Select: Discover a new place through its food

When we think of culinary travelling, we often think of far away lands. But there’s also much to discover on our own island and plenty of people who are willing to show you around

 

One of the best ways to discover a new place is through its food. When we think of culinary travelling, we often think of far away lands. But there’s also much to discover on our own island and plenty of people who are willing to show you around.

Charter a fishing boat in Dingle from Dingle Bay Charters who will take you out to fish for mackerel and pollock. Afterwards, you can bring your catch to John Benny’s pub near the Marina to be cooked up for your supper. A two-hour trip costs €25 per adult, and your fish supper at John Benny’s is additional €10.

If kayaks are more your thing, head to West Cork to discover the secrets of seaweed while on board a kayak. Jim and Marie Kennedy team up with Sally McKenna to share their enthusiasm for the beneficial properties of seaweed. On this four-hour trip, you’ll learn how to harvest seaweed sustainably, how to use it as a natural beauty product and how to cook with it. The trip is €65 per person, which includes all equipment and seaweed tastings. Find out more on atlanticseakayaking.com.

Speaking of Sally McKenna, grab a copy of her and her huband John’s book Where to Eat and Stay on The Wild Atlantic Way if you want to do some self-guided culinary touring along the western coast of Ireland. Buy it at guides.ie/books.

Sticking with the seaweed theme, head west to Connemara to take a tour with Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Company. For €20 per person, you can visit their Connemara abalone farm in Rossaveal and tuck into a tasting of fresh seafood dishes from seafood grown on the farm cooked alongside fresh, local ingredients. 

If it’s land-based foraging you’re more interested in, Waterford’s Dromana House are hosting a talk about growing and foraging for your own herbs and flowers, followed by a foraging walk and demonstration led by expert Aine Marie Reilly. The talk and walk is taking place in the grounds of Dromana House in Cappoquin, Co Waterford, on Sunday 3rd of May from 2pm to 5pm. Tickets are €12 per person with kids under 12 free. Places are very limited so you’re recommended to book by calling (086) 8186305 or emailing bgrubb@eircom.net.

For foraging in the garden county, try one of Brook Lodge’s Wild Food Masterclasses at Macreddin Village in Co Wicklow. Led by Strawberry Tree chef and co-author of Wild Foods Evan Doyle, this one-day masterclass includes a welcome tour of the kitchens and the Wild Foods pantry, the masterclass with Evan Doyle and his chefs, a two course lunch at The Waterside Lounge and some outdoor foraging with the Strawberry Tree’s dedicated wild food forager. The course costs €95 per person and the next scheduled class takes place on Thursday 21st of May. 

If it’s more of a walking tour you’re after, try the Fabulous Food Trails operating out of Dublin and Cork City. Set up by food enthusiast Eveleen Coyle, these walking tours take in the best of the food scene in each city. The walks take place most Friday and Saturdays and cost €55 per person. Tickets include plenty of tastings along the way.

And finally, if you’re looking for something on the Luas line in Dublin, Airfield Trust (near the Ballally Luas stop in Dundrum) host regular workshops with their Head Kitchen Gardener Kitty Scully. She’ll be hosting her Herb-alicious class on 23rd May from 10.30am to 1.30pm. The workshops is €35 per person and you’ll learn how to maintain culinary herbs throughout the summer and learn how to make a garden pesto. Scully and the rest of the Airfield Trust team have been working hard to make their restaurant Overends as sustainable as possible by filling their menu with ingredients from their garden. After you learn about your herbs, treat yourself to a light lunch in Overends light-filled dining space. 

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