HISTORIC KILKENNY

The Tholsel, with Fleva (and Bridgestones) close by.
For more on Kilkenny go to: http://swissroll07.blogspot.com/


IN KILKENNY

Historic Kilkenny is a short enough trip from Cork.

Highlight is the gallery in Kilkenny Castle, a must visit, but you can take or leave the tower (don't think you’d get planning permission for it nowadays).

Countryside is pleasant with some fine ruins (Jerpoint Abbey for example, a much better visit than the remaining bits and pieces of Duiske). Some lovely villages too within a short distance of the city, particularly Inistioge (Don't forget a visit to nearby Woodstock) and Graiguenamanagh (on the Barrow).

Arriving in the town, had lunch at the hotel, the Kilkenny Inn (a mid range decent enough three star, quite close to the small town centre). Lunch was a Cajun chicken in a tortilla, with chips and salad, all for less than a tenner. Nicely done and good value.

Kilkenny seems to be a favourite trip to for the Dublin food critics (also hen and stag nights - check that out when booking your hotel). You could fall over the many awards around the place. The door at Fleva (High Street) is loaded with Bridgestones. It is well worth a visit. I had a three course early bird there for €26.00. Mains was Pork with cheese and a mustard jus and the desert, bread and butter pudding with whisky soaked raisins, looked and tasted amazing, should have taken a photo.

For a couple of Euro less, you get a three course at Lautrec Bistro (St Kieran’s Street). Portions are probably bigger here (not that they are small in Flevas) but quality is high. I enjoyed my braised lamb and the unusual dessert of orange tasting semolina with blueberries. They also do a Plat du jour for €21.00.

Wines at each establishment started around €5.75 per glass but the best glass of wine I had was at the big Left Bank Bar, down by the Castle. Most of the bars here are small but this highly decorated bright place has soft sofas and a roaring fire and bamboo plants growing to the high ceiling. I took my six euro glass of Merlot over to one of the sofas and didn't leave for an hour, a very enjoyable hour indeed.

It was a quick and enjoyable visit to the place that bills itself as Ireland’s Medieval City – not quite true. Officially it may well be a city but many towns are as big and you do have to work to find the medieval bits. The population is about 22,000, not much more than that of Douglas. It is about the same as the non city of Tralee and much less than non city Dundalk (35,000)! But obviously the Cats won the argument some time ago! Same as they’ve won so many hurling titles – now you can’t take that away from them!

For more on Kilkenny go to: http://swissroll07.blogspot.com

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