West Cork has a wonderful food culture thanks to a mild climate and its gentle generous nature. Its award-winning artisan food producers and chefs are known for their culinary revolution and you can enjoy this great food in many pubs, restaurants, farmers markets and at food festivals. The area boasts an amazing array of farmers, growers, charcutiers, cheese-makers, fish smokers and bakers.
With its gourmet reputation, West Cork is a blossoming premier food production region. Why not take in one of the region's mouth-watering food trails during your visit?
- - A Taste of West Cork food festival has been running every September for the last few years. It continues to grow in popularity, attracting more and more people - epicures and food professionals alike - and is now established as one of West Cork's major events.
- - Macroom food festival is now also an annual September event in the region with its mouth-watering demos, outdoor food market and live music.
A Few Tasters on your Travels
East of Gougane Barra...
- Make a Saturday or Sunday trip to the old creamery shop at ‘Toonsbridge Dairy’ where Irish buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, smoked scarmoza and halloumi are made by Toby Simmonds and Jenny-Rose Clarke.
- Be sure to taste some of Follain's fresh fruit preserves, marmalades, jams and relishes made in Baile Mhuirne - a multi-award-winning family-run business in our Muskerry Gaeltacht area.
- Check out the English Market in Cork City - an enclosed market with an entrance on the Grand Parade. The English Market first opened in 1610, in the time of James I, and is recognised by the locals as a place to meet, chat and shop. Visitors can savour the atmosphere and choose from a wide range of tasty treats in this unique indoor market.
Heading South from Gougane Barra...
- Visit the Skibbeeen farmers market which takes place every Saturday and is hugely popular, with some great food trucks selling all kinds of goodies.
- Meet the fish-smoker Sally Barnes in the Woodcock Smokery near Skibbereen and go on one of her amazing West Cork food tours, where you will meet some of the best local producers.
- Say 'Moo' to one of Alan Kingston's cows when you take one of the Glenilen farm tours, near Drimoleague, and sample some of the great products from these friendly award-winning family-farmer producers. We use their butter in our restaurant and their yoghurts on our breakfast buffet.
West Towards the Coast...
- Drop into Laura and her husband Andrew at Manning’s Emporium in Ballylickey for a selection of great West Cork Cheeses and artisan products, wood-fired pizzas or just a cup of excellent coffee or a nice bottle of wine.
- On Fridays in Bantry square, the farmers' market is in full swing. Meet the cheese-makers, from Durrus, Gubbeen and Milleens, buy freshly baked breads of all varieties, scones and cakes, check out the stalls selling homemade soaps, bric-a-brac, organic vegetables and meat, fresh fish, crepes from a van, and take time to talk to the makers and the bakers. Sample some of the delicious regional cheeses: Gabriel, Coolea, Roundtower, Gubbeen, Durrus, Carrigaline, and Milleens, to name but a few. .