Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ireland; Castles, Cliffs of Mohr, Guinness, Rolling Hills, Seaports, Quaint Villages, Friendly Irish Folk and Local Cuisine

We are back on US soil from our trip to Ireland and let me tell you it truly is the Emerald Isle, green as far as the eye can see and Dublin is a city so alive, you can feel it breathing!

Pubs are over flowing with locals, tourists, lively music, and pub fare of course! You don't want to miss a tour of the Guinness Brewery Trinity College, Christ Church, St Patrick’s Cathedral, The National Gallery, National Museum of Ireland, St.Stephen’s Green, Temple Bar, Dublin Castle, Guinness Storehouse, St Jameson Distillery and there is so much more to see and experience in Dublin.

We utilized the tourist on-off buses for a tour around Dublin, which was a great way to familiarize ourselves with Dublin, learn a bit of history and enjoy an unusually sunny day.

Doug and I walked the cities cobblestone streets of the temple bar district and discovered one of Dublin’s farmers market; farm fresh cheese, fresh bakery goods, vegetables and fruits. You couldn’t miss the mouth watering aroma of grilled chicken, beef, pork and lamb. One vendor was selling a variety of olives, olive oil and other assorted herbs, which looked delicious!

Doug enjoyed bangers and mash at the Brazen Head pub, the oldest pub in Dublin (of course the oldest pub is debatable like most topics in Ireland).

For those of you not familiar with bangers, they are pork sausages nicknamed “bangers” during World War II because their casing’s were so full they exploded open while cooking them. If you want to give it a go and make these try this recipe by Ina Garten she never disappoints; I have never made bangers so let me know if you do. 

We traveled by bus from Dublin to Galway, to the Cliffs of Mohr, and the Burren. Then on to Bunratty CastelLimerick and back to Dublin. While researching our trip we had decided not to join a tour but to take the local buses, which was an adventure traveling with the locals.  

We stayed a couple of nights at the Clontarf Castle Hotel which is a blend of old world with a modern twist and the staff were wonderful, which we found every place that we went. We enjoyed fish and chips on the coast in the fishing village of Howth Irish breakfast consisting of local eggs, bacon, potatoes, mushrooms and tomatoes.

When we arrived we escaped a light rain by ducking into the Creamery pub next to Bunratty Castle where we enjoyed an open faced sandwich of fresh brown bread with thick slices of ham and a cabbage salad, so yummy. Then over to Bunratty Castle, I can spend every day exploring the castle's however Doug has a limit, but he is a good sport. And you never know what ghosts you might encounter and you can just feel the history. 

After our visit to Bunratty Caslte we hopped another bus to Limerick where we walked around the city and dined on a light dinner of fresh sea food chowder with fresh brown bread at The Glen Tavern and Pub, chatting with locals and Gerry one of the owners. We love nothing better than meeting the locals and sharing a beverage or meal. 

We truly enjoyed the rolling hills, busy ports, villages, castles, friendly Irish folk and the local cuisine.

Now it is time for me to head back into my kitchen. And today I am heading over to Poplar Ridge Organic Farm to participate in the work share program; I can’t wait to cook up something local and fresh for dinner tonight.

I love to travel, but there is no place like home.

Just cook something! Cheers! Kary~


  1. Karen, glad you're back on the grid! You were such a great produce saleswoman at the market stand yesterday! Can't wait to hear what recipes are in store from your kitchen....

    Anyway, head's up about new farm to table dinner dates and group discounts for June and October! We hope to see some more Charlotte-area bloggers out at the farm soon...?! Groups of six or more will receive 15% off!

    June 22 and June 25, October 1--
    Enjoy a night under the stars at our elegant certified-organic farm!
    Includes four courses of farm-fresh cuisine, complete with wine pairings and engaging chef and speaker presentations.

    More info and registration available online! Sign up for June dinners online by Monday, June 20!

  2. Kary, your trip from last year is enough to make me cry with envy. But I am glad you and hubby had a wonderful time. Thank you very much for pointing me in this direction. The pictures said it all. And indeed there is no place like home! :)

    Many hugs,