Although it is well signed near north Clare’s famous Flaggy Shore, John and Kasha Connolly’s charming little chocolate factory, bakery and café still comes as a surprise. John, who knows The Burren like the back of his hand, is well known as a walking guide, and this enterprising couple’s businesses are run from the cottage farmhouse that John inherited from his grandmother.
First Kasha started the café in the two front rooms of the cottage - “Just because I could... I can't ever remember a time when my mum bought a cake, we always made them from scratch. Baking is my heritage” - and many of the recipes served in this atmospheric spot have now been collected into an unusual cookbook, “Burren Wild Baker, Recipes from Ireland’s Most Charming Farmhouse” (2014,€20 +p&p.)
Meanwhile Kasha also trained as a chocolatier with Dirk Schonekeren of Helena Chocolates in Castlebar (see entry), the Belgian chef and chocolatier who was one of the pioneers in Irish chocolate making, and started Hazel Mountain Chocolates in 2013.
So now, in this unexpected corner, you will find not only delicious refreshments to revive you while walking or touring on the Burren, but also a range of fine chocolate that includes classic pralines and truffles and others with seasonal ingredients inspired by the landscape, such as wild berries, nuts and petals. Simply magic.