Hungry? Here's everything you need to know about A Taste of West Cork 2019
Brought to you by Discover Ireland
As if you needed another reason to visit West Cork this summer...
The magic of some places never wears off. You could visit West Cork every weekend for the next decade and still be amazed by its spectacular scenery, welcoming people and fantastic towns and villages.
Do you know what else they love in the Wild West of the Rebel County? Food (and not just the renowned Clonakilty black pudding).
A Taste of West Cork 2019 is running from 6–15 September, and is set to bring people on what they describe as a "culinary adventure" through 41 different towns. From interactive workshops and open air street markets to food tastings and cooking demonstrations, you'll get to do a lot more than simply eat (which is still enough of a reason to go).
There's a huge emphasis on local produce and Irish chefs, but you can also expect flavours from all over the world. It was shortlisted for "Best Food Destination" at the 2018 International Travel and Tourism Awards, and we reckon the people of West Cork will be doing everything they can to win it out this year.
A Taste of West Cork 2019 schedule
The festival has only been getting better since its inception in 2003, and that doesn't look set to change this year. Believe us when we say there is something to suit even the fussiest of eaters.
Now we're no strangers to Italian, Chinese, and Indian food, but Australian Aboriginal food is one of the most unique on offer at the festival. Bush tucker might make you think of a reality TV challenge, but Aussie chefs like David Gray (no, not the singer), true blue Aboriginal Joshua Moore, and brothers Luke & Sam Bourke want to show you otherwise.
Each of them will be offering the very best of Aussie Bush Tucker, and we don't reckon it's something that will be very common in West Cork! If you're feeling adventurous, we highly recommend trying out a kangaroo burger in Skibbereen's Church Restaurant.
Speaking of cuisines you're not likely to have tried before, there will also be a selection of vegetarian Syrian Food on offer at the festival. Available daily in the Bayleaf Bistro in Bandon, it'll have everything from falafel and hummus to crispy fried vegetable samosas and lebneh (thick natural creamy yogurt garnished with mint and olive oil).
It's not all about trying out different foods though, as there is such a fascinating history to delve into as well. It's only €2 to join in the Historical Bantry Walk, and Skibbereen will play host to the Famine to Feast day tour for anyone looking to discover how the region recovered some of the darkest days in Irish history.
We didn't even know this was a thing, but Minke Gin School definitely sounds like the kind of education we all need. Not only will you get to sip your own personalised bottle of gin and take it home afterwards, but there will also be a mouthwatering selection of tapas on offer (this is a food festival after all).
Another one that we had no idea was a thing, but there will be a Lobster Garden Party in The Lifeboat Inn in Courtmacsherry on Friday, 6 September. Guest chefs Brendan Murphy and Martin Buckley will be cooking freshly-caught lobster for a group of people who booked their tickets early (take this as a hint to book your tickets).
You'd be reading this article all day if you wanted to even scrape the surface of how much there is to do. Check out the full schedule to see what interests you the most!
Things to do in West Cork
Remember that incredible countryside we may have subtly mentioned several times so far? Yeah, you really should make an effort to take in as much as possible during your time there.
The best thing about this festival is how it spans across so much of the county, so it'll naturally suit anyone willing to travel a bit. We highly recommend using a car to get about, especially if you really want to take in as much as you can.
One town to certainly keep high on the agenda is Clonakilty, which is also one of the towns taking part in the festival. Apart from the facts it's an incredibly picturesque spot, Woodfield, the birthplace of Irish Republican leader Michael Collins is only a short drive away.
If you're looking for a base within the town, we highly recommend Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa. Situated right by the beach, there's nothing better after a day of eating the very best of food than looking out over the stunning West Cork coastline.
If you haven't gathered from the programme, you definitely won't be short of options when it comes to food. That said, two restaurants we'd recommend popping into would be The Stuffed Olive in Bantry and Berehaven Lodge in Castletownbere.
A festival makes your break, so head to head to our Discover Ireland festivals hub to discover even more options to make your break in Ireland something magical.
Brought to you by Discover Ireland