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A trip West

A trip West

  Posted by Laura Caffrey in: food, ireland, Makers, sligo

Back in August 2013 team Irish Design Shop decided to head west for a bit of an adventure. After a quick trip to Westport to try out the infamous Greenway route on our bikes, we headed north to Co. Sligo.

It was in Strandhill where we set down to visit the lovely folk at Shell’s café. Facing the amazing beach, which is the perfect haven for surfing enthusiasts, Shells not only serves up the most delicious food all day long, but also houses a small gift shop selling everything from homemade brown bread to hand-made jewellery and homewares.

Jane and Myles opened Shells back in March 2010 having travelled the world to find the ideal spot to settle down, with the goal to create a special place for people to come and eat simple hearty food after a long day on the waves. On arrival to Strandhill you may also pass their beautiful home which is an extended old cottage, with concrete floor and countertops, the kitchen is really at the centre of this small but perfectly formed home. We were lucky enough to be invited to a small barbeque with a wonderfully diverse guest list. It was there that we met the owners of Voya Seaweed baths.



The highlight of the trip was a hike up Knocknarea mountain to see the burial mound of the legendary Queen Maeve. For those of you who don’t know the the story behind this celtic queen allow me to give you a brief outline:

There is the mythological Queen Maeve and a real counterpart whose stories appear to overlap. The real-life Meave was a very ambitious woman, born in Rathcroghan Co. Roscommon, daughter of the King of Connacht. When her father died and her sister Clothra was named Queen she murder her pregnant sister in order to take the throne by force. Maeve married several times, most famously to Conor, King of Ulster, and apparently lived to 120 when she was eventually murdered by her sister’s son. Her legend was used to inspire warriors through the ages, when women were allowed to partake in battles.

When we visited the cairn up on Knocknarea a creepy dense mist came in from the sea (the ghost of Queen Maeve perhaps?!)



The final morning of our trip we paid a visit to the aforementioned Voya seaweed baths to rid our bodies of all of the alcohol related toxins we had forced upon ourselves. Not knowing what to expect from it at all, I was totally amazed, and really can't recommend it enough!

On the route home we dropped in to visit Elizabeth who makes the amazing “Salt of the Earth” plywood jewellery we sell in store. She is currently “minding” in her (architect) uncle’s incredible home just outside Strandhill, with the most amazing views of the beach. You couldnt choose a more inspiring spot to create from.

One more stop before the long journey back to Dublin. We called in to Matt Jones, woodturner in the sleepy village of Riverstown, to have a nose around and pick up an order of twig pots. Matt has his home and workshop just behind the local parish hall. The workshop is kitted out with a variety of wood-turning lathes and chisels that we spent the afternoon coveting. Here he creates the most incredible hand turned bowls and vessels.


Our highlights and tips for a trip West:

  •  A cycle along the Greenway (we went from Mulranny to Achill)
  •  A hike up Knocknarea to see Queen Maeve’s tomb.
  •  Visit Dolly’s cottage (a 200 yr old preserved thatched cottage)
  •  Dinner or Brunch in Shell’s café (we tried both).
  •  Take a seaweed bath at Voya 
  •  Surfing in Strandhill of course!
A trip West

A trip West

  Posted by Laura Caffrey in: food, ireland, Makers, sligo

Back in August 2013 team Irish Design Shop decided to head west for a bit of an adventure. After a quick trip to Westport to try out the infamous Greenway route on our bikes, we headed north to Co. Sligo.

It was in Strandhill where we set down to visit the lovely folk at Shell’s café. Facing the amazing beach, which is the perfect haven for surfing enthusiasts, Shells not only serves up the most delicious food all day long, but also houses a small gift shop selling everything from homemade brown bread to hand-made jewellery and homewares.

Jane and Myles opened Shells back in March 2010 having travelled the world to find the ideal spot to settle down, with the goal to create a special place for people to come and eat simple hearty food after a long day on the waves. On arrival to Strandhill you may also pass their beautiful home which is an extended old cottage, with concrete floor and countertops, the kitchen is really at the centre of this small but perfectly formed home. We were lucky enough to be invited to a small barbeque with a wonderfully diverse guest list. It was there that we met the owners of Voya Seaweed baths.



The highlight of the trip was a hike up Knocknarea mountain to see the burial mound of the legendary Queen Maeve. For those of you who don’t know the the story behind this celtic queen allow me to give you a brief outline:

There is the mythological Queen Maeve and a real counterpart whose stories appear to overlap. The real-life Meave was a very ambitious woman, born in Rathcroghan Co. Roscommon, daughter of the King of Connacht. When her father died and her sister Clothra was named Queen she murder her pregnant sister in order to take the throne by force. Maeve married several times, most famously to Conor, King of Ulster, and apparently lived to 120 when she was eventually murdered by her sister’s son. Her legend was used to inspire warriors through the ages, when women were allowed to partake in battles.

When we visited the cairn up on Knocknarea a creepy dense mist came in from the sea (the ghost of Queen Maeve perhaps?!)



The final morning of our trip we paid a visit to the aforementioned Voya seaweed baths to rid our bodies of all of the alcohol related toxins we had forced upon ourselves. Not knowing what to expect from it at all, I was totally amazed, and really can't recommend it enough!

On the route home we dropped in to visit Elizabeth who makes the amazing “Salt of the Earth” plywood jewellery we sell in store. She is currently “minding” in her (architect) uncle’s incredible home just outside Strandhill, with the most amazing views of the beach. You couldnt choose a more inspiring spot to create from.

One more stop before the long journey back to Dublin. We called in to Matt Jones, woodturner in the sleepy village of Riverstown, to have a nose around and pick up an order of twig pots. Matt has his home and workshop just behind the local parish hall. The workshop is kitted out with a variety of wood-turning lathes and chisels that we spent the afternoon coveting. Here he creates the most incredible hand turned bowls and vessels.


Our highlights and tips for a trip West:

  •  A cycle along the Greenway (we went from Mulranny to Achill)
  •  A hike up Knocknarea to see Queen Maeve’s tomb.
  •  Visit Dolly’s cottage (a 200 yr old preserved thatched cottage)
  •  Dinner or Brunch in Shell’s café (we tried both).
  •  Take a seaweed bath at Voya 
  •  Surfing in Strandhill of course!
Irish Handmade Glass Company

Irish Handmade Glass Company

  Posted by Clare Grennan in: Makers

‘Holi...what?’
‘Holibops Manuel, it’s a Dublin term meaning holidays’.
Indeed Manuel (our photography intern from Spain) learned a few more Dublin terms as we made our way through the sea of green that was Dolphins Barn pre Euro 2012 on our one day holibop to Waterford.

Back in January, we approached the Irish Handmade Glass Company about producing a range of glassware exclusive to our shop. Simple forms in beautiful colours was the brief. The results were exactly that, so we were feeling pretty excited about visiting the studio that produced our range having previously only communicated via email. The perfect opportunity to visit coincided with Manuel’s internship with us, so off we went, struggling at times with communication, but I think we all learnt a thing or two on that car journey. Manuel learnt some new words and we learnt that all pints are €2 in Dicey’s every Tuesday!

The Irish Handmade Glass studio is based in the heart of the medieval city of Waterford, a stones throw away from the Disneylandesque Waterford Crystal visitor centre. On arrival, we felt immediately welcome by the lads despite the fact that we were totally in the way as master glass blower Richard Rowe attempted to work around our awkward decamping of bags and coats. Manuel got straight to work while we made chit chat with master glass maker Tony Hayes.

The company consists of three major glassmakers and one master glasscutter, all ex-Waterford crystal empolyees who have a combined experience of 130 years of glass making. Each skilled worker, glide with ease, poles of molten glass in hand around the workshop in a relaxed yet orderly manner, producing finely crafted pieces at a factory line pace. The pride and enthusiasm that these makers display for their craft is a pleasure to see.

Established in 2009, they are obviously relishing the opportunity to run a business which they have full control over. Emphasis is on the quality of glassware which is produced from non-lead based crystal, melted from its pellet form in a purpose built kiln. Molten glass is either blown at this stage or dipped in high quality pigment to produce vibrantly coloured pieces. Once blown pieces are cooled, they are then passed to master cutter Danny Murphy who cuts and finishes each piece with steely concentration. Intrigued by the various stages of manufacturing, we began thinking up all sorts of possibilities. It has been such a pleasure working with this glass company that we would like to see this as the beginning of a whole host of possible products.

As we packed up our things, we left with the thought, just think of the possible Christmas baubles!

Special thanks to all at the Irish Handmade Glass Company: Danny Murphy, Derek Smith, Tony Hayes & Richard Rowe.

HUGE thanks to Manuel Gutiérrez for taking such amazing photos.

Irish Handmade Glass Company

Irish Handmade Glass Company

  Posted by Clare Grennan in: Makers

‘Holi...what?’
‘Holibops Manuel, it’s a Dublin term meaning holidays’.
Indeed Manuel (our photography intern from Spain) learned a few more Dublin terms as we made our way through the sea of green that was Dolphins Barn pre Euro 2012 on our one day holibop to Waterford.

Back in January, we approached the Irish Handmade Glass Company about producing a range of glassware exclusive to our shop. Simple forms in beautiful colours was the brief. The results were exactly that, so we were feeling pretty excited about visiting the studio that produced our range having previously only communicated via email. The perfect opportunity to visit coincided with Manuel’s internship with us, so off we went, struggling at times with communication, but I think we all learnt a thing or two on that car journey. Manuel learnt some new words and we learnt that all pints are €2 in Dicey’s every Tuesday!

The Irish Handmade Glass studio is based in the heart of the medieval city of Waterford, a stones throw away from the Disneylandesque Waterford Crystal visitor centre. On arrival, we felt immediately welcome by the lads despite the fact that we were totally in the way as master glass blower Richard Rowe attempted to work around our awkward decamping of bags and coats. Manuel got straight to work while we made chit chat with master glass maker Tony Hayes.

The company consists of three major glassmakers and one master glasscutter, all ex-Waterford crystal empolyees who have a combined experience of 130 years of glass making. Each skilled worker, glide with ease, poles of molten glass in hand around the workshop in a relaxed yet orderly manner, producing finely crafted pieces at a factory line pace. The pride and enthusiasm that these makers display for their craft is a pleasure to see.

Established in 2009, they are obviously relishing the opportunity to run a business which they have full control over. Emphasis is on the quality of glassware which is produced from non-lead based crystal, melted from its pellet form in a purpose built kiln. Molten glass is either blown at this stage or dipped in high quality pigment to produce vibrantly coloured pieces. Once blown pieces are cooled, they are then passed to master cutter Danny Murphy who cuts and finishes each piece with steely concentration. Intrigued by the various stages of manufacturing, we began thinking up all sorts of possibilities. It has been such a pleasure working with this glass company that we would like to see this as the beginning of a whole host of possible products.

As we packed up our things, we left with the thought, just think of the possible Christmas baubles!

Special thanks to all at the Irish Handmade Glass Company: Danny Murphy, Derek Smith, Tony Hayes & Richard Rowe.

HUGE thanks to Manuel Gutiérrez for taking such amazing photos.

Keep Sketch

Keep Sketch

  Posted by Clare Grennan in: Makers

Alex Synge is one of those guys you’d love to go for a pint with. A witty, unassuming, super talented chap with an eye for clean, uncluttered design, Alex is a man fond of a craft beer and a Fox’s classic. He is also quite tall.

A couple of weeks back, we invited Alex and his motley crew of Keep Sketchers to decorate our RHA windows with their unmistakable doodles. The cast included: Fuchsia Macaree, Dave Comiskey, Ross Henderson & Mark Crawford. They sketched, Alex photographed the action unfolding. He also produced a rather lovely video from the day, here is a link to view it: http://vimeo.com/43115078 It was such a fantastic day that we have decided to make it a regular event, keep up to date on facebook/twitter for future Keep Sketch drawing days.

Preferring to remain in the background, we decided to drag Alex Synge out of his comfort zone with our series of questions which reveal the man of mystery behind ‘Keep Sketch’.

How did it all start? (keep sketch that is)
I wanted to make some small, self-promotional item to be able to give to people instead of just getting a business card done. I’d been thinking about getting some pencils made with the words "Keep Sketch" on for a while, so finally just went with that. They seemed to strike a chord with people,  and got a nice reaction, being featured in Totally Dublin and a few other places. While it didn’t exactly end up promoting my own work directly, it did inadvertently create the Keep Sketch brand, which was all-the-better really.

What impact has the Fund it campaign had on the business & could you have set up Keep Sketch without its support?
Without the Fund it campaign, Keep Sketch would not exist as it does today. While we would most likely have tried to do small runs of things and more event-based work, there’s no way we would have been able to fund the production of all the stuff that we were able to do thanks to the campaign and the support we got. We’re very much indebted to Fund it and everyone who supported the project through it. Even having the project up on the site was great in itself; we were only the second successfully funded project in the design section of the site (the first being the Open House Dublin book) and it definitely gave us a lot of exposure. They’re wonderfully enthusiastic and supportive people, and I can’t recommend them enough if any designers have an idea that they need a bit of help with to get it off the ground.

Collaboration is the backbone of Keep Sketch, how do you approach designers?
I never gave it much thought to be honest, but it’s always been pretty simple; if I like someone’s work and think we could do something nice together, I tell them I like their work and ask them if they’d like to work on something with us. The approach was the same for old friends, previous collaborators and strangers alike. I think there’s a lot to be said for telling someone you like what they do, whatever it is. You never know what it can lead to, and it’s good for the soul too. 

Who do you admire most in Irish Design, be it past or present? Who do you think is doing nice things at the moment?
It’s easy to take ancient Irish art for granted because its imagery has become some omnipresent these days, but I’m continuously blown away  the metalwork and illuminated manuscripts from hundreds of years ago. There’s so much care and attention to detail and insane geometry going on in all that stuff. Two big twentieth century figures that I admire are Michael Scott and Eileen Gray. At the other end of the scale, there are a lot of people working today whose work I love. At the risk of sounding like a total cheese-ball, I’m very proud to be part or the Irish Design Shop family; lots of amazing work coming out of there. The people who have contributed to Keep Sketch are all amazing. I love Designgoat’s work and am really excited to be working with them at the moment. There’s plenty of sterling work coming from small graphic design studios like AAD, Conor & David, Unthink and Detail too. There’s actually far too much too mention… I have a lot of very talented friends, and keep coming across great work all over the place. 

How do you see the future of Irish Design? Grim or exciting?
Exciting, definitely! There are so many people making amazing work in Ireland at the moment, from people in college, to those who have been working away for years and years. I’m genuinely excited about the future of Irish design, and happy to be around at a time where it really seems to be flourishing.

Future Keep Sketch projects?
There are one or two top-secret things that we can’t really talk about for now, but suffice to say, we’re very excited about them. Planning the RHA IDS window has been great, and we’d definitely like to do more large-scale and event-based projects like this. We’re always seeing work by very talented illustrators and designers too, so it would be great to collaborate with some new blood on some new projects in the near future too.

Favourite book?
John Berger’s "Ways Of Seeing" had a pretty big impact on me when I read it and re-read in it college. In terms of fiction, "So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away" by Richard Brautigan is a book I enjoyed a lot that I hope to re-read again someday.

Favourite film?
Ghostbusters

Favourite Dublin pub?
Impossible to choose, but here are four that I like a lot; The Long Hall, The Lord Edward, the Shakespeare and the Blue Light.

Tipple of choice?
I’m quite partial to fancy craft beers, but I always come back to Guinness or a nice Irish whiskey. Failing that, pretty much any 4-cans-for-a-fiver deal will keep me happy.

Favourite font?
Hard to pick just one… It would probably be something classic like Gill Sans, although I can never fully give myself over to that font, because the man who created it was so vile. I have a soft spot for Didot, and am using a lot of Courier at the moment too. Too many other great fonts from small independent foundries to mention too!

Do you like to dance? Say, on a dance-floor?
Yes, and yes. Usually only with a suitable amount of Dutch courage though.

Favourite biscuit-bar?
Fox’s Classic.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs for their unquestioning loyalty and stamina for playing fetch on the beach; cats for making the internet the place it is today.

Favourite Irish bird?
Blue Tit.

Keep Sketch

Keep Sketch

  Posted by Clare Grennan in: Makers

Alex Synge is one of those guys you’d love to go for a pint with. A witty, unassuming, super talented chap with an eye for clean, uncluttered design, Alex is a man fond of a craft beer and a Fox’s classic. He is also quite tall.

A couple of weeks back, we invited Alex and his motley crew of Keep Sketchers to decorate our RHA windows with their unmistakable doodles. The cast included: Fuchsia Macaree, Dave Comiskey, Ross Henderson & Mark Crawford. They sketched, Alex photographed the action unfolding. He also produced a rather lovely video from the day, here is a link to view it: http://vimeo.com/43115078 It was such a fantastic day that we have decided to make it a regular event, keep up to date on facebook/twitter for future Keep Sketch drawing days.

Preferring to remain in the background, we decided to drag Alex Synge out of his comfort zone with our series of questions which reveal the man of mystery behind ‘Keep Sketch’.

How did it all start? (keep sketch that is)
I wanted to make some small, self-promotional item to be able to give to people instead of just getting a business card done. I’d been thinking about getting some pencils made with the words "Keep Sketch" on for a while, so finally just went with that. They seemed to strike a chord with people,  and got a nice reaction, being featured in Totally Dublin and a few other places. While it didn’t exactly end up promoting my own work directly, it did inadvertently create the Keep Sketch brand, which was all-the-better really.

What impact has the Fund it campaign had on the business & could you have set up Keep Sketch without its support?
Without the Fund it campaign, Keep Sketch would not exist as it does today. While we would most likely have tried to do small runs of things and more event-based work, there’s no way we would have been able to fund the production of all the stuff that we were able to do thanks to the campaign and the support we got. We’re very much indebted to Fund it and everyone who supported the project through it. Even having the project up on the site was great in itself; we were only the second successfully funded project in the design section of the site (the first being the Open House Dublin book) and it definitely gave us a lot of exposure. They’re wonderfully enthusiastic and supportive people, and I can’t recommend them enough if any designers have an idea that they need a bit of help with to get it off the ground.

Collaboration is the backbone of Keep Sketch, how do you approach designers?
I never gave it much thought to be honest, but it’s always been pretty simple; if I like someone’s work and think we could do something nice together, I tell them I like their work and ask them if they’d like to work on something with us. The approach was the same for old friends, previous collaborators and strangers alike. I think there’s a lot to be said for telling someone you like what they do, whatever it is. You never know what it can lead to, and it’s good for the soul too. 

Who do you admire most in Irish Design, be it past or present? Who do you think is doing nice things at the moment?
It’s easy to take ancient Irish art for granted because its imagery has become some omnipresent these days, but I’m continuously blown away  the metalwork and illuminated manuscripts from hundreds of years ago. There’s so much care and attention to detail and insane geometry going on in all that stuff. Two big twentieth century figures that I admire are Michael Scott and Eileen Gray. At the other end of the scale, there are a lot of people working today whose work I love. At the risk of sounding like a total cheese-ball, I’m very proud to be part or the Irish Design Shop family; lots of amazing work coming out of there. The people who have contributed to Keep Sketch are all amazing. I love Designgoat’s work and am really excited to be working with them at the moment. There’s plenty of sterling work coming from small graphic design studios like AAD, Conor & David, Unthink and Detail too. There’s actually far too much too mention… I have a lot of very talented friends, and keep coming across great work all over the place. 

How do you see the future of Irish Design? Grim or exciting?
Exciting, definitely! There are so many people making amazing work in Ireland at the moment, from people in college, to those who have been working away for years and years. I’m genuinely excited about the future of Irish design, and happy to be around at a time where it really seems to be flourishing.

Future Keep Sketch projects?
There are one or two top-secret things that we can’t really talk about for now, but suffice to say, we’re very excited about them. Planning the RHA IDS window has been great, and we’d definitely like to do more large-scale and event-based projects like this. We’re always seeing work by very talented illustrators and designers too, so it would be great to collaborate with some new blood on some new projects in the near future too.

Favourite book?
John Berger’s "Ways Of Seeing" had a pretty big impact on me when I read it and re-read in it college. In terms of fiction, "So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away" by Richard Brautigan is a book I enjoyed a lot that I hope to re-read again someday.

Favourite film?
Ghostbusters

Favourite Dublin pub?
Impossible to choose, but here are four that I like a lot; The Long Hall, The Lord Edward, the Shakespeare and the Blue Light.

Tipple of choice?
I’m quite partial to fancy craft beers, but I always come back to Guinness or a nice Irish whiskey. Failing that, pretty much any 4-cans-for-a-fiver deal will keep me happy.

Favourite font?
Hard to pick just one… It would probably be something classic like Gill Sans, although I can never fully give myself over to that font, because the man who created it was so vile. I have a soft spot for Didot, and am using a lot of Courier at the moment too. Too many other great fonts from small independent foundries to mention too!

Do you like to dance? Say, on a dance-floor?
Yes, and yes. Usually only with a suitable amount of Dutch courage though.

Favourite biscuit-bar?
Fox’s Classic.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs for their unquestioning loyalty and stamina for playing fetch on the beach; cats for making the internet the place it is today.

Favourite Irish bird?
Blue Tit.

West Cork Trip

West Cork Trip

  Posted by Laura Caffrey in: cork, ireland, quercus, visit

On a dark and dreary January afternoon it is nice to reminisce about long balmy Summer days in West Cork. Last July we spent a week in Baltimore taking in the delights of what this marvellous part of the country had to offer. Having met Ginny (one half of Quercus) the previous month in Dublin, we were pretty excited to add a visit to the Quercus studio to the itinerary.

Ginny and Jason Pavry are the husband & wife team behind Quercus. Based in idyllic Baltimore, West Cork, Quercus aims to strike a balance between aesthetics and sustainability with an emphasis on natural materials sourced in Ireland. Together they developed their signature piece, the Seedpod bird feeder made from hand-turned Irish oak. Other items in the ever growing range include the seedhead, (designed to sit in flowerbeds and borders or in flowerpots) and plant labels, all stocked at Irish Design Shop.

On the morning we made our trip to the Quercus studio, Jason had just completed an order of Seedpods. The workshop, a pretty fancy light filled barn, is a woodturners dream. Tools and chisels hang in an organised manner on the walls, the smell of woodchip fills the space & high quality Irish hardwoods fill the loft.

By the time we had taken a few snaps, Pip the Quercus guard dog had finally started to warm to us. We could have stayed there all day getting helpful woodturning tips from Jason, petting the dog (we love an auld studio dog) but we were on a schedule, the ferry to Sherkin Island was beckoning via a final trip to the Glebe for possibly the best sandwiches in the rebel county.

Clare & Laura’s top tips on West Cork:

  • Make sure to take a ferry to some of the nearby islands. We took a day trip to Cape Clear to sample the infamous Cape Clear goat ice cream. Sherkin island is a 15 minute ferry ride from Baltimore. Not much on the island itself, but the wedges in the Jolly Roger pub are fantastic! We stayed over night on Sherkin. Our number one piece of advice is bring a torch! Essential when wandering back to your accomodation after a skinful in the Jolly Roger
  • If you are visiting Skibereen, make the visit to Mrs Minihans bar, a truly authentic Irish bar. Sample the warm beer from crystal glasses while flies circle above.
  • Clonakilty is a far more picturesque spot than ‘Skib’ with nearby Inchydoney beach a must on the itinerary
  • By far our favourite place in West Cork, the Glebe in Baltimore serves fantastic food all day, all sourced locally, organic the whole nine yards! The evening menu is a bit special, the lamb was only marvellous!
  • We do like our food

West Cork Trip

West Cork Trip

  Posted by Laura Caffrey in: cork, ireland, quercus, visit

On a dark and dreary January afternoon it is nice to reminisce about long balmy Summer days in West Cork. Last July we spent a week in Baltimore taking in the delights of what this marvellous part of the country had to offer. Having met Ginny (one half of Quercus) the previous month in Dublin, we were pretty excited to add a visit to the Quercus studio to the itinerary.

Ginny and Jason Pavry are the husband & wife team behind Quercus. Based in idyllic Baltimore, West Cork, Quercus aims to strike a balance between aesthetics and sustainability with an emphasis on natural materials sourced in Ireland. Together they developed their signature piece, the Seedpod bird feeder made from hand-turned Irish oak. Other items in the ever growing range include the seedhead, (designed to sit in flowerbeds and borders or in flowerpots) and plant labels, all stocked at Irish Design Shop.

On the morning we made our trip to the Quercus studio, Jason had just completed an order of Seedpods. The workshop, a pretty fancy light filled barn, is a woodturners dream. Tools and chisels hang in an organised manner on the walls, the smell of woodchip fills the space & high quality Irish hardwoods fill the loft.

By the time we had taken a few snaps, Pip the Quercus guard dog had finally started to warm to us. We could have stayed there all day getting helpful woodturning tips from Jason, petting the dog (we love an auld studio dog) but we were on a schedule, the ferry to Sherkin Island was beckoning via a final trip to the Glebe for possibly the best sandwiches in the rebel county.

Clare & Laura’s top tips on West Cork:

  • Make sure to take a ferry to some of the nearby islands. We took a day trip to Cape Clear to sample the infamous Cape Clear goat ice cream. Sherkin island is a 15 minute ferry ride from Baltimore. Not much on the island itself, but the wedges in the Jolly Roger pub are fantastic! We stayed over night on Sherkin. Our number one piece of advice is bring a torch! Essential when wandering back to your accomodation after a skinful in the Jolly Roger
  • If you are visiting Skibereen, make the visit to Mrs Minihans bar, a truly authentic Irish bar. Sample the warm beer from crystal glasses while flies circle above.
  • Clonakilty is a far more picturesque spot than ‘Skib’ with nearby Inchydoney beach a must on the itinerary
  • By far our favourite place in West Cork, the Glebe in Baltimore serves fantastic food all day, all sourced locally, organic the whole nine yards! The evening menu is a bit special, the lamb was only marvellous!
  • We do like our food