Driving Through Ireland
My husband and I are driving through Ireland in early April. We're flying into Dublin, spending two nights and then flying out of Shannon 5 days later. We're driving in between but have not finalized our route yet. We'll be heading south towards Wexford, then hitting Waterford, Cork, Kilkarney, Dingle, Cliffs of Moher (all the major tourist attractions) but would also like some out of the way places. I know this is very general/vague, but can anyone suggest any great places in Dublin or anywhere along our possible route? We're looking to get a real taste of Irish culture and food.
A very nice place to stop for lunch is the Avoca (they do weaving) restaurant at Mull's Gap in the Ring of Kerry. It's not all that far from Killarney and the views are beautiful, and the food quite nice and hearty. Outside Killarrney is a hotel called the Muckross Park. They had good food quite a few years ago, so I can't vouch for now. Perhaps you can find some reviews on the web.
If you find yourself in Galway, definitely go to the cheesemonger shop Sheridans. I believe they also have a place in the popular marketplace in Dublin. It's a great spot to sample local Irish cheeses. Upstairs is a wine bistro and downstairs they sell soup and sandwiches. When I was in the Bistro one day, a young man came up from downstairs and put a plate in front of me just saying "for you"; it was probably the most incredible brownie I've ever tasted, fresh from the oven and still warm. It's one of my favorite memories. Also, in Galway center is McSwiggins, huge place with a tree growing up through the center. They have a large varied menu and wonderful chicken curry. The woman from the B&B we were staying in had recommended it as a great local place. I also enjoyed the Malt House which is more fine dining and Quays pub for a pint.
If you're in Wexford, drop into Dunbrody house (http://www.dunbrodyhouse.com/) if you get a chance, even just for afternoon tea. Even better, stay there if you can!
If you're driving on the N4/M4 to Galway, my fav pitstop is the Copper Kettle in Durrow for home-made scones/bread.