Location, location, location! Overlooking Dundalk Bay, with the Mourne and the Cooley Mountains in the background and a long sandy beach just outside the windows, this is a fascinating place to visit at any time and it’s simply stunning on a fine day.
The Glyde Inn - named after the River Glyde which flows into the Irish Sea at the little harbour just a few yards from the front door - is run by the O’Neill family, who also have the bakery next door.
The pub dates back to the 18th century and as you enter there’s a sense of that history and the many good nights enjoyed in the atmospheric bar, where traditional Irish music nights are regularly held.
Yet it’s the restaurant that has those amazing views. It was recently re-launched as the ‘Linn Duachaill’ in honour of the area’s Viking heritage, but it’s actually been operating for some time and has a slightly old-fashioned ambience.
Menus are wide ranging and there’s clearly an interest in promoting local produce, with fresh local seafood a natural speciality (fish comes ‘straight from John Kirwan’s boat in Clogherhead’) and lobster from the tank - “Annagassan Lobster? with Dunany crab claws and our famous seafood chowder” - a big hit in recent times.
But, if that begins to sound like a fine dining experience, bear in mind that this is a traditional bar and restaurant with a strong local trade so, while there are more sophisticated dishes offered - notably on the evening à la carte - there are also plenty of Irish bar food staples on the menu during the day: quite a lot of chicken (goujons; curry; chicken fillet burgers), for example, and roast meats, especially for Sunday lunch.
In the Guide’s experience the cooking might a little uneven, but a visit to this friendly place is always worthwhile and dishes recently enjoyed include a generous shrimp salad (which was actually made with small langoustines - a nice surprise), and well-made fresh scampi in a light batter.
The acclaimed lobster attracts people from far and wide of course but, if asked to choose one inexpensive dish that would bring you back, it would have to be the Clogherhead seafood chowder. Even the pickiest customer should be pleased by this satisfying dish, and it is served with Ann’s delicious home-baked bread - although this tasty loaf deserves better than a foil wrapped butter pat to accompany it.
There’s a full bar licence, of course - and some Irish craft beers are offered (8 Degrees North - Howling Gale Ale and Barefoot Bohemian Lager).