To our dismay, the leaves are starting to fall and the weather has most definitely taken on an autumnal feel – but happily, late-summer staycations are still anticipated. If you are lucky enough to be planning a late summer at-home-holiday, these five destination dining venues will elevate your time away.
Báidín, Clifden Boat Club, Galway
A relative newcomer to the Galway dining scene, Báidín in Clifden has tongues wagging. Since July, the team at Báidín have been delighting locals and visitors alike with excellent food in the most idyllic of settings. Killary mussels are served Goan style and the recently featured spiced lamb shoulder with white bean, almond and mint couscous, romesco, organic leaves with yoghurt and tahini dressing looked almost too good to eat – except there is no such things. We might well eat with our eyes but truthfully, actual eating matters. Opening hours vary, so check out their Instagram page before turning up.
Fisk Seafood Bar, Downings, Donegal
In the wilds of Donegal, Fisk Bar (meaning ‘fish’ in Swedish) has been serving the freshest of Irish seafood with a twist since 2018. Expect dishes such as crab grilled cheese, prawn banh mi, classic moules-frites or creamy seafood chowder. Food is available from 2 pm – 8 pm, Wednesday to Sunday and there’s a no-booking policy – so arrive early. Incidentally, the creamy Guinness also looks worth the journey.
Ron D’s, Ballydehob, Cork
Monday night is taco night at Ron D’s in Ballydehob, but to be honest, you can’t really go wrong with anything from the menu. The toastie menu features the classic and delicious Reuben, as well as the all-time best picnic sandwich and New Orleans classic, the Muffuletta. Decisions made, grab your sandwich and head to the harbour at Ballydehob and enjoy it overlooking the water or take it on the Butter Road Walk, part of the Ballydehob Trail Head, a leisurely jaunt of 10k that finishes in Schull. Keep an eye on Instagram for opening days and times.
Barrows Keep, Thomastown, Kilkenny
In the heart of what is perhaps Kilkenny’s prettiest town, Barrows Keep is a gem worth seeking out should you be in the vicinity. The weekly changing menu includes dishes such as Duncannon crab with Goatsbridge Trout, caviar, cucumber and apple or wild halibut with rainbow chard, black kale and leek salad. The pumpkin crumble, with wild berries and cinnamon custard, has me intrigued and is reason enough to plan a sojourn to Thomastown before the autumn truly engulfs us.
Pot Duggans, Ennistymon
Pot Duggans really does have it all and Ash @ Pots is just one more reason to go. Ex Ottolenghi head chef Ash Gribben is at the helm this summer bringing her vibrant Middle Eastern menu to guests lucky enough to attend. On top of this, the recently announced Sunday sessions in conjunction with Eatyard just add more excuses to head west with some of the most recognisable names in Irish food popping up from September to prepare a menu of their own design while working closely with local Clare food producers and farms to source their ingredients. Did we mention the lovingly restored 3-bed apartment with idyllic views of the Inagh River that is available to rent and the fact that you can order room service from the bar? Keep that nugget of information to yourself please, we still need to book!