Wednesday, June 19, 2013

24 hours in Kenmare

24 hours in Kenmare
View of Kenmare Bay from the Sea Shore guesthouse
An unexpected call led to a quick decision to head for Kenmare for a recent overnight stay. No rush on the way down so we took the “long” route: lunch at Manning’s Emporium and a trip around the Beara Peninsula.

Kenmare Bay
The Sea Shore, a well named guesthouse, just about a mile from the town, was to be our overnight base. We got a terrific welcome from Owen on check-in and a welcome cup of tea before we even thought to ask for it. Met his wife Mary Patricia at breakfast in the morning, quite a breakfast I might add, and she filled us in on places to visit and so on.
Kenmare town
Of course, we had been out the night before for a meal, this at the well known Lime Tree. Many of you will know of this restaurant over the years but did you know that it is now owned and run by one of its former chefs Michael Casey?
The Lime Tree
It remains a top class dinner venue. My starter was the Oak Smoked Kenmare  Salmon with celeriac and apple remoulade and a caper and red onion salsa. Excellent also was the Warm Sneem Black Pudding salad, served with crispy fried potato cubes, apple compote and blackberry vinaigrette.

Duo of lamb
On then to the mains. Mine was the superb eye-catching Duo of Lamb: a mini shepherd’s pie (served in its own pot) and a rack of locally sourced Kerry lamb with a confit of garlic and thyme juice, all served on a board. The other main course was also top notch, also so well cooked, and it was Pan-fried breast of Skeaghanore free range duck with a rhubarb and ginger chutney, apple and a cassis jus.

On the following morning we visited Bonane Heritage Park which is crammed full of archaeological sites of all descriptions, including a Stone Circle and a Ring Fort, all within easy walking distance. Amazing.

Nearby also is the Lorge Chocolatier and that also is worth a visit. Soon we had a bag full of chocolates, nougats, marmalade, honey and other foods. All great, though I didn't realise 'til later that the honey came in a plastic jar!

We didn’t touch the chocolate at that point as we had a lunch date at the Boathouse in Dromquinna. This restaurant is on the northern bank of Kenmare Bay, quite a setting. It is a lovely spot and they do excellent food there. The same menu runs from 12.30pm until closing.

CL very much enjoyed her starter portion of  Mussels in a gorgeous white wine cream sauce while I was delighted with the Potted Crab Mayonnaise, with crispy capers and tortilla chips. Off to a good start then.

Next up for me was the mains portion of mussels and I wasn't disappointed. CL’s choice was the seared fillet of Hake and this too was top notch, looked very well and tasted even better. 

Just time for dessert then (before heading to Killarney for a family visit) and this was the spectacular Boathouse Knickerbocker Glory. Try it sometime! And do try Kenmare, well worth a visit, even if for just twenty four hours.

Stone circle at Bonane

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