Showing posts with label The Brehon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Brehon. Show all posts

Thursday, April 19, 2018

36 hours in Killarney: Local Brews - Torc - Reidy’s Pub - Noelle’s Retro Cafe. Much more.


36 hours in Killarney 

Killarney Brewery - Torc Mountain - Reidy’s Pub - Noelle’s Retro Cafe. And more to see and do.

The Killarney Brewing Company has certainly made headway since it started a few years back, its products available in many of the local pubs and hotels. You’ll find it on the Muckross Road, less than a ten minute walk from the Main Street. 

There is a spacious bar here and there was a quite a good crowd in, many of them overseas visitors, when we called during a recent wet Thursday afternoon. Tours are available but you are also welcome to sit down and have a drink. Pizzas are also on offer and sixteen euro will bag you a pizza and a pint.

Torc Waterfall
We shared a paddle. A glass, somewhat less than a half pint, of their Red Ale, their IPA and the Extra Stout, costs a reasonable seven euro. 


In the nod to the local wildlife, the red ale goes under the moniker Rutting Red. Their take on an American style IPA is called the Scarlett Pimpernel in honour of local hero Fr Hugh O’Flaherty  - you’ll see his statue and read all about him at his memorial alongside the Plaza Hotel by the entrance to the park.

But it was the Casey Brothers Extra Stout (6% abv) that got our vote and we promptly ordered more of that. With some of the famous Flahavan’s Oats included, it is a smooth customer with an Espresso finish. Highly Recommended. 

Reidy's
It is named after the Casey brothers from County Kerry who had huge success as rowers away back in the 1930s. The most famous, Steve (“Crusher”),  was undefeated World Wrestling champion from 1938 through 1947. Extra indeed! But don't worry. Treat this smooth stout with the respect it deserves and you’ll go the distance too.

In Killarney on a wet day? Well, you may visit the big houses, Muckross and Killarney, and the brewery and more. Another good place to go to, certainly early in the year, is Torc Waterfall, as the flow will be at its very best. Despite the odd heavy drop finding its way down the back of my neck, I very much enjoyed the visit up the steps, past the lichen covered trees and into the soft mist of the falls. 


On a good day, you could follow the Old Killarney Kenmare Road and then follow the walk up Torc Mountain  . The views of Killarney and its lakes are stupendous. Well worth the effort.

Big Houses. Small Houses.

Fr O'Flaherty - the Scarlett Pimpernel
On the tours of the big houses, Muckross and Killarney, you’ll always here about the owners, the landlords, their families always named. But the tenants, labourers and servants are not. The big names may be gone from Killarney, but the families from the small houses, the cottages and gate-lodges, are still going strong, many of them involved in the care of the National Park, its flora and fauna. 

Indeed, they have quite a sense of belonging and duty. As Walter Ryan Purcell, a Regional Tourist guide, told me during the visit, they “get the park” and are always alert for anything, a zip-line for instance, that might harm the nature of the park. Why not remember them the next time a building is renovated.


I had linked up with Walter for a coffee at the amazing John M Reidy's  on Main Street, Killarney. The entrance(s) are confusing. Is it a bakery, a general merchant, a sweet shop? Basically, at least since its “second coming” late last year, it is a pub cum cafe. Loads of nooks and crannies, lots of memorabilia, outdoor areas too (a great place to be when the music plays in the evening), outdoor areas that can be screened off from the cool and the rain by substantial awnings.

Already it is drawing in some big names - musician Niall Horan chilled here recently. Killarney has always drawn big names, especially those of the film world who were regular visitors to the big houses such as Killarney House. Even that very evening, ex Taoiseach Bertie Aherne had the table next to us in The Brehon’s Danú Restaurant.

After Reidy’s, Walter took us down a narrow lane (almost directly opposite) to see Noelle’s Retro Café. She has an old bike parked outside. It is not as sprawling as Reidy's but again, there are quite a few rooms here, more than you'd expect and one at least is given over to the vinyl era. 

Boxes and shelves of long-playing records in abundance and indeed you may play them here on a turntable. Someone did point out that ear-phones are also available. Pretty good coffee here and pastry is also available.  This quirky Retro Cafe serves Breakfast, Brunch, Coffee, Teas, Homemade Pastries, Smoothies and is open seven days a week (9.00 to 6.00).

Walter, by the way, told me that the lovely Deenagh Lodge (where we met him and his lovely team last November) is due to have its seasonal reopening at the Easter Weekend.
Deenagh Lodge Tea Rooms
Dine and smile: Deenagh Lodge
Visit: 

Crag Cave: http://swissroll07.blogspot.ie/2016/11/crag-cave-underground-in-kerry.html 
Visiting Killarney's Big Houses


Monday, April 9, 2018

Dining and Staying in Killarney’s Brehon Hotel

Jack McCarthy's Blackpudding Bon Bons

Dine and Stay in Killarney’s Brehon Hotel
Spiced salmon
The Brehon Hotel on the Muckross Road was our base for a recent two night stay in Killarney. Dinner at Danú, the hotel’s restaurant, was included and it was a good one. It was a set menu, part of the package, so not A La Carte. Still, we had three or four choices in each section.
A familiar name, ex Taoiseach Bertie Aherne, was at an nearby table and another familiar name, Jack McCarthy, popped up in the starters. His Black Pudding Bon Bons came with a mango sauce, nasturtium salad and red onion. CL enjoyed that well cooked, well presented dish. I got off to a flier too with my Spiced Salmon, Yuzu yogurt, pear, lime and cucumber.
Hake


It is a very comfortable split-level room, divided in various sections, and service was pretty good all through. No delay at all and soon we were on to the mains. My pick was the Mushroom Ravioli with a wild mushroom sauce. Not bad at all and we both enjoyed a nice side of vegetables. CL probably had the better of the mains with her Pan-fried Hake with pickled carrot, sage and lemon crumble.
Mushroom Ravioli



Desserts were part of the deal and we enjoyed their Cranberry Crème Brulée (with vanilla ice-cream and biscotti) and Roasted plum (with vanilla ice-cream, pepper and almond salsa).


Dropped into the bar, more a food than a drink venue, after that and saw for ourselves the very limited choice (Guinness associated) of beers on draught. Still, the Killarney blonde proved good company. On the second evening, I spotted an old friend, Bertha’s Revenge gin, and passed a late hour sipping that delicious drop (€17.20 for 2 gins and one TH tonic).


Crème Brulée 
While the hotel looked a bit gothic on the outside in the dull wet weather, like us all it will brighten up as the Spring comes in bringing green life to the creepers that will partially cover the exterior. The interior, with its soaring foyer, is eye-catching. Rooms are comfortable and have all the facilities you’ll need. Service is excellent and you’ll get lots of smiles and hellos in the corridors and public spaces as you come and go.
Plum


They also serve their breakfast in the Danú. The buffet is the main feature with hot and cold sections and plenty of choice. One thing about the buffet is that you can pick and choose and limit the size of your Full Irish! Extend it too of course if you are so inclined at that hour of the morning! 


We picked from the buffet (as most people seem to do) on the first morning and chose from the Kitchen List on the second. The list includes familiar breakfast items such as porridge and Eggs Benedict, less familiar like minute steak, but my choice was the plaice, the very tasty fish of the day, and I was off to a good start!

See also
Quinlan's Seafood Bar Killarney
Celtic Whiskey Bar and Larder
Visiting Killarney's Big Houses
The Yew Tree at The Muckross Park Hotel
36 Hours in Killarney, inc Killarney Brewing