Showing posts with label Glengarriff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Glengarriff. Show all posts

Friday, May 15, 2015

Staying at Blairscove House. A Perfect Place.

Staying at Blairscove House

A Perfect Place.
West Cork’s Sheep’s Head Peninsula is a special place to visit and in Blairscove House (above) you have a rather special place to stay.

And being in Durrus, it  is a convenient location not just for Sheep’s Head but also for Mizen Head, Bantry, Glengarriff, and the Ring of Beara including the stunning Healy Pass. So much, so close.

Blairscove House is discreetly situated on a small hill overlooking Dunmanus Bay. No nightclubs in the immediate vicinity but if it's peace and quiet you want after a meal at the beautiful restaurant, you’ll get it, maybe sipping a final glass as the sun goes down in front of you.
Above & below: Views from the Loft
There is a choice of accommodation, for couples and families. The owners themselves live in the big blue house which also contains the reservation office. Some of the apartments have views both to the sea and to the landscaped courtyard that often serves as the centerpiece for weddings here.

On our recent visit, we stayed in the Loft, ideal for a couple. It is part of the core complex, sea out front, courtyard at the other side. And, very conveniently, it is just a short flight of steps down to the restaurant! Like all the units, it is very modern, and is fully equipped for self catering and for B & B. We were there for just one night but could have stayed a lot longer!

No shortage of equipment here - we could have done all our own cooking! There was a welcome complimentary drink of sherry. In addition, champagne and white wine were in the fridge and a red in the cupboard; water and milk too!

Breakfast is part of the deal at The Loft as it is in some of the other rentals. The menu is there for you, so you choose one from each of four groups (juice, cereal, “main course”, and tea or coffee), leave it in the restaurant or post in the Cow postbox in the evening, giving the time you want it at.

In the morning, the phone will ring and the breakfast lady arrives. She sets your table, lays out the dishes and your food and then you tuck in. All very convenient indeed. 

The names of the other accomodations are The Piggery, The Coach House, The Smokehouse, Blairscove Cottage and Dunmanus Pier (not adjacent to the main house). Check out the details here.

The house at Dumanus Pier has indeed a rather special situation but don't expect breakfast here as it is some eight miles away. It has its compensations as there are fantastic beaches nearby including Barley Cove and the lively village of Schull is just down the road.
Breakfast is served, top right.
Top left: Porridge, bananas, honey and cream.
Bottom left: Scrambled duck egg with Gubbeen sausage and tomato.
Bottom right: Crumpet, crushed avocado, poached egg and bacon.
The various properties are pristine today but that wasn't the case when the De Mey family took them over in the early 80s. Great credit is due to them as they have created something of a calm paradise here, an oasis in Durrus (which, with Durrus Cheese and the Good Things Cafe), is quite a food hub.

Even in paradise, and even after a hefty breakfast, man must eat of course and all the more so if you have been taking one of the many gorgeous walks on the peninsula, as we did here. And your first stop just has to be their restaurant and bar. We had the most fantastic evening meal there during our all too short stay. The end of a perfect day in a perfect place.

See also (from this trip): Dinner of Delights at Blairscove House

Friday, July 15, 2011



Have been promising myself, and one or two others, to visit Manning’s Food Emporium in Ballylickey for some time. Made it, finally, on a  sunny day this week and enjoyed the call which included a chat with Val, the man who started it all.

Val was in great form and gave us quite a laugh when he let loose as a delivery man as about to demolish one of his flower stands out the front. It didn't come to a collision and soon it was smiles as usual.

Manning’s Emporium  has been in the Manning family for over 70 years and has evolved in that time from post office and convenience store to what it is today: a gourmet shop renowned for its high quality local produce, fine wines and excellent service.

No doubt in Irish cities you’ll find some similar stores with bigger selections but remember that Mannings is in deepest West Cork in a country village on the coast road between Bantry and Glengarriff. That makes the selection here, mostly locally produced but also some stand-out items from aboard, quite remarkable indeed.

Just to give you a  flavour, here are some of the items that ended up in my basket: Molaga Honey €3.40, Tikka Masala Curry Sauce (UK) €4.05, Janet’s Country Fayre Beetroot Blush €4.00, Healthy Thirst Elderflower Sparkling Drink (UK) €3.25 for 75cl, Cooleeney Handmade Irish Cheese €3.75, The Apple Farm’s Sparkling Irish Apple Juice €4.45 for 50cl, Donegal Rapeseed Oil €5.95 for 50cl and El Comandante Chardonnay 2010 Argentina.

I’ve forgotten the price of the wine but you’ll see that the others are priced fairly, better value than in some of the city shops. Quite a lot of other local producers on display including Lorge Chocolates, Jack McCarthy (Kanturk), Gubbeen, Durrus and there is a rack of vegetables by the door and more.

Shopping done, it was time to take a table out-front and enjoy a cup of coffee and a cake. They have a selection of pastries to chose from, all served with a smile. Soon, we were ready to check out two other delights of the delightful area: the unusual Ewe Sculpture Garden  and Bantry House.  A cool bag in the boot came in handy and some of the drinks - the Elderflower  was gorgeous – were seen off during the afternoon of what turned out to be a great day in the west.