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Just an hour from Dublin, the O'Flynn family’s romantically rambling country house has a wonderfully away-from-it all atmosphere - and this quietly luxurious place has always been renowned for good food. Long before ‘local and seasonal’ came into its own on a national basis, that was just the way things were done around here, with food from the farm and the walled garden taking its rightful place on the table along with the best of other Irish foods.
Welcome is the byword at Frankie Mallon's deservedly popular Westport restaurant, you feel it from the moment you enter - or even when you visit the website, where the language on the home page conveys a warm feeling that both customers and suppliers are valued and respected.
Run by the famous catering sisters Domini and Peaches Kemp and food writer and consultant Hugo Arnold, Hatch & Sons Irish Kitchen is an unusual café in the basement of Trevor White’s much-loved Little Museum of Dublin.
Having been a private home - and a country house guesthouse, famed for its lovable eccentricity - for many years, Mount Falcon Estate came into energetic new ownership in 2002 and, following an extensive building and refurbishment plan that included extending the original house and building a number of luxurious courtyard houses and woodland lodges, it has since been a 32 bedroom luxury hotel.
Sixteen kilometres west of Dingle, on the gorgeous Slea Head Drive, there is a special treat in store for hungry visitors. Just off the road you’ll spot some of the trademark Louis Mulcahy ceramics in the garden of a low-key house that looks as if it may once have been residential, and here you’ll find the famous Louis Mulcahy pottery, shop - and café.
One of a great Lahinch dynasty - his late father owned the town’s premier hotel, the much lamented Aberdeen Arms, and his uncle ran the legendary restaurant Mr Eamonn’s for many years - Michael Vaughan has hospitality in his blood.
“Quality Food Sourced Locally” has always been the mantra at Padraic Frawley’s Cornstore Restaurants in Cork and Limerick, and this innovative restaurateur cites "Sourcing local suppliers and producing fresh quality ingredients in-house” as key to the success of the two restaurants - and of the newer Cornstore At Home, in Limerick, which offers restaurant quality ready meals (‘take home dining’, made across the road in a dedicated kitchen at the Cornstore Restaurant) as well as an exciting collection of speciality foods.
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.