The Wild Honey in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare is a true inn, offering rest, relaxation, refreshment and good company. But good food is the main focus and deciding against opening a formal restaurant was a key decision, reflecting a wish to be seen as a pub offering high quality food in an informal setting.
Set in pretty gardens on the edge of Lisdoonvarna town, this old hotel was re-opened by Aidan McGrath and Kate Sweeney in 2009. They renamed it The Wild Honey Inn, and the world wasted no time in beating a path to their door
A well known chef, Aidan has worked at top establishments in Ireland and abroad and now, together with Kate (who runs front of house and oversees the accommodation) and established forces in the town like the Sheedys and the Curtins of Burren Smokehouse, they have made Lisdoonvarna a destination for food lovers
The Wild Honey is a true inn, offering rest, relaxation, refreshment and good company.
But good food is the main focus and deciding against opening a formal restaurant was a key decision, reflecting a wish to be seen as a pub offering high quality food in an informal setting.
So Aidan’s superb meals are served in the attractive high-ceilinged bar
– a pair of rooms with open fires, partly divided by the bar/serving area and comfortably set up for dining for up to 50 people – and you can also eat outside in fine weather.
The place is full of character and there’s a sense of anticipation when reading the encouragingly concise menus
– maybe half a dozen dishes to choose from on each course, plus seasonal blackboard specials in both cases.
Aidan - who was our Chef of the Year 2012 - describes his food as bistro style, ‘informed by living on the rugged West coast of Ireland where there is an abundance of local produce from land and sea’
and there is a clear commitment to using locally sourced and organic ingredients where possible, with local foods named in dishes and suppliers listed.
But this is no ordinary bistro cooking
, and what marks Aidan’s food out as exceptional is his unique combination of finesse and simplicity – the legacy of his classical training and many years in fine dining establishments, together with a philosophy of showcasing the superb seasonal foods of the area in an accessible style.
Well pitched for our times and delivering on quality, service and atmosphere, this is a place that is enjoying well deserved success.
Very comfortable, reasonably priced accommodation
is in fourteen bedrooms that include three large and recently upgraded rooms on the ground floor overlooking the lovely gardens at the back; with direct garden access via little private patios, full bathrooms (bath and overbath shower) and WiFi, one of these would make a great base for anyone staying a few days to explore the Burren and the beautiful Co Clare coast.
A very tasty cooked-to-order breakfast
is served by cheerful and efficient staff in a bright dining room opening onto the gardens – an enjoyable meal and a very pleasant way to start the day.
It's an ideal base for enjoying the walking routes or having a cycling holiday in this unique landscape
- Lisdoonvarna is very close to The Burren National Park. Walking and cycling maps are available, and there are facilities to store bikes. Guided walks can also be arranged, with advance notice.
The lucky winner of this free competition will get a short break for two people sharing (subject to availability), to include:
• 2 nights accommodation
• Full Irish breakfast next morning
• Dinner on the evening of your choice
Read more about Wild Honey Inn on their website.
To enter the competition simply tick the answers to the questions below, you must be a logged in member to enter (if you are not a member click here to join, it's free):