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Travelireland Volume 3 Issue 32 December 2016


A ball will be had at

A fitting tribute

Dublin Bowie Festival Taste of

Roscrea A Night at the Museum Belfast

Blarney Castle in Winter

The New Years Festival Dublin The Snow Queen at Smock Alley

Waterford Winterval Festival

in full swing

Pat Liddy explores Christmas Traditions in Dublin


4 Welcome To Leinster 6 New Year's Festival Dublin 8 Theatre 10 David Bowie Festival 12 The Snow Queen 14 Christmas in Dublin by Pat Liddy 16 Leinster Restaurants 19 Leinster Pubs 20 Shopping 22 Explore Leinster 24 Welcome to Munster 26 Blarney Castle 28 Munster Pubs 29 Munster Restaurants 30 Waterford Winterval Festival 32 Explore Munster 34 Artisan Food & Drink 36 Winter Wonderland and Christmas Carnival 38 Welcome to Connaught 39 Explore Connaught 40 A Taste of Roscrea 42 Connaught Restaurants 43 Connaught Pubs 44 Welcome To Ulster 46 Explore Ulster 47 Ulster Pubs 48 Ulster Restaurants 49 Night at the Museum 50 Great Irish Writers

Ellen Media Communications Ltd Father Matthew Hall Second Floor, 131 Church St, Dublin 7. Tel: 01 561 2431 / 087 911 3732 Travel Ireland Magazine @traveliremag

Willkommen-Bienvenida-Bienvenue-Welcome! To our December issue. Whether this is your first time visiting our shores or you are returning once again to trace the steps of your distant ancestors, here at Travel Ireland we hope in some small way to be able to gently guide you as you plan your stay here. With Christmas looming on the horizon it’s a time for families and what better way to get into the festive spirit than with a trip to the amazing Winterval in Waterford or Winter Wonderland in Westport House? As we roll in the New Year, Dublin will come alive with the New Year’s Festival while a true legend will be celebrated at the Dublin Bowie Festival. The Snow Queen gets a revamp at Smock Alley and Pat Liddy takes us through the fascinating history of Christmas traditions in Dublin. Whatever you end up doing, we at Travel Ireland wish you a hefty and heart-felt Céad míle fáilte, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy your stay.




Published by Ellen Media Communications Ltd Publisher John Carey Features Writer Mark O’Brien Design & Art Direction Outburst Design Advertising John Carey (, 01 561 2431, 087 911 3732) Aran Sheehan (, 085 711 0826) Contributors: Pat Liddy, Angeline Le Mercier, Adam Patterson Photography, John McCurdy, Paula Moore, Patrick O’ , Stephen Walker, Ivan Donoghue, Joleen Cronin, Richard Eibrand, Padraig O’Donnell, Michael McLaughlin, Carl Mark O’Neill. We wish to record our thanks to Michael Bates, Failte Ireland, The Office of Public Works and the National Monuments Service, Dept of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the National Trust-Giants Causeway (NI) for their help and guidance in the production of this edition. We would also like to thank Paddy Donovan, Ed Reeve, Carr Cotter and Naessens, and for the use of their images. Ellen Media Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Ellen Media Communications Limited does not accept responsibility for any advertising content. All unsolicited manuscripts will not be accepted or returned. No material may be used in whole or in part without the publishers prior consent. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of all the events information or recommendations on this site, no responsibility will be accepted by Ellen Media Communications Ltd, its editorial team, designers, authors or agents acting on their behalf for alterations, errors or omissions which may occur.



Leinster - The East Coast Province Leinster is the most easterly of the four provinces of Ireland, and is the most populated with the city of Dublin at its heart. The province is made up of counties Dublin, Louth, Meath, Carlow, Kildare, Wicklow, Laois, Offaly, Longford, Westmeath, Kilkenny and Wexford. These counties have a host of historic monuments, a picture perfect coastline and cities and villages thronged with things to do and see. County Dublin is the home to the capital city. Dublin is the administrative, cultural, and economic capital of the country. It is one of the most exciting places to visit with a thriving arts, musical and theatrical nightlife. All roads lead to Saint Stephen’s Green in the very centre of the city. You’ll find it at the top of Grafton Street, with Trinity College down at the other end. And just around the corner you can stroll around the cultural quarter of Temple Bar between Dame Street and the river that, famously, divides the North and the South of the city. If you want to escape to the country without

GPO, Dublin actually leaving the city, then you can head north to Howth Head, or south to the charming and culturally vibrant villages of Dalkey and Killiney. Half an hour on the DART train will take you from the centre of the city to what feels like the heart of the country. County Meath formerly known as the Royal County is the ancient seat of the High Kings of Ireland who were based around the Hill of Tara. Meath is also one of the most archaeologically important counties on the island with its Neolithic sites at Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. These ancient religious sites (built before the Pyramids) have been excavated and restored in recent years making them some of the busiest visitors’ attractions in the country. The sites are all only less than an hour’s drive out of Dublin and are accessible

Stephen’s Green Park through the Bru Na Boinne Visitors Centre. The county also features the site of the Battle of the Boyne which was one of the great battles fought on Irish soil. For horse racing lovers, Meath has the wonderful Fairyhouse Racecourse, and there is also summertime horse racing on Laytown Beach. County Wicklow has several world famous sites and attractions, from the Glendalough monastic settlement with its Abbey and Round Tower, to the fabulous Powerscourt House and Gardens. The Wicklow Hills rising majestically over the county and the seaside town of Bray are just some of its many attractions. Offaly is situated in the centre of Ireland. Nestling between the Shannon River to the West and the Slieve Bloom Mountains to the East, Offaly is one of the lowest lying counties in the country. Any visitor should travel along the Royal Canal where one can experience a peace and tranquillity little known in our busy world. Kildare is the home of the National Stud, Newbridge Silverware and Maynooth College. Couple all these with Mondello Park motor racing, Naas horse racing course and Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park and there is something for everyone. Westmeath is a county which has at its heart the town of Athlone which is exactly situated in the middle of Ireland. It is home to the RTÉ

St Kevin’s Church, Glendalough All-Ireland Drama Festival, the oldest pub in Ireland and some of the finest golfing, fishing and health spas on offer throughout the land. Louth is known as “the wee county” as it is the

smallest county in Ireland but what it lacks in land mass it makes up for in places to see. It is the home of the Cooley Mountains, the Boyne river which is famous for its salmon fishing and the beautiful Carlingford area. If it is a leisurely drive you seek Louth is the place to go. Carlow is where you will find three of Ireland’s key national walking routes – the South Leinster, the Barrow and the Wicklow Ways. Carlow is blessed with hundreds of miles of excellent and varied walking trails, and hosts a wonderful arts festival every June. Laois is where you can try your hand at a

Round Tower, Glendalough

range of activities from paintballing in the Stradbally Woods to western-style riding at Fossey Mountain, bowls at the only indoor bowls stadium in the Republic or tie a fly at the unique Irish Fly-fishing and Game shooting Museum. Kilkenny City was voted Ireland’s Top Tourism Town for 2013 by Failte Ireland which is Ireland’s main tourism body. It was voted Cleanest Town in Ireland at end of 2013 by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL), and has also been voted 9th friendliest city in the world by readers of Conde Nast Traveler. The city was in addition voted Most Friendliest City in Europe. Couple all these awards with a huge countywide cultural heritage trail and it is a must see destination for any visitor. Longford is situated in the basin of the River Shannon and the upper catchment area of the River Erne. It is ideally located in the heart of the Lakelands region within easy reach of many stunning and historic tourist attractions. The county’s accessibility to many of Irelands main towns and cities make it a prime location as a holiday base. Finally, Wexford is famous for its glorious sandy coastline and together with County Waterford is known as ‘The Sunny South East’. You can also visit the oldest lighthouse in Europe which stands on the Hook Peninsula. So now you know, whether you are a family group, a couple, or a single traveller, there is something for everyone in Leinster!

THE ARCADE GALLERY Georges street arcade

South great Georges street Dublin 2 Collection of art by Neil Armstrong Jude Maurice Fitzgerald John Frazer Ludmilla korol Chris Mc Morrow Plus others Prices from 10 euro to 300 euro Facebook Maurice art dublin at georges street arcade Dublin 2 Meet one of the artists any day of the week. Phone 0851651543 Email




What better way to bring in the New Year than by gathering together with family and friends to enjoy some of the best talent that Ireland has to offer at the New Year’s Festival Dublin. Now in its third year, the festival just keeps on growing. Last year’s festival attracted over 20,000 international visitors and this year promises to be even bigger with a host of free and family friendly events - from concerts, to walking trails, pop-up street performances and more - that are all guaranteed to engage, entertain and excite from 30 December to 1 January.

“This year the theme is ‘More than a Midnight moment’ and there is a wide range of new and exciting events over the three days such as the New Year’s Day concert and many free arts, cultural, and pop up events taking place all over Dublin,” said Head of Dublin with Fáilte Ireland, Keelin Fagan, at the launch of this year’s event. “Once more, we look forward to welcoming many local and international visitors to Dublin at the end of this year.” Those visitors will be greeted by the amazing sight of Luminosity at the Custom House all through the festival. For three days, one of Dublin’s most iconic buildings will transform into a magical story each evening thanks to stunning 3D light projections. On New Year’s Eve, Fidget Feet will integrate with Luminosity to perform their spectacular Sky Dance. Aerialists and abseilers will fly across the building and overhead during this spectacular, jaw-dropping free outdoor aerial performance that is not to be missed. Other early highlights of the festival include Ré with Tunes at St Patrick’s Cathedral and the Lingo NYF Poetry Slam, which both take place on 30 December. Ré’s star studded lineup includes the hugely talented Dublin piper Maitiú Ó Casaide and Eithne Ní Chatháin (Inni-K), a highly celebrated traditional singer and fiddle player, while founding members of the Hothouse Flowers, Liam Ó Maonlaí and



revered songwriter Peter O’Toole will be joined on stage by Brendan Begley.The Lingo NYF Poetry Slam will be hosted by comedian Colm O’Regan.This high-energy event is an eclectic mix of everything from the comical to the contemporary, bringing some of Ireland’s best and most exceptional spoken word performance to the live stage.

Of course, you’ll need somewhere to go to countdown the New Year and where better than the 3 Countdown Concert? Taking place on Stephen’s Green South, join The Blizzards, Brian Deady, Little Hours and headliners Walking On Cars for a spectacular gig that will ring in 2017 in style.Tickets to see the cream of Irish talent on New Year’s Eve are just €27.90 and are available from The fun doesn’t stop when the clock strikes 12 though as there is a full programme of events on New Year’s Day. Enjoy a free family concert at St Stephen’s Green in the afternoon, featuring the Garda Band and the amazing Dublin Gospel Choir. Probably the only act in the world to collaborate with artists as diverse as Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Damien Rice, Rod Stewart, Outkast, Take That and Kodaline,The Dublin Gospel Choir have amazed audiences all over Europe with a brilliantly adaptable repertoire of songs.Their annual slot at Ireland’s internationally-acclaimed boutique festival Electric Picnic is now legendary.Their creative interpretation of contemporary pop and rock numbers are a joy to behold and are a perfect way to sooth the soul and wash away any New Year’s cobwebs. The Garda Band have performed at many international events and

have represented the country on a number of occasions at police festivals and concerts in Switzerland, Germany and Northern Ireland. They also have a long association performing at Ireland's rugby and soccer internationals, the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin and the Rose of Tralee Festival. Later that evening, it’s time to head to the historic Christchurch Cathedral for the Sunday Assembly. Presented in partnership with the mental health arts festival First Fortnight, the Sunday Assembly will help get your New Year off to the perfect start, with an evening of pure singalong classics, incredible talks and a celebration of life. Hosted by Sanderson Jones (Radio 4, BBC, CNN) with music from Paddy Cullivan (Late Late Show), the Mellow Tonics Choir join NYF Dublin and First Fortnight for an inspirational evening of music, comedy and poetry. These great events, along with Mura Masa and Bonzai,The NYF Dublin Music Trail, pop-up street performances, guerrilla gardening in the city, unusual walking tours, and a whole host of exciting cultural events make Dublin the place to be this New Year as the city says out with the old and in with the new at NYF Dublin.



Theatre Mermaid Arts Centre Des Bishop Grey Matters

Des Bishop is embracing his grey hair and allowing the wisdom of his years to inspire his new standup show. Grey Matters tackles the issues that Des finds himself facing up to as he gets older, including returning to live in New York, gender and marriage equality, dating a Chinese woman and the dangers of Snapchat. 17 December Tel: 01 2724043 or visit Also in the Mermaid Arts Centre this month; Bray Alcohol Awareness Campaign Showcase (1 December), Boom? (2 - 3 December), The Commune (5 December), Phil Coulter - Festival Reflections with his Guests (6 - 7 December), Cinderella & Rockerfella (9 - 10 December), Masquerade - Junior Musicals (11 December), Up For Love (12 December), CoisCéim Dance Theatre - The Wolf and Peter (14 - 16 December), The Holiday (15 December), Carols by Candlelight for LauraLynn Children’s Hospice with Paul Byrom (15 December), Eimear Quinn (16 December), Frozen Sing Along (17 December), It’s A Wonderful Life (19 December), Scrooged (20 December), The Santa Claus (21 December) and Ballet Ireland - The Nutcracker (22 - 23 December).

Bord Gáis Energy Theatre Big The Musical

Big The Musical, based on the film of the same name starring Tom Hanks, makes its European debut at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. This heartwarming tales tells the story of a young boy whose wish to be an adult is granted. Trapped in an adult’s body and alone in New York, he tries to make his way in the grown-up world and reminds some adults how to have fun along the way.

The Abbey Theatre Anna Karenina

Director Wayne Jordan reunites with writer Marina Carr for a fresh look at Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Russia is changing, chaos is looming and families are falling apart. An examination of a country in the midst of extraordinary change, Anna Karenina looks at the troubling cost of love on a human’s soul. 7 December - 28 January Tel: 01 8872200

The Gate Theatre The Heiress

Adapted from the novel Washington Square by Henry James, The Heiress explores the life of the wealthy Sloper family, living in an opulent house in 1850s New York City. Catherine Sloper, daughter of a protective widowed surgeon, lacks both social graces and beauty, unlike her deceased mother. Catherine falls in love with handsome Morris Townsend, the first man to ever give her attention. She believes her love is reciprocated but Dr Sloper is doubtful, believing Morris is only interested in the family inheritance. 17 November - 7 January Tel: 01 8744045 / 01 8746042

National Concert Hall

The National Concert Hall is home to the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Irish Baroque Orchestra, and the National Chamber Choir of Ireland. Highlights this month include; RTE NSO Video Games Classics (2 December), Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (4 December), Handel’s Messiah (7 - 9 December), Lisa O’Neill (8 - 9 December), Christmas Family Gala (11 December), The Christmas Concert Featuring The Snowman (16 - 18 December), The Ragdolls (21 December) and Bugsy Malone (27 - 30 December).

The Gaiety Theatre

7 December - 7 January



27 November - 8 January Tel: 0818 719 388.

The Olympia Theatre

The Ugly Sisters and Yer Wan After his hilarious turn as Polly in last year’s Freezin’, comedian Al Porter returns to the Olympia for this witty take on Cinderella. This Dublinese version of Cinderella features and all-star cast, including reindeer whisperer and Fair City heartthrob Ryan Andrews. 16 December - 8 January Also in the Olympia this month; Super Furry Animals (1 December), Sean Lock (2 - 4 December), Ocean Colour Scene (5 - 6 December), The Strypes (8 December), The Coronas (9 - 11 December) and Trailer Park Boys (12 December).

Smock Alley Theatre The Snow Queen

Set in the year 2116 when planet Earth is 99.9% water following a seismic event known as ‘The Great Melting’, live two geeky best friends Gerda and Kay, who is obsessed with the idea of snow, ice, and most of all, Christmas. One day, Kay finds an old book called ‘The Snow Queen’ on a dusty shelf of a dusty library. When he opens the book, a smattering of some strange white frozen stuff falls outside his window and he sees a vision of a beautiful woman made entirely, it seems, of ice. The next morning, he is gone and Gerda must attempt to rescue Kay from the Snow Queen. 5 - 23 December

Tel: 01 6777999 or visit Also in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre this month; La Boheme (30 November - 4 December), The Snowman Christmas Special (11 - 18 December) and Celine Byrne Home For Christmas (18 December).

Sherwood Forest but beware of the greedy Sheriff of Nottingham, who is out to greedily collect the ever growing taxes. Full of singing, dancing and laughter, the Gaiety panto is always a great day out for the whole family.

Robin Hood and His Merry Men

The famous Gaiety panto returns once again and this year it’s the turn of Robin Hood and His Merry Men. Join Robin Hood and His Merry men on their adventures through

Also at Smock Alley this month; Bifurcations (5 December), Tape (6 - 7 December) and Bad Sunday and Incensed (8 - 10 December). Tel: 01 6770014

David Bowie For the past five years, the Grand Social in Dublin have run a Bowie Birthday Bash in January to mark the birthday of David Bowie. The Grand Social’s booking manager, John Brereton is a self-confessed “Bowie nerd” and in 2016 he decided to expand the Birthday Bash into a full scale Bowie Festival. This festival attracted people from all over the world, including some big names associated with David Bowie, such as Gerry Leonard, who was Bowie’s guitar player, musical director and co-writer for ten years. However, in a tragic twist of fate, the sad news of Bowie’s passing filtered through the day after the festival.




“We were all whacked out with the tragic news the next morning that he had died,” says Brereton. “We decided to have a vigil here in the Grand Social on that Monday night because there was still lots of people who had come over from Europe for the festival and they just wanted to be together. People just sang, hung out and hugged each other because they were very upset.” As the first anniversary of Bowie’s passing approaches, the Dublin Bowie Festival is returning again from 5 to 10 January and to mark what would have been the great man’s 70th birthday, it promises to be bigger and better than ever with something to attract everyone from the most casual to the diehard Bowie fans. The festival opens with the launch of the Pin Ups Exhibition in the Fumbally Exchange on Dame Lane. For this unique exhibition, Brereton approached some well known Bowie fans, including Gerry Leonard, Woody Woodmansey from The Spiders From Mars, and DJ’s Annie Mac, Tom Dunne and Ian Dempsey, to name their favourite Bowie song. Based on these suggestions, a group of top Irish illustrators have created a series of what they imagine those songs to be. “It’s really beautiful stuff,” Brereton says of the work that these illustrators have produced. These amazing illustrations will be on display in the Fumbally Exchange for the duration of

the festival. One of the highlights of the festival will take place in the Sugar Club later that evening is a Q&A session with playwright Enda Walsh, who worked with Bowie on Lazarus. As one of the last people to work with Bowie, Walsh is sure to provide a fascinating insight into Bowie’s working methods, as well as his more personal side. The incredible tribute band Rebel Rebel will play Vicar Street on Sunday 8 January. Described by Gerry Leonard as “the closest thing to playing with Bowie I’ve experienced” after he appeared with them at the 2016 festival, these incredible musicians will take the audience from Space Oddity all the way up to Black Star during their two hour set. Brereton will also be playing at the festival. “I’m a big fan of all of the 60s Bowie stuff which is kind of the unknown canon,” he says. “So we’re doing a concert in the Grand Social on Friday the 6th called 60s Bowie and we’re doing all of the early mod and vaudeville stuff.” The 60s Bowie night will be opened by the Gaiety School of Acting's Acapella Group, a 10 strong troupe of amazing vocalists who promise to capture the remarkable essence of Bowie’s melodies and harmonies onstage. Elsewhere, the I Heart Bowie group will reunite in the Opium Rooms after a stellar

performance in January. Featuring some of Ireland’s top musicians, the group featured a number of guest vocalists, including Glen Hansard, Bell X1 and Jack L last time out so expect to see some surprises again this year. Brereton also promises some very special guests at the Bowie Vigil which will close the festival in the Grand Social on 10 January. This special night will pay tribute to the legacy of Bowie on the first anniversary of his passing. It will feature an intimate acoustic performance from The Bowie Raw Collective, which features musicians such as Dave McGinley, Dave Frew of An Emotional Fish and Trevor Hutchinson of The Waterboys. There will also be space for those who would like to express their feelings through spoken word or song while you never know who else just might turn up to pay their respects. It’s a fitting way to end a festival that marks the legacy of not just a musical legend, but a cultural icon. “When he died, he was the news event of the day,” says Brereton. “It was pretty unique for a pop star to have that much coverage in the news. It was as big as Elvis, if not bigger.” There’s no better way to start the New Year than by paying tribute to the colossal legacy of David Bowie at the Dublin Bowie Festival this January. For full event listings visit



The Snow Queen Smock Alley Theatre present a brilliant new take on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, The Snow Queen, this Christmas. Running from 5 to 23 December, with Saturday afternoon matinees, this imaginative new spin on an old favourite is sure to be a hit with young and old alike.

Set in the year 2116 when planet Earth is 99.9% water following a seismic event known as ‘The Great Melting’. This saw the Earth’s temperature suddenly rise and the Arctic disappear. Since then, there has been not a single flake of snow or solitary cube of ice and the idea of Christmas is no more. Small towns still exist scattered around the globe, although they are heavily fortified, nobody ever leaves and people are deeply distrustful of people from other places because their clothes are weird and they smell a bit different. In one of these towns live two geeky best friends - a young girl called Gerda and a young boy called Kay. Gerda is a slightly insufferable, know-it-all who has read the entire internet, while Kay is the quiet, bumbling bookish type. In fact, Kay is the only person Gerda has ever met who still reads books. Kay is obsessed with the idea of snow, ice, and most of all, of Christmas but Gerda dismisses his ludicrous notions. After all, everyone knows that Christmas was a horrible time when people were



terribly mean and stole things from each other and everyone is generally much better off without it. ‘The Government told us that’, she assures Kay, and the Government have never, ever lied. One day, Kay finds an old book called ‘The Snow Queen’ on a dusty shelf of a dusty library. Knowing that it is forbidden for youngsters to read such things, he smuggles the book home and that night he opens it. A smattering of some strange white frozen stuff falls outside his window

at Smock Alley TheatrE

and he sees a vision of a beautiful woman made entirely, it seems, of ice. The next morning, he is gone, with the townspeople assuming that he has been eaten by a killer whale, although Gerda isn’t willing to give up quite so easily. What follows is a magical adventure as Gerda attempts to rescue Kay from the Snow Queen. This stunning production is sure to enrapture children and adults alike, blending elements of modernity with a timeless story to conjure up a wondrous theatrical experience. What’s more, theatre goers can enjoy a special dinner and a show on selected nights. For just €30 for adults and €25 for children (which includes a ticket to the show), you can enjoy a delicious festive, seasonal meal in the theatre before heading in to see the performance later that evening. That’s a pretty special deal for what is sure to be a very special Christmas experience as The Snow Queen receives a makeover and prepares to enchant a new generation of fans at Smock Alley this year.



Celtic Lodge Guesthouse

In the Heart of Dublin City Centre

Celtic Lodge is located on Talbot Street in Dublin City Centre. Recently refurbished throughout, the rooms are decorated in modern colours and fabrics with luxurious touches, to make your stay in Dublin as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The Celtic Lodge Guesthouse is located just 5 minutes walk from both Connolly Train Station and Busáras, the main bus station in Dublin. Popular Dublin attractions such as the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin Zoo, Book of Kells at Trinity College, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin Castle and the Old Jameson Distillery are also close by. Celtic Lodge offers quality Dublin accommodation at great rates and is an ideal choice for your stay in Dublin.

81-82 Talbot Street, Dublin 1 . Tel: 01 878 8810 Email:

Dublin’s Finest Traditional Irish Pub Traditional Irish Music Every evening from 9pm. Come on in for a pint and the craic! Come along and experience the authentic atmosphere found only at The Celt Bar, the traditional Irish pub in Dublin that’s as full of life as it always has been. Friendly faces, a classic bar menu, the finest selection of Irish whiskey’s, beers, ales and stouts, ciders and not to mention the goodness of real Guinness.

The Celt Bar 81-82 Talbot Street, Dublin 1 DECEMBER 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS Leading up to Christmas, Dublin literally bristles with seasonal street lighting. Large Christmas trees stand at prominent intersections and shop windows are gaily decorated with traditional themes. Adding further spectacle and atmosphere to the streets, carol singers brave any inclement weather for their selected charities. Festival markets (the largest one is in Docklands) offer mulled wine and craft goods, pubs and restaurants provide a cheerful welcome from the winter cold and companies hold parties as their staff prepare for a holiday which for many will last until the New Year. Families gather for joyful reunions. This might be a good time to look at the past and to even go back to a pre-Christian epoch which might suggest that the Irish may even have been partly responsible for the whole idea in the first place! At least 5,000 years ago, the ancient peoples of Ireland celebrated midwinter, a time when the harvest was gathered and one could look forward to the growing season again.The great monument of Newgrange in County Meath, 600 years older than the pyramids of Egypt, was the famous site where the ancients gathered (and modern folk still do) on the 21 December to 14


observe (if Fortune provided a cloudless sky!) a shaft of sunlight filling the burial chamber. This was thanks to its calculated alignment with the sun.This event triggered a week-long orgy of celebrations.The Celts in Ireland continued such mid-winter traditions for millennia but elsewhere festivals such as these were snuffed out in Roman-conquered territories.The Romans themselves had the feast of Brumalia, or the ‘unconquered sun’, also around the 25 December.Vikings had their feast of Yule (meaning ‘wheel’ or the turn of the season). By the 5th century, the Christian church was determined to stamp out these pagan rites and so instituted the feast of Christ’s birth to replace them, even though Jesus was likely born in late September or October. Christmas in my childhood was a special time in the otherwise harsh economic legacy left after the Second World War. Britain was still in the grip of rationing and I can remember what was called the annual Great Turkey Airlift when many tens of thousands of the birds were dispatched to emigrant relatives in the U.K. At that time, charities spent endless hours collecting and delivering gifts to the thousands of impoverished families living in

Dickensian tenements.While those terrible living conditions are long gone, there are still people in distress from financial difficulties, homelessness, loneliness or bereavement who need and thankfully usually receive special help and support at this time of the year. Up to 60 years ago very few people in Ireland had a Christmas tree in their house but rather a crib showing the nativity scene and a candle burning in the window, symbolising that you welcomed the Christ-child or indeed any weary traveller into your home. Incidentally, Dublin boasts the world’s oldest hand-made candle factory; that of John G Rathborne, founded in 1488.The Christmas tree was first introduced into England in the 1840s by the German Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, and no household or prominent public place today would be without one.The idea of the crib has not entirely died out and one famous example, complete with live animals (they are stabled at night-time), stands every December in aid of charity in front of the Lord Mayor’s house on Dawson Street. When we look back we think of snowy Christmases but in actual fact it rarely snows

IN DUBLIN in Dublin in December so don’t expect a romantic white holiday season but it could happen! There were times in history when the River Liffey froze over but today’s ice-skaters gather at purpose-built ice-rinks like the one at the RDS in Ballsbridge. Popular since medieval times and still a must for families is to take in a Christmas panto (pantomime), held in theatres and parish halls. Attending one of the several performances of George Frederic Handel’s Oratorio Messiah, first premiered in Dublin in 1742, is a firm Christmas favourite for thousands as are the many carol concerts in cathedrals, churches and concert halls in the lead up to the Big Day. Customs of times past included Midnight Mass which is still celebrated but is now usually around 9.00pm. Christmas Day, in an increasingly secular society, is still thought of in a special way from a traditional religious point of view or as a day for visiting family graves. But, even more so, it is the most important day in the year for families to get together and the city virtually closes down, including the airport and all public transport, so don’t be caught out! One unusual tradition in Dublin for the morning of Christmas Day is

by Pat Liddy

the charitable swim at the Forty Foot in Sandycove near Dun Laoghaire outside Dublin when hundreds of hardy souls take the plunge regardless of the weather. Well maybe the Irish didn’t exactly invent Christmas after all but we have certainly made it our own. But there could be just a grain of truth in an old legend that the saint associated with Christmas and the very spirit of Santa Claus, St Nicholas of Myra, is buried in Ireland! Don’t scoff at the idea (at least not out loud). Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra (in modern Turkey) was buried there in the 3rd century. His remains, in the face of the advancing Muslim army, were lifted by two crusading knights and brought to be reburied near Jerpoint Abbey in Co Kilkenny. Of course this story flies in the face of a more accepted account that his relics were brought by other knights to Italy. But we in Ireland never let the truth get in the way of a good story. Happy Christmas! One useful website for information on Christmas activities is For families see Check with local tourist offices for musical events. DECEMBER 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Recommended Restaurants in Leinster Mykonos Taverna

Pallet Pizza

Pallet Pizza is a contemporary Neighbourhood Pizzeria on bustling Camden Street in the city centre, a five minute stroll from Grafton Street. Their thin based classic pizzas, pastas and other snacks are made fresh in house daily. Friendly service, delicious Pizzas and a great drinks selection make Pallet Pizza an essential stop on any visit to Dublin. Authentic Greek food in the heart of Dublin. Mykonos Taverna offers traditional Greek dishes such as Moussaka, Kleftiko and Souvlaki at incredibly good prices, all made from the freshest of ingredients from land and sea. The staff are friendly and attentive and always on hand to cater to your every need, all you have to do is relax and enjoy your food! Make sure you try their delicious homemade ice cream too, which is made on the premises. The perfect way to round off a fantastic Greek meal. 76 Dame Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 561 3745

Restaurant FortyOne

Facebook: Pallet PIZZA Dublin Twitter: @DubPizza

Café Topolis

Situated on Parliament St, Café Topolis is one of the best Italian restaurants in town with an extensive menu offering superior Italian cuisine. Best of all, it’s one of the very few places where they cook their pizzas in the traditional wood fired oven. 37 Parliament St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 670 4961

Camden Kitchen

Under the expert guidance of Graham Neville, Restaurant FortyOne has scooped numerous awards and flourished over the past three years. This is thanks to the superb experience that they offer, eschewing butter and sugar in favour of olive oil, vegetables and fruit juices that are sourced from the restaurant’s own garden. These unique ingredients are used to create fulsome, sumptuous courses, making Restaurant FortyOne the home of fine dining in Dublin. 41 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 662 0000 16



Peploe’s Wine Bistro is a chic and ambient restaurant located in the heart of Dublin City Centre. With it’s cosy lighting and comfortable spacious dining area, it is the perfect place to enjoy a fine meal in a relaxed atmosphere. All produce is sourced from only the best Irish suppliers and prepared to the highest standard. Located opposite St Stephens Green, Peploe’s is the perfect place to visit for a glass of wine to greet the evening after a twilight stroll in the park. 16 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 676 3144

Le Bon Crubeen

This is one of the best value restaurants in Dublin with a brasserie menu to suit all tastes. It won the Best Value Restaurant Dublin in “The Dubliner” Top 100 restaurants in 2012, having previously won the Irish Restaurant Awards’ Best Casual Dining Restaurant in Dublin in 2010. Value and quality. 81-2 Talbot St., Dublin 1 Tel: 01 704 1026

Mexico to Rome

A culinary gem in the heart of Dublin, Camden Kitchen is the place to go to for lunch or dinner. Their menu changes daily to reflect the best seasonal ingredients available, meaning you know that you’ll be served fresh, seasonal food every time. Diners can choose from beautiful starters such as Irish Line Caught Mackerel, Connemara Crab Meat or Whipped Goats Cheese and then move on to delicious main courses, like Breckland Duck Leg, Irish Rib Eye Beef and Smoked Haddock Risotto, all served up in a wonderful cosy atmosphere by the friendly staff.

Located in the heart of Temple Bar, Mexico to Rome, Bandito’s Grill House offer a new twist on Mexican dishes such as sizzling Fajitas, their unique Burritos, Tacos, Chili Con Carne, and Tex-Mex Baby Back Ribs in a Southern Comfort BBQ Sauce. They also offer a range of European and Asian dishes. They boast one of the best value earlybird menus in Dublin at €13.50 for a starter and main course, while their lunch special of a starter, main course and a soft drink or a glass of wine for €9.95 is superb value.

3 Camden Market, Grantham Street, D8 Tel: 01 476 0125

23 East Essex Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 677 2727

Recommended Restaurants in Leinster Pacino’s

Ideally situated on Suffolk Street, just off Grafton Street and opposite Trinity College, Pacino’s offers authentic Italian food in an old world vibe of stylish brickwork, wooden floors and soft lighting. The restaurant offers authentic, rustic Italian cooking with ingredients sourced from only the best local butchers, fishmongers and artisan producers. 18 Suffolk Street Dublin 2 01 677 5651


The Spanish city of Zaragoza is any food lover’s idea of paradise. Zaragoza have taken some local delicacies along with some of Spain’s authentic specialties to create a unique dining experience.... seasoned with a generous helping of the homegrown hospitality they are famous for. So come down, sit back and explore the tantalizing recipes created by their chef and enjoy with friends a glass or two of their exquisite handpicked wines. Open Mon-Sun 12noon - Midnight (last orders) 18 William St., Dublin 2. Tel: 01 679 4020

The Larder Restaurant & Brewhouse


La Resérve Brasserie

La Resérve is a lively and intimate French Brasserie that serves a modern take on French classics. They focus on simple yet high quality dishes, presented with precision and faithful to true flavours. Open for dinner, brunch and lunch - whether you’re looking for a light snack or an exciting evening meal, La Resérve has something for you. La Réserve Brasserie, 53 Ranelagh village, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Tel: 01 496 8825 Email: Web: Twitter: @lareserve1 Facebook:

Kafka Restaurant An oasis of quality, The Larder offer excellent Brunch, Lunch and Evening menus made from the highest quality, locally sourced ingredients. These dishes are finished off with herbs grown in their own walled garden and complimented by their range of own brand beers. The meal can then be topped off with their own brand coffee; Dublin Roaster. ‘ASADOR’ A Spanish word meaning barbecue, grill or spit. ASADOR Haddington Road opened its doors in November 2012 to great critical acclaim. The idea behind ASADOR is simple; take the best meats our fields can provide, the freshest seafood landed on our shores and cook this great Irish produce over a bespoke built 7 foot barbecue or ‘Asador’. ASADOR was the first restaurant operation to bring premium level barbecue to the Dublin dining scene. Customers flocked to sample signature dry-aged steaks, lobster, fish and game cooked in the most ancient of ways. Guests can expect the best of old and new world wines, craft beers and of course a range of cocktails from the experienced team of mixologists - the perfect partner for premium barbecued food.

8 Parliament Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 633 3581

Marcel’s Restaurant

ASADOR, the balance of flames, flavour and food.

Combining elegant Moroccan décor and contemporary design, Marcel’s is a restaurant, bistro and bar that offers the finest French and European inspired food in a warm and friendly environment. Diners can choose from a range of delicious dishes, including Risotto, Pan Roast Monkfish and succulent Roast Rump Lamb while relaxing in the heart of Dublin City.

1 Victoria House, Haddington Rd, Dublin 4. Tel: 01 254 5353

13 Merrion Row, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 660 2367

Whether it’s for an Italian coffee, a sweet or savoury snack or a full meal with wine, you can call in here for continental cuisine, exemplary service and great value. They serve lunch, brunch and dinner, offering a fresh healthy menu of delights including Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Ravioli, Jamaican Jerk Chicken and Tiger Prawn Risotto and as they’re just a short walk from the City Centre, it’s the perfect place to start your night out. 236 Rathmines Rd Lwr., Dublin 6 01 497 7057 DECEMBER 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Recommended Restaurants in Leinster Zaytoon

Zaytoon gives you the chance to choose a healthy eating option and indulge in the guilty pleasure of treating yourself to a scrumptious kebab. More a casual diner than a fast food place, they offer the very best of Persian cuisine. And as well as the one in Temple Bar they’ve opened a second one at the top of Camden Street. 14/15 Parliament St., Dublin 2 Tel: 01 677 3595

Thornton’s Restaurant

Chez Max

Feel the spirit of France right here in Dublin! Chez Max Baggot Street is renowned for its outside seating area. There is a smart garden at restaurant level as well as a sizable terrace on the upper level. The outside areas are wellheated and covered to allow customers to dine outside all year round! In summer, diners flock to Chez Max, Baggot Street to enjoy lunch in the sunshine. 133 Lower Baggot St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 661 8899

Corfu Greek Restaurant

Corfu Greek Restaurant is a hidden gem situated on Parliament Street. Here, the friendly and attentive staff will serve you some of the finest Greek food at incredibly reasonable prices. Choose from a range of starters, such as calamari and dolmadakia, and then tuck into some delicious traditional Greek main courses, including moussaka, kleftiko and stifado, all washed down with a nice glass of wine from their varied wine list. 12 Parliament St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 675 0050

Taco Taco


This one star Michelin restaurant is, as they say, reassuringly expensive. Which is only as it should be as the man in charge is Ireland’s finest chef, Kevin Thornton. If you have any intention of cementing a relationship, or of instigating a new one, this is the place to take them. Above the Fitzwilliam Hotel, Stephen’s Green. Tel: 01 478 7008

The Blind Pig

Located on Andrews Street, near the new home of the Molly Malone statue, Salamanca was one of the first Tapas Bars in the city and remains one of the best. Their Tapas dishes are served by authentic Spanish chefs and they use only the finest quality fresh ingredients. Diners can choose from a wide range of quality Tapas and carefully selected Spanish wines for a truly authentic taste of the Mediterranean in the heart of Dublin City. 1 St. Andrew’s Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 677 4799

Perfect for brunch or a casual evening meal, Taco Taco is sure to get your taste buds tingling. They have a range of specials on offer, such as Chargrilled Jerk Chicken for two with a range of sides for €29.95 on Sunday nights and Super Nacho Happy Hour from 5pm to 6.30pm from Monday to Sunday. While you’re there, make sure you sample some of their amazing cocktails, such as Whiskey Smash, Brunch Sour or Mojito. 14 Dame Court, Dublin 2 Tel: 083 449 9584

Banyi Japanese Dining

La Ruelle Wine Bar


Want to know where to find the best cocktails in Dublin? We know the place but you have to keep it secret. The brainchild of award winning mixologist Paul Lambert and named after the police who turned a blind eye to speakeasies in the prohibition era in the US, The Blind Pig is Dublin’s best kept secret and the perfect place to go to enjoy the finest cocktails and the best food that Dublin has to offer. Originally a pop-up speakeasy bar, The Blind Pig is now in permanent residence and has developed a loyal fanbase thanks to the unique experience that this venue offers. So how do you find them? Give them a call, book through their website, and await further instructions.

Tucked in opposite the Mansion House, on Joshua Lane, La Ruelle is the ideal venue for an intimate drink, with over 100 different international wines of which 40 are served by the glass. Their menu includes a variety of mouth watering nibbles, tapas and bites served small or large to accompany your wine of choice. Catering for private parties with free car park facilities in R.I.A.C for all customers. Perfect for the festive season or any events.

Tel: 085 874 7901

3/4 Joshua Lane, Dublin 2


A hidden gem in the heart of Temple Bar, Banyi offer delicious sushi and amazing Japanese dishes. Choose between bento boxes, a la carte and set menu options with a range of mouth watering signature dishes to choose from, including Teriyaki, Katsu Curry, Ramen, Tempura and more. All of which are best enjoyed with their range of traditional Japanese drinks, served by their friendly and welcoming staff. Mention Travel Ireland to receive a 10% discount. Banyi Japanese Dining Address: 3-4 Bedford Row, Dublin 2 Hours: Daily · 12–11p.m. Web: Tel (01) 675 0669

Recommended Pubs in Leinster

Dingle Whiskey Bar

57 The Headline

Situated only a short walk from St Patrick’s Cathedral and Teeling Whiskey Distillery, 57 The Headline is the ideal spot to sample the best of Irish Craft Beers and Whiskeys. With 24 taps dedicated to the best of Irish and International beers, you won’t be stuck for choice. They offer Beer tasting trays from 3 to 9 choices and 5 Whiskey trays. They also serve the best bar food in Dublin 8 and you won’t be paying city centre prices. Visit their website for all products, opening times and more. Clanbrassil St. Lower, Dublin 8 Tel: 01 532 0279

Sin É

Sin É on Ormond Quay is Dublin’s original late night alternative music venue. Whether it’s bluegrass, ska, alternative rock or open mic night’s that you’re looking for, Sin É caters for a range of eclectic tastes. The staff are warm and friendly and will serve you a range of incredible craft beers and cocktails at agreeable prices. If you’re looking for a great atmosphere and some of the best   

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The Dingle Whiskey Bar is a delightful bar nestled beside Porterhouse Central on Nassau St. Walking into the bar, you are welcomed by a beautiful oak interior and a warm welcoming feel. The bar staff are very helpful, recommending many whiskeys and offering samples. And every Tuesday they host a Whiskey Tasting Class from 7pm with whiskey guru Fionnån O’Connor. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about the brown stuff and enjoy some delicious whiskey. Tickets available at the bar for ₏18. 44 Nassau Street, Dublin 2 01 677 4810

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Tap House

Doheny & Nesbitt’s

One of the oldest and more venerable pubs in Dublin, and traditionally the spot where politicians of old would juggle figures before swinging round the corner and into the Dail to present the next budget. It has now been extended both back and up, so that without sacrificing any of its illustrious history, it is now significantly roomier.

Be prepared to enter into the world of true beer artistry, where friendly knowledgeable staff will guide you to that perfect beverage, served in the especially designed Munique glass, which optimises the aroma, retaining carbonation and cooling until the last drop. With possibly finest bar food and cocktails in town, your whole party will be catered for in this wonderfully unique establishment.

5 Lower Baggot St, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 676 2945

60 Ranelagh, Dublin 6 Tel: 01 491 3436.

The Celt

The Gravediggers

“John Kavanagh The Gravediggers, established in 1833 and still run by the Kavanagh Family today. One of Dublin’s finest bars and best pint of Plain. No music no TV, but fine pints and fine food served. Beside the old cemetery gate hence our local name The Gravediggers� 1 Prospect Sq., Dublin 9. Tel: 01 8307978

Situated on Talbot Street in the heart of Dublin, The Celt Bar is always thronged with locals and visitors thanks to the authentic Irish experience that is on offer there. Visitors can sample the finest Irish whiskeys, beers, ales and stouts and enjoy live traditional music seven nights a week. The Celt also offer traditional Irish food seven days a week. The classic bar menu includes beer battered haddock and traditional beef and Guinness stew. There’s no better place to go to for the full Irish experience than The Celt Bar. 81 Talbot St, Dublin Tel: 01 878 8655


This is the regular hang-out for Dublin’s finest writers and painters, or the great unwashed, and the walls inside are decked out with paintings and drawings which can, for a small sum, be purchased. Improbably, it is also part of one of the most fashionable mini crossroads in the city centre. And at weekends, the place is humming. 15 S William St., Dublin 2. Tel: 01 677 9320 DECEMBER 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Recommended Shopping Irish Linen House

The Sweater Shop

Irish Linen House create handmade tablerunners, placemats and napkins made from the finest Irish linen. Each piece of the collection is uniquely made, fusing historical elements with a modern, contemporary edge and has caught the attention of worldwide stores including Barneys of New York. Just up the road from the Jameson Distillery, their Smithfield store is the perfect place to pick up a unique piece of Ireland. Nr. Jameson Distillery, Bow Street Smithfield Village, Dublin 7 01-5329572 / 083-3010502 01 820 8774

Best prices on Irish Aran Sweaters Since 1986 The Sweater Shop is a family run business offering a large selection of quality Irish Aran sweaters at reasonable prices, as well as fine merino and cashmere for men, women and children. They also stock a range of caps, scarves and accessories to suit all budgets, making any of their Dublin, Kilkenny, or Galway shops the perfect place to shop for truly authentic Irish gifts.

The Kilkenny Shop

30 Nassau Street, Dublin 2 Abbeygate Street, Galway High Street, Kilkenny Tel: 01 6712292

Tights Department

Daylemonn Designs

Daylemonn Designs are a family run business with over 25 years experience in interior design and design retail. The company's conceptual basis and ethos is largely influenced by the Dutch model (where the family originate from) of specialist interior boutiques. With a vast and varied knowledge in interior design, they provide a professional service to all of their clients, both nationally and internationally. At their Clonmel and Dublin stores, they focus on retailing an extensive range of furniture, soft furnishings, giftware and accessories. They run a comprehensive consultancy service from their design studio where they also house a large collection of fabrics and wallpapers. Their dedicated design team is always on hand for consultation and advice. 60 Camden Street, Dublin 2 +353 (0)1 4458725

The Kilkenny Shop is Ireland’s largest emporium for Irish designed products; from fashion and jewellery to homeware, handmade crafts and crystal. For over five decades, the Kilkenny Shop has been supporting Irish design talent, stocking top designers like Waterford Crystal, Orla Kiely, Aideen Bodkin, Nicholas Mosse and Stephen Pearce. 6 Nassau Street, Dublin 2 01 6777066

Jam Art Factory

Jam Art Factory was set up in 2011 by brothers John and Mark to showcase the work of Irish artists and designers. It specialises in digital art prints, street art, ceramics and some witty Dublin themed work. It has been shortlisted in The Irish Times “Best Shops in Ireland” 4 years in a row. 64 Patrick Street, Dublin 8 14 Crown Alley, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 616 5671 and 20


Tights Dept. is an Irish owned store specialising in Italian legwear. They offer a full range of classic and fashion hosiery: tights, socks (men and women), hold-ups, stockings, leggings and more, they also stock a collection of tops and vests. Top brands: Omsa, Emilio Cavallini, Trasparenze, Omero and Happy Socks.

Davis Road, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary +353 (0)86 1893079

Mitchell & Son Wine Merchants

25 Royal Hibernian Way (Anne Street South entrance), Dublin 2 Tel. 085 800 4281 Shop online: (deliver worldwide)

Designer Exchange

Ireland’s only dedicated pre-loved and authentic designer handbag and accessory store, Designer Exchange stock all the leading designer brands such as DKNY, Louis Vutton and Chanel. They offer incredible savings on these top designer brands and Tax Free shopping to non EU residents.

Since 1805, family-owned Mitchell & Son have been providing Fine Wines & Spirits to the people of Ireland. Now in the hands of the 7th generation, they offer a high quality selection of New & Old World Wines, Champagne, & fortified wines. Home to the Green and Yellow Spot Irish Whiskeys, they also have a wide selection of Irish, Scotch, & Japanese whiskies, and other fine spirits. With a superb selection of Riedel Glassware and decanters, Coravin Wine System, and Le Creuset wine accessories, they are one of the most diverse independent wine merchants in Ireland. Mitchell & Son also offer Wine and Whiskey Appreciation courses that provide an understanding of the Irish market and a chance to explore your tastes.

53 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 612 8080

CHQ Building, IFSC, Dublin, D01 FC89 Tel: 01 612 5540

Recommended Shopping The Donegal Shop

Celtic Whiskey Shop

Ireland’s premier whiskey shop has become a mecca for whiskey lovers since it first opened in 2003. They have daily whiskey tastings and the knowledgeable and experienced staff are always on hand to offer their expert advice and guidance. If you’re travelling, the staff are happy to wrap your purchases in protective wrapping and can arrange shipping to national and international destinations. The Donegal Shop is an independently owned and family run Irish business. They are specialists in Donegal homespun tweeds and knitted products. The store offers a range of knitwear, aran sweaters and accessories for both women and men, all crafted using techniques handed down through generations of Donegal artists. Mention Travel Ireland to get a 10% discount 2nd Floor, St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Dublin 2 01 475 4621

The Design House

27 - 28 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 675 9744 / 01 675 9768

Cows Lane Designer Studio

Cows Lane Designer Studio is a colourful, fun retail space run by a group of independent designers and makers. With an eclectic mix of handcrafted, Irish designs including textiles, knitwear, jewellery, millinery, ceramics, prints, homewares and more, there is something for everyone. The perfect place to browse and be inspired! Unit 2, Essex Street West, Old City, Temple Bar, Dublin 8. Tel: 01 679 8366

“The Design House” is a boutique & design Hub, in the city centre. It is based in a fabulous Georgian building; they offer cutting edge fashion, jewellery, bridal and a variety of crafts all in the one building. The hallways of their building also host an artist’s gallery. The list of designers who call “The Design house” home has grown steadily since they opened. They are also the creative home to several in-house designers, that work from 2 floors of shared studio space and professional fashion workrooms . The concept behind their enterprise is to bring designers, craftspeople and artists together under one roof and to offer the customer a wide array of high quality products, all at varied price points and services such as their bespoke service and café. 43 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 01 6799283

Aran Sweater Market

Celebrating the long and fascinating history of Aran Knitwear, the Aran Sweater Market offers the perfect souvenir of your Irish Journey. With roots in Inis Mor, the very centre of where Aran craft first began, you can also find the brand in Dublin’s Grafton Street and Killarney, Co. Kerry, as well as its home on the Aran Islands. Shoppers can look forward to a unique shopping experience with a large range of Aran and Celtic inspired knitwear and gifts available. The Aran Sweater Market brand offers a large range of Aran and Celtic inspired knitwear for all the family.

Mackintosh by Francis Campelli

Mackintoshes were first produced in Ireland in 1889 and Francis Campelli has been involved in the production of them for almost 40 years so you know you’re in the most experienced hands when you visit this store. They offer the finest quality, waterproof Mackintoshes for men and women from stock or made to measure from €425 as well as a range of leather bags, satchels and accessories.

Green Gallery

46 South William Street, Dublin 2 01 608 8608

For over 20 years The Green Gallery, on the top floor of St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, has led the way in Dublin’s contemporary art market. Here you will find original, quality works of art from emerging, established and international artists. No trip to Stephen’s Green is complete without visiting this unique gallery. Open 7 days. Mention Travel Ireland Magazine to avail of a 10% discount.

This charming store in the Powerscourt Townhouse Centre is the perfect place to pick up a unique souvenir of your time in Ireland. They stock homeware from around the world, including Irish designers - with everything from Irish woollen throws, glass vases and stationery on offer and the friendly staff are always on hand to offer help and advice.

Top Floor, St Stephen’s Green Centre Dublin 2 Tel: 0851988441

Powerscourt Townhouse, South William Street, Dublin 2 01 679 9268




Explore Leinster

Pat Liddy’s Walking Tours of Dublin The War Memorial Gardens

The Old Jameson Distillery The Old Jameson Distillery has temporarily closed its doors until March 2017 for A new makeover and It promises to be nothing short of spectacular upon reopening so watch this space. Its business as usual at the Jameson Experience in Cork (see explore munster).

Glasnevin Cemetery Museum and Guided Tours Glasnevin is one of Ireland’s most popular attractions. Located 2.5km from Dublin centre, this is a hauntingly gorgeous Victorian Garden cemetery where over 1.5 million are buried. Guides are passionate about sharing their love of history and recount the stories of Ireland’s fascinating past through daily walking tours. A history lesson made fun and memorable by guides who know their stuff, be prepared to enjoy yourself. Awarded Best Cultural Experience in Ireland and listed at no. 2 on Tripadvisor, Glasnevin is a cemetery of historic importance. Museum, genealogy, gift shop and café on site. Open daily for guided tours and re-enactments 22


If you really want to get to know a city, then walking around with an informed, entertaining, professional guide is often the best way to discover its history, charms and hidden treasures. Pat Liddy’s Walking Tours of Dublin have been offering their famous tours for over a decade and they cover many aspects of the city both with scheduled and private tour programmes. The scheduled walks are provided all year round with two or three times daily departures from March onwards. Special event tours include St Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Festival, James Joyce’s Bloomsday and the Bram Stoker Festival among others. Private tours geared to the topic of your own choice can be arranged for any time. Subject to availability, tours can be provided in the main European languages. In this centenary year of the Easter Rising of 1916 there are exciting tours dedicated to this momentous event, a pivotal episode in Irish history which eventually led to Irish Independence in 1922 after 750 years of British rule.

When you are visiting IMMA in Kilmainham, you should walk on over to Islandbridge about half a kilometer further on. The gardens there are dedicated to the memory of the 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in the 1st World War. The names of all the soldiers are contained in the beautifully illustrated Harry Clarke manuscripts in the granite bookrooms in the gardens. Not merely a place of remembrance, they are also of great architectural interest and beauty. They are one of only four gardens in this country designed by the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944). The others being Heywood Gardens, Lambay Island and those in Howth Castle. The sunken rose gardens, herbaceous borders and extensive tree planting on view here make it well worth that extra bit of a walk. Open all year round. Tel: 01 475 7816

Get the ‘Royal’ treatment this Christmas at Walsh Whiskey Distillery

Full details can be found on, by emailing to or by telephoning to 01 832 9406.

The National Museum of Ireland

The Museum is recognised as Ireland’s premier cultural institution and home to the greatest collections of Irish material heritage, culture and natural history in the world. Admission to the museum is free and there are numerous exhibitions, talks and tours. Tel 01 677 7444

Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak produces premium, triple-distilled, craft, Irish whiskeys - The Irishman and Writers’ Tears available in 40 countries worldwide. The distillery is open for tours. Located in County Carlow, just 20 minutes from Kilkenny City and 1 hour from Dublin, it is unique in being able to produce all three styles of Irish whiskey – pot still, malt and grain – in one still house. Visitors can savour a taste of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve whiskey in our relaxing lounge while enjoying panoramic views of the estate including Holloden House (1755). Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak… where hope and history rhyme this Christmas. Tours (price €15 pp) must be pre-booked: Tel: (059) 918 6653 Email: Web:

Persian Cuisine

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Welcome to Munster Munster is the most southerly of the four provinces of Ireland and stretches from Tipperary in the South Midlands to Waterford in the South East, and from Clare, Limerick and Kerry down to Cork in the South.The entire area is famed for Irish traditional music, song and dance. There are many ancient castles and monasteries in the province, and coupled with the vast green countryside and its three cities (Limerick, Cork and Waterford) Munster is a must see destination for tourists.

Cork at night

Lismore Castle Bunratty Castle in County Clare is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. Travelling down the coast, Limerick is the next port of call which this year has been designated as Ireland’s first City of Culture. From theatres to outdoor music events, museums to festivals, Limerick has an eclectic mix of sights and sounds to suit all tastes. Reginald’s Tower

County Limerick also incorporates the Foynes Estuary with its world famous Foynes Flying Boat Museum. The museum tells the story of the Pan Am Clipper aircraft which brought commercial flights from America to our shores, landing in the estuary itself. It includes the only full-scale model of a Boeing B-314 Flying Boat anywhere in the world. The Rose of Tralee is the most famous Festival in Kerry and this internationally acclaimed festival comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a truly Irish experience. The festival celebrates its 55th year this year and commences with the International Rose Ball on the 15th of August before culminating with the selection of the 2014 Rose of Tralee in the magnificent dome four days later. There is a packed programme of events during the week for all to enjoy. 24


One of Munster’s most famous landmarks the Rock of Cashel, in County Tipperary is the historical seat of the Kings of Munster. The outcrop on which the Castle and grounds stand is one of the most photogenic spots in all of Munster. The spectacular group of medieval buildings are set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale and include the 12th century round tower, the High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, the 13th century Gothic cathedral, the 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. Tel: 062 61437 Email: County Cork is well worth the drive as it has sandy beaches, the wonderful Blarney Castle, Foto Wildlife Park and golf course, wonderful coastlines and a city nightlife to rival any of that in Europe. Travel from east to west or north to south in this sprawling county and there is a view, an historical point of interest or an adventure to explore. Finally at the extreme South East of the island of Ireland is Waterford. Waterford is the capital of the ‘Sunny South East of Ireland’

Blarney Castle

and Ireland’s oldest city. The city and county is famous throughout the world as the home of Waterford Crystal. A visit to the House of Crystal visitor centre includes an opportunity to choose from the world’s largest selection of Waterford Crystal. The factory tour offers first hand access to all areas of traditional crystal production. County Waterford offers a dazzling 147 kilometres coastline, with 49 beaches, beautiful river valleys, lakes and two dramatic ranges of very accessible mountains.

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Blarney Castle


larney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting visitors to Munster ever since. People come from all over the world to kiss the Blarney Stone, only to leave with miraculous powers of eloquence. The castle that you visit today is actually the third to have been built there on the site. The first building was erected in the tenth century and was made of wood. Then around 1210 A.D. this was replaced by a stone structure which had the entrance some twenty feet above the ground on the north face. This building was subsequently demolished, leaving only the foundations. But in 1446, the castle was rebuilt by Dermot MacCarthy, King of Munster. And it is this, the third castle to be built here, that you can visit today. Over the next 600 hundred years all sorts of illustrious visitors made their way to the famous castle. In the late 16th century, Queen Elizabeth I of England sent the Earl of Leicester over to take possession of the castle. But whenever he tried to negotiate with the Munster King, MacCarthy always suggested they discuss it over a sumptuous banquet. What was the Earl to do? It would have been rude not to. So that when the queen asked him for progress reports, he sent her a series of long missives in which he carefully avoided answering the key question, and at the end of which, the castle remained in Irish hands. The queen became so irritated that eventually she remarked that the earl's reports were all 'Blarney'. So it is thanks to Elizabeth that Blarney became synonymous with eloquence, and that so many people flock there today to kiss its stone. The English did eventually succeed in taking the castle, when Cromwell's General, Lord Broghill blasted his way through the tower walls. But when he got inside, everyone within had somehow disappeared, making their way through the three secret passageways hidden in the caves below the battlements, known as the Badgers Caves. One leads to Cork, one to the lake, and the third, according to legend, goes all the way to Kerry.



At the beginning of the 18th century Sir James St. John Jefferyes built a Georgian gothic house up against the keep of the castle, which was then the custom all over Ireland. At the same time the Jefferyes family laid out a landscape garden known as the Rock Close with a remarkable collection of massive boulders and rocks arranged around what seems to have been druid remains from prehistoric times. Certainly, many of the yew trees and evergreen oaks there are extremely ancient. In 1820 the house was accidentally destroyed by fire, and the wings that remained now form a picturesque adjunct to the keep. These were subsequently rearranged in the 1980s so as to give a better view of the castle’s keep. Blarney Castle is a must for any visitor to Munster. And as you are hanging upside down, kissing its famous stone, think of Elizabeth. Like so many English before and after, she intended taking something away, but ended up enriching the local culture. Albeit unintentionally. Opening hours 9am-5.30pm/Sundown, 9am-Sundown on Sundays.

Admission €13, €5 for children.



And as you are hanging upside down, kissing its famous stone, think of Elizabeth.



Recommended Pubs in Munster Dick Mack’s

Named after the leather craftsman, this small and gloriously “busy” pub still sells hand made leather ware inside at the shop to one side. Its walls are drowned in archaic photographs, and outside there’s a star studded pavement where the likes of Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery and Julia Roberts have left their mark. For many, many people, this is what they imagine when they conjure up the image of an Irish pub. Greene St, Dingle, Co Kerry Tel: 066 915 1960

Jack Meades (under the bridge)

An Brog

O’Neill’s Bar

An Brog has been attending to fans of alternative and indie music for over 20 years now, and they’ve a constantly evolving roster of Djs and live bands catering to all and every musical taste. And best of all, they are open til 2 in the morning, seven days a week.

Dunmore Rd, Waterford Tel: 051 850 950

The Bierhaus

72-73 Oliver Plunkett St, Cork Tel: 021 427 0074

Buckley’s Bar

The oak panelled walls and turf fire are the perfect accompaniment to the many musicians who drop in here for the impromptu sessions that seem to be forever going on here. Both bar and hotel have been welcoming visitors since it opened in 1926. And many people either begin their trip around the kingdom there, or base themselves there for its duration. The Arbutus Hotel, College St, Killarney, Co Kerry. Tel: 064 663 1037



Set on 5 acres of impeccably kept lawns, this sprawling complex boasts a number of bars. The old world bar it has dates back to 1705, whilst its lime kiln and ice house were built around 1860. But there is also a modern bar, and an extensive beer garden looking down over the gardens and streams. And good quality food is served here throughout the day.

O’Neill’s Bar/Mol’s Restaurant is located at the top of the town of Tramore. It’s one of the original family owned and run, bar & restaurants in Tramore. With its long standing tradition in sport it’s no wonder this bar is the main sports bar in the town. Since its renovation in 2015 the bar has gone from strength to strength with now one of the most comfortable and accommodating smoking rooms in the country.

There are over 220 different beers to choose from here, including 6 rotating guest draught taps and a cask. So whether you are looking for a bottle or draught, an international or an Irish beer, there’s a reasonably good chance you’ll find it here. And they spend as much time on getting the atmosphere right as they do on choosing their beers. Pope’s Quay, Cork Tel: 021 455 1648

Dolan’s Pub and Restaurant

Live music every Thursday to Sunday ensures that your visit will be one you won’t forget. They also have a top class restaurant adjacent to the bar which serves excellent cuisine hosting a range of dishes sourced locally with the best Waterford has to offer

Dolan’s is made up of three venues, two outdoor areas, a traditional Irish pub and a restaurant. So there’s music here every day of the week, and they’ll serve you your breakfast, lunch and dinner as you require. Some of the many guests who’ve enjoyed their hospitality include Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand, Sharon Shannon and Imelda May.

O’Neills Bar, Summerhill, Tramore, Co.Waterford

3-4 Dock Rd, Limerick Tel: 061 314 483 (ext 1)

Recommended Restaurants in Munster The Strand Inn

fish on a particular day, then they won’t open the restaurant. A certain Mr. Paul Hewson, aka Bono is a fan. So book early to avoid disappointment.

The Smuggler’s Inn

Dingle Harbour. Tel: 066 915 0811

La Boheme Overlooking Hook Head, The Strand Inn is the perfect place to enjoy lingering breakfasts, relax over a long lunch or enjoy intimate, romantic suppers. Diners can look forward to the finest Irish beef, lobster and line caught seafood in a luxurious setting, characterised by beamed ceilings, original stone walls and planked floors. Dunmore East, Co.Waterford. Tel: 051 383 174

The Munster Room Restaurant

The Munster Room Restaurant at Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort was awarded 2AA Rosettes in 2001 and currently continues this elite standard further confirmed with multiple awards and its review in the 2015 Michelin Guide. With its warm ambience, wonderful oak paneled walls, ornate ceiling, and further complemented by an extensive wine cellar and exciting seasonal menus it’s easy to see why it’s such a winning choice. Using the finest local produce, gifted head chef Michael Thomas and his culinary team continually create dishes with intense flavors that will tantalize and satisfy every food lover’s palate and create a truly memorable fine dining experience. Waterford Castle, The Island, Co. Waterford Tel: 051 878203

Out of the Blue

They serve only the freshest, most succulent fish and shellfish here, which they have delivered every day, literally, from the sea outside their front door. And if there’s no

La Boheme offers a unique experience for lovers of fine dining, with its location in the basement of one of Waterford’s foremost prestigious buildings. Head Chef Eric Theze uses fresh locally sourced produce, providing guests with exquisitely presented delectable dishes. Christine ensures that all are greeted with a warm welcome, with the belief in treating each guest as if they are being welcomed into their own home. A blend of fine dining and wine bar with bistro menu options, qualifies La Boheme as a hidden gem in the heart of Waterford City. Open Monday - Saturday 5.30pm until late (Open Bank Holiday Sundays) 2 George’s St., Waterford. Tel: 051 875645

The Copper Hen

This ocean front family run (2nd generation) establishment opened in 1980. The restaurant has been praised by gastronomic writers worldwide. It’s not hard to see why as the Chef/Proprietor, Henry Hunt, takes pride in serving fresh local produce. Panoramic views from the dining room, and friendly service, will give you the perfect dining experience. For total relaxation why not have an overnight stay in one of the comfortable guest rooms. Cliff Road, Waterville, Co. Kerry Tel: 066 9474330,

The Lobster

Whether you’re looking for lunch, a casual dinner or just a quiet pint, the friendly staff at The Lobster are sure to look after your every need. Situated in the seaside town of Waterville, it’s no surprise that The Lobster serve some of the best seafood in Kerry and their beef and Guinness stew is also spoken of very highly by all who have sampled it. Waterville, Co. Kerry. Tel: 066 9474629

The Cliff Restaurant The Copper Hen Restaurant is situated above Mother McHugh’s Pub on the Copper Coast between Tramore and Dungarvan in County Waterford. The restaurant was opened in November 2010 by award-winning chef Eugene Long and his wife Sinead Frisby. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming and the food is reasonably priced. Diners can choose from a range of locally sourced food, such as Kilmore crab claws, sautéed Tiger Prawns or Portobello mushroom bruschetta to start and Irish Hereford sirloin steak, grilled fillet of salmon or pan-roasted Dunmore Cod as main courses. The Copper Hen offers an unforgettable casual dining experience that visitors to Waterford can’t miss out on. Open Wednesday to Saturday for dinner and Sunday for lunch. Tel: 051 330 300

The Cliff Restaurant is a new addition to The Strand Inn. The Cliff is a relaxed, casual affair serving brunch from 1pm, and is open for food until 9pm. The Cliff contains a bar and two dining rooms. Downstairs is kid friendly, while upstairs is kid free making it the perfect place for both a family occasion or an evening meal with friends. The menu is wide ranging and includes pizzas, pastas, great salads and burgers, as well as delicious steaks. Dunmore East, Co.Waterford Tel: 051 383 839 DECEMBER 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE



Waterford Winterval Festival The special magic of Christmas in Ireland will come alive at the end of November as Waterford’s Winterval Festival returns for a fifth consecutive year from 25 November. People of all ages can enjoy 30 different fun events and activities at Ireland’s biggest, brightest and best Christmas event, which saw over 500,000 people from home and abroad attend last year.



The sparkling programme includes a multitude of free events as this year Winterval will shine brighter than ever with fun for families, couples and groups of friends looking to start their Christmas experience off in the best way possible. Visitors can enjoy a horse drawn sleigh ride through the Mall, the Viking Triangle and John Robert’s Square or take the Winterval Express Train for a tour of all the festival’s attractions including the Carousel and the Giant Postbox - where those all-important letters to Santa can be dropped off. Pay a visit to Reginald’s Tower for some enchanting storytelling, marvel at the beautiful Christmas market where you can savour top class food and find unique gifts for family and friends, and take a ride on the spectacular Vintage Ferris Wheel. Winterval Illuminates in Cathedral Square is another unmissable stop on the Christmas adventure. The now famous light show

projects onto the Deanery Building and will see the Square burst into life and light. This year promises to be better than ever thanks to a whole host of new features and 3D animation which will transform the area into a magical place of light and colour. This spectacular show is absolutely free and is sure to be one of the highlights of the festival. Ireland’s oldest city also plays host to Waterford on Ice, the National Reptile Zoo and twice daily screenings of How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Movies at The Reg. Of course, the man himself will be in attendance throughout the festival. Santa’s Grotto at the Medieval Museum is a real treat for all the family with the awestruck amazement in every child’s eye a thing of pure magic. En route to see Santa Claus, families will be able to explore the Enchanted Gardens and the elves’ living quarters before they visit the the jolly man in red, who will have a chat, present a gift and pose for a

photo that will live long in the memory. The free Toy Museum is always worth a visit at Winterval. This years theme is “Gaming Through the Ages”, where visitors will be able to see and play some of the first video games ever invented. It’s a journey back to where gaming started and offers a chance to see up close how gaming has evolved over the years - fascinating for children and sure to be a fun trip down memory lane for their parents. There’s so much to see and do for everyone at Winterval and Waterford is once again the place to be this Christmas. We recommend booking tickets in advance so weekends can be spent exploring this interactive medieval city to the fullest. The Winterval Festival takes place from 25 - 27 November, 2 - 4 December, 8 - 11 December and 15 - 23 December. DECEMBER 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Explore Munster

Cliffs of Moher

Stretching for eight kilometres along the coastline and standing at 214 metres at their highest point, the Cliffs of Moher give the visitor a panoramic view out onto the Atlantic Ocean. It is said that on a clear day you can see the Aran Islands and Galway Bay, over the twelve pins and the Blasket Islands off the coast of Kerry. When there you really should ascend O’Briens Tower which has been used as a viewing point for centuries past.

Jameson Experience, Midleton Co.Cork

The Hunt Museum

The Hunt Museum has artefacts from Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Olmec civilisation. There is also an important collection of Irish archaeological material ranging from Neolithic flints, Bronze Age material, and Christian art. One of the strengths of the collection is the medieval material, which include statues in stone and wood, painted panels, jewellery, enamels, ivories, ceramics, crystal and crucifixes. Plus work from Picasso, Renoir, Roderic O’Conor, Jack B. Yeats, Robert Fagan and Henry Moore.

Tours run all day, last tour 16.30pm. Adult rate is €15.00 and save 10% on adult admission by booking in advance online. 32


The Ring of Kerry (Irish: Mórchuaird Chiarraí) is not a ring in the conventional sense but a 179-km-long circular tourist route in County Kerry. The scenery along this route is spectacular to behold and the route takes you through the Gap of Dunloe, the Bog Village, past Rossbeigh Beach, Torc Waterfall, Muckross House, The Blue Pool, Ross Castle, the Ogham Stones, and many more visitor attractions.

Bunratty Castle

Tel: 061 312 833

Titanic Experience Cobh

Join the whiskey Masters for a guided tour through the romantic past of Irish whiskey making. Learn about the Angels Share, Triple Distillation and above all the smooth taste of Jameson Irish Whiskey. The Old Midleton Distillery stands on the banks of the Dungourney river in Midleton. It is a distillery steeped in history and provides both a cultural and educational experience. The old distillery buildings have been restored to their original splendor, as they looked in 1805 when whiskey was first produced on this site. Each tour culminates in the Jameson Bar with a complimentary glass of Jameson and a chance to become a “Qualified Irish Whiskey Taster”. Visitors can also enjoy a delicious lunch in the Malt House Restaurant or browse the Distillery shop, where you will find exclusive Jameson gifts.

Ring of Kerry

Bunratty Castle in County Clare is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour and now contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times. Browse the castle and marvel at the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country which brings to life a vital part of our Medieval past.

Blarney Castle Titanic Experience Cobh is located in the original White Star Line Ticket Office in the centre of Cobh town (formerly known as Queenstown) the departure point for the final 123 passengers who boarded the Titanic. The visitor experience is presented in two parts. The first is an immersive audio visual tour retracing the steps of the 123 passengers who boarded Titanic from Queenstown on April 11th 1912. The second part of the Titanic Experience examines how it all went wrong. The unbelievable and “almost” impossible sequence of events that occurred to cause Titanic to sink.

Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting visitors from all over the world ever since. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland’s greatest treasures. This is probably because of the famous stone you will see at the top of the tower. People from all over the world have climbed up there to kiss it in the hope of acquiring the gift of the gab.

Tel: 021 438 5252

GROGANS 15 South William Street Host to a continuous changing art exhibition Winterval_Magazine AD_2016.pdf



Telephone 01 6779320










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Artisan Food and Drink Genovese Foods

Founded in 1999, Genovese Foods are the oldest manufacturers of fresh pesto in Ireland. With over 50 years combined experience in the artisan and gourmet food sector, passionate foodies Enda McCormack and Gillian Toal believe that their recipes are only as good as their ingredients, and so all products are gluten-free, vegetarian and made

Dan Kelly’s Irish Cider Made from apples harvested from their own fruit farm in the Boyne Valley, Dan Kelly’s Irish Cider are one of the only cider producers in Ireland to grow their own fruit. Cider apples are blended with Bramley and dessert apples to give the cider a dry finish, while the light carbonation allows the flavour of the apples to shine through. Boyne Grove Fruit Farms Stameen, Drogheda, Co. Louth 041 9837333

Kylemore Acres Herbs & Spices

from the finest locally sourced ingredients - as their motto goes; “Taste it and you Know”. Their Pesto Verdi, as well as their recently launched Pesto Rosso and vegan friendly Tapenade Rustico are available in many of Ireland’s gourmet stores, such as Ardkeen. They also firmly believe in quality handmade production systems to make the highest quality products and are currently working towards their Origin Green Charter to adhere to the highest standards in environmental recycling processes. 5 Oxmantown Lane, Dublin 7 01 4741044

Dillon Organics

Facebook: Kylemore Acres Herbs Email: Website: 34


Longueville House have been producing their own cider and apple brandy for over 30 years. They use only heritage, heirloom Michelin and Dabinett apples, grown in the orchards in Blackwater valley to produce their delicious Longueville House Cider, free of additives and preservatives. This cider is then aged four years in oak red wine casks to produce their full-bodied Apple Brandy. As well as their high quality artisan drinks, this is the ideal venue for corporate events, offering visitors distillery tours, clay pigeon shooting and luncheon. See their Facebook page ( for some great recipes, including their delicious recipe for Mulled Longueville House Cider. Mallow, Co. Cork 022 47156

Ummera Smoked Products Dillon Organics pride themselves on supplying fresh, organic Irish food to independent, family-owned supermarkets around the Dublin area. They offer Old Millbank Organic Smoked Salmon from Buttevant in Cork, Butler’s Organic Irish Eggs from Carlow and Oriel Organic Sea Salt from Port Oriel, Clogherhead in Co. Louth. They also supply to Avoca stores nationwide and their Old Millbank Smoked Salmon is so good that Avoca use it in their own recipes in their on-site restaurants. Tel: 0860217074 Email: Twitter: @DillonOrganics

Kylemore Acres produces naturally gluten free herb and spice mixes without any additives or artificial flavourings. Only herbs and spices are used to create these tasty blends with easy to follow recipes. Each sachet is mixed by hand at our home in County Galway and they are available in many craft butchers and artisan food shops throughout Ireland. In winter we also make delicious mulling spices to add to red wine, apple juice, tea or coffee.

Longueville House

For almost 40 years, Ummera Smoked Products have been producing some of the finest smoked products available. Their award winning smoked salmon, chicken, duck and bacon are full of natural flavour and texture thanks to their process of blending their products with careful curing and gently smoking over oak fires, using only the finest, natural ingredients. Available at outlets nationwide, they also deliver internationally and all of their products are free from artificial preservatives. They welcome visitors to the smokehouse to experience, taste and smell their amazing food and discover how it’s made. Inchybridge , Timoleague, Co. Cork Loc8Code: WND-86-6WN Eircode: P72 A265 023 8846644

The Breadski Brothers The Breadski Brothers are a dynamic trio, originally from Poland and now baking up a storm in Castlebar, Co. Mayo. These three brothers are passionate about real bread, breadmaking and ‘breaducation’. Well established within the Polish market in Ireland, they have recently begun baking for Irish taste buds and the results are astounding. Their

healthy, additive-free bread range includes the award winning Rye Bread with Cranberries; one of their two slow rise sourdough breads. The Breadski Brothers also make a range of more than 40 cakes. Products are available in over 50 SuperValus, Corrib Oil stores, and more than 250 Polish stores nationwide. Castlebar, Co. Mayo 01 960 9393,,

A Day in the Life of a Food Explorer

, Carl Mark O Neill

By Carl Mark O’Neill


he festive season is rapidly approaching. I love this time of year as it gives people the chance to catch up with friends and family and create some special memories. Of course, it’s quite likely that you’ll be entertaining guests at this time of year and you’re going to want to have some nibbles prepared to offer them. This month, thanks to food suppliers Taste the View, Dillon Organics and Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, I was able to put together a range of festive treats made entirely from glutenfree Irish products. I guarantee these platters will make your Christmas party one that will be talked about for years to come. I started by making a mulled apple cider, combining Longueville House Apple Brandy with two bottles of Mor Cider and adding sachet of mulled spices from Kylemore Acres & table spoon Tara Hill raw honey to slightly sweeten. & sliced apples & oranges. I then grilled pudding and sausage platter. This consists of Rosscarbery White Pudding, Rosscarbery Cocktail Sausages

and Inch House Award winning Black Pudding. The flavours of these pork products combine really well when topped with Cahill Farmhouse 24 months old mature cow’s cheese and Ardsallagh goat’s cheese and are served on top of Foods Of Athenry Crackers and Goodness of Grains Multiseed Bread. For those who prefer fish, why not try the seafood platter? This consists of Goatsbridge Trout Caviar, Window To The Sea Fresh Prawns and Old Millbank Organic Sliced Salmon. I serve them with The Birds & the Teas, Tomato & Chilli Relish and Spiced Apple Chutney,or some Genovese Foods Fresh Pesto. The relish and pesto really compliment the flavour of the fish and offer an interesting twist on the usual smoked salmon platters that you will find at Christmas time. For dessert, I topped some Fields of Athenry mince pies with some delicious brandy butter from G’s Preserves. Who doesn’t love a mince pie with brandy butter at Christmas time? Apart from being gluten-free, all of these platters are really quick and easy to make, leaving you with one less thing to worry about this Christmas.



Winter Wonderland and Christmas Carnival at

Westport House

Be prepared for a magical Christmas experience in Westport this year as Westport House plays host to Winter Wonderland and a Christmas Carnival that will feature the largest mobile ferris wheel in Europe. Running from 20 November until 8 January,Winter Wonderland and the Christmas Carnival make Westport the ideal spot for some family Christmas fun. Winter Wonderland is a three hour guided tour through the beautiful Westport House, with Santa, Mrs Claus and their helpers on hand to guide you on your way. Escape the cold weather outside and cosy up beside the fires with a free hot drink (mulled wine for the parents and juice for the kids). After that, Santa’s Little Helper will lead your family into the Drawing Room for storytime with Mrs Claus. Next up, it’s a trip to the Dining Room, which has been turned into Santa’s grotto and the main man himself will be on hand to find out what the children want for Christmas, hand out presents and pose for photos that will capture this special moment forever.



Of course, the elves are hard at work at this time of year and you can pop into their workshop where you can make a yuletide log to bring home. And don’t forget the real spirit of Christmas with a visit to the Christmas Wish Tree. Westport House will donate €1 per family to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice for each family’s wish so make sure you make a wish and support this great cause. After this, the train driver will pick you up from the Old Kitchen Cafe to whisk you away to the Train Stop at the Back Door where you’ll hop on board the Westport Train to enjoy magnificent winter time views around the House. But don’t depart just yet because there’s plenty more to be enjoyed at the

Christmas Carnival. Brand new for 2016, the carnival features Europe’s biggest mobile ferris wheel, which at 35 metres tall makes the grand Westport House look like a mere cottage. From up on the wheel, visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the estate, heritage town of Westport, Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick. The Carnival also includes a range of more grounded rides, including chair-o-planes, bumper cars, formula one, hot air balloon and airplane rides.Visitors will also have the chance to win cuddly toys to take home at the stalls and there will be plenty of hot refreshments from warming drinks to traditional German ham sausages cooked on a free-swinging grill over an open fire. The majestic surrounds of Westport House make the perfect setting to create some special Christmas memories this year with a trip to the Westport House Winter Wonderland and Christmas Carnival.

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Welcome to Connaught

Macnas Festival Parade This Fierce Beauty

The province of Connaught lies in the West of Ireland with its coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. The counties of Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Galway and Roscommon make up this geographically diverse region with the Atlantic Ocean to its westerly boundary, and the midlands of Roscommon to the East. It is the least populated with a population of just over 400,000. Historically, Connaught has retained its rich Gaelic heritage and today still has communities where the Irish language only is spoken amongst them. But English is the primary second language. These regions are collectively called the Gaeltacht. The remote and beautiful Aran Islands off the mainland of County Galway are also part of the Gaeltacht. The primary business centre of Connaught, and the most densely populated area is the thriving city of Galway to the south of the province. Although Sligo City, Carrick on Shannon, and Boyle are all fine business and shopping centres in their own right. Galway city



Connaught has some Carrick on Shannon of the most scenic and unspoilt countryside to be found in Ireland, including the spectacular mountainous landscape of Connemara, the lock gates and river banks of the Shannon Waterway, the famed Galway Bay and the historic glens of County Leitrim. Couple these with the beautiful Ashford the holiest mountain in Ireland. The tradition Castle in Mayo near to Cong where the of pilgrimage to this holy mountain stretches film The Quiet Man was filmed, and the back over 5,000 years from the Stone Age to natural serenity of Lough Key Forest Park the present day without interruption. Croagh in Roscommon, and a tour of this region is a Patrick is renowned today for its Patrician must for all. Pilgrimage in honour of Saint Patrick, For those interested in a religious experience Ireland’s patron saint. It was on the summit Mayo is famed for Knock Shrine where on of the mountain that Saint Patrick is said to the 21st August, 1879, at about 8 o’clock, Our have fasted for forty days in 441 AD, and the Lady, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist custom of trekking up the mountain has been are reputed to have appeared. The apparition faithfully handed down from generation to was seen by fifteen people whose ages ranged generation. Croagh Patrick is 5 miles from the from six years to seventy-five and included picturesque town of Westport, and its conical men, women and children. The shrine has shape soars majestically above the surrounding become so popular in modern times that the countryside with magnificent views of Clew Ireland West International Airport was built Bay beneath. especially in 1985 to cater for the hundreds So, whether it’s water activities on the Atlantic of thousands of pilgrims and visitors to coastline, cruising on the Shannon Waterway, Connaught. religious pilgrimages, chilling out amongst The county also features the pilgrimage site an unspoilt landscape or driving along roads known as Croagh Patrick, which overlooks where motoring is still a pleasure, Connaught Clew Bay in County Mayo. This is considered has it all.

Explore Connaught

Lovely Leitrim Barge Holiday Boatel Kylemore Abbey Few places on earth have the tranquillity and beauty of Kylemore Abbey and its majestic Victorian walled garden, which won the prestigious Europa Nostra Award in 2002.The garden comprises of roughly 6 acres and is divided in two by a natural mountain stream. The eastern half comprises of the flower or pleasure garden, glass houses and gardeners’ houses. While the kitchen garden makes up the other half of the garden and is predominantly given over to the growing of food.

Glencar Waterfall Glencar Waterfall is situated near Glencar Lake, 11 kilometres west of Manorhamilton, County Leitrim. It is particularly impressive after rain and can be viewed from a lovely wooded walk. The most dramatic waterfall descends from a 50ft rocky headland into a deep pool below in a haze of white spray. A paved path to the viewing area provides a wonderful vantage point from which to view the waterfall which is particularly spectacular during wet conditions.

Arigna Mining Experience Discover what coal mining life was like for coal miners in the Arigna Valley in Roscommon from the 1700’s until its closure in 1990. Visit the exhibition area to discover the history of the mine and then take an underground tour of the mine, where the methods used to extract coal are demonstrated, with lighting and sound effects added for authenticity.


You can book online at

Dún Aonghasa National Museum of Ireland - Country Life The National Museum of Ireland - Country Life in Turlough Park, Castlebar houses exhibits showing how rural people in Ireland lived from the time of the Great Famine right up until the 1950s. The museum features four levels of interactive displays and exhibitions that offer a fascinating insight into the lives of the rural Irish people in years gone by.

Connemara Mullaghmore is one of the surfing capitals of the Irish Atlantic coastline, and is recognised as one of the top surfing destinations in the world. Surfers and windsurfers from all over the world have ridden waves up to 15 metres (49 ft) high off Mullaghmore Head. The area is also safe for bathing, and has all the modern facilities that you could wish for to make your stay enjoyable.

Mary McInerney and Jorn Bjerknes invite you to join them on their luxury custom made barge for an unforgettable experience traversing the Shannon waterways. Whether you fancy going fishing, a leisurely cruise down the Shannon, going for a round of golf, or anything else you can think of, Mary and Jorn are happy to cater to what is required.

Connemara is a world of unspoilt natural beauty, rolling hills, leafy glens and crystal clear mountain streams all overlooked by towering majestic mountains. Travel from the rugged Twelve Bens mountain range in the north through lake-rich Roundstone Bog, to the golden beaches reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean. This wondrous landscape is bounded on the West, South and North by the Atlantic Ocean.

Located on Inismór in the Aran Islands, Dún Aonghasa is one of the best examples of a semi-circular stone fort in Europe. Located on the 300ft cliffside on the south of the island, it is one of Ireland’s most visited attractions and offers stunning views that stretch the length of the island.

Croagh Patrick

Croagh Patrick is 5 miles from the picturesque town of Westport, and its conical shape soars majestically above the surrounding countryside, offering spectacular views of Clew Bay and the surrounding countryside. It was on the summit of this mountain that Saint Patrick fasted for forty days in 441 AD, and the custom has been faithfully handed down from generation to generation. On the last day in July 25,000 pilgrims climb it, and over a million people visit Croagh Patrick every year. DECEMBER 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


The Tipperary town of Roscrea will kick off the festive season in style with the return of the Taste of Roscrea Festival. Now in its fifth year, Taste of Roscrea have put together an exciting programme for its annual food and craft market, which showcases the best locally produced products against the stunning backdrop of Damer House. “We will have carol singing, father Christmas, food and craft stalls, cookery demonstrations and much much more,” said Councillor Michael Smith at the launch of this year’s event. “This is the perfect opportunity to meet local craftspeople and food producers and purchase that special Christmas gift. To celebrate our fifth year of this festival we will have a number of surprises planned during the four days. I would advise people to come down early to see and celebrate all the town has to offer” Chamber Resident Seamus Browne, also speaking at the launch, added: “This event is the most important opportunity our town has to showcase its products. In creating a Christmas Village inside the Castle, we can all see the best that Roscrea business and the Community have to offer.” There certainly is a lot on offer at Taste of Roscrea. The festival will start with the announcement of the People of Roscrea Awards on Thursday, 1 December in the main marquee. The following day the festival will be in full swing, with a host of fantastic events to enjoy. Meet and experience the many food producers, as well as producers of craft, wood products and fashion, who will all be selling their wares throughout Damer House. Over 200 cookery and recipe books will be on sale in aid of local Roscrea Hospice while a quiz with a difference will show images of Roscrea and district with all proceeds to Saint Vincent de Paul. Friday is Benefit Night in Aid of Scoil Iosef Naofa with a spectacular show promised and there are strong rumours that an appearance from Girl band Spice Girls is on the cards. The Saturday night Fashion Show is always a highlight and this year the proceeds of the show will go to help Roscrea Juvenile GAA Club. Models



will be coming from all over the county and beyond to assist this great club with their fundraising initiative. With Christmas just around the corner, a trip to Taste of Roscrea to pick up a

unique Christmas gift, enjoy some of the local produce and maybe make a few new friends is a must for anyone passing through Tipperary this month.

café-bar 236 LOWER RATHMINES ROAD, DUBLIN 6 TEL: 01-4977057

Recommended Restaurants in Connaught Kai Café

An Port Mór Restaurant

Roasted pig cheeks with black pudding, and apple and vanilla sauce is just one of this award winning restaurant’s specialities. One of the finest restaurants in the West. 1 Brewery Place, Bridge St, Westport, Co. Mayo Tel: 098 26730

The Cottage Restaurant

Head chef Sham Hanifa’s sauces are so well regarded, you can buy jars of them to take away with you after your meal. Originally from Malaysia, he’s been here in Leitrim for over 14 years and applies his culinary skills to the local Irish produce that are native to the West. Jamestown, Co. Leitrim Tel: 071 962 5933

Ashford Castle

Dating all the way back to 1228, this is one of the most imposing castles on the island. And where better to dine than in the George V dining room, built specially by the Guinness family when they hosted the Prince of Wales in 1906. Cong, Co. Mayo Tel: 094 954 6003 David and Jessica Murphy’s restaurant in the heart of Galway has justly won a mountain of awards over the last couple of years, including Restaurant of the Year in 2012. Of the many, many who sing its praises, John McKenna wrote, “It’s vital food, packed with good energy, and it lifts you up to eat it because it’s so simple and elemental.” Sea Road, Galway City. Tel: 091 526 003

Eala Bhán

Upstairs @ West Restaurant

Situated in the luxury 4 star hotel The Twelve in Barna, minutes away from the city centre, this is one of Galway’s best kept secrets and is well worth a visit. The Twelve, Barna, Galway City Tel: 091 597 000

Waterfront House Restaurant

Ireland’s largest stockist of Designer Sunglasses If it’s fresh seafood or a prime steak you’re looking for, this is the place for you. Situated in the heart of Sligo this restaurant is warmly recommended by one and all, including Lucinda O’Sullivan and Georgina Campbell. Rockwood Parade, Sligo Town Tel: 071 914 5823

Half way between Athlone and Roscommon, and a quarter of an hour’s drive from either, Aidan Murray has been head chef here for over 20 years. Superior bistro food.

The Waterfront House Restaurant boasts one of the most outstanding sea views in Ireland. You can wine, dine and relax as you peer out over the 5km beach overlooking Killala Bay. Since it opened in 2011 the Seaview Restaurant and Wine Bar have become popular with locals and visitors alike. Fresh Seafood is a speciality.

Lecarrow, Co. Roscommon Tel: 090 666 1255

Enniscrone, County Sligo Tel: 096 37120

The Yew Tree Restaurant



Recommended Pubs in Connaught Tigh Neachtain (Naughtons)

Just across the road from Galway’s justly celebrated Druid Theatre, the Neachtain family have been running this pub here since 1894. And the artsy crowd that congregate here are as likely to be treated to a live jazz trio as they are to the best in Irish trad. 17 Cross st, Galway Tel: 091 568 820

Furey’s Pub

The Quays

Furey’s is located in the centre of Sligo, and is your no nonsense, strictly Irish trad music only, Irish pub. And they are as keen on real beer as they are on serious music, offering up an impressive choice craft beers. Bridge St, Sligo Tel: 087 958 3080 Don’t be put off by the reams of tourists that flock here all year round, there’s a reason that this pub enjoys such a lofty reputation. It looks and feels exactly like an Irish pub should. And be sure to check out the back of the pub which has been decked out with stained glass and wooden pews borrowed from a Medieval French church!

Bosh Bar and Restaurant Whether you are looking for a bit of good quality food, hoping to catch some live music, or just want to watch the match, this is the place you’re looking for when you find yourself in Castlebar.

11 Quay St, Galway Tel: 091 568 347

Linenhall St., Castlebar, Co Mayo Tel: 094 925 0534

Roísín Dubh

Matt Malloy’s

It might have changed hands a few years ago, but the Roísín Dubh is still the premier music venue in the West. In the past they played host to Ray Davies, The New York Dolls and Townes Van Zandt and, more recently the XX, DJ Shadow and Dinosaur Jr. The only difference is, they’ve got a beer garden on the roof now!

This is exactly the kind of pub you’d expect the flute player with the Chieftains to have opened. And when he’s not on tour with them, you can expect to see Matt Malloy here in person, joining in on the sessions that take place within.

Lower Dominick St., Galway Tel: 091 586 540

Bridge St., Westport Tel: 098 26655 DECEMBER 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Welcome to Ulster

The Giants Causway Photo: @storytravelers The Ancient Irish province of Ulster, made up of 9 counties, was partitioned in 1921 and six of the counties in it now make up Northern Ireland. These are Fermanagh, Antrim, Down, Derry/Londonderry, Armagh, and Tyrone. The other three counties are Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. County Fermanagh has over 300 square miles of water, 365 islands, breathtaking scenery, the mystical Marble Arch Caves Geo Park, world class fishing and more historic monuments than you could shake a stick at. In short, Fermanagh is a Lakeland Paradise. County Donegal is in the northwest of the

‘Hills of Donegal’ consist of two major ranges, the Derryveagh Mountains in the north and the Bluestack Mountains in the south, with Mount Errigal at 751 metres the highest peak. The Slieve League cliffs are the second highest sea cliffs in Europe, while Donegal’s Malin Head is the most northerly point on the island of Ireland.

new Titanic Quarter and the Odyssey Arena to name but a few. This vibrant city has a culture all of its own and its restaurants, theatres and nightlife are amazingly good value.

Mount Errigal

Belfast Republic of Ireland. The name “Donegal” comes from the Irish, meaning “the fort of the foreigners”. The county consists chiefly of low mountains, with a deeply indented coastline forming natural loughs, of which Lough Swilly is the most notable. The famous mountains or 44


County Antrim with its beautiful coast road and famous glens is the most north easterly county on the island. On a worldwide scale Antrim’s most famous attraction is the Giants Causeway. However the renowned ‘Glens of Antrim’, the Bushmills Distillery and Carrickfergus Castle are well worth visiting as well. Belfast City too has many things to see including the grandeur of the City Hall, the

Linsfort Church, Co. Donegal


Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2015/16 RECOGNISING SUCCESS and INNOVATION




museum and 1916 exhibition tours and re-enactments



Explore Ulster

Titanic Belfast Since opening in March 2012 Titanic Belfast has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland, with over a million visitors through its doors in its first year. Housed in an iconic, six storey building, it’s located in the heart of Belfast, right next to the site where the famous ship was built, telling the story of the Titanic from its conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through its construction and launch, to its famous maiden voyage and tragic end.

The Giant’s Causeway The Giant’s Causeway stretches for around five kilometres along the Antrim coast. Legend has it that it was built by Finn MacCool so that he could get across to Scotland to take on a giant who lived there. In 1986 the Giant’s Causeway Visitors centre opened, after the World Heritage Conventions added it to its list of sites which are of exceptional interest and universal value.

Dunluce Castle With a rich history, in a stunning, location, Dunluce Castle on the coast of Antrim is just waiting to be explored. Visitor information includes an audio visual tour of the castle, with a ‘treasure hunt’ encouraging younger visitors to explore. You can also download a Dunluce Castle app for iPhone and Android devices, available free of charge from the App Store and Google Play. 46


The Old Bushmills Distillery Bushmills is the only distillery in Ireland to make triple-distilled malt whiskey. This is at the heart of all Bushmills whiskeys, whether Bushmills or Black Bush, and it is this that gives them their unique combination of smoothness and richness. Today, over 120,00 visitors come to the Old Distillery every year to discover more about how it is all done, and to see for themselves where the magic happens.

Ulster American Folk Park Situated 5 miles outside of Omagh on the road to Strabane, the museum is your chance to mix family fun with a fascinating exploration of our shared histories. Immerse yourself in the world famous story of Irish emigration at the museum that brings it to life. Follow the emigrant trail as you journey from the thatched cottages of Ulster, on board a full scale emigrant sailing ship leading to the log cabins of the American Frontier.

Down County Museum Situated next to the Down Cathedral, the Down County Museum houses modern galleries telling the stories of the area and fantastic temporary exhibitions. Learn about the museum’s history as a gaol and see the Downpatrick High Cross before relaxing in their new Cathedral View Tea Room.

Belleek Pottery One of Northern Ireland’s oldest and most fascinating attractions. Visitors can take a personally guided tour of the factory and see how the techniques developed by the very first Belleek craftsmen 158 years ago are still followed today. An audio visual presentation informs visitors of the rich history of the pottery from its beginnings right the way through to present day, while the Belleek Museum offers a display of pottery through the ages.

Glenveagh National Park The second largest national park in Ireland, Glenveagh is a remote and beautiful wilderness in the north-west of Donegal. Full of rugged mountains, pristine lakes and tumbling waterfalls. Visitors can also take a tour of Glenveagh Castle on the banks of Lough Veagh and take a walk through the beautiful walled gardens, which boast a multitude of exotic plant.

Florence Court Florence Court is the former home of the Cole family, Earls of Enniskillen. The three storey Georgian mansion contains fine plasterwork and 18th century Irish furniture and also offers extensive gardens, outdoor trails and a woodland children’s play area. Every aspect of life in this classical Irish House, with its fine interiors and exquisite decoration, is brought to life on guided tours.

Recommended Pubs in Ulster The Crown Liquor Saloon

Located in Belfast’s Cathedral district, very unusually this pub is owned by the Belfast Unemployment Resource Centre, which was opened by local poet, socialist and Freeman of the City, John Hewitt. Hence the name. They’ve an extensive range of craft beers, both on tap and in bottles. And if that’s not enough, they even have a genuine gin palace! Which includes locally made Shortcross Gin. 51 Donegall St., Belfast Tel: 028 9023 3768

White’s Tavern

Dating all the way back to 1630, this is the oldest tavern in Belfast, and one of the oldest anywhere on these islands. You can warm yourself by the fire downstairs where you’ll find the original pub, whilst upstairs they’ve opened a second bar where more livelier fare goes down. 2-4 Winecellar Entry, Belfast Tel: 028 9024 3080

Kelly’s Cellars Now owned by the National trust, this is one of the most justly famous pubs to be found anywhere in Britain or Ireland, with its mixture of oak panelling, leather chairs and its exquisite, ornate Victorian tiling. And, just as you’d expect, they’ve a wonderful selection of real ales and home made food. 46 Great Victoria St, Belfast Tel: 028 9024 3187

This is the oldest pub proper in Belfast, dating back to 1720. Stone floors, white washed walls, and traditional Irish music rings through its low ceilinged rooms. It’s like finding a country pub in the middle of the city. 30-32 Bank St, Belfast Tel: 028 9024 6058

The Duke Of York

The John Hewitt

One of the liveliest pubs in town, its walls are busy with paraphernalia and whatnots, and the place is hopping with (mostly) young people who fill the place up all weekend and most of the week. And if you are looking to treat yourself to a sneaky, antique whiskey, look no further. 7-11 Commercial Ct, Belfast Tel: 028 9024 1062

Peadar O’Donnell’s

There are three bars to choose from here at this famous Derry pub, and music to suit any and all tastes. You can move from an impromptu session that might have materialised magically in the corner of the traditional bar downstairs, to a gig proper upstairs in the Gweedore. Before coming back downstairs to what they swear is the best pint in Derry. 59-63 Waterloo St., Derry Tel: 028 7126 7295 DECEMBER 2016 - TRAVEL IRELAND MAGAZINE


Recommended Restaurants in Ulster Ox

Having won the Best Newcomer Award in 2013, Ox took Best Restaurant, Best Chef and Best Wine Experience in Antrim for 2014. Chic, smart and very good.

The Ginger Bistro


1 Oxford St, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9031 4121

55 Degrees North Located in Belfast’s historic Linenhall Street just behind City Hall, this is one of the best dining experiences you will find here in the city centre in Belfast. Its chic boutique surroundings make it very much the place to see and be seen.

This family run business has been open since 2005. And this stylish restaurant has been receiving plaudits ever since, both for the quality of its food, and the spectacular views of the Atlantic that it offers. 1 Causeway St, Portrush, Co Antrim Tel: 0044 28 7082 2811

The ginger in question is owner chef Simon McCance, and since relocating here closer to the centre his reputation for producing quality food at surprisingly reasonable prices has got even stronger. 7-8 Hope St, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9024 4421

Deane’s Restaurant

7-11 Linenhall St, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9031 1150


They serve deliberately simple, Frenchinfluenced food here using only the best seasonal ingredients, and all served at a reasonable price in an elegant location. And you can have a drink in the cocktail bar in the basement while you are waiting for your table. 253 Lisburn Rd, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9038 1655

Vanilla Restaurant

Local man Darren Ireland opened this smart new establishment here in 2009, and it’s one of the best quality bistros on the East coast.

Telfords Restaurant

Overlooking the river Lagan and situated in a maritime building that dates back to 1843, Telfords operates on three levels and is in walking distance from the Waterfront Hall, the Odyssey complex and the Ulster Hall.

67 Main St, Newcastle Tel: 0044 28 4372 2268

Lough Erne Resort

5 Donegall Quay, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9043 4000

Sun Kee Restaurant

One of the best Chinese restaurants in Belfast, the Lo family have been producing impressively adventurous and authentic Chinese cuisine here for years. 42-7 Donegall Pass, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9031 2016 Michael Deane trained at London’s prestigious Claridges and since returning to Belfast he has opened up a number of top quality restaurants across the city. And losing the Michelin star he had in 2011 has he says liberated him, allowing him to concentrate on the food without having to worry about critics. 36-40 Howard St, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9033 1134



In the city’s busy Botanic Avenue, this is one of the city’s few authentic sushi bars, but they also serve a variety of fusion dishes if sushi is not your thing. A superior Japanese restaurant. 82 Botanic Av, Belfast Tel: 0044 28 9043 9590

Speranza Restaurant

This 5 star hotel just outside the town of Enniskillen is quite simply one of the most spectacularly situated hotel resorts you will find anywhere in Europe.

Lusty Beg

This island spa is set on 75 acres in the heart of the lakes of Fermanagh, and where better to unwind than in its award winning restaurant.

Hand made oven baked pizzas are one of the specialities here, but there is a wide choice of all types of Italian food on offer here in one of Belfast’s finest Italian restaurants.

Belleek Rd, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh Tel: 0044 28 6632 3230

Boa Island, Kesh, Co Fermanagh Tel: 0044 28 6863 3300

16-9 Shaftesbury Av, Belfast Tel: 044 28 9023 0213


Night at the Museum Have you ever dreamed about what cinema would look like if it came to life? A new company based in Northern Ireland, Moving Pictures, is aiming to make that dream come to life.

The company has a number of events planned over the next few months, ranging from events for adults including Northern Ireland’s first “secret screening” (a cinema themed event based at an undisclosed location to be revealed just a few days before the event begins), to a Hollywood themed murder mystery, through to an event coming up on the 9 December, their “Night at the Museum”, based at the Ulster Museum. Aimed at children between 7 and 11 and an uncle, aunt, mother, father or older brother or sister over 18 accompanying them, Moving Pictures invite us to ask what happens in the Ulster Museum at night. Is it just an ordinary Museum? Or is something more going on?

at the ulster museum

The night is billed to begin with a 45 minute tour focusing upon the great treasures of the Museum, curated by the Museum’s madcap (and mercifully fictional) curator Professor “Betram Bigglebottom”, including an artefact recently introduced to the Museum, the golden tablet of the lady Takabuti, rumoured by those prone to idle superstition to have a “hidden power”.

Saturday 10 December 2016, for those not staying for the night, or 9am on Saturday for those staying over.

At 9.15pm, the Night at the Museum film will be shown in the Museum’s cinema theatre.Then, when the film ends, the clock strikes eleven, and the lights go out, Moving Pictures ask us to think about what might happen if, maybe, just maybe, the Museum came to life…, or contact Moving Pictures via

The event starts at 7.30pm on Friday 9 December 2016 and ends 12.30am on

And remember - bring your torch. And prepare for the unexpected…

Whilst the event is being organised by Moving Pictures at the Ulster Museum, it is not an Ulster Museum event, and those looking for further information, are invited to post via Facebook:

Tickets can be purchased via Ticket Tailor, but hurry, there are only 10% left!



Great Irish Writers

CS Lewis


t may surprise some people that CS Lewis was Irish. In fact, he was quite a proud Irishman, once writing about what he saw as the English indifference to WB Yeats: "I am often surprised to find how utterly ignored Yeats is among the men I have met: perhaps his appeal is purely Irish – if so, then thank the gods that I am Irish.” Although he spent most of his adult life in England, Lewis never forgot his Irish roots and actively sought the company of Irish people. He also frequently returned to visit Ireland. In fact, his best known work, The Chronicles of Narnia, may not have come into being were it not for Ireland. Clive Staples Lewis was born on 29 November 1898 into a middle-class Anglican family in Belfast. When he was 4 years old, his dog Jacksie was run over and Clive insisted on being called Jacksie afterwards. This was eventually shortened to Jack - the name that Lewis would be known by to his family and friends for the rest of his life. As a child, he loved the stories of Beatrix Potter and would often write and illustrate his own stories about anthropomorphic animals. Although he would become a prominent Christian apologist in later life, and his literary work was full of religious themes, Lewis actually abandoned his faith in his teens and became an atheist, developing an interest in the occult, as well as Norse and Irish mythology. His atheism was hardened by his experiences fighting in the First World War, not long after he had won a scholarship at Oxford University. Lewis resumed his studies after the war and became a philosophy tutor at University College, Oxford in 1924 before being elected a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Magdalen College the following year. He would hold that position for 29 years and in that time, his students would



include the poet John Betjeman, critic Kenneth Tynan, mystic Bede Griffiths, novelist Roger Lancelyn Green and Sufi scholar Martin Lings. He also developed a literary circle of friends at Oxford, who became known as the “Inklings”. This group included his brother Warren Lewis, Nevill Coghill, Lord David Cecil, Charles Williams and JRR Tolkien. It is said that Lewis’ conversion back to Christianity was partially influenced by discussions that he had with Tolkien. Lewis’ first novel, The Pilgrim’s Recess was released in 1933 but was not well received and while his Space Trilogy fared slightly better, it is surely for The Chronicles of Narnia - the seven book series that starts with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - that he is best known. These phenomenally successful children’s classics, which have remained in print ever since first being published in 1950 and sold over 100 million copies worldwide, may not have come into being at all were it not for Ireland. Lewis visited the Mountains of Mourne often and it was this spectacular mountain range that inspired him to create the world of Narnia. Although some have criticised the overtly religious messages contained within the novels, there can be no doubt that The Chronicles of Narnia have had an undeniable influence on children’s literature, with the influence of Lewis seen at least to some extent in the work of the likes of JK Rowling, Daniel Handler and Eoin Colfer. As recently as 2008, Lewis was ranked 11th in The Times’ list of the “50 greatest British writers since 1945”. We wouldn’t argue with that but we would argue that he certainly could be, and would certainly be proud to be, one of the greatest Irish writers too.

Travel Ireland Volume 3 Issue 32  

Willkommen-Bienvenida-Bienvenue-Welcome! To our December issue. Whether this is your first time visiting our shores or you are returning onc...

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