A perfectly seared scallop and a mouthful of Asian ‘slaw, some crispy chilli squid on a sesame fried ricecake, a cone of battered smoked haddock with chunky chips and homemade tartare sauce, barbequed prawns, a pile of pickled seaweed alongside tuna carpaccio and fish pâté: it was a full-on seafood feast at the weekend’s Dingle Peninsula Food and Wine Festival.
While our personal food trail seemed to lead us unerringly to the fish-orientated stops along the way, there was also some time to enjoy a glass of Bubble Brothers‘ sparkling Veuve du Vernay and the Husband got to sample some of Beoir Chorca Dhuibhne’s cask conditioned ale.
We finished off the eating (at that stage) with a couple of scoops at Murphy’s Ice Cream: the Brown Bread Ice Cream with Caramelised Orange Marmalade is definitely worth returning for and I loved the Dark Chocolate Ice Cream topped with a dollop of Irish Whiskey Cream. Given that we had Little Missy in tow this year, there was no trip to Out of the Blue but, after a day spent eating, we couldn’t really have justified another meal.
We didn’t feel too hard done by as we were staying at the comfortable Heaton’s Guesthouse which offers – just in case you might get the feeling that we weren’t getting enough seafood – fish for breakfast. Choose from the fish of the day (my haddock was spanking fresh and impeccably cooked), undyed meaty Dingle Kippers (one mouthful was enough to make me rethink my life-long hatred of kippers) or Ted Browne’s smoked salmon in any number of ways. And that’s after a first class selecton of fresh fruit salads, stewed fruits, yoghurts, juices, at least three different homemade breads (not counting two different kinds of scones) and a cinnamony bread pudding.
All that, and a farmers’ market around town too but I was terribly restrained, just a bag of Paddy’s O’Granola, a jar of Magpie Cottage Goat’s Cheese and some Green Apron Cracked Pepper Mustard, plus a bottle of cider from David Llewellyn and, the pièce de résistance, a punnet of his sweet, musky Irish-grown grapes. Who would have thought that you could grow decent grapes in Ireland, especially in North Dublin?
All the weekend’s fishy offerings got gobbled up so fast that there was no time for photos, hence this picture of the Irish grapes, grabbed right before we devoured these too. Sometimes the more good food you eat, the more you want to have. Dingle is good like that.