Your Staycation in 2009

Archive - all the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Ok, so everyone is broke, depressed, and fed-up with the recession, credit crunch, global downturn, whatever you are having yourself.
If only you hadn't bought that holiday place in Marbella, Florida, Ghana, wherever, the one you can't afford to fly to any more!
Never mind the if only's. In advance of getting all the dope on the hottest new places to stay in Ireland and the hottest new restaurants, which the 2009 Bridgestone 100 Best Guides will reveal to you when they are published shortly, here are some don't miss destinations for your 2009 staycation

Kanturk, North Cork
Your man: Jack McCarthy
Ardrahan cheese and smoky bacon dinner sausage; Guinness and cider spiced beef; cherry and oak smoked dry cure bacon; smoked beef; Sliabh Luchra beef; North Cork pancetta... these are just a few of the extraordinary things that Kanturk's presiding genius, Jack McCarthy, creates in his small butcher's shop in Kanturk. This man has a wild imagination and creativity, and whilst it is easy to by-pass Kanturk in the normal course of events, only an idiot would fail to make the detour to buy some of the finest charcuterie available in Ireland. Kanturk it is, then

Galway, County Galway
Your Girl: Yoshimi Hayakawa
Yoshimi, formerly of Kappa-ya, has opened Wa Café on New Dock Street in Galway. See you there for aduki bean roll, miso with rice balls, salad with umeboshi dressing and a Gammo to go. Destined to be the hippest address in the city this year.
New Dock Street, 091 895850

Durrus, West Cork
Your Girl: Carmel Somers
When Carmel Somer's book, “Eat Good Things Every Day” is published later this year, it will mark the end of the first stage in one of the most exciting culinary careers in Ireland in the last decade. Ms Somers has created West Cork's finest destination restaurant in Good Things Café, shown herself to be a gifted teacher, and her book will further cement a stellar reputation.

Dublin, County Dublin
Your Girl: Deirdre McCafferty
The boss of the evergreen Cornucopia published a brilliant book last year, “Cornucopia at home”, and the expansion of the restaurant in 2009 will mean even more happy customers for the most lip-smackin' vegetarian cooking in the city.
Wicklow Street, Dublin 2

Blacklion, County Cavan
Your Man: Neven Maguire
A wonderful new book, “Neven's Food from the Sun”, a new 13-part television series beginning on February 18th on RTE 1 at 7.30 pm, and the hottest restaurant in the country. It's all in a day's work for Mr Maguire. But there is something else going on here: Neven's food and his book show a chef who has stepped up to another level. If you haven't made the pilgrimage to Blacklion, 2009 is the year to do it, and stay for at least two night so you can see all the changes this cook can ring. On a slightly related note, in the 2009 Bridgestone 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland, we think we might have managed to finally work out what makes Neven Maguire tick. Well, maybe...

Dungarvan: County Waterford
Your man; Paul Flynn
The hottest new cookery school, allied to a beautiful series of rooms in an elegant townhouse, and the most unique style of Irish cookery in the restaurant. The Tannery Cookery School joins The Tannery Townhouse and The Tannery Restaurant as the hippest triptych in the land.

Dublin, County Dublin
Your man: Owen Doorly
Mr Doorly's brilliant bakery on Grand Canal Quay, Il Valentino, is a revelation in the art of great bread, and an ace space to take coffee and lunch. Life affirming, and somehow incredibly comforting, just what you need in harsh times.

Your Garden, Any County
Your Man: Yourself
This is the year to finally get around to making that lawn into a productive vegetable garden. Start the right way: do a course at The Organic Centre in County Leitrim, buy your seeds from Madeline McKeever's brilliant Brown Envelope Seeds, and get your tools from Manfred Wandel's brilliant Fruit Hill farm. Now, you are sorted.