Lauraine Jacobs

Food & Wine Writer

10 September 2019


We chose to fly into (and out of) Dublin, and planned a ten day trip by rental car that took us to the west coast, around the Ring of Kerry and then up the east coast. Highlights: the seafood everywhere and …..

GALWAY This was really special as we connected with the fabulous Jessie Murphy, a terrific chef who grew up in Wairoa on the north island of NZ and has opened a stunningly simple restaurant, Kai in Galway with her Irish husband. (See the previous blog below.) Be sure to book at Kai!

• Galway Food Tours -A two hour walking food tour visits many of the innovative and delicious businesses in the city with stops for generous tastings of food, coffee and local Irish whiskies and beverages.

• Sheridans Cheesemonger & Wine Bar - Downstairs, a true cheesemonger with a terrific selection of boutique Irish cheeses. Upstairs, a sophisticated wine bar offering wines by the glass and platters of cheese and/or locally made charcuterie.

• Ard Bia at Nimmo’s - Fresh snacks, salads and cakes served by day and a fresh ethically sourced dinner menu in this quaint historic building by the Galway waterfront.

• Tig Neachtain’s - Slap bang in the middle of the main street with small nooks and crannies and a history going back to 1896, the perfect old pub to try a pint or more of creamy Guinness.

THE WEST COAST • Inishmaan Suites on the Aran Islands – a totally remote resort and refuge away from the rest of the world. Bookings for the five rooms open in October for the following year and you can stay two, three or five days. A truly rocky island that’s windswept, lonely and has a harsh climate and one pub. But a true adventurer’s experience and lovely hospitality from owners with superb food (Elemental Eating means a stunning breakfast box delivered to the room for breakfast, a thermos of soup and bread in a backpack for lunch and dinner with the other guests at night. All sourced from the island and surrounds.)

  • Moran's Oyster Cottage only 20 minutes drive south of Galway for a feed of oysters and fish beside the water.

• The Cliffs of Moher – top tourist attraction not to be missed where I guarantee you will be blown sideways

• Kilkee – a small seaside town with a great seafood/pub grub place to eat Naughtons.

• Cahersiveen for an overnight stop on the Ring of Kerry to see the entry point at which the transatlantic cable stretches to America from, and to eat and stay Quinlan & Cooke’s elegant town houses.

• Wharton’s Fish and Chips in Bantry for the best piece of freshly cooked fish in batter I have ever had in my life.

• Inchdoney Island in Clonakilty is a modern resort, a fabulous sandy beach and hot saltwater baths.

• Ballymaloe Cookery School and Ballymaloe House – not to be missed. The school is energetic and fabulous, the House is the place to stay and dine (the dessert trolley is to die for.)

• Dungarvan – stay and eat at The Tannery, and spend a day biking the Waterford Greenway.

• Dublin – Want a change from Irish soda bread? After a walk across St Stephen’s Green and through Trinity College’s hallowed campus, visit Bread 41 for some gorgeous fresh sourdough and coffee. Eat at Michael’s Mount Merrion for seafood and his adjacent Little Mike’s Wine Bar (book for both before you leave home.)

• And it would not be a visit to Ireland without the very touristy Guinness brewery tour. Take the hop on/hop off tourist bus which goes right around the centre of the city, complete with singing drivers and stop for the self-guided tour and an enormous glass of freshly poured Guinness.