Yes, this is part two of my food journal while in Ireland on a two week solo journey. There are more food journals! I love Ireland and have been to the Emerald Isle three times since 2011. I have a deep fondness for the food, the drink, the landscapes and the culture of Ireland.
This post covers an abundance of dishes I ate and stories to tell but it is not everything! Like I mentioned, there are a couple more ‘What I ate in Ireland food journals’ and this one is Part Two.
Galway International Oyster Festival
I never knew that Oyster Shucking competition was a thing. In my lifetime and in my travels, I have been to and seen many interesting things, nothing surprises me anymore. So the pride of earning the title of King or Queen Shucker of the world… Why not?
The first time I heard of this festival was right after my first visit to Galway in 2011. I was a bit upset that I missed it because I do love an oyster. Several years later I made it to the 64th Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival’s opening night. What an experience to put in the record book!
Kelly’s Oyster and a cup of fresh Galway Seafood Chowder
There were several vendors at the festival offering an array of local seafood. Everything oysters, chowder, mussels, fish and chips and so on. I decided on the local Kelly Oysters that were shucked at the festival and the were heavenly. This was the first time that I had tried Kelly Oysters and have become a fan of this variety. I also tried the Chowder which was made with fresh local Galway seafood. It was rich and creamy, with chunks of delicious seafood.
I was also honored to meet the Mayor of Galway and he obliged to take a selfie with me. I find myself in interesting situations sometimes.
If you enjoy oysters, seafood and a good time, I enthusiastically recommend the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival. It is one of the funnest and finest seafood food festivals around- Happy shucking!
For more information, please visit Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival
The Kings Head – Galway
The Kings Head is in the heart of the tourist trap area of Galway’s Latin Quarter but it is a wonderful old pub. What pulled me in were ‘The Specials’ posted on the front board of the pub. I read “Wild Foraged Mushrooms” and “Sea Trout”, it beat Fish and Chips, so I was game. Nothing wrong with good old Fish and Chips, as I do love a good chippy but it was nice to find out what the local food specials are in a city and try them.
The wild mushrooms were served starter size on crusty bread slices. The local variety mushrooms sautéed with onions were a delectable start. The Sea Trout was fresh and cooked perfectly with the skin still on. The fish course was accompanied by mashed potatoes with a side of greens and were a delicious touch. So, I suppose I did have Fish and Chips but in a different form. It was a very good form though.
If you happen by this place on your travels, please check out ‘The Specials’ board and tell me what you tried!
For restaurant information, please visit The Kings Head
Breakfast at Periwinkle B&B – Galway
My second time in Galway and I wanted to stay away from the main tourist area. I found that Periwinkle B&B was a great choice for my Galway stay. The B&B itself is a beautiful and traditional style home, with all the guest rooms upstairs. My ensuite room was quite spacious and very comfortable. I would love to stay here again.
One of the nicest reasons to stay at Periwinkle are the breakfasts. The house hostess, Jean, was very gracious and made superb breakfasts. I ordered the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for and it was too pretty to eat. It was a beautiful and creative interpretation of the classic toast, scrambled eggs and a side of smoked salmon. There was a variety of breakfast choices that you could choose from but you do need to place your order the day prior. That way Jean can prepare for the following day.
The location was spectacular, Jean was wonderful hostess and everything was terrific. The Periwinkle B & B provided a very nice Galway stay that did both B’s (Bed & Breakfast) very well.
Irish Coffee at The Red Fox Inn – Dingle
Bathroom break or Irish Coffee? That was my tough decision when I entered the Red Fox Inn while taking a day trip to the Dingle Peninsula. I actually did debate running to the ladies room. This girl did a double take with a slow down when I saw that magical elixir being poured into little glasses. Calmer heads prevailed and I ran to the little girls room because the quicker I was out, the longer I had to enjoy my Irish Coffee.
Irish Coffee is simply black coffee with Irish Cream liqueur or made with Irish whiskey and sugar, then topped with cream. Either way, it is a win-win situation. Irish Coffee is definitely not the artificially flavored Irish Cream coffee creamer, I will fight you on that debate! For that true Irish experience, there has to be alcohol in your black coffee.
For bar and restaurant information, please visit The Red Fox Bar – Kerry Bog Village
A Cookie on Inch Beach – Dingle
During low tide, Inch Beach along the Dingle Peninsula is pure magic. When you look towards the sea you may be lucky to witness a type of mirrored reflection, depending on the lighting and clouds. When I visited Inch Beach, I saw that mirrored reflection and it was flawless.
I just could not leave well enough alone and enjoy the glory of Inch Beach by itself. I saw fresh cookies being sold inside a bakery along the beach. I thought to myself, what a great way to delight in the beauty of Inch Beach by walking and eating a chocolate chip cookie. It was meant to be because I used the empty paper bag to carry the little shells that I picked up from along the beach. There are never any coincidences!
Dear Inch, must I leave you. I have promises to keep. Perhaps miles to go to my last sleep– Mural on wall of Inch Beach
Irish Stew along the Ring of Kerry
While roaming through the Ring of Kerry, we stopped into a cozy and scenic restaurant along the coastline. Sadly, I do not remember the name of the place nor the town it was in so I can recommend it to you. There are plenty of restaurants located along the Ring of Kerry that have beautiful views like the one here, I promise you that.
Since it was a very chilly day, I decided on a warm bowl of Irish Stew. I typically do not eat lamb but that day I made the exception. The stew was very good and was the comfort food that I needed on that cold day. I also ordered a glass of Chardonnay and bread pudding for dessert. This bread pudding was over the top sweet but enjoyable just the same. It was topped with a very creamy like caramel sauce which acted like frosting on a cake. It was a quite the heavy meal and I do not think I ate for the rest of the day.
Taking a Class at Celtic Whisky Bar and Larder – Killarney
This is the ultimate whiskey bar! An ultimate whiskey bar that also has a wonderful selection of gin for your tonic, lovely cocktails, a full menu and whiskey pairing classes. Like I said, it is ultimate! This stylish and modern bar is located on New Street in Killarney within the city center.
I came in for a pairing classes one evening. They offer two classes for pairings, a ‘Whiskey and Cheese’ and a ‘Whiskey and Chocolate’ class. I chose the Whiskey and Cheese class although I should have stayed for both classes since I love chocolate too. I figured that I would save the chocolate pairing class for the next time that I am in Killarney.
The class was educational fun and of course, delicious. The variety of cheeses selected were perfect with the selection of whiskies. Our instructor who ran the class was very knowledgeable on whiskies and even suggested a brand for each person depending on their palate. I truly recommend taking a class here, it made for a great evening in Killarney.
For restaurant information, please visit Celtic Whiskey Bar & Larder
Fish & Chips from Mike’s Take Away – Killarney
It was as if my wish had been granted as I was walking through Killarney thinking “I want Fish and Chips. Now” I had just finished my Whiskey and Cheese pairing class and I wanted something simple- pick up and put it in my mouth type of food. Nothing to complex after whiskey! A minute after I wished for fish and chips, I saw Mike’s Take Away and I knew finger foods were in there. I ordered the Fresh Battered Cod and chips and decided to eat in instead of take away.
It took a bit of time which was fine because that meant my food was not under heat lamps. I actually watched the girl behind the counter dredge my fish in batter and put it in the fryer. That was fantastic because it was not frozen, although I did see on the menu that they do serve Frozen Breaded Haddock. After I received my yellow carton of hot food, I found a bandaged up seat and sat myself down. I kinda laughed at myself because I was pretty whiskeyed up and I found myself sitting on a bandaged seat, eating fried foods. That is how it is done, my friends!
For information and location, please visit Mike’s Take Away
Dingle Chocolate Shop – Tralee
I may have gone overboard at the chocolate shop! I stumbled upon this little sweet shop while visiting the town of Dingle. The town itself could be considered what we call, an ‘Ice Cream Licking Tourist Town’. For sure this chocolate shop stands strong amongst the several ice cream places in Dingle.
I was quite overwhelmed by all the sweet deliciousness in this shop because I knew that I had one shot at it. I was only going to be in Dingle for a few more minutes, so the young lady behind the counter helped me out. As you see, I chose four different sweets because I figured that I would eat them in my next few days of traveling.
Everything that I decided on was spot on delicious. The ingredients were fresh which obviously created spectacular sweets. From left to right: Baily’s Irish Cream Liqueur Fudge, Peanut and Pistachio Fudge, Peanut Butter Slice and Rocky Road.
So next time I visit Ireland, I would love to visit the Dingle Chocolate Factory and possibly move in!
For more information, please visit Dingle Chocolate Shop – Wild Irish Chocolates
Lunch at Sheehy’s Anchor Down – Dingle
Tucked away behind a building along the main drag of Dingle is Sheehy’s Anchor Down. I am not sure how I came across this place considering the driver recommended another restaurant. I just started walking, made a left by some of the shops and there I was.
The food at Sheehy’s Anchor Down was excellent. I ordered two courses, the seafood chowder and the local mussels. I received the seafood chowder first and wow, it was truly delicious! The chunks of fresh seafood were filling and the use of dill made for a delightful tasting chowder . The mussels were very fresh and of course local. They do give you a lot of mussels, so if you can share it that may be a good idea. Sadly, I could not finish my lot of mussels because I was so stuffed. The best part about my lunch was washing it down with a lovely glass of chardonnay. It was a splendid lunch in Dingle.
For restaurant information and location, please visit Sheehy’s Anchor Down Restaurant
Breakfast at Ashley Hotel – Cork
There is one thing that I have found common in hotels throughout the UK and Ireland, my fondness for a ‘Cooked Breakfast’. Whether it be one sausages or two, no hash browns but extra toast, I know for sure that I love a good Fry-Up. Although I typically pass on the puddings, black or white, I will eat everything that is plated in front of me.
Ashley Hotel in Cork Ireland, was a nice stay for the price and location. It was an easy walk to both the train station and bus station, as well as the city center. Plus they make one heck of a morning Fry-up!
Traveling is not something you’re good at. It’s something you do like BREATHING!– Gayle Foreman
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