West Cork Food Trail
Cork’s modern food revolution over the last few decades set its roots in the heart of West Cork. The food Artisans, often ‘blow ins’ or imported talent is a more complimentary term, were the first food rebels of the county. The area has an amazing array of farmers, growers, charcutiers, cheese-makers, fish smokers and bakers.
The mild weather and lush rolling countryside supply all the ingredients to make Cork a premier food production region with a gourmet reputation in Europe.
The food movement began in West Cork and has blossomed, its ideology for food production has spread to Cork City and beyond, giving birth to different food trails.
A whole series of farmers markets have established themselves throughout the country, from their humble beginnings in West Cork. We are delighted to have so many culinary professionals and producers in our area, and we love having specialised products on our menus and advising on where to visit the places they are made. We are also very grateful and proud of being listed this year,2019, again in both the John & Sally McKenna and the Georgina Campbell's guides!
A Taste of West Cork food festival has been running every September for the last few years. The interesting event keeps attracting more and more people, epicures and food professionals alike, and is now established as one of West Cork's major events.
A few tasters on your travels
1. Make a worthwhile trip to the old creamery shop at ‘Toonsbridge Dairy’ where Irish Mozzarella and Ricotta is lovingly made by Toby Simmonds. At the weekends light lunch, amazing Pizzas and home baking is served in the Creamery Cafe at Toonsbridge by the affable Jenny- Rose. A chat with Toby in the shop and everything from olives to Serrano Ham is discussed and can be bought here, from Cadiz to Toonsbridge.
2. Drop into Laura (Val's niece) and her husband Andrew at Manning’s Emporium in Ballylickey for a selection of great West Cork Cheese and artisan products, great pizzas too, or just a cup of excellent coffee or a nice bottle of wine,and an informative food chat with the Manning family.
3. Fridays in Bantry square, with the farmers market in full swing, meet the cheesemakers, from Gubbeen to Milleens. Freshly baked breads of all varieties, scones and cakes, The Real Olive stand with olives, feta and homemade soaps, bric-a-brac, organic vegetables and meat, fresh fish, crepes from a van, and time to talk to the makers and the bakers.
Sample great cheese, which are some of the best in Cork: Gabriel, Coolae, Roundtower, Gubbeen, Durrus, Carrigaline, and Milleens cheese is only the start of the list.
4. Skibbereen Farmers market is also taking place every Saturday and is hugely popular with some great food trucks there too.
5. Meet the fish-smoker Sally Barnes in the Woodcock Smokery, and go on one of her amazing West Cork food tours, where you will meet some of the best food producers.
6. The English market is an enclosed market with an entrance on the Grand Parade in Cork city. The origin of the English Market can be traced back to James 1st in 1610 and is recognised by locals as a place to meet, eat and shop. Visitors can savour the atmosphere and choose from the wide range of goods that the traders have to offer in this unique indoor market. Even the queen enjoyed her visit here, and if its good enough for the queen....
7. ‘Moo’ to one of Alan Kingston’s cows when you take one of Glenilen farm tours and sample some of their great products from these friendly award-winning family farm producers, we use their butter in our restaurant and their yoghurts on our breakfast buffet.
8. Be sure to taste some of Follain’s fresh fruit preserves, marmalades, jams and relishes made in Baile Mhúirne, which you can find on our breakfast table and in good food outlets all over Ireland. They are a multi-awarded family run business in our Muskerry Gaeltacht area.