Inis Oirr, the smallest and most easterly of the Aran Islands is a tranquil place, perfect for quiet contemplation and relaxed walks and swimming in crystal clear waters.
At the south end of the island and a 5 minute walk along the sea from the pier, you arrive at Maria and Enda Conneely’s Fisherman’s Cottage, a lovely white and blue cottage with half door, set among interesting herb and flower gardens.
A pretty blue, green and white theme makes the dining room bright, and the conservatory has the same colour scheme, with lovely views of the bay.
Enda and Maria are Slow Food members and feel that it is important that the food we eat does not have to travel too far, especially food that can be produced locally, so they try to use organically produced foods as well as locally caught wild fish and other produce from the Island - the aim is to do what they can to provide tasty local food that is unique to the island.
Enda, a native of South Aran, has studied widely, including medicinal cooking in Switzerland, and cooking at the Cordon Vert Vegetarian School in Manchester, and Maria has studied Shiatsu and Macrobiotics, so the food reflects their love for a natural healthy lifestyle.
A typical dinner might include a pasta starter (with chorizo, rosemary, tomato and topped with crispy bacon) and fish of the day - maybe hake with a paste of cumin, coriander, and sides of carrot and mangetout - and then, to round it off, a refreshing dessert such as lemon posset with a homemade biscuit. Just don’t expect big ‘country portions’ here: respecting the quality of food, portion sizes are healthy too.
Accommodation is offered (for adults only) in South Aran House, which is a few minutes walk from Fishermans Cottage Restaurant - torches are provided.
The panoramic sea view takes in neighbouring Inis Meain and the four double rooms are simply but comfortably furnished in black and white, with underfloor heating, hair dryers, free WiFi and neat ensuite shower and toilet. There is a communal lounge/TV room where complimentary snacks and tea/coffee facilities are provided.
Ample breakfasts are served in Fishermans Cottage and, as Enda and Maria are attentive hosts, this is a lovely place to stay - island accommodation with touches of luxury.
Cookery School opened in April 2012 and Irish/English language classes are sometimes scheduled here - for further information visit their website, or contact Maria and Enda directly.