And the travel eating posts continue! I have so many photos of Ireland and Stowe that it may take me awhile to get through the posts, with recipes and wine posts sprinkled in. Oh and have I mentioned my defective hard drive? My laptop is still with the Geek Squad waiting for a new hard drive and recovery disk. Grrrrr. I am sharing my husband’s laptop with him and using my (literally) taped-together old laptop to get by. As a result I am way behind on getting posts done. And since I couldn’t back up, some posts and pics are trapped on my sad laptop.
Usually when we go to Galway to visit family, we plan a trip somewhere else. We’ve gone to Prague, Italy, Brussels, and other parts of Ireland. This time around we hoped to visit the Champagne region of France, but poor planning and pricey flights kept us in Ireland.
To get away, we decided to head to Ireland’s gourmet capital, Kinsale. We booked a room at the beautiful, fairly new Carlton Spa Hotel, and we were on our way.
The hotel, located set back in the countryside, with views of Oyster Bay, was gorgeous, clean, and well-appointed.
Massive lobby windows revealed a typically beautiful Irish landscape and really helped to get us into relaxation mode.
We arrived a little weary from the drive from Galway, so I stretched out in a hot bath before getting ready to hit the town of Kinsale. It was so chilly and rainy, but we forged ahead.
And found warmth in Vista Wine Bar. Two glasses of Tempranillo and lots of newspaper reading later, I was in vacation mode.
Vista’s beautiful views, coupled with the cozy atmosphere provided the perfect place to relax, and their by-the-glass wine selection was sweet. Reading the paper in a wine bar is one of my vacation favorites.
Kinsale’s Good Food Circle is known for its gourmet restaurant members, and I spent some time browsing the selection before deciding on Jim Edwards. Inside and out, Jim Edwards looks pretty much like just a pub. At first, I was a little disappointed by this as we have visited many pubs, but the food and service changed my mind.
We went a little crazy, ordering a ton of starters to share as our meal. How about some mussels stuffed with buttery garlic bread crumbs? Irish seafood is perfection, and the crunch that these crumbs added made sweet and tasty mussels even better.
You kind of have to eat oysters in Ireland, and we went for them grilled with beurre blanc. Salty briny oysters with a creamy butter? Heaven!
We also dug into local crab cakes with a chili sauce. The Irish are big on sweet chili sauces, and I approve.
And finally, we went for the fried goat cheese salad because, can you really go wrong with fried goat cheese? (Strangely enough, almost every type I go to type “fried” I end up typing “friend”. Fried is my friend.)
We enjoyed our meal with glasses of Sauvignon Blanc. By the time we made it through all of these dishes, we were too stuffed, even for banoffee pie. Of course, an hour later I wanted some!
Our hotel featured a great leisure center with a hot tub, sauna, steam room, and pool, so instead of going out for drinks after dinner, we went swimming and enjoyed the facilities. Don’t worry, we waited 30 minutes before swimming.
Kinsale was a fun experience, but to be honest, I would not rush back. The reason? I love going North in Ireland. To me it is far more beautiful and rustic and makes me happy. Still, a visit to Kinsale together (we had both been alone) was a nice treat!