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Established in 1925 and now run by siblings Eoin, Natalie and Norma, who take pride in continuing the family tradition, McCambridge’s is first port of call for many food lovers visiting Galway.
“Our philosophy is simple, we use only the best produce from the best local suppliers and treat them with care and attention to detail” - that’s Kate Lawlor, the Euro-Toques owner-chef of Cork city’s No. 5 Fenn’s Quay, telling it as it is on the home page of their web site.
Jenny and Richard Street first opened for business in the charming little village of Grangecon, where they quickly built up a reputation for the excellence of their simple, wholesome food, attracting travellers who were happy to go out of their way for the pleasure of a meal here - so it made sense to keep the name when they relocated to the bustle of Blessington.
Built in 1720 and rescued from dereliction by John and Nora Egan in the 1980’s, Inch House stands like a welcoming beacon at the centre of the family’s large tillage farm near Thurles. Its sense of connection to the land is palpable, embodying a family philosophy that is tangibly demonstrated in their fine classically furnished restaurant, where showcasing local produce has always been a priority.
With the seventh Savour Kilkenny Food Festival coming up (24-28 October 2013; www.savourkilkenny.com), there’s no better time to visit the Marble City - and no better place to eat than the Kilkenny Design Centre, just across the road from Kilkenny Castle. It has long been a favourite destination for lovers of good food and that’s down to the committed leadership of Kathleen Moran, proprietor since the centre opened in 1989.
Gannet Fishmongers in Galway has received the most nominations in a survey conducted among leading Irish restaurant owners and chefs, who were asked to identify their ‘Supplier of the Year’.
If you ever need an excuse to go to the lovely seaside village of Crosshaven, there’s bound to be something going on at the Cronin family’s Victorian pub on the harbour front that would do very well.
Set in the grounds of Ashford Castle, Lisloughrey Lodge enjoys one of the most beautiful locations in Ireland, with views down Lough Corrib. The hotel was developed during the boom and a modern approach was taken, but it has since changed management and, while still contemporary, the elegance of the beautiful old house at its heart has been restored.
Although it is, as they say themselves down there, ‘easy to reach but hard to leave’, Carlow somehow remains Ireland’s undiscovered county - which is, of course, the secret of its charm, so perhaps things are better left that way. But not if James and Cait Coady have anything to do with it, as their stylish boutique hotel, The Step House, has made the pretty heritage village of Borris a popular destination for short breaks and weddings.
Complete with 16th century armoury, huge open fires, massive chandeliers and many quirky features, this castle just outside Ballina makes an unusual small hotel. It’s a wacky place for those who enjoy something out of the ordinary and it would be great fun for a group get together.