I just came back from a whirlwind trip in Ireland, that in so many ways, has altered the way I see things. I don’t know what compelled me to pick up for two weeks and hang out in an idyllic sea of green, except maybe a rumor that the people were nice and a craving for some undisturbed time away from the cities.
Sometimes it’s best to do things without thinking.
In Ireland, we rented a little minivan and managed to get around driving on the other side of the street. (But huge thank you to Blacklane for arranging transporation from the airport to our first hotel in Dublin)
We ate heaps of soup, platters of smoked salmon, quite a bit of steak, and lots of brown soda bread. Whoever convinced me that Irish food was going to suck has a lot of explaining to do. It wasn’t just meat and potatoes.
The food scene was beautiful. Usually after vacation, my gut feels like crap, but Ireland had the opposite effect. I feel energized and fresh. Farm-to-table there isn’t just a ironic hipster trend. It’s a way of life, it’s more common than not. The Irish are proud of their beef. Seasonal produce is a normal. It’s not all that quite far off from American food — except there’s a greater emphasis on au naturel. Because that’s the way things should be…right? And yes, the even the beer tasted better because that stuff isn’t pasteurized to death over there.
Ard Bia in Galway: Mediterranean Irish place located smack in the middle of an ancient wall. They have rotating lunch specials and we loved this place so much, we came back for seconds the day after.
Kai Restaurant in Galway: Adorable rustic Irish dinner spot. I really enjoyed the quinoa garlic cakes with baby beets and the John Dory crudo marinated with Dingle gin and paired with a couple chops of avocado.
Ballymaloe House in Cork: Farmhouse in the countryside. I want to live here. Or get married here. Or both. Ballymaeloe is a B&B/farm school/restaurant in the middle of the Irish country. This was most definitely one of the top highlights of the trip and I’m already scheming of ways to come back here.
Morans Oyster Cottage near Galway: Wild and locally shucked oysters. Large but full of flavor and brine.