Showing posts with label Cliff House Hotel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cliff House Hotel. Show all posts

Monday, May 1, 2023

360 Town Stay Excellent Base For West Waterford Trip

 360 Town Stay Excellent Base 

For West Waterford Trip

Baker's Table in Lismore

In the heart of Dungarvan town, 360 Town Stay offer a selection of studios and apartments. We stayed in one of the apartments during a recent mini-tour of the West Waterford area. Even though we didn’t meet a single human at 360 - everything is done online or via code - it worked out very well indeed.

The 360 house is entered from the large car park St Augustine’s/Scanlon’s Yard in the town centre, perhaps not the most promising of entrances on a dull day. Used our code to get the key from the black box and made our way up some fifty steps (not as difficult as it sounds).

360 front entrance

The apartment is spacious and comfortable. An average sized bedroom and separate bathroom had all we needed. Then we were into the living space. Sofas and armchairs to relax in if we wanted to watch the large TV (we didn’t, even though it had Netflix).

Mount Congreve, with the Suir in background

Around the corner was the kitchen with fridge/freezer and cooker and lots more besides, and in another space was a fine dining table and chairs. You could easily stay here for a couple of days. And they also have a restaurant nearby. Check it all out for yourself hereWe made good use of it before we had to depart, using that code again to put our key back. Still no human!

Our mini-tour had started with a visit to Mount Congreve Gardens which is of course nearer to Waterford city than Dungarvan. The house and gardens, café also, are well worth a trip, particular now that they are so much improved following a seven million euro re-furb. See post link below.

That evening, we had the most enjoyable meal in The Shamrock, a every short walk from 360. Really good local food and a very friendly atmosphere. All generations seem to dine here. Not fine dining that you get in the Old Bank for instance but good stuff and it is very highly recommended. See post link below.

Petit Fours at Cliff House

At The Local
We did of course have our spot of fine dining and that was a splendid Seafood Tasting Lunch at the Michelin starred Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore. The lunch was part of the West Waterford Festival of Food. It was a spectacular display by Tony Parkin and his team, very enjoyable indeed. See post link below.

After our meal at The Shamrock, we strolled the few yards to the square and ended up in The Local, also newly renovated. And it was busy, mostly with serving food. The willing and smiling staff were on their toes, serving food and drink, even charging mobiles for customer. Besides, they had a selection of the local Dungarvan Brewery beers (in bottle) and here we enjoyed their Mine Head American Pale Ale.

The following morning we were up on the Vee for a fairly early walk. We went up through Cappoquin and then on past Mount Melleray. We more or less had the sunny pass to ourselves and enjoyed the views and got some good photos as well before we headed back down to Lismore for brunch. See post link below.

Mount Melleray

Our venue here was the Baker’s Table. It was sunny but also cold as we strolled to the cafe and went on to enjoy a relaxed and excellent meal. See post link below.

Sunny out but fire on inside at The Bakers, Lismore

Vinilo is another baker in the town and we called in there. They have a table or two inside where they serve coffee and pastry. But they are most busy with customers calling for bread and cakes and also takeout coffees. We bought a sourdough loaf and it was quite a good one as well. 

Vinilo sourdough

So that was about it for this trip to West Waterford, every bit as enjoyable as before. We’ll be back.

On this trip

Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden

The Local, Dungarvan

The Baker's Table of Lismore

Vinilo, Lismore

Marvellous Sunny Morning On The Vee (Waterford/Tipperary)

360 Town Stay, Dungarvan

The Shamrock

Seafood Delights at Cliff House Hotel Festival Lunch

Monday, April 17, 2023

Seafood Delights at Cliff House Hotel Festival Lunch

Seafood Delights at Cliff House Hotel Festival Lunch

West Waterford Festival of Food Highlight

The minute I read that the House Restaurant were doing a Seafood Lunch Tasting Menu as part off the West Waterford Festival of Food, I booked our table. And my confidence was rewarded spectacularly as we absolutely enjoyed the meal served up by Chef Patron, Tony Parkin. I have enjoyed a few splendid meals at this elegant cliff-side location but this was perhaps the best.  I could be back there again soon as it just 45 minutes from my door.

After a gentle welcome we got a prime window seat with a view of the bay. We’ve had better weather here but never a better lunch. First the wine had to be settled. The list is extensive but I concentrated on the list of five whites available by the glass.

Haddock croquette
The Guerila Rebula from Slovenia (left) immediately caught my eye as I was very impressed by their wines at a recent La Rousse tasting at the Glass Curtain. This golden wine is made from biodynamic grown grapes; it has complex aromas, and is fresh and elegant on the palate, quite close to an orange wine, and combined well with the fish.  

We also very much enjoyed the Weingut Malat Höhlgraden, Grüner Veltliner, from Kremstal, elegant and fine and a classic expression of the Austrian grape, always versatile at the table.

Then the food began with a couple of canapés, a Smoked Haddock croquette (right) and John Dory tempura, each a tempting hint of delicious things to come.  

Then we were into the menu proper beginning with Tuna, Nahm jim, Galangal. Just a sliver of tuna with the Thai sauce giving a sweet and sour and spicy flavour enhanced by the ginger of the Galangal.

Red Mullet

The Red Mullet (carrot, ginger, orange, jalapeño) followed in a foamy liquid. Another slightly spicy and delicious dish and here the wines played a role as well. A memorable dish indeed - there was a spoon to take up the liquid, otherwise we would have tempted to use a piece of the earlier bread! A pity that we don’t see more of this fish in Irish restaurants and fish shops.

No problem getting your hands on John Dory but not like this serving of the fish with asparagus, morel, wild garlic and a sauce of mushroom and truffle. Quite a simple dish with every single element a star. It is an outstanding fish in any case but surrounded by such an assembly of delicious local and seasonal elements, the dish was amazing and memorable.


And we would finish on a high as well with the 63% Manjari Chocolate (Marsala, Coffee and Yoghurt Sorbet).  I was wondering where the fruit notes were coming from and it was from the Manjari itself, a single origin Madagascar, which is made from rare cocoa beans giving it a fresh, acidic, sharp bouquet with red fruit notes. Add in the Sicilian Marsala, the coffee and the sorbet and we had quite a chocolate symphony. Perhaps the best chocolate dessert I have tasted.

Not quite finished yet as, with the coffee, came our Petit Fours, a Chocolate Truffle and a gorgeous White Chocolate piece loaded in the middle with a white chocolate ganache. Lovely finalé to a splendid meal indeed. Bravo to Tony Parkin and his team at The House.

White Chocolate Petit Fours
with white chocolate ganache filling

On this trip

Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden

The Local, Dungarvan

The Baker's Table of Lismore

Vinilo, Lismore

Marvellous Sunny Morning On The Vee (Waterford/Tipperary)

360 Town Stay, Dungarvan

The Shamrock

Seafood Delights at Cliff House Hotel Festival Lunch


Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The Divine Chocolatier. Even the gods love Grá.

The Divine Chocolatier.

Even the gods love Grá.

Mickael Viljanen

When I first heard of the Beyond the Menu Chocolate box by Grá Chocolates, I immediately thought that each chef would make his or her own but that’s not the way it transpired in Episode 4 of the show. Here we heard co-conspirators Mark Moriarty and chocolatier Gráinne Mullins chat about the project. 

The chocolates weren’t going to be based on the each chef’s signature dish as been initially proposed. Grainne suggested: .”.on their personalities, who they are!”. Mark agreed: “Each chef in a bite”.

Intriguing I thought and, as it turned out, absolutely exquisite.

There were the early hints from the two. 

Jess: New Zealand, bright, Irish grown kiwis.

Mike: Horseradish…would that work?.. let’s try it!

Ahmet: Colour - he gave me a Turkish delight

Ian: ..loves a pint..salted stout said Mark.

Mike: Chaos on the outside…pine honey..Finland to Ireland.

Gráinne herself: “…bright… gooseberry and elderflower…I’ve got gooseberry in the garden.”

All decided, just like that!

Okay. Now to turn these bare bones into something memorable. With that kind of task ahead, you couldn’t have a better pilot than Galway’s Gráinne. Back in 2020, the newly crowned Young Chef of the Year was looking forward to a great time in the kitchen. Then Covid happened. Gráinne had to pivot quickly. Into making chocolates at home. But not to worry, that chef training wasn’t going to be wasted.


“Chocolate”, she says “is all about precisions.... temperatures, colours, flavours.” And she was also determined to give the customer: ”a seamless experience from opening the box to enjoying the chocolates.” And she succeeded brilliantly, her technical know-how and the colourful appeal combined deliciously with real originality. And while this Beyond the Menu box may no longer be available, she has got many other selections for you, ideally as a Christmas gift for someone you love (including yourself!) Check here. 

Mike Tweedy

They’ve been described as “Luxurious and Decadent” but I prefer “Fresh and Tasty”. Some chocolates are overwhelmingly dark and rich, dominating the palate a bit like the traditional big bold Australian Cabernet Sauvignon. Grá chocolates are, for me, to continue the analogy, more like a superb Burgundy or a Beaujolais Morgan, such is the precision and balance, the beautiful lightness, in each engaging mouthful.

Ian Doyle

And each, at least those in my box, is multi-faceted. Bite into Gráinne’s own as a great opener, that compelling mix of Gooseberry Jam, Elderflower Ganache and White Chocolate, a superb example of what is to come in the box.

Baltimore chef Ahmet Dede wakes up the palate with a magnificent melange of Rose Turkish delight and Pistachio Praline, as if a misty spray strayed over the local pier wall to say good morning. Wake up guys. There’s a great day ahead! Have another one.


And from the Sea Road in Galway, the Jess Murphy chocolate is made with Kiwi Jelly, Pavlova and White chocolate. Like the others, it is love at first bite, and all of us glad that the Kiwi chef landed in the West Coast. Crafting these classy chocolates is about the story as much as it is about the food, about Ireland today.

And of course the pint features. The Ian Doyle is made with Salted Dungarvan Stout Caramel (Cliff House, where Ian operates, supports the local brewers), Dulse Seaweed and Dark Chocolate. Dark and totally handsome!

Chocolat, Choculorum. Chocolate forever 
(You won't get full marks for that translation!) Pic by Grá

Mike Tweedie, well known for his surprisingly delightful food combinations at Adare Manor, finds himself represented by Horseradish ganache, Granny Smith Apple and white chocolate. Another smooth chocolate with the humble apple shining through.

"Flavours from the forests of Finland" feature in the Mickael Viljanen gem, a blend of Juniper Ganache and Pine Honey Vinegar. And indeed you could well imagine yourself enjoying one of these flavour-packed mouthfuls at the edge of trees as the short day ends and the long night begins. 

Thanks to Grá, you don't have to travel to enjoy these gorgeous creations. By the way, each one of the six is a delight and I would not leave any behind me in the box. We did a little poll to see which was the favourite. It came down to three - Gráinne, Dede, and Mickael - with Dede getting the nod.


The line-up:

Mickael Viljanen (Chapter One);

Jess Murphy (Kai);

Ian Doyle (The House Restaurant at the Cliff House);

Mike Tweedie (The Oak Room at Adare Manor);

Ahmet Dede (Dede);

Gráinne (Grá Chocolates).

I ordered the box (€40.00, with a contribution to Simon included)  in the middle of the year, with delivery set to coincide with Gráinne’s appearance on the TV programme with presenter Mark. Of course it would also coincide with a minor surgery and I was forced to wait a big longer to start sampling. Well worth the wait!

Monday, November 8, 2021

Lunch in Ardmore's Cliff House Hotel a celebration of Irish producers

Lunch in Ardmore's Cliff House Hotel

 a celebration of Irish producers

It was a dull Saturday when we arrived in Ardmore for our lunch reservation at the spectacularly situated Cliff House Hotel, just 50 minutes from the eastern side of Cork City. We took a walk around the town and the beach, just to stretch the legs and work up an appetite (doesn’t take much!).

A warm welcome awaited us at the Michelin starred Cliff and we walked down a level from reception to the bar - the main restaurant does dinner while the bar does all the meals (including their own dinner menu in the evening from 6.00pm). 

Lunch time by the way is12:30-15:00. Quite a few people were sitting on the outside tables as the temperature was up around 16 or 17 degrees Celsius but we were happy with our indoor perch, very comfortable chairs in a very comfortable room with a fine view over the bay.

Cliff House (above) and Café Lavinal (Bages, Medoc).

We had determined to try out the main courses here. Our server obviously anticipated that we’d be waiting a while so soon we had a few slices of their excellent brown bread at hand. Enjoyed that very much indeed.

We could have had a starter of course. The list included Soup of the Day and Seafood Chowder and also Harty’s Oysters (Gin Mignonette). Also on the list were rather substantial plates such as the Cliff Toastie, Chicken Goujon Wrap, a Roast Squash & Halloumi Wrap, along with a Garden Beetroot salad featuring Ardsallagh goats cheese. All sandwiches are served with organic salad leaves and coleslaw.

The mains are more like a dinner plate. Sample dishes - the menu varies - include steak, hake, fish and chips and a very tempting Stuffed Courgette (with Ratatouille, crispy kale, sautéed mushrooms and spinach).

After that anticipated wait, we enjoyed two of the best main courses around, not very Instagrammable perhaps but very appetising indeed. They were the Chicken Supreme, mash potato, ratatouille, tarragon jus (25) and the Confit Duck Leg, roast cabbage, celeriac, gratin potato, port sauce (23).

The Chicken may have lacked colours but the flavours were amazing and the interplay between the well-constructed ratatouille and the top notch poultry was a match made in paradise. And that creamy mash potato was another heavenly enhancement. 

Reminded me of the lunch-time Traditional Chicken Fricassee and Dauphinoise Potatoes that we enjoyed in the village of Bages in the Medoc a few years back. Neither dish was earth-shattering but each was excellent and the produce was top notch and was really properly cooked and presented, with the nod going to the Cliff House. 

Cabbage and confit duck leg is another of those pairings that bring a meal to a higher level. The only problem with the Port sauce was that there wasn’t enough of it while the gratin, with its middle layer of bacon and cabbage, was another well-executed, well judged, component for a super dish. No shortage of sides and we shared a  pot of their excellent Twice Cooked Chips.

Stripes in the Ardmore Beach car-park.

The short dessert list included Irish Farm House Cheese (12.00). Also on, each at 10.50, were Apple Crumble, and Pannacotta plus our shared Tiramisu which was a bit of a letdown following the main courses, too much mascarpone in the jar perhaps, leaving me sorry I hadn’t picked those Harty oysters at the start. 

But it is the Chicken and Duck Leg Confit that will linger long in the taste memory. It confirms that new Executive Head Chef Ian Doyle (appointed last year) is living up to his promise to serve meals that are “very local, seasonal and simple, with no more than three or four ingredients on the plate — a celebration of Irish producers.” Harty's Oyster, Glenilen, Highbank Orchards and Goatsbridge are among Irish producers listed on the website here.

And Irish drink producers are also being supported here. We weren’t drinking of course but good to note that the local Dungarvan Brewing Company had quite a few bottles on the list. Their Helvick Gold Blonde Ale is on draught as is the Wicklow Wolf Elevation Pale Ale and Arcadia. No draught cider but the local Legacy is available in bottle, either medium or dry.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Cliff House Hotel appoints new Executive Chef, Ian Doyle, and new House Restaurant Head Chef, Adam Kavanagh

Cliff House Hotel appoints new Executive Chef, Ian Doyle, and new House Restaurant Head Chef, Adam Kavanagh
On the beach: Ian Doyle

An exciting new phase in the continuing story of Cliff House Hotel has just begun, with the appointment of a new and dynamic young kitchen team at the helm of this elegant coastal retreat.

Newly appointed Executive Chef, Ian Doyle, and the new House Restaurant Head Chef, Adam Kavanagh, have been working away for the past few weeks, developing menus and exploring the local ingredients and producers of this beautiful food-rich part of the world.

Ian Doyle is already very familiar with Ardmore and the surrounding area, having studied professional cookery at Waterford Institute of Technology, and worked in neighbouring Dungarvan’s Tannery during his studies. He comes to Cliff House Hotel from a period of time working in prestigious, innovative and respected kitchens abroad, most recently four years as Head Chef at two-Michelin star Oaxen Krog in Stockholm. Prior to that he spent two years at world-renowned Noma (also two Michelin stars) as Chef de Partie, including travelling as part of the team for Noma Japan, the six-week Noma pop-up in Tokyo in 2015. Before leaving Ireland, Ian’s experience at home included at Mint in Ranelagh, in Gregans Castle, and as senior Sous Chef at Fade Street Social, running the tapas gastrobar.

Ian and new House Restaurant Head Chef, Adam Kavanagh, met when Dublin-born Adam completed a stage in Oaxen Krog in Stockholm, where Ian was Head Chef. Adam worked in Helsinki for three years with chef Sasu Laukkonen as Sous Chef at Chef & Sommelier. Adam’s other experience includes seasonal cooking worldwide and in Galway, including two as restaurant Head Chef in Il Vicolo.

Under Executive Chef Ian Doyle, work has commenced on transforming the dining experience at Cliff House Hotel. Ian Doyle describes their new menus as “very local, seasonal and simple, with no more than three or four ingredients on the plate — a celebration of Irish producers.”Ian and Adam will be looking to Ireland’s land, history and culture for inspiration.  At a later stage, there will be a phased refurbishment of the Michelin-starred House Restaurant at Cliff House Hotel to reflect the menus, using natural materials and contemporary styling to create a strong sense of place and connection with where it is set — directly overlooking the sea, in a spectacularly picturesque location.

Both chefs have a shared focus on sustainability and keeping everything as local as possible, supporting local producers, and capitalising on ingredients to be found wild through fermentation and preserving, elements that will carry through to the menus in House Restaurant.

A seasonal restaurant with a distinct focus on seafood, House Restaurant at Cliff House Hotel will be focusing on sustainability, showcasing exclusively Irish produce as much as possible, developing their coffee programme with a focus on local roasteries, making full use of their greenhouses and sourcing lobsters from the hotel’s seafront.
Adam Kavanagh

Ian is also redeveloping the food menu in Bar Restaurant at Cliff House Hotel with Bar’s Head Chef Iulian Todirica bringing a classic simplicity to the style of food served — think roast chicken with hand cut chips or whole roast turbot for sharing, dreamy Irish pub food, perfect for this part of the coast.

“We are so much looking forward to exciting times in dining at Cliff House Hotel,” says the hotel’s General Manager, Patrick Shields. “Ian and Adam bring an interesting dynamic and perspective to both the food and the service style, and we hope both our regular guests and new patrons will enjoy the fresh new look and feel of both House and Bar Restaurants soon.”

“Having spent many years abroad learning from some of the world’s best chefs,” says Ian Doyle, “I am happy to be home, and particularly at this fantastic property. There is an incredibly positive movement happening in food in Ireland, with incredibly talented Chefs throughout the country, and myself, Adam and the team at Cliff House Hotel are looking forward to being a part of it.”

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Lunching in Munster. Inland Treats off the Main Roads.

Lunching in Munster
Inland Treats off the Main Roads.
Take a stroll on the banks of Lough Derg. Maybe a cruise after lunch at Wood & Bell in Killaloe. 

Did a fair bit of munching in Munster during 2018, much of it away from the coast. Seaside dining venues are of course extremely popular but there are some excellent spots too inland, quite a few just off the main roads.

When you are on the main roads and motorways and need a lunch, you sometimes wonder where to stop. Tipperary is one such county and its towns are well served by cafés and restaurants.
Sweet, at Lava Rock.

You’ll often see Cahir on motorway signboards. If you get peckish in the area, why not try Lava Rock? It is on on Castle Street (park down by the castle, which can also be visited) and has been gathering good reviews and awards since it opened four years ago. 

With the kitchen open to the main room of the restaurant, we could see the attention to detail and that showed too on the appetising plates. Lunch was very enjoyable and I’m sure that the evening meals would be even more so. Choices aren't as expansive in the middle of the day but still they had plenty to offer.
Lovely outdoor dining area at Mikey Ryan's

You’ll be well fed too in Cashel especially if you call to Mikey Ryan’s . Artisan food producers are supported here and you’ll see Toons Bridge, Cashel Blue, Galtee Honey, Gubbeen, KIllenure Castle (dexter), The Good Herdsmen, Annie’s Organic Farm and Comfrey Cottage Cashel among those mentioned. 

The menu “is founded on the culinary principles of freshness, seasonality and a focus on quality ingredients prepared with care”. My kind of restaurant and very highly recommended.
The ancient walls of Fethard

Prime 74
In historic Fethard, Dooks Fine Food has a prime position at the bottom of the main street, alongside the Clashawley River, at the junction of the Clonmel and Urlingford roads and opposite a large car park. Richard Gleeson’s restaurant and deli is spacious and bright, lots of local food for you to enjoy inside, or on the seats outside and, of course, you can easily put a picnic together if you shop at the deli.

Before our lovely lunch here, we took a walk along the medieval area of Fethard, and afterwards we called to the Apple Farm, near Cahir, on the way home. 

Tipperary Town is serendipitously situated in the centre of a great food producing area. Not just Tipperary county itself but all the neighbours, though the county itself includes the world class cheese producers Cashel Blue. The near neighbours also include the likes of Crowe’s Pork, White Gypsy Beers and Cashel Fine Foods. And a bit further away, in the south west, nationally known producers such as Gubbeen and Skeaghanore Duck. 

You can get all these and more on your plate at Prime 74, a relatively new restaurant in Tipperary Town, not too far from the motorway.  Chef and owner Martin Lavelle is dedicated to seasonal and local and is doing a great job in this lovely premises at 74 Main Street (park in nearby Market Place).

After seeing the venerable buildings, including Hayes Hotel, in the square at Thurles, the Source Arts Centre around the corner is something of a pleasant surprise and even more pleasant when you find yourself in the cheery bright room where Stef Hans serves up delicious food. Shame that this lovely café has recently closed. But do check out Cafe Hans in Cashel. Must call there myself sometime soon.
Watch out for Farmers Markets across the region, like this one in Killavullen
Head over now to County Clare and lunch by the Shannon at the Wood and Bell in Killaloe. This restaurant was opened in late 2017 by local and Irish rugby legend Keith Wood and business partner Malcom Bell.
Call to the Apple Farm in Cahir for fruit, including these delicious cherries

Wood and Bell has the advantage of having their own walled garden nearby, overlooking Lough Derg and the river. The garden, cared for by Wood and his wife Nicola, now produces much of the fruit, vegetables and herbs for the kitchens. We enjoyed our lunch here and can certainly recommend Wood and Bell.

It seems that I’ve neglected inland Waterford, and Limerick as well, over the past year. If you have any tips, please let me know. One of the very best lunches we enjoyed in 2018 though was in the coastal village of Ardmore at the Cliff House, just off the main Cork-Waterford road.
Lunchtime view at the Cliff House

And back to the main roads now. If you are heading out of Cork and looking for breakfast or lunch then make your stop at Mitchelstown and visit O’Callaghan’s Café  on the main street. Here, the extensive menu changes daily. On a recent visit, there were no less than three soups on the specials and also a tempting starter based on Crowe’s crispy pancetta. Crowe’s are just one of their many local suppliers.

Lots of main course specials too, all priced around the 12 to 14 euro mark. There was a Red wine braised boeuf bourguignon, a pan-fried fillet of cod, Vegetarian baked flat mushrooms, and a vegetarian quiche,  just to give you an idea. All substantial dishes indeed. And there were salads and sandwiches of course.
Munster has many delicious cheeses, including the very special St Tola
that you'll see on quite a few menus.

By the way, if you find yourself travelling from Mitchelstown in the direction of Kilkenny or Waterford, you could make a stop at the Dove Hill Irish Design Centre a few miles east of Carrick-on-Suir. Meadows and Byrne and Blarney Woollen Mills are among the outlets here. Fashion, Homewares, Furniture and Food are the main areas of interest. Quite a few Irish producers represented in the major food display and there is also a very large stand-alone garden centre on-site.
Sweet things at the Ardkeen Quality Food store in Dove Design Centre, Carrick-on-Suir

There is a busy café Lily Mai’s on the mezzanine of the main building. We weren't long after lunch in Mitchelstown, so we called to the newly opened Ardkeen Food café for a coffee. It has its own cottage-style entrance but is also part of and fully open to the main building - more shopping here, Pandora Bell nougat and Lorge chocolate included - before enjoying a cup of Joe from their barista. The coffee was good but I must say I always find it hard to enjoy it fully in a paper cup - I know I may be in a minority here!
A wall of whiskey at Celtic Whiskey Bar and Larder in Killarney

No shortage of visits to Kerry. Recently I’ve enjoyed my lunch-time calls to the Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder in Killarney. You may eat as much or as little as you like here in this friendly place, anything from soup of the day to a substantial pie. Speaking of which, one of our favourites was the very tasty Chicken, Leek and Mushroom pie. Others to watch out for are the Lamb Liver, with streaky bacon and slathered in a delicious onion gravy and served with sourdough toast and their Roast Barbary Duck Salad.

Heather, on the Gap of Dunloe, is well worth a visit.  And don’t miss out on The Strawberry Field and Pancake Cottage about 3 kilometres out the Sneem Road from Moll’s Gap. 
Strawberry Field

You'll find craft beer across Munster
at restaurants such as Blair's Inn.
Believe it or not, this rural treasure has been here, not forever, but since 1997. Then Margaret and Peter Kerssens opened their family business, now very popular with locals and tourists alike. The farmhouse itself has stood here looking out over the Kerry mountains and valleys since the 1800s and these days it is both a restaurant specialising in pancakes and also a craft shop (includes oil paintings by Margaret).

Back to Cork then and in the village of Cloghroe you’ll find Blair’s Inn. In winter, the fires are burning and the company's good. You’ll get the same company in the summer in the garden by the little Sheep River. 

And it’s also a terrific place for craft beer, one of the first places in Ireland where I was given a multi-page craft beer menu to choose from. Excellent well sourced well cooked food is a given here. A laugh and a smile are also guaranteed, directions too if you’re a tourist seeking the next beauty spot or watering hole; they’ve even been known to change a wheel for a customer. 

So no need to worry if you're on the motorways of Munster and start to feel hungry! A good lunch is never very far away. Happy Munching as you visit the Munster towns.