We spent a day in the Burren recently, mainly to see the Cliffs of Moher - the last time I had been in that neck of the woods, I had been 10 years old and on the annual school tour. Thanks to the usual delays due to vomiting in the back of the bus, we didn't manage to make it to Ailwee Caves, or the Cliffs of Moher. School trips were a risky business - overheated kids and stressed teachers don't go particularly well together in the best of circumstances, and especially not on a bus.
Back in 1989, on that school tour, my lunch would probably have been some packed sandwiches, maybe a packet of crips and a carton of juice. Well, things have moved on a bit since then. Once we got to Clare, I put the call out on Twitter and the recommendations started to flow in. Top of the list was The Wild Honey Inn in Lisdoonvarna (thanks to Limerick foodie @italianfoodie).
|The charming interior of the Wild Honey Inn|
The Wild Honey Inn is a smart looking establishment both outside and in. The interior is warm with wood, and flashes of pink throughout. This theme even carries through to the staff uniform. Nightly specials are written on a mirror next to the bar which showcased a wide range of cooking. With a weak spring sun shining in through the windows and a turf fire being laid in the fireplace, the Wild Honey Inn was a warm and welcoming spot.
The bistro-style lunch menu was short and simple but featured a nice amount of local food and seafood (no surprise since America is the next stop over). He chose the Liscanor crab claws, sauteed in garlic and chili butter sauce. They were fresh and meaty, plump with the sweet taste of the sea.
|Liscanor crab claws with garlic & chili butter sauce|
I went for the mussels, which came out of the shell, gratinated with saffron and green beans. Although the portion initially looked small, it was packed with juicy mussel flesh and the two slices of homemade brown bread were used to mop up the fantastic sauce.
|Mussels with saffron and green beans|
It was hard to refuse dessert, so we shared a lemon cream served prettily in a glass with blueberry compote on top. Two spoons made short work of this creamy and tangy treat.
|Lemon cream with blueberry compote|
According to Wild Honey Inn website, chef Aidan McGrath places an emphasis on fresh, seasonal & local food. (This dedication was recognised with the award of a Bib Gourmand in 2010). The food we enjoyed was confident cooking indeed - no additional vegatables or bulk required with these dishes. The key ingredients were allowed to sing their own praises.
The Wild Honey Inn also offers B&B accomodation and I really cannot imagine a better place to spend a summer's night. Good food, followed by good craic & music in the bar. Surely there is no better way to experience the west of Ireland.
The Wild Honey Inn, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, Ireland.
Tel: +353 (0)65 7074300