As we drove along the northern coast of the Dingle peninsular we knew we were going to be in for a great weekend. There were four of us in the car and we had just descended from the mountains above Tralee that were covered in cloud and drizzle, and the further west we went, the drier and sunnier it became. It should have been a queue for a certain Pet Shop Boys song, but it was still early hours of this adventure, so it was probably time to stop for that first drink. Guinness of course, and a fine pint it was too. And matched, if not surpassed by the view. The food was average, but when you are catching up with your friends who had just arrived on a plane into one of the smallest “international” airports we know (Kerry International Airport), and the Guinness is creamy, and the view blue seas with white fluffy clouds, food is really only a necessity for life. Actually a necessity more for the fifth of our party, that was travelling in a belly (not Jules’s I must hasten to add…)
Next over the picturesque Conor Pass, and descend into Dingle. It gets sunnier and sunnier as we arrive. I am not sure if you are allowed to use the word warm as an adjective to weather in Ireland, but it was surprisingly pleasant. After a very warm welcome (you can certainly use warm as an adjective to the sprit of the Irish though) from our hosts Camilla and John at Browne’s B&B, we decided to take advantage of the weather and out door furniture in their front yard.
Our travelling colleagues had just landed from Hungary, visiting a fantastic friend of ours from London days, and had kindly donated a bottle of wine from their favourite grape squasher, Valibor Winery. Let me say that it started off the pre-party to the Dingle Food Festival very well.
Dinner was possibly the main reason for this trip. An Canteen is awesome. Run by two brothers and recommended by Browne’s B&B the last time we stayed in Dingle in mid-summer this year. We needed another excuse to come to the little Irish peninsular, and a food festival fit the bill perfectly. We then booked Browne’s and a table at An Canteen for the return trip in July… The food again was fantastic, however, the menu was slightly limited as they were winding the restaurant down for the end of the season, and also preparing themselves for the weekend. For the food festival, An Canteen was becoming a beer and cider tasting venue complete with DJ. Craft Irish beers and ciders are an acceptable reason for having a limited food menu, especially when we could start sampling them early.