Travel Tuesday Tantalises the Tastebuds on this week’s Elaine Show

On this weeks Elaine Show we are checking out some places to enjoy a tipple and something to eat. A huge array of wonderful distilleries and Food and Beverage experiences have popped up all over Ireland in recent years and I’ll be chatting about some novel travel to tantalise the taste buds.

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Tasting the West – Leitrim and Sligo

I’m very excited this week to talk about my recent visit to the newly opened Shed Distillery, home to my favourite Gin – Gunpower Gin. I managed to sneak in a visit to Drumshambo just before lock down in Dublin. Leitrim is home to Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands and I was lucky enough to sample some of the counties best amenities last year. I couldn’t wait to see the brainchild of PJ Rigney when it finally opened in August and I’m pleased to say that I wasn’t disappointed.

I learned about the Jackalope unique to the area and has given its name to the whiskey that is distilled at the Shed. A creature of such mystery and wonder – the mythological progeny of a jackrabbit (not a real rabbit) and an American antelope (not a real antelope).

Conceived in a lightning storm, says the legend, the jackalope appears in Drumshanbo at will, as in a dream. And then: gone in a flurry of feet and antlers. It’s little wonder that the jackalope has come to symbolise all that is remarkable about Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin.

The Shed Distillery presents two distinct experiences in one tour –  a Curious Journey into the Inner Sanctum of the first whiskey distillery in Connacht in 101 years and a voyage to the Far East to discover gunpowder tea, the inspiration behind Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin.

The new experience opens less than a year since The Shed released its first ever whiskey, and visitors get to see the distillers in action before an expert whiskey tasting in the Maturation Hall.

There is something strange and startling at every corner as the tour leads from Platform 101 (a nod to the railway heritage of the area) into the heart of the authentic distillery and PJ’s Secret Laboratory, filled with experiments and many weird and wonderful artefacts from his many travels.

The intriguing flora in the magnificent botanical glass house signal the incubation of  creations yet to come from the Curious Mind….the perfect topic for discussion over a complimentary Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin at the Honeybadger bar.

The experience also includes the bright and spacious Jackalope Café and a fabulous gift shop with exclusive distillery bottlings.

Tour price: before 12pm €17; after 12pm €19 https://www.thesheddistillery.com/age-restriction/

If you are staying in the vicinity then I recommend this great package

Kilronan Castle

This luxury 4 star castle hotel is situated in County Roscommon in a secluded corner of the idyllic West of Ireland.

HALLOWEEN FAMILY SPECIAL FROM €499 ALL INCLUSIVE

Breakfast included

Visit us here at Kilronan Castle Estate & Spa this Halloween with this amazing all inclusive Family Special of 2 nights Bed & Breakfast and 1 Early bird served at 6pm. Kids Eat from the Childrens Menu, variety of dishes
(Price based on 2… read more

Terms & Conditions

Price based on 2 adults and up to 3 children under the age of 12 sharing. Supplements apply for Castle Suites and Interconnecting rooms, please contact a member of the Kilronan Team for more information. Early Bird menu is served at 6pm in the Douglas Hyde Restaurant Available Sunday – Thursday

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Sligo

Home to Sligo Oyster Experience and amazing food, Sligo really is a treat and with spectacular scenery too. I visited an oyster farm as part of the Oyster Experience with Aisling and she has first hand experience as she is married to an Oyster Farmer.

The oyster farm tour is €45 per person and runs every Wednesday at 11am or 2pm for 1.5hour.
It includes coastal walk, chat with oyster farm & watch them working, unlimited fresh oysters served with lemon, seaweed pesto and tabasco.
Also pot of delicious cooked mussels served with white wine. Local craft beer The White Hag available to taste also.
This is an amazing experience and Aisling is so enthusiastic and makes the tour a real treat. Her lovely husband is at the farm working in the most beautiful setting under the gaze of Ben Bulben and Knocknaree. The tour begins with a 15-minute Wild Atlantic Way rugged coastal walk with tour guide and owner of Sligo Oyster Experience and WB’s coffee house, ​Aisling Kelly Hunter​. Along the way participants will learn ancient Sligo folklore and the history of Sligo’s native oysters, before arriving at the Coney Island Oyster Farm where they will experience oyster farming and the process of cultivation first hand. The group will be guided through the history of oyster harvesting along the Wild Atlantic Way and learn about the methods which are still in use today. Aisling will also introduce the group to coastal foraging by showing them where edible sea vegetables grow long the coast, such as sea kale and samphire.

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A Taste of Dublin

Dublin is in Lockdown but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to look forward to once it opens again…

Teelings Distillery is set in a wonderful location steeped in history in Dublin’s Liberties. There was a time when this area was one of the foremost whiskey producers in the world.

“Discover the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a fully operational distillery. A unique Dublin experience not to be missed. Located in Dublin’s City Centre,  just 15 minutes from St. Stephen’s Green, the award winning Teeling Whiskey Distillery is perfectly located to visit while enjoying a staycation in Dublin, or a day out exploring with friends and family. After your tour enjoy a well-crafted Teeling Whiskey cocktail at our Bang Bang Bar and pick up one of our Distillery Exclusive offerings in our gift shop.

The visitor experience opening hours are Thursday & Sunday 12.00-17.30 and Friday & Saturday 10.00-18.30. Book a tour here https://teelingwhiskey.digitickets.ie/event-tickets/4009 and visit our online shop here https://teelingdistillery.com/shop/. The Phoenix café is open Monday-Friday 8.00-17.00 and Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays 09.00-17.00”.

Being locked down in Dublin I took a walk around my home town to see what the restaurants have to offer and there’s lots of outdoor space available. I have to mention that we have the best seafood chowder in Dublin and you can taste it at Howth Market on weekends at Tram Chowder. There are so many reasons to come to Howth and we have free parking which is a big plus when we are asked not to use public transport. The Bloody Stream, Brass Monkey, East Cafe and Lots of great restaurants are all open so come out to Howth for a tasty lockdown daycation – buy some fish while you’re at it at Dorans, Beshoffs or Nicky’s Place.

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Sample the South East Kilkenny

Home to a brandy making distillery and it has some amazing restaurants….

 

  • Highbank Organic Farm in Co. Kilkenny was a 17th century farmyard and the present farm house was built by the Calder- Potts family in the 19th Century.
  • The Calder-Potts own and operate Highbank and have been caring for the land since the 19th century when current owner Rod Murrisonsgreat grandfather first moved to the farm from Scotland.

The Brandy’s

 

Highbank produce two main brandy’s – both from 100% organic apples! It started with an apple, Highbank built the distillery with the idea to make a really beautiful apple brandy. The brandy takes time to mature and in the meantime we sold a beautiful single estate gin and apple vodka which requires no wait time after distillation. As our brandy has aged it has gained a lot more depth

Two kinds of Brandy:

 

Organic Apple Brandy

Unique to Ireland this drink is 100% organic apples with all of the ageing tannins coming from the apple. It is a rich, smooth liqueur very much at home with all of the after dinner drinks and specialist cocktails, especially with ginger and cinnamon. A great drink to have‘on the rocks’.

Highbank Orchard Spirit Single Estate

This is a more subtle version of the Brandy, very popular with Whiskey lovers. 100% apple, 100% organic, knocks any Calvados into a cocked hat. Again, this is very special as a post-pre-prandial drink on the rocks, but it is also very comfortable with Ginger ale or soda. Very popular as an ingredient in any cocktail recipe that calls for Calvados.

 

Stay in Kilkenny

I had to tell about this amazing offer because Mount Juliet is a bucket list destination and this price is for a family stay over Mid Term – with the new Stay and Spend scheme it is the most affordable price I’ve seen for a bit of luxury.

Memorable Midterms

Mount Juliet Estate, Co. Kilkenny

Includes: Three Nights Luxurious Accommodation in Hunter’s Yard for Two Adults and Two Children

Dinner on One Evening of your choice for two adults in The Hound Restaurant

Daily Access to Mount Juliet Juniors Club for children aged 5-12 years from 12 – 4 pm including a packed lunch and each evening from 6 – 9.30 pm including dinner for children

From: €317 per night

To Book: Contact Mount Juliet at 056 777 3000 or info@mountjuliet.ie

 

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Taste of the Kingdom, Kerry

If you are in Kerry then pop along to one of Ireland’s newest distilleries in Cahirceveen

Skellig Six18 Distillery was inspired by the Skellig coastline landscape that is defined by the tenacity, muinín and grit of the 6th century monks who built a monastery at the edge of the world. Off the Wild Atlantic coastline, this ancient monastery can only be reached by climbing six hundred & 18 stone steps that lead to the top of the Skellig Michael. This has been our inspiration and Skellig Six18 begins. https://skelligsix18distillery.ie/

Skellig Six18 Gin is distilled and bottled in small batches at the distillery in Cahersiveen, Co. Kerry. We make seven separate distillates and carefully blend them over six weeks. This gives the unique taste of Skellig Six18 Gin that captures the essence of our home on the Skellig Coast. The defining aromatics of Skellig Six18 Gin include our local botanicals Yarrow, Douglas Fir needles and Birch Sap, delivering a herbaceous gin with citrus and pink grapefruit notes. Tasting notes of our local botanical ingredients include:

  • Yarrow: bitter-sweet with tones of citrus and anise
  • Fresh Douglas Fir needles: notes of citrus with pink grapefruit, herbaceous finish
  • Natural Birch Sap: mild sweet and mineral

 On arrival, visitors get to take in the beautiful views of the Skellig coastline from the distillery doorstep, in Cahersiveen Co. Kerry. Visitors learn about the inspiration behind Skellig Six18. Our location on the Skellig coast has a landscape rich with natural ingredients from the woodland to the Atlantic seashore. Visitors learn more about each local botanical that has been carefully chosen, filled with flavour to create our unique Skellig Six18 Gin. During the guided tour, visitors get to relax and enjoy a gin tasting experience, taking a moment to savour the taste of the Atlantic Coast. Visitors also get to learn about whiskey production traditions and hear more about our ambitious plans for Skellig Six18 Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. Each visitor also receives an exclusive €5 voucher, redeemable against a 70cl bottle of our Skellig Six18 Gin, available in our on-site distillery Shop.

  • Both our visitor experience/guided tours and on-site distillery shop are open daily
  • Tours start from lunchtime every half hour, start times: 12.30pm, 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm, 3.30pm, 4pm – check availability online
  • All bookings for our guided tours have to be pre-booked online at https://skelligsix18distillery.ie/shop/distillery-tour/
  • Duration of our visitor experience/guided tours are approximately 45 minutes long
  • Guided tour bookings cost €15 per person

Stay in Kerry

Sneem Hotel

This hidden gem on the Ring of Kerry is an ideal location from which to explore the region

2 Night Family Break

2 Night offer includes breakfast each morning and dinner on one evening for all the family.

2 Night break inclusive of Full Irish Breakfast each morning and dinner on one evening of your choice for all the family.

During Summer Holidays, our Fun4Kids Club welcomes children aged 5-12 with Evening Activities and Movie Night from 6.30pm to 9pm.  A great way for your children to play, have fun, laugh & make new friends!

The Fun4Kids Club is available for children aged between 5 – 12 years. Kids under 5 are welcome but need to be accompanied by an adult.

Bookings are essential & space is limited. Sign up forms available at Reception. A minimum of 5 children is required for the supervised activities to go ahead.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

**PLEASE SPECIFY NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN SEARCH CRITERIA**

Children under 5 stay free on a Bed & Breakfast basis when sharing with 2 adults.

Children aged 5-12 are charged €15 per child per night for B&B or €25 per night on a Dinner, B&B basis (price included in package)

Children aged 13+ are charged at the adult rate. (charge will be applied at the hotel)Fun4Kids Club cost is €5 per child per day

Kids can choose from the extensive children’s menu

Upgrade to a Seaview Family Room for an extra €30 per night

Total Price From €450

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