Including the Old Butter Roads Food Trail
|Corrin Hill, one of many walks in North Cork area.|
The Old Butter Roads Food Trail, launched earlier this year, is a cooperative effort between restaurants, producers and accommodation and activity providers in the North Cork area.
North Cork is not an administrative area but then neither is West Cork. The boundaries are a bit flexible. The Food Trail organisers often refer to the three baronies of Duhallow, Muskerry and Avondhu (again none are administrative areas (except for GAA purposes!)) as being their constituent parts.
I have been visiting various restaurants and producers in the area over the past few years as you can see from the links below. Not all the places I've visited are necessarily members of the Old Butter Roads Food Trail. If they are, you'll see the churn symbol displayed at the entrance or in their literature. Where there's a link below, it means that I have eaten, drank, visited or slept, maybe all four, at that place.
|Glamping option at Ballyvolane House|
So okay, just suppose you've landed in Blarney. Where to eat? Easy. Head to the The Square Table, Blarney in the evening. Just a few miles outside the village, you will find the boys of Blairs Inn who'll feed you all day long (great place too for craft beer!). If you keep heading west, you may well end up in Macroom. Why not dine and stay the night in the Castle Hotel?
|Rainbow in Macroom|
But perhaps you decide to head to the northeast. Lucky you will have much to choose from. Perhaps a day-time call to the Thatch and Thyme Café in Kildorrery. In the evening, visit the white deer at Mallow Castle and then call to the lovely and popular Peppers, Mallow for dinner. There are two cafes in Doneraile and, of course, the 166 hectare park with long and short walks that take you by the Awbeg River and herds of deer.
|Deer in Doneraile Park|
Lots of quality accommodation in the general area. Each of the three big houses below have an added attraction! Ballyvolane House near Castlelyons is the home of the renowned Bertha's Revenge gin. At Longueville House, enjoy the food and their very own cider, and don't forget their award winning Apple Brandy (as good as any from Normandy!).
|Dinner is on. Longueville House|
There's always a big welcome at Ballinwillin House & Farm and a tour of the farm where you'll see their Wild Boar and Deer. And the drink here is the wine, Chateau Mulcahy, from their very own vineyard in Hungary and the tasting is in a Hungarian style room. Cheers!
|Wild Boar at Ballinwillin|
And if you're a beer lover, then head west to the 9 White Deer micro-brewery in Ballyvourney.
|He can talk and he can sing: Jack of McCarthy Butchers in Kanturk.|
Looking for world class black-pudding and more? Then put McCarthy Butchers Kanturk on your list. You'll enjoy the produce and the chat. Close by, in Newtownshandrum you find the lovely Bluebell Falls Goats Cheese.
Over in the Mallow direction, you'll come across Old Millbank Smoked Salmon. In the Blarney area, Hydro Farm Allotments and Blarney Chocolate are worth a check.
For great cheese and all things cheese related, Toons Bridge Dairy near Macroom is a must stop. Here too they have a café with lovely snacks and lunches, wine, even their own pizza oven.
|View from Griffin's at lunch-time. Water-skier not guaranteed!|
|Killavullen Farmers Market|
If you venture into the Shandon area of the city, you'll find the place where all these old butter roads ended. While there, why not visit the Butter Museum (you might even see them making butter) and then ring the bells at St Anne's. Blarney Castle, right in the village, draws tourists from all over the world.
|View of Firkin Crane from St Anne's Shandon|
If you don't fancy sitting down, eating and drinking all day and need to stretch those legs then check out Blarney based Activity Days, with lots of choice for kids and adults. If you just have enough time for a short walk, there are a couple in Blarney, including the Blarney to Waterloo Loop. You'll enjoy your dinner, and the rest, that night!
|Peppers in Mallow|
Some other Butter Roads Food Trail members:
Follain, Baile Bhuirne;
Hegarty’s Cheese, Whitechurch;
O'Brien’s Free Range Eggs, Whitechurch;
Osbourne’s Butchers, Blarney;
Real Meat Co-op, Boherbue, Mallow;;
Twomey’s Buchers, Macroom;
Castle Hotel, Blarney;
Nibbles Cafe, Milstreet;
O Callaghan’s Delicatessen & Restau- rant, Mitchelstown;
Old Post Office Cafe, Blarney;
Praline Pastry Shop, Mitchelstown;
THe Farm Grenagh;
Old Post Office Cafe, Blarney