Best Irish Breakfast revealed - 'It's beyond great', our readers say

Winner: MacNean House & Restaurant, Co Cavan

Neven Maguire of MacNean House & Restaurant

MacNean House porridge

MacNean House and Restaurant, Blacklion, Co.Cavan. Food photography. Photo: Paul Sherwood

Neven Maguire. Pic: Paul Sherwood

thumbnail: Neven Maguire of MacNean House & Restaurant
thumbnail: MacNean House porridge
thumbnail: MacNean House and Restaurant, Blacklion, Co.Cavan. Food photography. Photo: Paul Sherwood
thumbnail: Neven Maguire. Pic: Paul Sherwood
Reader Travel Awards 2019

For three years now, Neven Maguire has been one of the most cited names in our Reader Travel Awards.

His MacNean House & Restaurant is a previous winner of 'Ireland's Favourite Foodie Experience', but as anyone who has stayed overnight at this Blacklion bolthole can attest, the treat that awaits the next morning is the icing on the cake.

"I've never had a better breakfast in Ireland," you told us. "It's beyond great. The breads, the fry-up, the yoghurts, the porridge, the fish... where do I stop?"

"This was the best breakfast ever," you gushed. "Firstly, there are real freshly squeezed juices. Then, fruit salad with yoghurt... shots of exotic fruit smoothies, homemade breads and scones, but the main event was the kippers with tomatoes and baby mushrooms, washed down with lashings of properly brewed tea."

Many of you praised not just its selection and range, but also the quality of Irish ingredients. "Even better than the dinner," one reader said." "It's got the wow factor."

Top 5 Irish Breakfasts

  1. MacNean House, Co Cavan
  2. Castlewood House, Co Kerry
  3. Brother Hubbard, Dublin
  4. Liberty Grill, Cork
  5. Dela, Galway

The most tipped dish? That'll be Neven's legendary porridge with Irish Mist and Honey (left). This is quite simply "porridge to die for", you told us - "an experience not of this world" - though be warned, "you need to have an appetite to appreciate this breakfast." Of course, the traditional Irish breakfast got several mentions, as did the yoghurt smoothies, and perhaps surprisingly, a range of "healthy choices".

MacNean House offers destination dining at its best, with rooms selling out months in advance. It's "streets ahead", you told us, with "well-trained staff" and "best quality local produce". "Neven Maguire produces an amazing dinner," you rhapsodised. "But his breakfast is to the same standard."

"In a word… delicious!"

MacNean House Porridge with Irish Mist and Honey

MacNean House porridge

"We put as much effort into our breakfasts as we do our dinner service," says Neven Maguire. "This is a quick and easy dish, and the recipe goes down a treat."


  • 100g (4oz) porridge oats (organic if possible)
  • 300ml (½ pint) milk (extra if needed)
  • 150ml (¼ pint) water
  • 4tbsp clear honey
  • 4tbsp Irish Mist
  • 150ml (¼ pint) cream


Place the porridge oats, milk and water in a heavy-based pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the mixture has slightly thickened, stirring all the time.

It's important that the porridge has a nice, soft dropping consistency so add a little more milk if you think it needs that.

To serve, spoon the porridge into warmed bowls. Drizzle each one with some honey and Irish Mist and finally, serve with cream poured on top. Enjoy!


NB: The Irish Independent Reader Travel Awards 2019 are sponsored by Iarnród Eireann. Read the full list of winners here.