Trails of the Vales
Trails of the Vales
Foodtrails and a taste of the Vales
We all know that the Munster Vales have a fabulous variety of home grown, locally produced, beautifully presented food and thought it was time to link these brilliant producers so that you don’t miss out.
We’ve worked with local producers and providers to develop a unique Taste the Vales Food Trail to get you on your way.
Taste the Vales
Whatever kind of food day you’re feeling, there is something for everyone along the Munster Vales Food Trails. There are plenty of options to attract all palates and all budgets to give everyone a real taste of the Munster Vales.
From artisan coffees and melt in your mouth pastries, nourishing soups and stonking stews, local cheeses and Michelin starred dishes, the trail takes you on a real foodie journey around this stunning area of Ireland.
Get a grip on local produce
If you want to get your hands dirty and get a grip on how local produce is made, make sure you swing by the Apple Farm in Cahir where you can pick your own fruit and refresh with one of their delicious apple juices or ciders made on site from their own apples. If cheese is your thing, you won’t want to go past Cashel Blue Cheese for a tour and some tasters. For the meat eaters, set yourself up in the exquisite Ballinwillin House in Mitchelstown and try out their organic venison and wild boar partnered with wine from the owners’ famous Chateau Mulcahy Hungarian vineyard. And for a bit of overnight luxury and the best of local farm to fork produce, look out for Ballyvolane House in Castlelyons and Mallow’s Longueville House. We especially recommend checking out the brilliantly named Bertha’s Revenge gin!
Just out of the oven
If high quality baking is your thing, make sure you visit Michelstown’s Praline Pastry Shop and Café for their first-class range of teacakes, brownies and cookies, the full cake or the homemade chocolates. Or maybe all of the above!
A perfect place to pick up delicious picnic and brunch boxes, and for an even bigger treat, afternoon tea packed with sandwiches, scones, pastries and teacakes.
If you love the taste of Barron’s Bakery Scotch Oven baked bread, you’ll love the line up at Barron’s Coffee House in Cappoquin. You can get a range of fillings packed into their home baked sourdoughs, blaas and crusty breads, followed by their cakes, and washed down with delicious coffees.
Call to Carrick-on-Suir’s Marty’s Pantry for an impressive selection of homemade cupcakes, towering rocky roads and mini lemon and coffee cakes. If it’s savoury you’re after, you can choose from their selection of delicious, chockfull ciabatta and sourdough toasties. Settle yourself down in their outdoor area and just savour!
Quick bites and coffees that hit the spot
Pop into The Keep in Cahir to stock up on their slabs of caramel slices, mouth watering brownies and massive muffins to keep your energy levels up washed down with one of their speciality coffees. If you’re in Cork, Lyla’s Kitchen in Buttevant will sort you out with some great home baking and tasty hot drinks. And if you’re looking for something different in Waterford, Cappoquin’s Barons’ Bakery gives their bread that extra edge by baking them in Scotch Brick Ovens.
Ready for lunch
There’s plenty of reasons to head for Fethard and Dooks Fine Food’s is most certainly one of them. For a warming stew or a quirky sausage roll, it’s worth planning ahead to make sure this is on your agenda for lunch. Or breakfast. Or dinner... And for creamy fish pies or fresh falafels, your go to is the Lava Rock in Cahir. Whatever time of day you’re visiting the Rock of Cashel, make sure you call at Mikey Ryan’s which has everything from black pudding on brioche to salt cod croquette to Blackcastle Farm carpaccio.
Limerick’s delightful Spruce & Willow will stock you up on healthy soups, noodles and breads with great vegan options. And in Tipperary’s Townhouse Doneraile, with old world charm and food to write home about, you can pick up a hearty blend of local meats with flatbreads and focaccias, and homemade tarts and soups. If you’re spending time in Waterford, Café Bliss will give you the perfect options of fresh soup, sandwiches and salad with a mouth-watering twist.
For deliciously, fresh pastas and salads with a twist, make sure you stop by the French Quarter Café in Tipperary. Sit in their cosy outdoor space and treat yourself something from their mouth-watering range of home baked tarts, cakes and scones, or grab a light-as-air croissant and creamy coffee to go.
On the go
As if the views at the Glen of Aherlow are not quite spectacular enough, Ri Coffee Van has pitched up to make sure your visit is definitely one to remember. With roasted beans from Honduras blended with the purest of Tipperary water, their coffees are almost as delectable as their home baked cookies which are packed full of treats like Maltesers and Bueno. Nearly worth the walk alone!
Clonmen’s Hotel Minella has sent out supplies in their bijou horsebox Fodar, just to make sure that you don’t miss out! They’ll supply you with a range of coffees from Yorkshire based brewers Grumpy Mule, treats from the pastry chefs, and a selection of tasty takeaway daily specials like fish of the day, roast turkey and wholesome soup.
Linger over dinner
The beautifully restored old stone building which houses Crew’s in Dungarvan has a delightfully modern twist to both the décor and the menu. The attention to detail is outstanding – they have a dedicated menu for young adults and a finger food line up which features tapas style dishes such as savoury bon bons, hake rillettes and cheddar beignets; and, on the sweet side, homemade macaroons, mini cheesecakes and chocolate orange mousses.
For delightful food in exquisite surroundings, make sure you book lunch or dinner at Cahir House’s Butler Room. Although the house is one of Cahir’s most historic buildings, the menu stays well up to date to reflect the best of each season. You can choose from a variety of traditional dishes all with a creative twist.
For breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner, if you’re in Cork, you need to swing by Mitchelstown’s Marketplace Restaurant. You’ll get a warm, friendly welcome and your pick of fresh and filling favourites with a little Mitchelstown interpretation.
A starring role
If you’re looking for Michelin starred levels of foodie pleasure, we’ve got you covered. Start off in Cashel at the Michelin starred Chez Hans and Café Hans for leisurely brunches and lunches, swing by Limerick’s Deebert House Hotel for the whole classy experience or treat yourself to the elite elegance of Longueville House in Mallow which prides itself on setting the bar for self-sufficiency when it comes to produce.
Sustainable to the core
Find out how bees from across Tipperary, Limerick and Cork come together to make some of the most delicious honey at Co Tipperary’s Galtee Honey Farm. The busy bees spend their days collecting pollen from all sorts of flora like dandelion, hawthorn and horse chestnut with gives the honey its range of distinct flavours.
You can also take a tour, and pick up chemical free beeswax candles, wraps and lip balm made on site - another great product from the bees of the Munster Vale!
For ethical, sustainable and totally plastic free shopping, make sure you stop by the Greenway Eco Store in Dungarvan, Waterford. This is a refill shop so if you need to stock up on pulses, nuts and pastas, don’t forget to bring a container. There are plenty of locally produced foods and gifts so no excuse for coming away empty handed.
Take a picnic
Many of the country houses, cafes and restaurants around the Munster Vales like Praline in Cork will set you up with a picnic or afternoon tea, and there are plenty of perfect little spots to spread out your booty and get stuck into some delicious food at your own pace. We suggest:
- Mount Congreve’s stunning gardens and walks, just off the Waterford Greenway with views over the River Suir
- Waterford’s outdoor museum of geological records at the Copper Coast Geopark offers a range of trails for everyone from family groups to adventure seekers
- Roaming around the gardens and setting the kids a challenge at Mallow Castle
- Spending time at Lough Gur Heritage Centre to view Ireland’s largest stone circle and the spring fed lake – an important archeological site.
The Munster Vales is bursting with all sorts of providers, makers, doers and bakers. Crafters in the vales are all about producing quality, unique pieces that represent the locality and, right across the counties, you’ll find everything from quirky handmade pieces to fine artwork and bespoke furniture.
Many local makers come together for totally varied one stop crafts shops.
If you’re in Cork, head to Blackwater Valley Makers which brings together the best of local artists, jewellers, carvers and illustrators plus plenty more local talent inspired by the surrounding area. Or call into Fiona Turley’s studio in Kilworth where the artist creates a selection of bespoke artwork and limited prints in a range of styles on silk and canvas. If wood is your thing, you need to check out CK53 Design in Kildorrey where they produce fabulous airondack chairs, wooden butter knives and beer caddies.
If you’re visiting Waterford, make sure you make it your business to stop off at a Market House Craftworkswhich is run by a small collective specialising in creating contemporary crafts using traditional methods. They produce ground breaking and classic pieces from felt, leather wood and ceramics and, if you time it right, you might be able to catch an exhibition of local talent. If you’re looking for something totally bespoke, head over to Lismore Goldsmith and craft where husband and wife team Moritz and Una can work with you to create a special piece of jewellery. They also stock a range of locally sourced textiles and crafts.
Doneraile’s Great ARTitude has a range of woven, crocheted and knitted pieces to pick from with a wide selection and styles of artwork. Or, in Lismore, call to Celisse Studio for a wide choice of stunning artworks from local artist Aislinn Celisse or Gallery Valerie, a quirky, colourful gem of a shop that you will not be able to leave empty handed.
In Tipperary, don’t miss the Tudor Artisan Hub which is packed with handcrafted products from a collect of established and emerging artists from the area. Be prepared to spend some time here!
Similarly, Clonmel’s the Narrow Space has a great gallery and giftshop which stocks designs by over 50 Irish makers and some impressive pieces from international artists. From glass sun catchers to jewellery, kids’ books to a great range in cards, you’ll definitely find something up your street. Cahir Arts is home to an art gallery with a really interesting array of forms, a design shop and a range of workshops where local makers produce ceramics, pottery, jewellery and artwork.
Rossa Pottery is a little gem of a shop run in Cashel by three local artists who produce a great selection of colourful jugs, bowls, plates and vases.
In Limerick, the Lough Gur Pottery Centre not only offers a collection of homeware but a range of workshops and classes to get your hands on your own potter’s wheel. Ballyhoura Ceramics is filled with beautifully produced and finished porcelain pieces inspired by the flow and colours of the nearby Morning Star river by local artist Eithne Hehir.