Last Friday, I headed off to Lisdoonvarna for two nights away at the Wild Honey Inn with my daughter Sophia. We knew we were in for a great weekend of wonderful food and new experiences all focused around Slow Food Clare. This was the 6th Annual Slow Food Clare festival and Sophia and I were invited by Birgitta Curtin of Burren Smokehouse to come up on Friday night to kick things off in style with an amazing meal at the Wild Honey Inn.
Guests included Donal Skehan and his girlfriend Sofie Larsson. Dr. Stefan Bergleiter and his wife Janice who flew in from Germany that evening. Peter Thomas from Bellingham Blue cheese in Co. Louth, Chef Michael Hammond and his wife and mother, Catherine Cleary, food writer from The Irish Times along with her husband and her boys and Joe Doyle who works for Enterprise Ireland but helps Birgitta out with Slow Food Clare each year.
The Wild Honey Inn is situated just down the road from the Burren Smokehouse and the Roadside Tavern - where Birgitta's husband has recently started the Burren Brewery. Well worth a visit if you are in the area - I'll be posting more about them later. Wild Honey Inn is run by Chef Aidan McGrath and Kate Sweeney (see below). There is a relaxed style in the restaurant and they do not take bookings but I can assure the food is serious and delicious.
This was the room Sophia and I had on the top floor with lovely views of the surrounding area.
The menu for our meal on Friday night was put together especially for our group and included a starter of Burren Smokehouse Smoked Salmon which came as a terrine or as a salad. Sophia loved the terrine and it was gone in a flash but I got one bite!
The salad version was light and simple with capers and tiny little potatoes.
The second course was a gorgeous risotto with smoked haddock, a quails egg and a creamy mustard sauce - just wonderful.
The main course was a braised and crisp pork cheek. I'd never had pork cheek and I definitely will again. The wild mushrooms and asparagus made it a very hearty meal but again the perfect amount. Sophia was mildly keen on it but as always she tried it - which is all I ask for.
Sophia had Tiramisu which was equally delicious.
What an amazing meal and we met so many lovely people who have become new friends - what was really nice is we met them on Friday night and then saw them all weekend long at various events.
Thanks again to Birgitta for the invitation and to Aidan and Kate for the amazing meal and service. And of course, to all our new friends.
My next post on Slow Food Clare will be Seaweed Foraging up in a few days.
Have a lovely weekend everyone - the weather in Ireland right now is positively magnificent. Long may it last.