24 Hours in Kenmare: A perfect day in the kingdom's foodie gem
Pack an appetite for this Kerry gem, says our travel editor. The small town packs a big foodie punch...
Kenmare has a surprisingly French flavour.
10am: Raison d'Être
Take a 3.5-hour tasting trail with Karen Coakley's Kenmare Foodies, watching pastries come to life at Maison Gourmet, tasting Benoit Lorge's handmade chocolates, and supping Gallic specials with Alain Bras at The Wine Shop. Irish mouthfuls include sinful sausages at Roger O'Sullivan's butchers and Expedition Ale made by Tom Crean's granddaughter, Aileen, with Torc Brewing.
1pm: Scream for ice cream
Murphy's is the ice-cream everyone associates with Kerry, but Margaret McCarthy and Rose Glynn's Kenmare Ice-Cream has eked out a nifty niche - offering all the TLC at a great price. Starting with Lee Strand Milk, getting the vanilla right ("It's a bit like a pub getting its Guinness right"), scoops start from €2. Don't leave Kenmare without trying the lemon meringue. It's killer.
How: 4 Henry Street; facebook.com/kenmare.ice.cream
4pm: Pancake o'clock
It's the Kingdom's worst-kept secret. A short drive from Kenmare, The Strawberry Field is a giggle-inducing yellow cottage serving pancakes... and more pancakes. Start savoury - with bacon and mozzarella, perhaps - before going all out on a 12in pop of pure, Instagrammable pleasure.
How: 11am-5.15pm; strawberryfield-ireland.com
8pm: Park life
Chef James Coffey is breathing new life into Francis Brennan's flagship dining room with a bold switch to tasting menus. Bag a window table and tuck into deeply Irish dishes ranging from organic Kerry lamb to pillowy prawns from Castletownbere (below). This is a rich, thoughtful and delicious riff on The Park Kenmare's locality.
How: B&B with tasting menu from €210pp. parkkenmare.com
Food tours with kenmarefoodies.com from €55pp. See kenmare.ie and wildatlanticway.com for more info.