The Spinnaker Bar and Restaurant
Niall and Maria of The Spinnaker understand the constituent elements that make Irish hospitality unique.
You need to be able to take care of all the small things – have the fire blazing so people can bask in the warmth; have a lovely beer garden so people can bask in the warm sunshine; cook delicious food that people love; make excellent drinks; curate great music sessions; create a warm and living and unselfconscious aesthetic that everyone of every age can warm to; cook good pizzas for the youngsters.
But, above all, you need to have that joie de vivre that makes people relax and feel good in their bones, and that is exactly what Spinnaker does, and why it is such a vital element of the sand-in-your-toes vibe of Dunmore East. Spinnaker is the place you hope to find as you make your way through the village’s narrow streets, but when you walk in the door, you find that it is all so much better than you hoped for.
And the cooking is the cherry on the cake of this engrossing destination: Spinnaker chowder with brown soda bread; seafood pie topped with herby mash; bacon ribs with colcannon; fillet steak with prawns, clams and mussels with garlic butter. This is lovely, enlivening, unpretentious cooking, the sort of food that hits the spot whether you are having a pint of stout or a good glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and it really hits the spot after you have had a swim in the bracing waters of the bay.
Every coastal village and town in Ireland would be a better place, if only they could all have a Spinnaker.