Five Good Food Ireland Restaurants with Unique Surroundings
Great food goes without saying at any restaurant in the Good Food Ireland network. All our chefs, restaurateurs and business owners go out of their way to source the best local ingredients so you get the best regional taste experience. Some of our restaurants marry their food offering with unique surroundings. Old mills, churches, castles and working spaces form superb platforms for local produce.
THE CHURCH RESTAURANT, SKIBBEREEN, WEST CORK
Regina Daly’s The Church Restaurant is aptly named. Housed in an old Methodist church dating back to 1833, this dining room spreads over two magnificent floors. Original woodwork salvaged from old churches make up the awesome interior. Both levels are dominated by the original stained glass church window which occupies a full wall at the rear of the building. Watch the sunlight stream in through the colours of the glazing as you dine by day.
In the evening, admire the rosy glows of the hues in the glass in sparkly light which bounces off the glistening chandelier hanging on the upper floor. Food here is smart casual, with local produce at the heart of the offering. West Cork is represented on every plate, with great seafood and local beef and lamb playing starring roles.
IL VICOLO, GALWAY CITY
Gerry McMahon, brother of JP McMahon, houses his wonderful IL Vicolo Italian restaurant in Galway in the surrounds of an old watermill. This is a beautiful and characterful space where the heritage of this building shines through, providing a natural backdrop for a truly authentic Italian experience. Rustic wooden tables and chairs are right at home amid original walls and floors hewn from stone that has stood the test of time.
The floor to ceiling window set into an original wall arch is a stunning focal point, letting in lots of natural light during the day. A riverside terrace adds its own charm. In all this ancient glory, a contemporary authentic Italian menu made with fresh Irish ingredients is served. Alongside a unique wine list featuring some little heard of Italian wines which Gerry personally sources from small family wineries.
1837 BAR & BRASSERIE AT GUINNESS STOREHOUSE, DUBLIN
Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse attracts visitors from all over the world, coming to see how the famous Irish stout is made. The 1837 Bar & Brasserie is located in a magnificent industrial space, taking up the top floor of the original home of Guinness. There are great views of the city and some stunning, architectural features to be treasured and protected.
The old pipes and factory windows offer a glimpse of times past and bond diners firmly with the rich history of this building which is Ireland’s number one visitor attraction. The open kitchen, deck-ovens, and use of marble, copper and zinc play to the historical references but at the same time the room is contemporary in its look and feel. The culinary team at the Storehouse set out to create a modern, all-day Brasserie that celebrates Guinness in all its glory. The main focus of the menu is to encourage casual and easy access to the food and pair it with Guinness and the Guinness variants. Say Slaínte as you tuck in and clink pints of Ireland’s famous black stuff in its original home.
THE MITRE RESTAURANT AT CULLODEN ESTATE AND SPA, CO. DOWN
You can’t get much grander dining than in an original Bishop’s Palace. The Mitre Restaurant at Culloden Estate and Spa echoes the surroundings of the residence of the Bishops of the Diocese of Belfast. Through an ecclesiastical style arch from the main hotel lobby, with a statue of one of the Bishops at the entrance to welcome you, lays The Mitre Restaurant.
An ornate ceiling and cornicing echoes the period charm of this house. Oak panelling and linen table add the touch of grandeur this place echoes throughout. A fine dining menu showcases the best of Irish produce cooked by Paul McKnight, who has been here many years working on an ever evolving menu, which is still attracting the attention of food critics.
FAHRENHEIT RESTAURANT AT CLONTARF CASTLE HOTEL, DUBLIN
You’d expect atmosphere when you dine at a restaurant in an old castle. At Fahrenheit Restaurant at Clontarf Castle Hotel, you’d expect correctly. Age old beams, arches and wood panelling give a perfectly medieval backdrop to the contemporary menu devised by Executive Chef Stuart Heeney. There’s nothing old fashioned about his style, as he wows diners here with plate after plate of exquisitely presented modern Irish food made with local ingredients.
As you dine, you can soak up the history of a building which is close to the site of the Battle of Clontarf, where legendary High King of Ireland Brian Boru led his troops into a bloody battle in 1014. Brian was probably fond of the odd bit of wining and dining himself in his day, so we reckon he would approve of the surroundings in which he is remembered here!