Ballyvourney's Mills Inn's worth a stop. Best to make it a planned one!
I don’t know how many times I’ve passed this popular stopping off venue for Cork and Kerry travellers. But it has usually been too close to breakfast or just before lunch or there’s been a big dinner on the near horizon.
The lunch-time call though at the end of March was planned. So we parked at the side and entered the large premises where the mid-day sun streamed through the roadside windows, nothing but blue sky outside. And that is where got our table, taking in the artefacts, prints and photos around the various nooks and crannies after we had studied the menu.
And it is quite a large menu, reinforced by a small posse of specials. All tastes are catered for. Let us begin with the Cúrsa Tosaigh (starters). There was Soup and Chowder, Chicken Wings, Black Pudding Croquettes, Salads, a vegetarian Curried Spiced Garden Pea and Red Lentil Fritters, and more, including two specials, a Chicken Liver Paté and Creamy Mushrooms.
We were concentrating on the mains and what a list. Included were the Mills Farm Beef Lasagne, Sirloin and Rib Eye steaks, Mills Farm Burger, a Chicken Curry, Fish and Chips, Panko Crumbed Deep Water Scampi Prawns and specials of course: Roast Rump of Beef, Grilled Fillet of Salmon, a Beef and Vegetable Casserole, and a Supreme of Chicken.
Takes a while to make your mind up here! In the end I went for the Cajun Spiced Chicken Fillet Burger with melted Mozzarella Cheese, baby gem lettuce and beef tomato in a toasted brioche bun with salt and fries and little bowls of guacamole and tomato salsa. It turned out to be an excellent plate, the chicken, the juicy beef tomato, the sauces and the chips all perfect.
Our other choice was the Panko Crumbed Chicken goujons with garlic mayonnaise and tomato salsa, served with house salad and fries. We swapped dishes halfway through and I enjoyed this as well, even if the chicken wasn’t quite at the same quality level as that in the burger.
But the highlight was yet to come. The dessert offerings followed more or less traditional lines with Cheesecake, Chocolate Brownie, and Sticky Toffee Pudding on the list with two specials: Peach and Lemon Posset and their Bread and Butter Pudding.
As it happened, we went for the most traditional of the lot, the Apple Pie, and we hit the jackpot, probably the best of its kind I’ve come across in years. And huge, as big as one of John Egan’s football boots! Just as well we were sharing this simple but splendid creation. Warm Home-made Apple Pie with whipped cream and crème anglaise (they added a scoop of ice cream) sounds innocent enough but its level of deliciousness was from some heavenly kitchen.
If you are passing here anytime soon and have a little time on your hands, do drop in for this Apple Pie, at least. Better again is to do what I did on this occasion: make the Mills Inn a planned stop, take your time and enjoy the food and the friendly service and perhaps a pint of the local and excellent 9 White Deer beers!
Also on this visit:
Bray Head Walk on Valentia Island
Kells Bay Gardens and lunch at Sala Thai
Dinner at The Mad Monk by Quinlans Fish