Farmgate Cafe, Cork: Oysters, lamb stew and apple tart. If you haven’t been yet, get here soon
Restaurant review: The English Market cafe sets a standard anywhere in Ireland should be proud to follow
The balcony at the Farmgate Cafe, in the English Market in Cork: A bowl of piping-hot lamb stew is everything the day outside needs. Photograph: Jessica Spengler/Flickr
There’s a musical plink of raindrops on beer kegs along the narrow laneway to Cork’s English Market before you duck in out of the day into the smell of food. I last visited with the retired west Cork cheesemaker Bill Hogan. We found one of the final pieces of Gabriel, his beloved cheese, on a stall and bought a crumbling chunk of vanishing food history. The rind on the hunk of cheese was so funky it had turned brown and flaky like the bark of a tree.
Hogan’s legal battle made history over a decade ago when he won the right to sell his cheese despite a TB outbreak. The court cases were revealing about the underlying State attitude to farming: large-scale industrial dairy good, small artisan cheesemaking bad.