Honeymooning in West Cork

Ardagh Castle Goat's Cheese

Delectably crumbly

West Cork is undoubtedly a fantastic place to spend time in even if, as happened to us on last week’s communal honeymoon, it pours for most of the time. We were lucky enough to be staying in a wonderful cottage on Ardagh Castle Goat Farm but, with eight of the Husband’s family nearby in Baltimore and another half-dozen English Engineers staying out on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula, there wasn’t much time to properly appreciate the beautifully restored cottage! We did, however, get a chance to feast on the owner’s crumbly, Wensleydale-style Ardagh Castle Goat’s Cheese. A picnic hamper of Norfolk food specialities from two of the English Engineers yielded up a tube of Letheringsett Watermill Spelt Biscuits which had enough sweetness to marry happily with the cheese. Ardagh Castle Goat’s Cheese is only available locally around Baltimore and at the Saturday farmer’s market in Skibbereen but I’ve managed to export a large chunk of it to North Cork.

A week is a short time, especially when it only stretches from Monday to Saturday so we didn’t manage to get round to visit all the places which I had hoped to or, unfortunately, any of the great suggestions from Jenny at Where’s the Salt. Although I drove past The Good Things Café several times en route to visit the English Engineers, it wasn’t open at the time, although I did take a peek inside at the newly-painted café premises! With so many people around, a dinner at Heir Island Cottage had to be abandoned this time round, although it does give us an excuse for another trip down to that area of the country.

Of the things that we did get round to doing, The Glebe Gardens, on the road into Baltimore, were well worth a visit. We were particularly taken by the potager garden, flowers and vegetables growing in fruitful profusion side-by-side and the Husband loved their polytunnels – especially when the heavens opened and we needed shelter. Their café was also being refurbished (and should be open again for business soon) but we didn’t really need afternoon refreshment, after having a long, leisurely and very good lunch at Rolf’s Country House, just above the town. Of the pubs in the area, we enjoyed a night at the Tin Pub in Ahakista and a window seat at Bushe’s Bar in Baltimore proved to be a comfortable place to watch the rain teaming down.

A trip to Friday’s Bantry Market showed just how easy it is to eat locally in West Cork. We stocked up on Gubbeen salami, chorizo and smoked bacon (read more about the Fergusons of Gubbeen here), grabbed some pesto, sundried tomatoes and butter bean salad from the olive stall, some old-fashioned, bone-handled cutlery to eat with, a slice of pâté from Frank Krawczyk of West Cork Salami, and the pièce de résistance, a set of four asparagus plants for a new asparagus bed that the Husband (still getting used to that new name!) kindly rabbit-proofed last weekend. I also caught him browsing through information on polytunnels while at the market – wonder how much longer we’ll be without one?!

Weather aside, there’s plenty to look at, do and eat in West Cork. For us it was the perfect place to honeymoon, communally or not. Now, to get used to normal life as a married couple…



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

You may also like...

13 Responses

  1. plum says:

    Congratulations to you both Caroline! It took me months to stop referring to F as my boyfriend

  2. abulafia says:

    Congratulations. I’ll raise a glass in your honour.

  3. Caroline says:

    It is strange, isn’t it, Plum? An overnight shift in status that continues long after the party! And congratulations to you on the latest addition to your own family.Thanks Abulafia – there certainly were plenty of glasses raised over the last two weeks!

  4. Congrats Caroline! Sounds like you had a lovely time and you’re right – it’s always good to have an excuse to return to that most lovely of spots.We’re busy moving to London this week, but hoping to be back up in the blogging saddle from over the water soon.

  5. Caroline says:

    Sounds like you’re busy at the moment, Jenny. Hope the move to London goes smoothly (no more falling down stairs!) and will be looking forward to your reappearance in the blogosphere before long.

  6. bron says:


  7. Laura says:

    Welcome back and many congratulations Caroline!

  8. Caroline says:

    Thanks Laura and Bron!

  9. Lorraine says:

    Congrats MRS!!! Welcome back!

  10. barbara says:

    How wonderful.What a great surprise. Congratulations.

  11. Caroline says:

    Thank you, Lorraine and Barbara!

  12. charlotte says:

    Hi there,I’ve just started a site called Lovely Blogs NZ and would love to include yours. Eventually it will be a full directory of interesting kiwi blogs. Slowly slowly though – it’s a big job!Anyway – it would be just fab if you’d be keen – you can have a look at http://www.lovelyblogs.co.nzI'm very keen to get some foodie blogs up there.Let me know – I’ve got a little e-interview if you’re happy to participate.Cheers,Charlotteps – sorry for putting this in a comment, I tried to use your comment box but it errored on me.

  13. Caroline says:

    Thanks for that Charlotte – I’ve sent you an email!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *