The Ballymaloe House (and two famous friends!)
After sleeping the sleep of the gluttonous, we awoke refreshed for a full day of tourism. We quickly hit the Ballymaloe breakfast buffet, whose highlight was the unique Apple Muesli (grainy granola mixed with grated apple), and then got on the road to historic Kinsale in West Cork. A small fishing village 15 minutes south of Cork City, guidebooks tout Kinsale as picture-postcard-esque. Now having been, I can attest to its charm. In addition to its scenic qualities, the town is also a hub for foodies of any description, particularly those interested in the freshest of fish. This past weekend was Kinsale's Gourmet Festival (http://www.kinsalerestaurants.com/autumn.php), an event in which we did not partake (tickets were required), but which we were certainly interested.
A particular highlight was Jo's Cafe, a small bakery and coffee shop which boasts homemade scones with raspberry jam and, you guessed it, hot chocolate made with O'Connaill's Chocolate! I am getting the knack of finding this stuff wherever I go in Ireland.
The Ballycotton Cliff Walk
Upon returning to Ballymaloe in the afternoon, we had a quick lunch of wild mushroom soup and caramalized onion and thyme quiche at the Cafe in the Ballymaloe Shop. Run by a former Ballymaloe Cookery School student, this small cafe makes all its baked goods and simple lunch fare from scratch. We waited half an hour for a table, and it was worth the wait! To finish our afternoon, we went for a 6 mile hike on the Ballycotton Cliff Walk.