Ireland is a national culinary treasure that will warm travelers’ hearts and fill their stomachs! With the summer season right around the corner, what better time to start planning the perfect culinary escape to the Emerald Isle? To help, our friends at The Travel Corporation share the top five places to eat and drink around Ireland during your next visit.
1. Cong (County Mayo)
Wine and dine inside secret passageways of a medieval castle
Ashford Castle is the first and only hotel in Ireland to achieve a five-star rating in the Forbes Travel Guide annual awards. The 800-year old medieval castle is situated in a spectacular 350-acre estate with exquisite Irish dining inspired by the finest seasonal ingredients from the West of Ireland.
The Wine Cellars at Ashford Castle offer private wine tastings and wonderful wine dinners in the secret passageways of the castle, which were unearthed during recent renovations. The old servants’ entrance was originally a coal bunker and walkway underneath the castle, where the servants used to come in and get their coal buckets to take up to the rooms. It has now been transformed and the 16th-century tunnels provide three unique private spaces with a cozy ambiance and soft lighting where guests can sample an extensive wine list that has been carefully selected by Ashford Castle’s knowledgeable sommelier.
Soak up the sights of the trendy capital, Belfast, and enjoy a traditional Irish coffee.
Traveling to Northern Ireland, a stop in the trendy capital, Belfast, is a must! Soak in the views of City Hall, Queen’s University and the dock where the Titanic was built and get cozy while you relax in a local café or pub with a traditional Irish Coffee. Usually comprised of hot coffee along with half Irish whiskey and half Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur topped with whipped cream, this is an ultra-traditional Irish beverage. Experience this beautiful destination on Costsaver’s 10-day Britain and Ireland Delight journey.
3. Newtown Jerpoint
Enjoy an authentic and hearty Irish dinner in a local’s home.
From Irish stews to soda bread, the cuisine scene in Ireland is unlike any other! So, what better way to experience authentic Irish delicacies than in a local’s own home?
On Trafalgar’s 8-day Enchanting Emerald Isle adventure, travelers will journey to and explore the remains of the 12th-century Lost Town of Newtown Jerpoint. Here they will receive a warm Irish welcome into the home of Joe and Maeve O’Connell, Trafalgar’s ‘Be My Guest’ hosts and experience an exclusive hearty Irish dinner while enjoying truly authentic Irish hospitality!
Taste the flavors of Galway, the European Capital of Culture for 2020
As the European Capital of Culture for 2020, Galway is full of incredible experiences, events, and creativity this year. Known to be the star of the country’s culinary offerings, it has also been named a top foodie destination for 2020 and was given Ireland’s first European Region of Gastronomy Award in 2018 in recognition of its growing foodie scene.
Galway’s most famous food asset is oysters, so don’t miss the Galway Oyster Festival in September, the oldest ongoing oyster festival in the world. Travelers should note the unique Irish food available for sample (a must) like Irish stew, soda bread, shellfish, colcannon and champ, boiled bacon and cabbage, boxty, black and white pudding, barmbrack, coddle and so much more.
Learn how to pour (and drink) the perfect pint at the Guinness Storehouse and enjoy a dram of whiskey in Temple Bar
It’s impossible to think about the Emerald Isle without picturing a pint of Guinness. The dry, hearty – and legendary – Irish stout is a staple of this country, originating in Dublin. It dates all the way back to 1759 and is now widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful beer brands.
With barley, roast malt extract, hops and brewer’s yeast, this dark beer is a strong one but is an absolute must on your list of things to try on Contiki’s 8-day Ireland journey. Make a day of it and head to the Guinness Factory, where you’ll learn to pour the perfect pint of Guinness and savor your Irish stout from the Gravity Bar, with 360° views over the historic city.
Temple Bar is one of Ireland’s most famous neighborhoods. It’s widely known for its bustling pubs, cobbled lanes and the iconic, aptly named, “The Temple Bar Pub.” Dating back to 1840, it boasts one of the largest whiskey collections in the country with over 450 different kinds on offer.
Whether you visit the Temple Bar Pub or opt to try a different spot in the neighborhood, you’re guaranteed lively nightlife, classic pub fare and a whale of a time bonding in Dublin with your new Contiki family!