Dingle Invasion

Sunday fog lifting from Dingle harbour

Dingle is a very special place. Magical, some might even say. I’d take any excuse to visit, and last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity of being a judge at the Blas na hEireann food awards at the Dingle Food Festival.

The Dingle Food Festival is easily the best food festival I’ve been to in Ireland, from the perspective of a punter going down to graze on local foods. It’s not just the locality’s natural beauty that helps, but it’s also the community present in the town that boosts the atmosphere at this festival. It’s as if you’re only allowed to live in Dingle if you’re a really lovely and inspiring person. Who also makes amazing cheese.

Myself and Niall stayed in the beautifully elegant Emlagh House. We ate our way around Dingle, taking in Out Of The Blue and An Canteen. We visited the Dingle Brewing Company and supped the delicious Tom Crean’s lager. We nibbled our way through the town by way of the often mouth-watering (and consistently excellent value) Taste Trail. We had a masterclass with Kieran Murphy of Murphy’s Ice-Cream and tried his outrageous Extreme Cocoa drink.

We met Sharon from Foodie Fancies and ate too many of her ah-mazing cupcakes. We went on a fishing trip out on the sea in the Sunday morning fog, caught heaps of mackerel and pollock, and then had it cooked for us two hours later in The Marina Inn. Niall finally got to meet his black pudding hero Jack McCarthy at the For Food’s Sake talks, which also featured the truly inspiring Gianna Ferguson among others.

Perhaps not so much a Dingle Invasion as a happy visit, a few bloggers made the trip all the more enjoyable. Thanks to Bill, Sharon, Lily and family, Ollie, Keith and family, Kelly and Geoff (and Liv, of course) for the wonderful company throughout the weekend.

And a huge thank you to the organisers who looked after our group of bloggers so very well.

Have a look over here for a full list of the Blas na hEireann winners and keep reading for a few pics from the weekend.

Emlagh House

Dingle Brewing Company

Masterclass with Kieran Murphy of Murphy’s Ice-cream

Food stuff about town

Out of the Blue

Beautiful jams, pickles and chutneys from The Scullery

Kangaroo Skewers

Little Miss Cupcakes’ (aka Foodie Fancies) glorious treats

Paella at O’Flaherty’s

Tasters from The Chart House

Roast pork burgers at The Waterside

Crab Toastie at the Waterside

Salmon Teriyaki at Fish at the Marina

Gone Fishin’ in the Fog

Ollie Moore and the giant pollock he caught within 2 minutes of getting his rod in the water…

Myself and my more modest sized pollock. Hah! My face. Excited and a bit freaked out at the same time.

Our skipper Paul filleted our catch and we brought it to the Marina Inn…

…where they served us mussels…

…and our own freshly-caught fish was served up to us in three different and delicious ways.

Dingle being awesome…

See you soon, Dingle!

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  1. Sounds and looks like a wonderful weekend. Congrats on the new job by the way :)

  2. Absolutely gutted that I missed this – everything looks and sounds amazing. At least I can live vicariously through your photos. Next year, count me in!

    • Sorry you couldn’t join us Kristin – we’ll have to get an even bigger group together for next year. It was amazing! So much fun. (Not to rub it in. Sorry.)

  3. Looks stunning Aoife! :)

  4. Oh my, i’m now starving and want to go to Dingle. It’s an odd mix of emotions for a Tuesday morning. Great photos!

    • Hi Ciara, sorry for contributing to your confusing Tuesday morning! It was a lovely weekend, as if any weekend spent in Dingle. What a spot!

  5. Great pix! We had a fantastic time and thanks for organizing!

  6. Ouf, look at all that fish! I was mad jealous reading your tweets from the fog on Sunday. Looks like a cracking weekend and Emlagh House is only dreamy. Next year, for sure!

    • Hey Catherine, definitely add it to your 2012 calendar, you’d have loved it. See you there next year!

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  8. All your photos look so amazing I just want to make my way to Dingle right now! Must keep it in mind for next year. I love the pic with all the old bottles. Is that a pub?

    • Hi Nessa, it was a great trip. Definitely keep it in mind for next year! A really fantastic food festival. And yup, the photo with the old bottles is in a pub called Cashes if I remember correctly, one of those amazing old pubs that doubles up as a hardware store! So you can buy a light bulb and have a pint in the same spot. So cool!

  9. Great pics Aoife! Am absolutely green with envy as it sounds like you had an amazing weekend.

    • It was fab, Sheila! Definitely the best food fest I’ve been to in Ireland. Dingle is a great spot, and fabulous to visit at any time of the year :)

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  11. Looks megamazing! Lovely pics.

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