Whether to pick up the morning newspaper or drop in for something much tastier, the Manning family’s roadside Aladdin’s cave of good things is not a place to pass by.
A supporter of local West Cork artisan produce for many years, Val Manning is rightly credited with playing an important part in making the Irish food revolution happen and has recently been joined in the mission by his equally enthusiastic niece, Laura Manning, and her husband Andrew Heath.
Dating back in the Manning family for over 70 years, this extraordinary treasure trove evolved from a classic country post office and shop to become the nationally feted gourmet food store, deli and and café that the lucky traveller happens on today.
Flagged as offering "a unique taste of West Cork", Mannings offers a great range of the country's finest cheeses - many of which, of course, happen to be made nearby, as do many of the cured meats which are also a feature, along with accompaniments such as the unique Mr Pettersen's Homemade Tracklements (rasberry vinegar and vinaigrette) and Harty's jellies. There are also delicious baked goods from respected local companies like Cookies of Character and Seymour's, freshly baked breads and seasonal produce from the surrounding area and much more, including carefully selected wine ranges with Irish connections.
Just as delicious foods spill artfully out of every conceivable container in the shop, the outdoor tables spill out around the door into the carpark, to blend in with abundantly planted containers - a lovely spot to enjoy a West Cork platter or just a cup of loose leaf tea and a slice of cake on a sunny day, and there's a more organised but equally delightful cafe indoors too.
Any food lover visiting the area should allow time for a browse here - and that's an even more tempting suggestion since the introduction of their range of sherries, selected to complement smoked foods: you can now sit and sip a glass while tasting their delicious charcuterie, smoked fish and cheeses - probably as authentic an interpretation of the increasingly popular tapas style as you'll find anywhere in Ireland.