NOTE: UPDATE August 2019 – to the best of my knowledge The Cafe is not currently open and wasn’t last summer either – i do hope that changes and if it does I will update again……...
Shhhh. Go find it and then don’t tell anyone where it is. Amazing coffee, the world’s best chocolate brownies and scenery that you will find nowhere else in the world – Three Castle Head Cafe in West Cork has it all. And besides that it is a happy place with a happy workforce and such a fabulous welcome that you feel like an old friend. When we were there today we met a lone traveller who could not stop smiling as he enjoyed his cup of tea and the vista. He was just bursting with declarations of what an amazing place this is. And it is. Go find it (it’s near Barleycove) and you will never need to go anywhere else.
If you’re Irish you’ve heard of The Mizen, you’ve heard of Schull, The Fastnet, Crookhaven and Barleycove Beach but have you heard of Goleen? I’m often met with a “where’s that?” when I announce that I’m off to Goleen on my holidays and I’ve been returning there every summer since my childhood. It is as unspoiled a village as you will find in Ireland and the ultimate destination if you’re looking to truly unwind and switch off in West Cork.
I’ll go anywhere for a decent cup of coffee and since ‘Along the Way’ has recently opened in Goleen village I’ve been stopping in when I can. The scones are melt in the mouth delicious (there’s secret or two in there) and freshly baked along with an array of cakes, brownies, cookies and cupcakes by Kate Kelly every morning.
With the rising popularity of cycling in Ireland I’ve noticed many are now making their stop-off here for a caffeine hit ‘Along the Way’ to Crookhaven, Mizen, Schull or wherever. For now it may be a stop-off point but as word spreads it won’t be long until it is the destination. With Best Wishes for every success to Colin and Sarah Jane Moynihan.
‘Til next time,
If you’ve come to these pages in search of a recipe let me direct you towards one that I published last year for Mother’s Day. An indulgent treat, a sublime concoction in the form of a chocolate orange mousse cake.
I do my cooking, baking, recipe experimentation and photography at the weekends but last weekend was different to most. It was time for a rest.
A break away to Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa could not have come at a better time for this particular food blogger. Overwhelmed with the release of my first book ‘Gimme the Recipe’ last Thursday, a sojourn to this tucked-away West Cork coastal jem provided the peace and time needed to unwind, adjust and re-energise.
This complimentary weekend (organised by Conway Communications & Inchdoney Lodge & Spa) brought together a number of Irish Food Bloggers and partners and from our arrival on Friday evening to departure at lunchtime on Sunday we got more than a taste of what’s on offer to the weary worn.
A casual 3 course dining experience in The Dunes Pub & Bistro on Friday evening showcased the finest of local and Irish produce from seafood to meat platter to West Cork Cheese Slate.
Let me tease you with the following, billed as
‘A Little Taste of West Cork’: West Cork Seafood Chowder flavoured with a Hint of Michael Collins Whiskey, Smoked Salmon from Ummera Smokehouse Timoleague, Homemade Skeaghanore Duck Liver Paté, with a Inchydoney Tomato and Chilli Jam, Crisp Fried Atlantic Seafood Cake served with Homemade Tartar Sauce, West Coast Crab Claws Tossed in Fresh Garlic, Ginger and Parsley Butter and Fresh Bantry Bay Mussels.
That was the starter, yes, the starter! Just in case you think these are a list of choices, they were not, you got a more than substantial taste of each of them before pressing on to either a fish or meat platter and then the cheese slate.
Breakfast on Saturday was followed by a fishing expedition and we langoured on gently bobbing waves blessed with serenely calm waters while our casting and reeling was sporadically rewarded with yields of coalfish and pollock. Some too small to keep were eased back to the sea but one of my Pollock made its way to our lunch time bar-b-que later at the hotel. As well as fishing expeditions the hotel offers the opportunity to try out numerous outdoor pursuits including sea kayaking and seaweed foraging the virtues of which were extolled to us later that evening by Sally McKenna of Bridgestone Guides and Jim Kennedy of Atlantic Sea Kayaking.
A restful afternoon saw a walk on the beach and a trip to the Island Spa for a ‘Cleopatra Honey & Milk Bath.’
If I were to list the contents of our 7 course evening ‘A Taste of West Cork’ menu I would be pushing you over the edge, again I’ll just offer you a tiny tease.
Oysters and Pearls Home-Smoked Giga Oysters bound with Fresh Cod Roe
from Con Murphy of Shellfish de la Mer, Dinish Island
A number of the Inchydoney Island suppliers joined us for the meal and at our table in the Inchydoney Room we were in the company of Con Murphy of Shellfish de la Mer and Avril Allshire of Caherbeg Free Range Pork Ltd., & Rosscarbery Recipes. We sat down to eat soon after 8pm and continued until after midnight, this was a truly epic dining experience.
Quality and service were equally outstanding and with a full-house to cater to in the Gulfstream Restaurant as well as the Inchydoney room this was no easy task. Getting to meet the chefs was a lovely finishing touch that rounded off the evening.
We extended our weekend with a slight detour to take up the very kind invitation of Anthony Creswell of Ummera Smokehouse, Timoleague for a guided tour of his impressive smokehouse ably assisted by his son Conor who showed off some of their awards.
While we packed plenty in to our stay, nothing was hurried and time, particularly when out at sea, moved slowly. Go, rest and have fun. West Cork Awaits…..
Til next time, Sheila.