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Enjoy a magical journey of two very special and unique areas of Ireland’s West Coast: The Burren and Connemara; where the landscapes and environment have shaped a culture and its people. You will experience the Good Food Ireland family of members, hear their stories and discover Ireland’s culture through their unique authentic cuisine.
The welcome is warm and the food delicious at Carrygerry House, the lovely home of Gillian and Niall Ennis, in Clare. Their elegant residence, dating back to 1793, has large gardens, period furnishings, and enjoys views of the Shannon. It is remarkably peaceful, yet just 3 kIlometers from Shannon Airport (SNN). Gillian always takes the trouble to welcome guests at the imposing front door on arrival and waves them off again on departure. During your stay here, you will feel cherished, appreciated, and well looked after, which is exactly what you want from a country house experience. It is the personal touch which brings visitors back time and again. At Carrygerry House, rest and relaxation are taken very seriously indeed. All bedrooms are luxurious and comfortable and some have four poster beds. Period furnishings are in keeping with the style of the house, but every modern comfort is here too. The bedrooms combine the best of old and new in a style of their own.
The magnificent scenery of Connemara can be appreciated to the fullest at The Connemara Coast Hotel. This luxurious four-star hotel sits on the beautiful and renowned western coastline, right on the sea looking across Galway Bay and out to the Aran Islands beyond. A variety of stylish bedrooms include the beautiful split level presidential suite, with a roaring turf fire and a balcony that offers unbeatable vistas. All rooms are superbly furnished, with every comfort you need during your stay.
The Coast Club Leisure Center boasts a gorgeous pool with swimming instruction, fitness, massages, and therapy rooms, with fully trained staff and specific fitness classes during the week; all available for club members and hotel residents. Two, all weather tennis courts, with stunning seaviews provide an outdoor workout experience second to none. This is a good all round family hotel. with plenty of intimate spaces for those alone or in couples.
An upstairs residents lounge provides a great spot to take tea or coffee and have a read of the daily newspapers. Two restaurants offer differing styles, Daly's is the all day restaurant, with a general menu for lunch and dinner, especially suitable for families, and The Gallery Restaurant is a fine dining option for the evenings,bwith chef Kevin Cleary's menu, showcasing the best in local produce and great wine matches. If you fancy a pint afterwards, the lively Sin Sceile Eile bar has a comfy cocktail lounge, for relaxing in style, and a traditional pub ambience around the bar area. Bar food and light snacks are also served here during the day.
Set on the edge of the Atlantic with its back to the mountains, it is reached by a drive from Galway through the rugged and mysterious landscape of Connemara. When you get here, you get to paradise; a true haven of comfort and good food, with the family welcome always on offer. In fact, this is one of the special places in Ireland that makes you feel as if you live here. There are two fireplaces blazing in the cheerful and cozy entrance hall and lounge. Renvyle's 68 spacious and comfortable bedrooms are well designed, with rooms in both the old and newer areas. All materials are sourced in Ireland; wood is from Roundstone, the beautiful throws on the beds are Irish tweed, bed linen is from Cork, carpets are Curragh, and bathrooms are tiled with magnificent Connemara marble. The library is comfortable and the adjoining conservatory is bright and sunny, with large windows overlooking the decking and gardens outside. The furnishing also mantains the simple arts and crafts period of this house.
Aside from the relaxing lounge areas and great food, there is a range of outdoor pursuits in Renvyle. Tennis, golf, a heated swimming pool in the summer months, croquet, and lawn bowls. There is also trout fishing and, if you are lucky enough to catch one, you may get to eat it for supper. A child's playground has been innovatively planted with peas around the edges so that visitors can pick and eat as they like. You can also enjoy walks around the grounds, which include the beautiful rose garden, the herb garden, and the orchard, or you can go to the nearby beaches.
Arrive at Shannon Airport (SNN). A warm Good Food Ireland welcome awaits you at the lovely home of Niall and Gillian Ennis: Carrygerry Country House, in County Clare. This period country house is just a short distance from the airport.
A complimentary Good Food Ireland gourmet gift box of Irish artisan food treats awaits for you at your arrival. At your leisure, enjoy a visit to the nearby Bunratty Castle and Folk Park.
There, you will get a taste of Ireland’s past with a majestic 15th century castle, a typical big house, a walled garden, and a folk park, which recreates rural Irish life from the last century with old shops, a pub, a quaint post office, and everything a typical Irish village of the time would have had.
Enjoy a relaxed evening dinner in the Conservatory Restaurant, where the hospitality is as warm as the roaring fire and the dinner menu shines with local produce. Chef Niall and his wife, Gillian, will set you up for a memorable experience.
After breakfast, depart Carrygerry Country House and travel to Lisdoonvarna, following the north bound signposts for the Wild Atlantic Way.
You will pass the Shannon Estuary, Labasheeda, and the stunning viewpoint at Loop Head.
As you turn up the coast, the real beauty of the Atlantic Ocean is revealed. The Cliffs of Moher and Visitor Center are on this road. Ireland’s most famous sea cliffs stand 214m tall, with a sheer drop into the ocean, which is quite a sight.
Be sure to pop into Doolin Chocolate Shop, home of the family of artisan chocolate makers, Wilde Irish Chocolates. Taste unique artisan bars, chocolate slices, and fudge varieties, all handmade in the Banner County. Be sure to take home a little chocolate souvenir.
Later, go to the Burren Smokehouse and Visitor Center in Lisdoonvarna, where you will find one of Good Food Ireland’s top master smokers and brewers, Peter and Birgitta Curtin.
Enjoy a talk and tasting of their home produced smoked Irish organic salmon and learn about the life cycle of the salmon and Burren Smokehouse’s special smoking techniques with a hands-on demonstration of the kiln.
A short walk just up the road is the family’s Burren Storehouse, with its own microbrewery, the Burren Brewery. You will enjoy Peter’s passionate creations, with a tasting of his three brews: Burren Gold, Burren Red, and Burren Black, followed by a glass of your favourite.
If time allows, have a light lunch in The Roadside Tavern, which is Peter and Birgitta’s cozy pub-restaurant and one of the oldest in Clare, before making your way onwards, through the heart of the Burren, via quaint Irish coastal villages like Ballyvaughan.
Drive around Ballyvaughan Bay and into Galway, passing Clarinbridge, famous for its fine oysters. As you make your way on to your overnight accommodation, stop at Linnalla Farmhouse Ice Cream, on poet Seamus Heaney’s Flaggy Shore of Galway Bay, which provides a chance to meet the Fahy’s, dairy farmers who produce their own ice cream.
This wonderful ice cream is made from the milk of their own cows that graze there on the Atlantic coast, giving the ice cream its unique taste and flavour. Via Galway city, you will join the wild Atlantic way route to the Connemara Coast Hotel, with its beautiful scenic view overlooking Galway Bay.
On a clear day, from the rear of this hotel, you can see the Burren landscape on the other side of the bay. Overnight this evening at the Connemara Coast Hotel, which offers the chance to take a relaxing beach stroll before dinner in Daly’s Restaurant.
After breakfast at your hotel, you will enjoy a day of leisure. Follow the signposts for the wild Atlantic way north, along the coast to Rossaveel, for an optional ferry trip to Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands. Step back in time to island life as it was and still is out in the Atlantic.
Experience the breath taking scenery at Dún Aonghasa, an Iron Age fort, with spectacular chevaux-de-frise. Stand there and marvel at the view and consider why and how they built this magnificence fort. Later, return for a second overnight in the Connemara Coast Hotel.
Dinner this evening is in Ann and Kevin Dunne’s lovely White Gables Restaurant, in the nearby village of Moycullen. Their stone walled restaurant has an eye-catching cottage look and, once inside, you will get a lovely warm feeling and discover the Irish hospitality. Cooking is traditional and, as you would expect, it will be focused around local Irish seafood, as well as the local Connemara beef and lamb.
Depart Connemara Coast Hotel, along the wild Atlantic way north, stopping to visit the Robert’s family Connemara Smokehouse in beautiful Ballyconneely, another of Good Food Ireland’s top smokehouses, with years of tradition and excellence. The smokehouse is perched on the headland, surrounded by white sandy beaches.
You will meet the second generation fish smoker, Graham Roberts, for a tour of the smokehouse and tastings of his wonderful smoked fish products. Experience the individual tastes and secrets of fish smoking from smokehouse to smokehouse.
The next stop is the magical Connemara National Park, with its mountains, lakes, country walks, and rambling tracks. A not to be missed tour with lunch at leisure en route.
Today, you will have dinner and spend the night at the Coyle’s Renvyle House Hotel, a family run historic country house with a wonderful restaurant, the Róisín Dubh.
The head chef, Tim O’Sullivan, creates a gourmet experience with regional specialities, including fresh Atlantic seafood and Connemara Hill lamb, in the Renvyle House Restaurant. Tonight, you will experience Tim’s 5-course gourmet dinner and local, seasonal delights.
After breakfast, follow the wild Atlantic way north to Murrisk in County Mayo. Should you fancy a stop, Good Food Ireland suggests the scenic location of Myles and Ruth O’ Brien’s cozy Irish pub and restaurant, The Tavern in Murrisk, which is only a short walk away from the entrance to Croagh Patrick, the holy mountain of Ireland’s patron saint: Saint Patrick.
Travel onwards to Newport, to meet another of the local artisan food producers. This time it’s all about black pudding. Head to Kelly’s Kitchen Café for a talk and tasting with the Kelly family, a family with longstanding tradition as artisan butchers in County Mayo.
The butcher shop, Kelly’s of Newport, has stood proudly next door for the last 85 years. Experience the taste of traditional Putóg, Kelly’s speciality sausages, and their infamous black and white puddings, all produced from old family recipes.
Driving onwards, you will go to the county town of County Mayo, Castlebar, Rua Deli, Bakery, and Café for a light lunch. The McMahon family's Café combines quirky interior design with flagship Mayo produce on the menu. There, you will savour the unique flavours of Mayo’s indigenous foods.
You will see the Céide Fields in North County Mayo, the most extensive Stone Age landscape in the world and the oldest enclosed farming landscape in Europe.
Return to Renvyle House through the tiny hamlet of Cong, setting for John Wayne’s famous movie, The Quiet Man, and famous for the Cong Cross, an important archaic cross of intricate metal work from Ireland’s Early Christian period.
Pass Maam, derived from the Gaelic word meaning mountain pass, and Leenane, where John B. Keane’s play, The Field, was filmed. The cast stayed at Renvyle House during the filming and the lead actor, the late Richard Harris, was known to have declared the food magnificent.
Once again, you will be able to enjoy the sumptuous tastes of regional culinary cuisine with dinner at the Renvyle House Hotel, where you will also spend the night.
After a mouth-watering breakfast, leave Renvyle House and head to Galway city for lunch in Aoibheann McNamara’s Ard Bia Nimmos Restaurant, at the Spanish Arch in Galway City.
Browse around after lunch and discover a lively city with street performance, art, and culture on offer at all times of the year.
For your final night, you will go back to Gillian and Niall Ennis at Carrygerry House, where you will enjoy a farewell dinner and spend the night.
Depart Carrygerry House for you return flights from Shannon Airport (SNN).
This holiday will take place in The Burren and Connemara, Ireland. You will visit County Clare, County Galway, and County Mayo.
There is no better way of understanding a culture than by eating its food. Eat your way around the island of Ireland as you get exclusive access to the people behind the best Irish food and hear their fascinating stories.
Good Food Ireland is a trusted quality guarantee for premium authentic local food experiences. It is a family of members, all sharing a passionate philosophy and commitment to using local, Irish, seasonal produce. They journey up and down the country, independently inspecting all their members to ensure they meet Good Food Ireland's promise to you.
They offer uniquely connected experiences and unparalleled access, with a wealth of knowledge like no one else. With ten years of showcasing and defining Ireland’s food scene, Good Food Ireland has a proven track record and expertise. Their authentic cultural food travel experiences are designed to immerse you in the farm to fork life that inspires them every day. Let them share their secrets with you.
During your holiday, your palate will be surprised with daily breakfast, one lunch at Rua Deli, Bakery, and Café, two dinners in the Conservatory Restaurant at Carrygerry Country House, one dinner at Connemara Coast Hotel, one 3-course dinner with tea and coffee at White Gables Restaurant, and two 5-course dinners at Renvyle House Hotel.
You will also stop at Burren Smokehouse to taste home produced, smoked Irish organic salmon; visit Burren Storehouse for a tasting of delicious brews; enjoy a tasting of delicious ice cream at Linnalla Farmhouse Ice Cream; taste smoked fish products and take part in a talk at Connemara Smokehouse; and visit Kelly’s Kitchen for traditional Putóg and their infamous black and white puddings.
You will receive a Good Food Ireland gourmet prepaid MasterCard, worth 50 EUR, for you to spend on food and choose from a variety of restaurants, such as The Roadside Tavern and The Tavern in Murrisk.
The closest airport is Shannon Airport (SNN).