"Out of this world," she said it was. Not in the Roussillon or in the Alps or on some exotic sunny island. Just on the Low Road along the seaside beneath the famous Sky Road outside Clifden Connemara. It looks across to the Errislannan peninsula about which the painter Alannah Heather wrote a splendid book two or three years ago.
Anyway our enthusiast who brought up this subject walks along the Low Road from the Coastguard Station where she was staying. Yes, for long a min, it has been turned into a building with seven apartments, a very good job of renovation says our informant who stayed in one of them. What of the choughs, you ask, which used to nest in the old ruin? Lovely black plumage and red beaks and legs. To the inexpert they look like crows or rooks but they are not classed as a corvus in the books. However they give great pleasure with their acrobatics in the air. So what do they do now that they are dispossessed? Well, they are living in the cliffs farther along the road to the west and entertaining, claims the same informant the diners in the Dolphin Beach Restaurant which has opened there in the last year or two. Along this low road the flowers are profuse and in great variety. Even at the top of the tourist season, it is possible to walk the Low Road of an evening and be happy with the flowers, the view across to Errislannan and on out to the horizon.
The Dolphin Beach Restaurant is run by Billy and Barbara Foyle. (That name Foyle has been prominent in hotel life in Clifden for more than half a century. More perhaps.) Anyway after your pleasurable walk you can have snacks with, say tea and scones, or, this year for the first time, dinner. There is a smallish but very good list of crab claws in garlic batter; mussels in garlic butter; oysters; salmon in tarragon sauce and roast lamb. Our friend says she ate, for the first time, purple potatoes. And you can sit outside at table just across from Errislannan harbour.
Apparently the Foyles bought the cottage without any thought of turning it into a restaurant. Their customers are delighted that they did. And for entertainment, we are told, the choughs, between their wonderful soaring flight and their croaky accompaniment, complete the evening.