A culinary road trip along Ireland’s west coast

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We took the highway west out of Dublin to the coast. I fancied a dose of ozone after a surfeit of the city — and soon we were feasting on freshly caught seafood on Galway Bay.

Linnane’s Lobster Bar in New Quay Pier is the place. Gerry Sweeney, who caught our vast platter, was at the bar in his sea boots. It doesn’t get fresher than that.

One glass of chablis could easily have been more but the Wild Atlantic Way, as the coastal road is known, beckoned. Ana and I drove south through the fastness of County Clare where dreamy cattle in cream fur coats ruminated among the boulder strewn verdure.

Local colour: Enjoy the delights of Dingle bay (above)

Local colour: Enjoy the delights of Dingle bay (above)

Local colour: Enjoy the delights of Dingle bay (above)

At Aillwee Cave, Burren, we crossed bridged chasms to the thunderous backdrop of waterfalls.

At the nearby Cliffs of Moher, we walked along the terrifying path and took photographs of fools standing right on the edge, to get that possibly final vainglorious selfie, next to the big red sign warning them not to do so.

We dined that evening in the discreet warmth of the Wild Honey Inn, whose Michelin-rated restaurant draws folk to the coastal village of Lisdoonvarna.

The morning was misty and the sea views veiled, but as we rounded a peninsula on the Dingle road we stumbled into a ‘lamb stroking station’, where for €3 we could fondle a bedraggled lamb.


Then, near Doonbeg, we passed a flowerbed with the word ‘TRUMP’ planted in technicolour. It was the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Doonbeg.

If you’re ever in Dingle at feeding time make sure to visit Out Of The Blue, a brightly coloured seafood shack, on the harbour front.

Just up the High Street is Foxy John’s, a hardware store which doubles as a pub. Or is it the other way round? Then we had a nightcap at the Benner’s Hotel’s splendid old bar.

Natural masterpiece: Mark visited the Cliffs of Moher (above) during his roadtrip


Natural masterpiece: Mark visited the Cliffs of Moher (above) during his roadtrip

Natural masterpiece: Mark visited the Cliffs of Moher (above) during his roadtrip

The final port of call before returning to Dublin was Kinsale, a paradise if you’re a foodie with a yacht. It’s pretty agreeable if you’re not. Narrow streets boast restaurants galore and a 17th century fort stands guard above the colourful muddle of galleries, pubs and other temptations.

Then, in another piscatorial triumph — we dined at the excellent Fishy, which belongs to Irish TV cookery star Martin Shanahan. We listened to live music in the pubs until an overdose of charm and whisky brought the curtains down on three days’ blissful relaxation. 



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