Cillín Hill Mart, Kilkenny
Kilkenny Mart is Ireland’s flagship livestock sales centre. A visit to the mart is a true rural experience. Come and see cattle and sheep being bought and sold in these state-of-the-art sales rings. Watch the auctioneers in full flight and see if you can spot who’s bidding! Then queue up with the farmers for a light snack or a hearty meal at Langtons at Cillín Hill.
Where: Dublin Road, Kilkenny
Open: Mon – Sat, 7.30am – 4.00pm;
Sun, 9.30am – 4.00pm
Phone: 056 772 1407
Experience: Best to visit on sales days. Sheep on Monday and cattle on Thursday. Join a guided tour of the Mart at 11.30am on Thursdays during the summer.
GPS: N +52° 39.021’ W -7° 12.658’
The Thatch Pub, Grannagh
Nestling beneath historic Grannagh Castle in south Kilkenny, David Ryan’s beautifully renovated traditional Irish thatched pub with real turf fire, overlooks the River Suir’s spectacular new cable-tied bridge. Synonymous with great Irish music and simple tasty dishes, local chefs utilise wonderful ingredients from Kilkenny Food Trail. Renowned for its traditional music sessions every Wednesday evening 9.30pm year round and at other times (call for information). Less than 20 minutes from Kilkenny City, just off the M9.
Where: Grannagh, Kilmacow, Co. Kilkenny
Phone: 051 872 876
Experience: Try the local ‘blaa’ sandwiches and black and white pudding ‘blaa’ tasters.
GPS: N +52° 28.076’ W -7° 16.360’
Lavistown House, Kilkenny
Lavistown is a gem of a country retreat; a Georgian house surrounded by lovely woodland and gardens with a small farm and walled vegetable garden. Olivia Goodwillie has long been at the heart of Kilkenny’s artisan food; as originator of Lavistown Cheese, now produced by Knockdrinna. She still makes her delicious Lavistown Gourmet Sausages here. Having run courses for more than 30 years, Lavistown is now expanding their Centre for Creative Living with a range of offerings from their famous mushroom hunt and foraging, to gardening, wildlife, art and craft courses.
Where: Lavistown House, Sion Road, Co. Kilkenny
Phone: 056 776 5145
Mobile: Olivia 086 871 6155
Experience: Watch out for Lavistown Open Days – enjoy a Sausage Tasting BBQ and garden tour during the summer.
GPS: N +52° 63.759’ W -7°19.776’
Kilkenny Design, Kilkenny
Built in the 1760s and overlooking historic Kilkenny Castle, the upstairs restaurant is an inspiring place to enjoy the famous hot and cold lunches produced by the Kilkenny Design kitchen team. By night the room is transformed into an elegant evening restaurant with a menu inspired by the wealth of local artisan producers with dishes such as Knockdrinna Goats Cheese Tartlet, Mileeven Honey Glazed Pork Belly and Paul’s Chocolate Fondant with Cramer’s Grove Ice Cream. The downstairs Foodhall serves lighter bites and stocks some of the best of Kilkenny’s Food Trail offerings; alongside the wonderful craft of the Design Centre and Craft Yard.
Where: Kilkenny Design Craft Centre, Castle Yard, Kilkenny
Open: Sun – Wed, 8.30am – 6.00pm; Thurs – Sat, 8.30am – 9.30pm
Phone: 056 772 2118
Experience: Weekly Foodhall Tastings
GPS: N +52° 39.028’ W -7° 14.967’
Mount Juliet, Thomastown
Mount Juliet is a magical country estate rich in food heritage that covers 1,500 acres of sprawling countryside with a stunning Georgian mansion overlooking the River Nore. The 3AA Rosette Lady Helen restaurant in the Manor House and the impressive Kendals restaurant in the Hunters Yard both source produce from the well-stocked herb and vegetable garden as well as an occasional catch from the river! There is a choice of accommodation styles; the elegant rooms of the Manor House, Club Rooms and the luxurious 2 bedroom self-catering Rose Garden Lodges.
Where: Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny
Lady Helen: Mon & Wed – Sat, 6.30pm – 9.30pm
Kendals: Tues & Thurs – Sun, 6.00pm – 9.30pm
Phone: 056 777 3000
Experience: Mount Juliet’s seasonal Food & Craft Fairs where local food and craft people come together and special foodie events, e.g. Design & Dine. Check www.mountjuliet.ie for latest events.
GPS: N +52°53.032’ W -7° 18.969’
Ryeland Cookery School, Cuffesgrange
Anne Neary, an invigorating character and one of the mainstays of the Kilkenny food scene for many years, has been running Ryeland House Cookery School since 1991. Anne is author of her own cookbooks and ever popular contributor to the local radio Cookery Slot. She covers all types of food preparation with demonstrations and hands-on courses to suit the most amateur, right through to the budding chef. From forgotten skills like butter making to her kids cookery bootcamp, her school’s ethos is one of using locally sourced, great quality ingredients. Workshops or full cookery courses are available.
Where: Ryeland, Cuffesgrange, Co. Kilkenny
Open: By appointment. Classes on Tuesdays, Saturdays & Sundays
Phone: 086 276 7656
Experience: Seasonal one day workshops like ‘Christmas Without ’Fuss or Panic’.
GPS: N +52° 34.944’ W -7° 20.396’