TASTE IRELAND – 2009

CULINARY SCENIC TOUR OF IRELAND

 

       

 

A Nine Day Culinary Scenic Tour of the Emerald Isle – with the option to extend it to a Twelve Day Culinary Scenic Tour – September 2009

 

Cordon d’ Or – Gold Ribbon is pleased to announce that An Bord Bia – the Irish Government Food Board; Irish Dairy Board/Kerrygold, and Baileys Irish Cream have graciously agreed to be Sponsors of the

TASTE IRELAND – 2009 CULINARY SCENIC TOUR OF IRELAND. We hope that by the time the Tour Itinerary is finalized, we will have more Sponsors on board, to help make this Culinary Tour of Ireland as enjoyable, successful and memorable as the Culinary Tour – 2006.

 

Day 1:  Monday 14 September

 

            Dublin – Tour Participants will meet at Brooks Hotel at 10 AM. The day will be spent as guests of Bord Bia  from 11 AM – 3 PM. Check into Brooks Hotel.  Enjoy a Welcome Reception at Brooks 6 PM – Canapes and Black Velvet (Champagne with Guinness). Evening free to relax, have dinner at the hotel, or visit a nearby restaurant.

 

Day 2: Tuesday 15 September

 

            AM: Walk & Taste  Culinary Trail  -  Grafton Street and surrounds, with an early snack lunch at Bewleys Café.  The early afternoon is free to enjoy down time in Dublin. Maybe visit Trinity College and see the famous Book of Kells, take a tour around Guinness, see O’ Connell Street and the GPO, where the famous uprising against the British  took place in 1916. Ireland finally became a Free State in 1922. Or,  enjoy afternoon tea at the Famous Gresham Hotel, or perhaps at the Shelbourne Hotel.  We will meet at Brooks  at 4 00 PM and leave Dublin for Co. Wicklow, known as the Gardens of Ireland. Check into Brooklodge in Macreddin, and enjoy an Organics dinner at the famous Strawberry Tree Restaurant.  We will arrange to have a very special surprise ‘guest’ join us for dinner.

 

Day 3 Wednesday 16 September

 

            Spend the day at The Orchard Farm in Co. Wicklow, the Vineyards that provide cream for Baileys Irish Cream. We will be the guests of Baileys and Director Peter O’ Connor.

 

            At 2 30 PM,  drive south to Dunbrody House and Cooking School in Co. Waterford, for a two nights stay. Weather and Tides permitting, we can take a brisk walk early evening on the nearby beach and collect fresh Seaweed that can be used at the cooking classes next day.

 

Day 4: Thursday 17 September

 

            The group will be divided into two to participate in the cooking classes. While the morning session takes place, an optional activity will be arranged for the afternoon group, and visa versa, visiting the Waterford Crystal Center. Relax at Dunbrody in the evening

 

Day 5: Friday 18 September

 

            Leave Dunbrody after an early breakfast, and head for Cork City, via Youghal. Youghal  was the home of Sir Walter Raleigh, a favorite Courtier of Queen Elizabeth 1. Sir Walter is famous, not only because he took off his cloak and laid it over a puddle, (written into English History books) so the Queen would not get her feet wet; but he is especially famous for bringing the potato to Ireland, from the USA. Potatoes originally grown in America, in time played a major part in Irish history. On arrival in Cork, stretch your legs and take time to visit the famous 250 year old English Market before enjoying a delicious vegetarian lunch at the nearby Café Paradiso. The restaurant is famous in Europe, and Devotees travel from across Ireland and further a field to enjoy the ground breaking unique tastes of their Vegetarian Cuisine and Organic Wines. Bridget Healy and Dennis Cotter, the owners will welcome you. Dennis is the author of several acclaimed vegetarian cookbooks.

 

            After lunch, drive twenty minutes north of Cork City to Longueville House for a two night stay on the Estate. Spend a leisurely afternoon exploring the Estate.  Browse, taste and buy delicious gifts of artisan food produce, all grown, produced and packed from the farm and extensive gardens at Longueville. Vacuum-packed Irish smoked salmon is always a popular gift to take home with you. You can see where the Apple Brandy is made; visit the vineyard where they make their own wine from the grapes grown on the estate, or watch the bees hard at work making honey. Longueville also make their own fruit liqueurs from summer fruits such as white, red and blackcurrants. Enjoy dinner in the President’s Restaurant.

 

Day 6: Saturday 19 September

 

            An active morning on a Mushroom Hunt, and blackberry pickings across the Estate will be followed by lunch, perhaps enjoying the cooked items found on your morning adventure. Spend a leisurely afternoon at Longueville.  For the more energetic folk, a side trip can be arranged to near by Blarney Castle and the Blarney Woolen Mills, or a visit to Ardrahan Farmhouse Cheese. In the evening, we can have dinner in the Turner Room, a Conservatory at Longueville, designed by the famous Artist and Architect …..William Turner 1775-1851. J.M.W Turner is considered the most famous English Romantic Landscape Artist, and known as ‘the Painter of Light’.

 

Day 7: Sunday 20 September

 

            We will leave Longueville after breakfast, and take a scenic drive to Killarney.  On arrival, you can stroll through the center of town, enjoy a snack lunch, shop for souvenirs, see the famous Lakes of Killarney, or visit Muckross House. There, you can experience a ride in a ‘Jaunting Car’ (pony and trap). Late afternoon, we will drive on to the Ring of Kerry, and check into the Derrynane Hotel overlooking the Atlantic. Take a leisurely stroll on the beach, and see the sun go down over the Atlantic.  In the evening, enjoy a quiet dinner and retire for an early night.

 

 Day 8: Monday 21 September

 

            After breakfast, spend an hour at the small Estate of Daniel O’ Connell, the Liberator of Ireland. O’Connell, a lawyer was elected to the British House of Parliament, but never took his seat. However, he fought for the freedom of his people to have the right to practice their religion Catholicism, which was forbidden since the days of Cromwell. O’ Connell was successful and was responsible for Catholic Emancipation in Ireland, and the right to practice the Catholic Religion again. His statue is seen on O’ Connell Street in Dublin, the main thoroughfare through the center of the city. We will continue the scenic drive round the famous Ring of Kerry, and stop for lunch en route.  It is an opportunity to see the magnificent scenery in the West of Ireland, renowned worldwide. There will be time also to see the famous Lakes of Killarney.  A camera is a must item to capture the moment and the spectacular scenic experiences you will encounter en route. Head north to Adare, the prettiest village in Ireland, and check into Echo Lodge, where you will enjoy a delicious organic dinner at the famous Mustard Seed Restaurant.

 

Day 9: Tuesday 22 September

 

            After an early breakfast, we will take a short drive to Foynes in Co. Limerick, to visit the Flying Boat Museum, where the first Atlantic flights arrived from the US. The place is steeped in the history of early aviation. The late Capt. Charles Blair, husband of Maureen O’ Hara was connected extensively with the flying boats and Foynes. It is also the spot where Irish Coffees were created. We will see the Irish Coffee demonstrated, and enjoy the beverage. Then we head to Nenagh for time spent as guests of the Irish Dairy Board and Kerrygold. There, we will be shown the famous Kerrygold Butter, and see a selection of Irish Cheese, exported to all parts of the world today. After lunch we  will drive just north of Limerick to visit the Bunratty Mead & Liqueur company, near Bunratty Castle in Co. Clare.  You will see the famous mystical drinks Mead and Potcheen (now legal). Potcheen is also called Moonshine or Mountain Dew. Mead is made from pure honey, wine and natural herbs, and is a traditional drink that dates back to Celtic times, surrounded by folklore and legends.  Check into nearby Bunratty Castle Hotel.  Enjoy the Medieval Banquet at Bunratty Castle in the evening, where the Mead flows freely, and the food, and entertainment by the Bunratty Singers will be enjoyed by all.

 

Day 10: Wednesday 23 September

 

            The Nine Day Culinary Scenic Tour ends after breakfast on Wednesday. Those who wish to return home will be dropped at nearby Shannon airport.

 

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   Optional Three Day Scenic Culinary  Tour

 

Day 10: Wednesday 23 September

 

            In the early part of the morning take a stroll amidst the activities at Bunratty Castle Folk Park, and visit the famous nearby landmark  “Durty Nellie’s”  for coffee, or something stronger, to warm one before the coach leaves for Galway City.  Galway, the City of the Fourteen Tribes. Galway is a Shopaholics Paradise; or one can  visit the famous historical Church of St. Nicholas, said to be the last stop for Christopher Columbus, before he headed out to the new world. Later, a 45 minutes to 1 hour drive will take us to the north end of Lough Corrib. Check into Lisloughrey Lodge, the refurbished  residence overlooking Lough Corrib on the magnificent scenic estate of Ashford Castle.  Relax, explore the estate and visit the Castle. Ashford is Ireland’s grandest castle hotel with a history going back into the 13th Century. Enjoy an excellent dinner amidst elegant surroundings overlooking Lough Corrib.

Day 11: Thursday 24 September

 

          Spend a couple of hours in ‘The Quiet Man‘  Cong location. It is a fascinating glimpse into life in Ireland in post WW 2, with its quaint customs and attitudes; immortalized in the classic movie, staring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara and Barry Fitzgerald, made in Cong in 1952.  It is suggested that participants see the movie (VHS or DVD) before visiting Ireland, to appreciate the visit to the area.  Leave Cong, and take the magnificent scenic drive tour through Connemara to Clifden, via Joyce Country (the most famous member of the family being James Joyce, who wrote Ulysses, considered to be the greatest writer of the 20th Century). We will arrive at Kylemore Abbey. Kylemore Abbey is the best known landmark in the West of Ireland. For decades, the beauty of Kylemore Abbey and its surrounds has been featured world wide in magazines, enticing visitors to Ireland.  The Abbey is built on the cliff side, overlooking the water.  It is owned by the Benedictine nuns, and is a private boarding school for girls. The Abbey is renowned for its self sufficiency lifestyle. Have lunch in the restaurant. After lunch, see the award winning restored Victorian Walled Kitchen Garden and Flower Garden, and the renovated small church on the property. After we leave Kylemore Abbey, we will take the scenic coastal route to nearby Ballyconneely, and visit the Connemara Smoke House. There, we can see how delicious Irish salmon is smoked, and there will be samplings to enjoy. Continue the coastal scenic drive heading to Galway and check into the Glenlo Abbey Hotel for two nights. Glenlo Abbey overlooks the south end of Lough Corrib.  Have fun at Dinner in a very novel setting at Glenlo Abbey. Carriages originally used for the movie ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ are found in the grounds of the Abbey. Adapting them to restaurant use has been achieved brilliantly, with no expense spared, including authentic background noises heard on a train journey, and music from the 1940s era. The food has a Eurasian slant to it, using Irish grown ingredients.

Day 12: Friday 25 September

 

            Today, we head into the heart of Ireland and visit the Shannon Bridge area. There, we will climb aboard the quaint Co. Offaly one carriage mini train for a forty five minute ride through the Bogs of Ireland. Turf has provided the fuel for cooking and home fires across Ireland for centuries before electricity. It is still in use in many country homes, where old style ranges are used to cook the meal, heat the water and the home. Turf logs are thrown on the open fires, giving off a warm glow and refreshing aroma….beats coal any day.  Enjoy a quick lunch in the old Georgian town of Birr; then visit Mossfield  Organics Farm. The Haslem family led the Organics movement in Ireland long before Organics became a buzz word on the global scene. They have won numerous gold medals in Europe for their excellent Mossfield Gouda Cheese. We can see the cheese (plain and herbal) being prepared, enjoy cheese tasting, as well as their organic ice cream, yoghurt and sorbet.  Return to Galway early evening.  Later, on the final night in Ireland, we will attend the dinner at the opening of the annual Galway Oyster Festival.  

 

Day 13: Saturday 26 September

 

            The three day optional culinary scenic wine & dine tour ends after an early breakfast at Glenlo Abbey. The coach will depart at 8 30 AM, to take participants to Shannon (about one hour and twenty minutes drive) airport where planes to the US and Canada take off from Midday.

 

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            The Tour is currently ‘under construction’, and the Itinerary seen here is an outline of the scenic culinary tour activities, with its historical aspects too.  It can be enjoyed over nine days, with the optional three days visiting Galway, and enjoying the magnificent scenery of Connemara and Co. Mayo, combined with culinary activities; plus a trip into the heart of Ireland – Birr and Co. Offaly. It is a combination of enjoyment of the culinary delights of Ireland, and sightseeing en route.

 

            Some changes may be made to the suggested Itinerary before the final Itinerary is in place.

 

            We have requested our Tour Operator Jay, from Warren Tours in PA, to review the Itinerary, and investigate all avenues before the final Itinerary is completed. Also, as the tour is scheduled for September 2009, several changes may happen on the culinary scene in Ireland.  Bord Bia will continue to keep us informed of updates and any changes that happen on the Irish scene. Accordingly, we will adjust certain aspects of the tour to accommodate any exciting changes that we think are worth a visit.

 

            Check out the Reviews, Testimonials and Photos, and Slides of the Culinary Tour of Ireland in 2006. You can see the fun enjoyed by the participants, who joined us from across the USA, Canada and the UK. Several say they want to return with us to Ireland again in 2009.

 

            If you are interested to join ‘Taste Ireland – 2009’, get in touch with Noreen as soon as possible. You can telephone or e mail, or even write to let us know of your interest.

 

Noreen Kinney

Cordon d’ Or – Gold Ribbon

P. O. Box 40868

St. Petersburg, FL 33743 – 0868

 

Tel:                 727 347 2437

E-Mail:          cordondor@aol.com

 

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