Follow the food trail

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There is so much lovely food to sample across the Vales that we’ve dedicated a whole five day itinerary so you can get the best of the best as you travel across the area.

There are plenty of ideal options for accommodation: you could base yourself in the luscious Longueville House in Co Cork where they not only make their own cider and brandy for sampling and to take away, but they pride themselves on producing most of their food in and around their 400 acre estate. Or you could opt for the B&B and self-catering options at Mallow’s Park South Accommodation which, with its delicious home baking, feels like a real home from home.

You’ll find it hard to move on from either, but when you do, we suggest spending Day 1 at one of the local Tipperary Food Producers such as Cashel Irish Farmhouse Cheesemakers which has been churning out the famous Cashel Blue cheese for nearly 40 years. You can take a tour to find out how this surprisingly creamy cheese became such a hit and learn about the commitment of this family business to quality and sustainability.

If you’re not too full up on cheese, we recommend your next foodie stop is Emily’s Deli and Tearoom in nearby Fethard where they do a fabulous range of wraps, rolls and noodle bowls. From Thai Chicken and southern fried, to beef satay and smoked turkey, even checking out the menu will get your mouth watering.

You’ll want to get smartened up for pre-dinner cocktails and the seasonal menu at Longueville that night, but we suggest you head off on Day 2 to Kilfinane’s Ballyhoura Apple Farm where you can quench your thirst with the unusual and delightful mixes such as Apple & Beetroot, Apple Chai Iced Tea and Irish Red Mulled Apple Juice. You can also get the lowdown on the history of this quirky local producer and the work they do to keep their carbon footprint low and sustainability high.

Head over to Kilfinane to lunch at Molly’s which has been serving up traditional family food for the past 20 years.

For Night 3, we suggest checking into the charming Old Bank in Bruff where the major hit is their absolute feast of a breakfast starring Miriam’s home baking and her butcher husband’s award winning sausages. Another great option is the chilled surroundings of Deebert House at the foot of Ballyhoura Mountains which produces the tastiest dishes using produce from their own garden.

On Day 3, we recommend heading to Dungarvan Brewing Company to find out all about their traditional method of brewing their range of stouts, ales and barley wine. Follow that up with a visit to Crew’s for the ideal blend of classic and classily modern chic with everything from chunky chowder to homemade lamb burgers.

Alternatively, if spirits are more your thing, head to the Blackwater Distillery in Ballyduff for info on the ancient art of producing award winning gins and whiskeys. To balance out the tasting, drop into Cookhouse 360, where not only the food stands out as superb, but the décor and outdoor eating options are a complete delight.

For Day 4, spend some time at JJ Craft Brewery in Killmallock where the guys knew they were on to a winner when their brews were snapped up at every family BBQ.

Head to Deebert House where you may be swayed by their freshly made cakes and sandwiches or decide to take time out to sample their delicious dinner menu.

Day 5 takes you back to the cheese with some time at Bluebell Falls Artisan Cheese where you’ll see dozens of free range goats providing their morning and evening milk to make this rich in protein, low in fat goats cheese.

Don’t miss out on a visit to nearby Spruce and Willow in Ardpatrick, particularly their amazing brunch menu of brioche toast with berry compote, avocado toast with balsamic glaze and sauteed mushrooms on sourdough.

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