Kinsale, Ireland’s Gourmet Capital

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.

Carlton Kinsale

The hotel, located set back in the countryside, with views of Oyster Bay, was gorgeous, clean, and well-appointed.

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Massive lobby windows revealed a typically beautiful Irish landscape and really helped to get us into relaxation mode.

Carlton Kinsale

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.

Kinsale

And found warmth in Vista Wine Bar. Two glasses of Tempranillo and lots of newspaper reading later, I was in vacation mode.

Tempranillo

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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We also dug into local crab cakes with a chili sauce. The Irish are big on sweet chili sauces, and I approve.

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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.)

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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. Winking smile

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!

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Tags: Food, Ireland, Kinsale, Travel, wine

  1. Elizabeth’s avatar

    Those views are stunning. I love day trips to foodie towns.

    Reply

  2. Daisy’s avatar

    this hotel, town and restaurant all look so cozy!

    Reply

  3. Megan’s avatar

    That hotel looks amazing, and all the food sounds so good, especially the mussels and goat cheese!

    Reply

  4. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic’s avatar

    I love all your travel posts. And yes, fried is my friend too!

    Reply

  5. Raija’s avatar

    We had a really great meal at the Blue Haven Restaurant in Kinsale when we went. I loved the little town and walking around the little shops. Next for me is to visit Dingle…

    Reply

  6. Michelle’s avatar

    I love all of your travel posts! Bummer on the laptop but hopefully it will get fixed soon so I can read more about your recent trips. And yes, fried is everyone’s friend. :-)

    Reply

  7. Michelle Collins’s avatar

    Good to know Northern Ireland is worth the trip vs. Kinsale – I definitely plan to get myself there sometime in the next few years!

    Reply

  8. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    Loving the Ireland posts (and, this is almost too silly to write, but I am enjoying learning about all these places that U.S. Irish pubs are named after!)

    Reply

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