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Lucinda's 20 BEST Foodie Views 2019

Lucinda's 20 BEST Foodie Views 2019

Wednesday 14 August 2019

The August bank holiday weekend is upon us, and it's the perfect time to recharge your batteries, chilling out with family and friends in our amazingly scenic country, enjoying great food, whether it's classic fine-dining, laid back pub grub, high-end fast food or the myriad of exotic cuisines from around the globe.

This buzzy gastrobar – located above Sea Life on Bray's seafront – has endless views out over the Irish Sea, and is perfect for cocktails after a stroll on the Victorian Prom. It has extensive menus from seafood chowder to Moroccan lamb burgers to steaks.

Australian based, Seamus Walsh, owner of Waterford Castle, has just opened One the Waterfront in Tramore. It's virtually on the beach, and there's a great pooch-friendly deck, live music, and an Empero chargrill, with chef Nick Davey knocking out Comeragh lamb chops, steaks, and Espetada (Portuguese style skewers).

Ahoy sailor! The Quays in Cobh has had a big renovation and, with its own marina, you just won’t get any closer to the ginormous luxury liners that dock here. Cocktails, pizza and excellent fish & chips.

Founded by the late, colourful Peter Barry back in the 60s, and in the hands of the Horgan family for the past 40 years, there’s a simple reason for Man Friday's longevity – it’s great! Dan Horgan, ex Petersham Nurseries and Ottolenghi, is at the helm – think oysters, scampi, sole on the bone, duck Armagnac. There are stupendous views over Kinsale and the harbour.

Under new ownership, the former Islander’s Rest has been renamed and revamped. Moor your yacht here or, like most of us, take the ferry from Baltimore, then sit on the terrace, while digging into hearty bar food, surrounded by water. 

Overlooking Bantry Bay with the Gulf Stream on its doorstep, in sub-tropical Ballylickey, west Cork, the petit-chateau style Seaview is quite special. Run for 40 years by the legendary Miss Kathleen O’Sullivan, it's now owned by her nephew Ronan O’Sullivan, who's been revamping, and has added a fab new Seaweed Bath House & Spa. The food is great, not to mention their famous dessert trolley.

I could sit for hours in the Heights Lounge here, watching the ever-changing dramatic colours of the Lakes of Killarney. There's great casual food all day, accompanied by twinkling piano music in the evenings. Dinner in the Lake Room is exquisite – I once saw a chap drop to his knees and take out the ring! You canhave Sunday lunch here too.

Having had an €18m revamp, Killarney's Dunloe Hotel & Gardens is in a world of its own. From the vast glass-fronted Grill Restaurant – a great addition to Killarney – enjoy unparalleled views of the beautiful Gap of Dunloe, while dining on delicious contemporary fare, ranging from chicken wings and squid rings to tagliatelle, sea bass, or a steak from their Josper grill.

Glamping is synonymous with Dromquinna, a gorgeous 38-acre waterside estate just outside Kenmare, but you can also stay in the luxurious Potting Sheds, and have a fab breakfast hamper delivered to your door. Their Boathouse Bistro opens daily from 12.30pm. It serves great crab claws in chilli and garlic butter; divine potted crab; and Atlantic scampi. As for their gin menu...cheers!

You won't get dinner here, but, at Brian & Helen's guest house overlooking Dingle Bay (and at Heaton's Guesthouse next door), you will get the best breakfast in Ireland with fruits, salamis, cheeses, bread and butter pudding, poached nectarines, Dingle Bay kipper; omelettes galore, and smoked salmon. 

Staying in Co. Kerry, Marilyn & Mike’s place at Castlegregory, on the Dingle Peninsula, falls into the categories of great pub, great seafood, great view – and great advice, if you happen to need it! A home from home for returning Dingleites and surfers – food wise, think Irish stew and lots of excellent fishy fare.  

Kevin and Margaret Haugh’s lovely cafe on the gorgeous Kilkee Cliff walk in Co. Clare is brilliant, with stunning views and scenery all around. From the Full Irish to crabmeat sambos to pizza or fish & chips, it’s all good.

The Trump boys were 'pulling' pints, or trying to, at this great seafood bar, not far from their dad's hotel in Doonbeg, Co. Clare, so you can expect to rub shoulders with a lot of Americans. Try the homemade scampi or wild Doonbeg crab claws on the deck overlooking the river.

Randy Lewis' Randaddy’s, located on Lahinch's seafront in Co. Clare, is loved by young and old, including the cool surfers strutting their stuff. The food choices range from breakfast eggs with spicy black bean to Chinese dumplings to Moroccan meatballs.

You won't get much more westerly than Cleggan in Connemara, the kick off point for the Inishbofin ferry. Overlooking the harbour is Oliver’s, a great traditional Irish pub & B&B with music, craic, and where the seafood, straight from the boats, couldn’t be more local and seasonal! Try the Fisherman’s platter.

Keenan's began life an old Victorian Pub, and today Keenan’s is a fab boutique hotel, bar and restaurant on the water’s edge by the Shannon in Tarmonbarry, Co. Roscommon. Utterly picturesque and oozing charm, people flock from miles around for their food.

On The Quay in Westport, Co. Mayo, the hip Creel cafe is reeling them in for some great nosh. It's breakfast until noon, and after that it's brunch/lunch. Avocado addicts will be happy with The Glow Bowl salad, and they do fluffy pancake stacks. Try the tartine on sourdough with Fivemiletown goat cheese beetroot and fennel jam. Fish & chips and steak sambos too.

The Lodge – which is on the 350 acre Ashford Castle estate – has stunning views over Lough Corrib from its Quay Bar, which does casual food; or the more formal Wilde’s restaurant. There's superb cuisine from head chef Jonathan Keane, who thinks outside the box. Think oysters, mussels, scallops, rib-eyes, cocktails. 

A Donegal meets New England guest house, and cottages, with a restaurant, bar and terrace, that's all but on Narin strand. Carnaween's seaview bedrooms (not all are) look out over shimmering white sand to Inishkeep Island and beyond. If that’s not enough, the chef here, Arlene Dennis, is ex Deane’s Belfast and dishing up some great food, attracting folk from far and wide. Think crab linguine with chilli and Parmesan, or Donegal mussels in white wine and cream, oh, and there's brioche French toast for breakfast.

Debbie O’Reilly and Jo Roarty’s pier-side restaurant overlooking Donegal Bay has gone from strength to strength. There’s something for everyone here, from a handmade rib-eye steak burger to natural oak smoked Killybegs haddock, plus their Guinness braised shank of Donegal lamb.

First Published In The Sunday Independent