Good food, great company...nothing beats it!
Food has always been central to any Hidden Ireland experience and, in keeping with an emphasis on tradition and heritage, our members embrace a ‘farm to fork’ ethos.
Vegetables and herbs are grown in the kitchen gardens, eggs are laid by the resident hens and ducks, and often meat is sourced from livestock that grew up in the surrounding fields. The result is delicious, authentic Irish food, true to the season, influenced by the region, with an emphasis on fresh and clean flavours.
Food at it’s most authentic
Dining in a Hidden Ireland house allows you to enjoy a truly unique experience that reflects the heritage and influence that is unique to your chosen property. Some houses specialise in cooking wild game, a rare treat for any food lover; others take their inspiration from the nearby sparkling rivers and lakes, while others focus on bringing local grass-fed beef and lamb to the table. Meanwhile, all rely on one of the most authentic traditions of any food culture, utilising locally foraged foods, meaning you can often find mushrooms, berries and wild garlic that will give your food an authentic Irish taste.
Fresh, local ingredients mean you get the best in Irish dining
As well as producing their own ingredients each house also has a special relationship with the passionate food producers in their local area, again to ensure you get an authentic Irish dining experience, one that offers restaurant quality in a comfortable and luxurious setting. All of these fresh ingredients, and the recipes they’re used in, represent a venerable tradition of cooking and food preparation that stretches back for generations of Irish country house life.
Make memories for life at a Hidden Ireland House
Many of the Hidden Ireland houses offer communal dining, a memorable and fun experience that gives guests a chance to enjoy the company of like-minded travellers, and often their hosts too. Menus are usually set, but dietary requirements are always accommodated and your host will discuss any such requirements that you or a member of you party have prior to your arrival.
Sample our unique recipes
If you want to try out a unique Hidden Ireland dish at home and impress your friends with the best of Irish food, see some of our members’ favourite recipes shared on our Food & Recipes Blog. When asked about their food offering here’s what some of our members had to say…
“What we serve at Glenlohane is not an “evening meal” but a true country house, candle-lit dinner around our beautiful dining room table and hosted by either myself or my parents. Guests then have a chance to interact and “get under the skin” of the country through personal contact and discussions. One of us also sits with guests at breakfast to help them plan their sightseeing trips in the scenic Southwest. We find that offering personal contact is extremely important and believe that it is one of the reasons that people come to stay in a house like ours.” Gordon Sharp Bolster
“We are very proud of our food offering at Lorum Old Rectory and have amazing local producers and suppliers such as Elizabeth Bradley in Carlow Farmhouse Cheese, and David Ward, organic vegetable grower/supplier. We source our wine from Le Caveau in Kilkenny who in turn supports small wine producers and boutique vineyards. Both myself & my mother are members of Euro-Toques and are committed to their ethos of using the best ingredients available to us, and supporting our local producers.” Rebecca Smith
“We place at big focus on food at Kilmokea. Most of what we serve is organic, either grown here or purchased locally from an organic farmer who delivers to us weekly. All of our meat comes from Wexford and our fish is very local!” Emma Hewlett
“We don’t serve dinner at the Quay House but are very proud of our breakfasts. We offer a huge selection of fresh fruits, muesli, several kinds of pastries, breads and crumbles, all made in our own kitchen! Meanwhile, the main dishes always include fresh fish delivered from the fishermen outside our door daily. We also serve oysters, either au natural or grilled Rockefeller style, kedgeree, devilled lambs’ kidneys, Eggs Benedict, herb omelette, smoked salmon & of course the Full Irish! Incidentally there are twelve eating outlets all within a seven or eight minute walk from our door, and we are always happy to prepare snacks for people who don’t wish to go “up town” We’ve won the Best Breakfast Award from Georgina Campbell several times & our breakfasts are also highly commended by Alistair Sawday & The Good Hotel Guide.” Paddy Foyle
“Good food is big part of the Roundwood House experience and if you enjoy good food we should get along fine! Paddy (owner/chef) draws up the nightly set menu based on the best ingredients available that day. We grow lots of our own vegetables and herbs and get honey from the beehives in our meadow. We also work with a wonderful local forager, Mary Bulfin, to add some wild ingredients to our dishes. Our local butcher rears his own cattle and sheep and therefore beef and lamb feature prominently on our menus. Awards include Georgina Campbell’s Best Breakfast (Highly Commended, 2017) and the Irish Restaurant Association Best Customer Service in Leinster (Winner, 2018)." Hannah Flynn
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