Take a Taste Tour this Summer

This article appeared in the June 2022 edition of The Opinion magazine.

This article appeared in the June 2022 edition of The Opinion magazine.

Wherever I go on a breakaway, home or abroad, the first thing I’ll seek out is a local food tour because the best way to understand a new place is to taste its food. Local flavours and delicacies; unique artisan foods, an alluring taste of place: by sampling local flavours, meeting local characters and learning about local history, folklore, customs and traditions, a good food tour should be able to deliver a super-fast injection of knowledge about the place you’re visiting.

But, if you think food tourism in your local area is just for people from somewhere else, think again! There’s nothing quite like being a tourist in your hometown for a day. When we’re all so busy living our lives, we can forget what makes the place we call home unique. We might like to think we know everything about west Cork, but do we?

Take a food tour, and you’ll experience more than just delicious samples of locally made food and drinks and is a great way to re-experience a place that feels familiar, too.

As a onetime tour guide myself, (that’s right, folks, I’m officially hanging up my tour guide hat – for now, at least), I know a good food tour when I see and experience one. So, if you’re busy planning your summer of fun, pencil in sometime to taste your way around one of these brilliant local food tours in West Cork.


Kinsale Food Tours

Suzanne Burns has created three different food tours for the intrepid foodie in search of good Kinsale food. Her original flagship tour, Taste the Town, is a classic walking food tour based around a menu: a snack, starter, main course, and dessert. Along the way, learn about the curious and storied history of this stunning port town. For a wilder adventure, book onto the Coastal Foraging guided trail that starts with a sumptuous picnic overlooking the beautiful coastline. Learn to identify wild edible plants that grow on the coastline or the nearby hedgerows.

Tours daily, prices vary depending on tour.

All tour itineraries, times and prices can be found at www.kinsalefoodtours.com

Kinsale Mead

Kinsale Mead is Ireland’s first commercial meadery in over 200 years, and here Kate and Denis Dempsey craft this most ancient of all alcoholic drinks from fermented orange blossom honey and local fruits. The three-times daily meadery tours introduces you to the history of mead and its many mythical connections to the old saints of Ireland, the process of crafting these delicious meads, honey tasting, followed by a guided tasting of meads produced here.

Tours run March – October, Tuesday to Sunday at noon, 2pm and 4pm.

€15pp, book online at www.kinsalemeadco.ie


O’Tuama Tours

Hands down, this must be one of the most unique food tours in Ireland! Dorothy O’Tuama offers the only guided tour of the famous Macroom Buffalo Mozarella farm and dairy run by the Lynch family. Here, Dorothy will guide visitors on a premium tour to meet the herd of Water Buffalo, learn the story behind how these magnificent beasts came to graze on West Cork pastures, visit the dairy to see how the range of cheeses from their milk are made, taste them and an array of dishes that can be made from them.

Premium tours deliver a unique experience, group and educational tours are also available by prior appointment.

Prices depend on tour. All itineraries, prices and online booking available at www.otuamatours.ie


Clonakilty Distillery

Time wandering around a whiskey distillery is time well spent, and the distillery tour in Clonakilty is an experience to relish. Walk among the majestic copper pot stills and learn about the wonderful whiskey heritage of the town from scurrilous pirates to quick witted merchants. Taste from a range of taste bud tangling whiskeys from blends to single malts and hear how the distillery making the most of their 7th generation barley fields to develop an Irish whiskey that is grain to glass. There is an opulence to this distillery tour you won’t find anywhere else. But if gin is more your thing, sign up to the on-site gin school to learn the basics of distilling, create your own gin recipe, make it, bottle it, and skip home with it after too!

Distillery tours daily; Minke Gin School Saturdays only.

Visit www.clonakiltydistillery.ie for more information and to book.

Clonakilty Black Pudding Visitors Centre

Few things are Clonakilty than a taste of Ireland’s original black stuff – Clonakilty Blackpudding! Learn about the fascinating history of the town’s most famous export at the Visitor’s Centre where a self-guided tour regales you with tales of secret recipes and how, for a short time, ceased production altogether. Today, this is Ireland’s most famous of all black puddings and certainly the one with the most unique and colourful history. Allow one hour for the tour which includes a grand finale of a tasting plate of the full range of Clonakilty products made in-house.

Tours daily, seven days a week. Book online to secure a time; walk-ins welcome but be aware that during high season may not always be guaranteed.

Visit www.clonakiltyblackpudding.ie for more information and to book.

Rosscarbery, Skibbereen, Glandore

West Cork Farm Tours

This unique collaborative approach to sustainable farm tours was established to provide visitors with an up-close and personal experience of rural farming life on four working farms in picturesque settings. Three of the four farms specialise in dairy production, although as with all traditional farms other produce is hand made on site too, from apples to honey, breads and cakes. A fourth farm specialises in free range outdoor reared pigs, but also cattle for beef, timber production, and forest bathing experiences. Tours are allocated to each farm on rotation to assist with the day to day running of the farms. Learn about on-farm activity, visit milking parlours, walk with the animals, and finish with a taster of produce with the farmers.

Tours run every Thursday, March to October, 11am – 1pm.

Visit www.westcorkfarmtours.com for more info and booking.


Bantry Bay Boat Hire – Seafood Tour

Board a self-driving boat for a cruise around the stunning surrounds of Bantry Bay with guide Aaron O’Sullivan on this very special seafood tour. Learn about the rich maritime history of Bantry Bay before making land on Whiddy Island for a sharing bowl of freshly cooked Bantry Bay mussels served with homemade Irish brown bread and a glass of Guinness. The mussels are grown in the very bay just traversed by boat providing an unrivalled connection of taste and place!

Bookings are open from 1st June with tours running weekly.

Call 083 888 1102 or www.bantrybayboathire.com for more information and booking.

Leave a Reply

web design and development by the designer of things