Caperberry is at Ashford Castle in the west of Ireland and we are here by the kind invitation of Red Carnation Hotels. Ashford Castle’s casual dining venue, Cullen’s at the Cottage, is only a short walk over the the bridge from the grand castle. This thatched, former cinema, is the perfect spot for a relaxed evening.
Casual, comfortable and welcoming. Cullen’s is modern yet cosy. A clever mix of traditional and contemporary design. It’s painted ship lap walls adorned with trout and pike in cases. And live Irish lobsters in a tank.
My dining partners and I, tuck in to a dozen of the finest oysters I have ever experienced! I am far from a connoisseur, but these are hands down, the freshest, plumpest and sweetest! Hardly surprising as they are Dooncastle Oysters, from Connemara. Grown and fattened in Galway Bay. On our waiter’s recommendation, these were washed down with a glass of creamy Guinness. Far more fitting an accompaniment than fizz!
Starters of oriental soft shell crab with bean sprouts and a fine fish chowder set us up perfectly for the main event. A hot seafood platter with fine ribeye from the hills of co Mayo. Indulgent and new world, yet lending itself to this style of dining. Fresh and wild. Every element preformed exceptionally. Albariño Eidasola. Chilled. Perfect match.
Puds are as honest and well executed. I recommend the rice pudding with salted caramel and pecans.
This is real dining for me. Not stuffy, not fussy, not dressed up. With seasonal ingredients and a passion for provenance. A true taste of the landscape, in this beautiful part of the world.
GO TO: ashfordcastle.com
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Inspiration/Image Credits: ashfordcastle.com, thecaperberrycollective.com