crême Brulée and also her Rhubarb Clafoutis.

Recipes too for Summer Fruit Jam, Sweet Pastry, and Peach Bellini. Quite a lot in this book for all seasons. Reckon the one in this house will soon have many dog-eared pages.

The Lettercollum Cookbook (€21.00) is available at bookshops nationwide and also in the UK. Great to see that the book is totally "home-grown". It is edited by Cork journalist Roz Crowley, published by Onstream and printed in Mayo by KPS Colour Print. Well done to all concerned.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Camus Farm and its Delicious Dexter Beef

Camus Farm and its Delicious Dexter Beef
Dexter rump steak

The Natural Way
In a small family farm in West Cork, the cattle remain in their family herd. They are not subjected to the stresses of dehorning or castration. They reproduce as nature intended.

The calves remain suckling their mother's milk until fully weaned. In contrast, intensively farmed calves are removed from their mothers and fed on ‘milk replacement’. The West Cork herd is raised organically and there is no risk from the uncertain effects of GM feeds and residues from pesticides and so on.

Even if there was no difference in the taste of the beef, I know I'd be picking from the West Cork farm. It is called Camus Farm and here Vic raises his herd of Dexter cattle, Ireland's native beef breed.

And there is a difference in the flavours and the Dexter comes out on top. Over the weekend we sampled both rump steak and stewing steak from the herd and they were superb. Vic dry ages his beef. In contrast, industrial beef is either not aged or wet-aged. You can check out all the details here.

Vic kills once a month and fresh meat will be available again in Clonakilty Farmers market on the weekend after next. In the meantime, you may buy it frozen (as we did) at his stall in Clon and at the farm-gate. You may also order via the Fresh from West Cork stall in the English Market. Well worth a try!

Interested in raising Dexters? Then Vic's your man, as he also sells cattle. Dexters may be relatively scare in Ireland but they can be found all over the world. The latest we heard is of a herd in the South African vineyard called the Elgin Ridge Winery. It is an organic operation and interestingly Dexter cattle help keep the vineyard clean! Owner Marian Smith grew up in Ballyjamesduff.

Facebook. /dexterbeef
Twitter. @irishdexterbeef
Tel: 023 886 9268


Our call to Vic at the Clonakilty Market was part of a quick trip west to sample the week long festival  called A Taste of West Cork. Read here about a fantastic multi-course meal featuring seaweed and here about a very enjoyable twenty fours that also included a tour of the West Cork Distillery in Skibbereen.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Great West Cork Distillery Tour. Beautiful Baltimore

Great West Cork Distillery Tour

Beautiful Baltimore. Bountiful Clonakilty. 

A terrific tour of the West Cork Distillery in Skibbereen was the highlight of the first part of our twenty four hours in West Cork. A twenty four hours that had some changes to the “plan”, a rather loose one admittedly.

First hiccup, if you could call it that, came on the way down when a phone call to Baltimore revealed that the two o’clock trip on the SeaSafari was off as the craft was out of the water for the afternoon and being cleaned up.

So then the Distillery tour, one o’clock start, was pencilled in. Got into Skibbereen in good time and called to a busy Apple Betty’s. Ordered a panini. That was a little slow in coming but it was gorgeous, a terrific filling of bacon, Cashel blue and a fantastic relish. Rushed it a bit and hot footed down the street to the Distillery.

John O'Connell (foreground) in the Distillery
Things didn't look good here as people were coming away rather than going in! Apparently, the Distillery weren't very happy with the time published in the "Taste of West Cork" brochure. Director John O’Connell explained they couldn't do the tour at one but would have “a good one” at three.

It worked out well, at least for us. We headed off in the sun (the weather forecast was not exactly spot-on either) to Baltimore, packed with people who seemed to know more than the forecasters. So packed, we didn't find a space in the car parks.

Off out the road we went to the Beacon and enjoyed marvellous views both on the way and during our walk up to the Baltimore landmark. Great views over the islands, Sherkin the nearest, and back to the little town. Later, we had a pause and a walk by the harbour. Hiccups yes but this day was going very well indeed.
The Beacon
So well, we nearly missed the tour or so we thought. But there was no rush as dozens and dozens of people arrived, the big numbers a surprise to John and his friendly staff. Still we were all settled, with a glass of their Drombeg, perhaps their most famous whiskey so far, and a good one too for this time of day as it is just twenty per cent abv.


John then took us on a walkabout of the distillery where the staff were still working. He took us through the process, from the malted barley coming in, and along the journey to the casks (they use sherry casks) and the bottling at the end.

Great informative stuff and more whiskey before we left, with tastings of their West Cork whiskey, the normal and the cask (57% abv!). If you like your whiskeys flavoured then Kennedy’s is the one for you. You may have it Spiced, Honied, Limed and Chillied! They also do a gin, poitin and a vodka here, under the Two Trees brand. And that’s not all.

The ferry, from Sherkin, just arrived in Baltimore
But that was it for us and we headed through the town and off to the Inchydoney Island for that evening’s magnificent nine course dinner “A Taste of West Cork”, all part of the week long food festival in the area. Read all about it here.

And there was yet more whiskey on arrival as we were pleasantly surprised with a glass of the lovely Irish Mist. Time then for a walk on the fantastic beaches here.

The Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa is a four star hotel on the Wild Atlantic Way but I must say that the facilties and service that we enjoyed there were closer to five star. Great place with great staff. The only hiccup perhaps was a delay at breakfast but I think that was down to the many customers that all came together at about ten o’clock on the Saturday. Hard to legislate for that!

At Apple Betty's
They support local produce here obviously and I enjoyed my Scrambled Egg and Ummera Smoked Salmon before we headed off to Clonakilty in the morning mist. It had dried up by the time we arrived and we wandered through the streets looking for the Lettercollum Project shop.

We found it and it was busy, selling salads, tarts, cheese, wine, nuts, seeds, breads and so much more, much of it based on produce from their walled garden in nearby Lettercollum. We went off with enough salad (mixed beans) and bread for two delicious lunches over the weekend.

And we also found Vic and his organic Dexter beef in the market. The main market is on Friday but you’ll find some stalls operating on Thursday and Saturday. I’ll soon have a separate post up about Vic and his tasty beef but for the latest check out his Facebook page

Our twenty fours in West Cork were up and it was time to head back to the city. But we’ll return. Again and again!