Trying to plan a trip to Ireland can be tough, since there’s so much to see and do in this beautiful country. Read on for tips on how to make the most of your stay.
EAT your way across Ireland. Try the Ballymaloe House restaurant for lunch, where local ingredients meet creative ingenuity. Dine in elegant country comfort at BrookLodge‘s Strawberry Tree in Macreddin Village, where you can feast free-for-all style with up to 40 people at the Big Table. Try fine smoked salmon, trout, mackerel and cheese at the Burren Smokehouse. In Northern Ireland, try the yogurt at the Clandeboye Estate, made in the on-site artisanal dairy. For dessert, satisfy your sweet tooth in County Kerry with homemade ice cream at Murphys Ice Cream.
STAY in a waterside retreat in one of the Bayview Hotel Ballycotton‘s 35 rooms, perched on the cliffs of east Cork. In County Wexford, the Dunbrody Country House Hotel is an 1830s Georgian manor with gourmet foods and a spa with relaxing treatments. In Northern Ireland, the Grange Lodge in Dungannon marries Victorian beauty with country coziness. In County Cork, Ireland’s gourmet-food country, at Ballymaloe House, the centuries-old manor house on 400 acres.
Photo by: Raymond Patrick
SHOP for Aran sweaters — in plaited cable, honeycomb, trinity or other authentic stitches — either prêt à porter or made to order, in Galway (which is just a boat ride away from the Aran Islands) at Ó’Máille.
TAKE a class at Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery School and learn traditional Irish cooking techniques as well as lost skills like churning butter. The best part? Enjoy the fruits of your labor at the private, students-only restaurant.
SAMPLE the freshest fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, eggs, cheese and more at Cork’s English Market, trading since 1788. Try Giana Ferguson’s Gubbeen cheese, an earthy soft cheese that helped shape Ireland’s artisanal food movement.
DRINK at the wine bar above Sheridan’s Cheesemongers in Galway, where barman Gerry Flynn presides over an impressive range of vino and charcuterie, providing a different take on pints and pub fare.
LEARN more about the places featured in this trip and other recommendations to help you plan a trip to Ireland at discoverireland.com