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A Guide to Cork - Travel

Written by: Georgina Ingham | Posted 16 June 2020 13:07

A Guide to Cork - Travel
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“It’s always Cork first and Ireland second,” said Roy Keane in RTE documentary, Have Boots Will Travel. Cork (Corcaigh) is a city with a little bit of everything and a touch of magic. Ireland’s second city is located in the south-west of Ireland, in the province of Munster. The city centre is an island positioned between two channels of the River Lee which meet downstream at the eastern end of the city centre, where the quays along the river lead outwards towards Lough Mahon and Cork Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world.

 

Ireland’s ‘rebel city’ is often just a starting point for exploring the rugged wild Atlantic west, but with a cracking food scene, great pubs and fantastic historical sites, there are plenty of reasons to linger

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - The Pure Cork Travel Guide. Pin it for Later. Don't miss out on these top tips! Bookmark for when travelling is the norm again.

  

Known to be rather hilly Cork offers some fantastic walks and views. In the fantastic The Glorius Heresies, McInerney describes Cork as looking “spread out in soft mounds and hollows, like a duvet dropped into a well” and I suppose when your looking down from the Northside that is true enough. Beautiful city, so. 

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork City. Karen Cronin's photograph of the Northside view over the City.  Like duvets dipped into wells - The Glorious Heresies

 

Not only is the city beautiful but it is exceptionally friendly too. So friendly in fact that it was recently voted the world's third most friendly city. It is a small but bustling city (referred to locally as 'town'), full of charm and a locale who are likely to acknowledge you and engage in friendly conversation.

 

As Stevie Grainger points out Corkonians are "blessed to have an amazing selection of great cafes and restaurants having an amazing community for food which also feeds into arts and culture so it’s a great place to live”. I am not (yet) lucky enough to enjoy life in Cork permanently but I do try to visit the Rebel County at least once a year, often more so. Not being able to travel as made me "home away from home" homesick and hence this post was born.

 

Please, do be aware that due to the current pandemic many of the below-mentioned places are not currently open. Don’t be disheartened, bookmark them to visit later. It will be more important than ever to support small, local businesses who will have to work harder than ever to keep their livelihoods going with new regulations and social norms. 

 

Where To Stay?

Whatever your budget Cork City has an accommodation option for you. There are many places to choose from and I have featured one Southside hotel, one Northside hotel and a budget hostel option. 

 

Imperial Hotel

The Imperial Hotel on South Mall in the heart of Cork City is my ‘go too’ hotel when I’m staying in this beautiful city. The Imperial’s location is unrivalled being only a short stroll from the main shopping streets and probably most important of all the world-famous English Market.

 

The hotel was the first in Cork and is steeped in over 200 years of history and tradition, probably most famously for having Michael Collins stay the night before his assassination. The Imperial is often being referred to as the ’Grande Dame’ of Cork.

 

The Imperial manages to hold on to its old-world charm both through the luxurious decor and the exquisite customer service offered - the staff could not be more helpful and welcoming.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland, The Luxurious Junior Suite at The Imperial Hotel Cork City - A Fabulously Old Fashioned Hotel In the Heart of A Modern City

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - Where to Stay, Where to Eat & Drink, What to do in Cork City - The Grande Dame of Cork - The Imperial Hotel Room Art Work - Local Landmarks

 

The Imperial Hotel is also home to a couple of fantastic places to eat and drink, but more about them later. If you fancy a little pampering you could always head to the Hotel’s Escape Spa where they offer an array of relaxing treatments. How bad?

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland The Imperial Hotel Cork Escape Spa One of the best places to relax and be pampered with the spa experience in the City

 

Hotel Isaacs

Hotel Isaacs is a gorgeous boutique hotel located on the North Side of the River Lee.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland. Hotel Isaacs, a beautiful boutique hotel on the Northside of the Lee but within walking distance of everything you could want

 

The Hotel in the heart of Cork City's Victorian Quarter which is an absolute gem to stroll around and take in the City’s history and find some great ‘local’ shopping too.

 

Unusually for a city centre hotel, Isaacs has a view of a waterfall (in their somewhat secret garden). 

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland - Hotel Isaacs with a beautiful Waterfall. It's not everyday you find one of those in an Irish hotel

 

As with the Imperial Hotel, Hotel Isaacs has a fabulous restaurant and bar on-site, which is a great selling point to a solo female traveller like me.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland Hotel Isaacs Courtyard with Cask bar on site, such a beautiful place to relax

 

Kinlay House Hostel

Kinlay House is a hostel located in the shadow of St Anne’s Church, Shandon. Centrally located budget accommodation which offers both dormitory or individual rooms (single or double) for those who like a little more privacy.

 

Kinlay House Hostel Cork City in the Shadow of St Anne's Church

 

Where to Eat & Drink:

Ali’s Kitchen

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland - Alis Kitchen - Run by the fabulous chef Ali, whatever time of day you go you will be spoilt for choice

 

Ali’s Kitchen Cork is owned and run by chef Ali Honour. She specialises in creating seasonal, “flavour busting” food. Ali changes the menu changes every week meaning that you’ll be forever spoilt for choice no matter how many times you visit.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland Alis Cork an example menu

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland Ali's Kitchen Cork has such a fabulous menu

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland Alis Kitchen Cork, a Great Menu

 

Ali has also recently begun offering a variety of takeaway options so you can grab a tasty treat on your journey too. “Ali's vision is to bring a new sort of food vibe to Cork. She aims to share her pure love of food with people and to make them smile with her food” And, this she does day in day out with her magnificent bakes.

 

My favourite is her French Toast, in fact, I’ve never tasted better. From cakes to brunches, to lunches and splendiferous dinners, Ali’s has it all. Don’t these photo’s make your mouth water? 

 

Alis Cork Food5

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland. Alis Kitchen Cork - Such a beautiful array of food

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland. Alis Kitchen Cork - Such a beautiful array of food

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland. Alis Kitchen Cork - Such a beautiful array of food

 

Arthur Maynes

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland. Arthur Maynes Pub - The Pembroke Street Entrance

 

Arthur Maynes or Maynes as your more likely to hear, is a pub on Pembroke Street, literally around the corner from the Imperial Hotel, and as such, it generally becomes my ‘local’ when I’m in Cork. No bad thing as this pub is full of atmosphere, fabulous drinks (local craft beers, wines and spirits etc) and a fabulous, albeit small, menu with the food freshly cooked to order. As with many places in Cork the ingredients are sourced locally and seasonally.  

 

Upstairs at Maynes is another atmospheric seating area, but up there they specialise in some rather splendid cocktails.

 

Arthur Maynes Menu

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland. Arthur Maynes, A Herritage Pub with a history as an old Pharmacy with lots of quirky apothacry kept on display behind the counters. A dark and moody pubt that has a great, welcoming and friendly vibe. My 'local' in Cork

 

The building itself was previously a pharmacist and, thankfully, all the old apothecary is kept on show behind the bar and in display cases.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland. Arthur Maynes, A Herritage Pub with a history as an old Pharmacy with lots of quirky apothacry kept on display behind the counters. A dark and moody pubt that has a great, welcoming and friendly vibe. My 'local' in Cork

 

Mayne’s is a very cosy pub and very old fashioned feeling building but the vibe is young and friendly. A definite must-visit.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland. Arthur Maynes, A Herritage Pub with a history as an old Pharmacy with lots of quirky apothacry kept on display behind the counters. A dark and moody pubt that has a great, welcoming and friendly vibe. My 'local' in Cork

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels - A Guide to Cork Ireland. Arthur Maynes, A Herritage Pub with a history as an old Pharmacy with lots of quirky apothacry kept on display behind the counters. A dark and moody pubt that has a great, welcoming and friendly vibe. My 'local' in Cork

 

Is it just me or does it feel like the cast of The Wind That Shakes the Barley, with Corkman himself Cillian Murphy, should be sitting around those tables?

 

Cafe Izz

Cafe Izz is a taste of Palestine in Cork. Run by an immigrant family, they aim to bring Palestinian food with a modern twist to the city. Right now they are offering take away food but hopefully, it won’t be long until full-service return.

  

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cafe Izz a taste of Palestine brought to you by a Refugee couple who are overwhelmed by the warm welcome this friendly city has given them

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cafe Izz a taste of Palestine brought to you by a Refugee couple who are overwhelmed by the warm welcome this friendly city has given them

Cafe Izz turned one last month and they wanted to say they are “amazed by the kindness and support Cork has shown them as refugees

 . Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cafe Izz a taste of Palestine brought to you by a Refugee couple who are overwhelmed by the warm welcome this friendly city has given them

 

Cafe Marius

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cafe Marius in the heart of the English Market is a food lovers dream, great place to catch up on local gossip whilst enjoying a great coffee, or to pick up picnic provisions in the way of sandwiches made with local produce - meats, cheeses, salads etc

 

Cafe Marius is located in the English Market; their mission is to “take pride in offering local products, working exclusively with County Cork farmers and traders at the market to promote the importance of shopping local and supporting other traders”. They’re a great place to stop for a coffee and a chat or to pick up some items for a picnic.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cafe Marius in the heart of the English Market is a food lovers dream, great place to catch up on local gossip whilst enjoying a great coffee, or to pick up picnic provisions in the way of sandwiches made with local produce - meats, cheeses, salads etc

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cafe Marius in the heart of the English Market is a food lovers dream, great place to catch up on local gossip whilst enjoying a great coffee, or to pick up picnic provisions in the way of sandwiches made with local produce - meats, cheeses, salads etc

 

Cafe Paradiso

Dennis Cotter’s Cafe Paradiso is an institution in the Cork dining scene. First opened in October 1993, Paradiso has continued to gain national and international acclaim for the innovative and groundbreaking vegetable cuisine. Once again, Cotter emphasizes seasonal, local produce, cleverly combining them to create some outstanding dishes.

 

Cask

Cask is a sister venue of neighbouring Hotel Isaacs Cork and Greenes Restaurant. Opening in 2007 Cask embraced the quirkiness of the property and worked hard to keep the original features, making a comfortable, interesting stop for a cocktail or two and bite to eat from their delicious menu or perhaps pre/post eating at Greene's.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. I have door envy when I look at this gorgeous entrance to Cask. Cork

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cask is a beautiful place to go for a cocktail. The bar has been lovingly restored keeping all the quirky eccentrisities alive

  

Cask has a seasonal and seasonal-inspired, farm-to-glass drinks menu. The seasonal cocktail menu changes every twelve weeks and is based around what wild ingredients are available to access at that time of year. Cork stories and characters often influence the names of and flavours in their cocktails, e.g, a Farran Woods cocktail features young spruce shoots and new season nettles that are foraged from Farran Forest Park in Co Cork.

 

A commitment to using local and Irish ingredients wherever they can is also important to the Cask team. Cask is apparently the only bar in Ireland that doesn’t use citrus on their menu, as it doesn’t fit with their otherwise sustainable practices.

 

Fairly expensive but well worth it for the experience.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Oh what a lovely place to sit and enjoy time with friends & family. The outdoor seating area at Cask could be miles away from a busy city, so tranquil.

 

Coqbull

Coqbull Restaurant opened in Cork City 6 years ago and combined the old industrial feel with a cool and funky interior look, They focus on casual dining focusing on serving delicious chicken, burgers and pizza with a host of interesting accompaniments, craft beers and their signature Coqbull Coqtails.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. A Coqbul Coqtail? Don't mind if I do. Flavour packed alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks with a Corkonian twist

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Coqbull is a friendly restaurant with a young vibe. They serve delicious burgers, rotisserie chicken and a whole load more. Well worth a stop, and do sit outside if you can and soak up the atmosphere of French Church Street. width=

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Coqbull is a friendly restaurant with a young vibe. They serve delicious burgers, rotisserie chicken and a whole load more. Well worth a stop, and do sit outside if you can and soak up the atmosphere of French Church Street.

 

The interesting name CoqBull originates from the simplicity of the locally sourced ingredients (chicken and beef with a few extras), with a tongue in cheek attitude!   Coqbull is great for friends or family wanting an informal dining experience. the menu is laden with great sharing options like platters, wings, ribs, as well as a range of burgers, rotisserie chicken & chorizo fries, plus some healthy options like organic salads etc.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Coqbull is a friendly restaurant with a young vibe. They serve delicious burgers, rotisserie chicken and a whole load more. Well worth a stop, and do sit outside if you can and soak up the atmosphere of French Church Street.

 

They also have a great outdoor seating area, which given their location on French Church Street is great for soaking up the laidback Cork vibes.

 

Electric

Electric is housed in a beautiful blue art-deco building. Split over three main areas, there is something for everyone - bar, restaurant, fish bar and a gorgeous sun trap of an outdoor area next to the boardwalk between Grand Parade and South Mall. Riverside eating for the win.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Looking down the Lovely Lee towards the Elecric, a great place to enjoy an array of seafood and some al fresco riverside eating

 

Farmgate Cafe

Farmgate Cafe One of the first things I do when I return to Cork is head to the Farmgate Cafe, located above the English Market.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. The English Market is at the heart of this city both geographically and emotionally. It is a bustling hive of activity with stalls covering butchers, fishmongers, green grocers, a spice emporium and much, much more. It is also home to the World Renowned Farmgate Cafe

 

My aim, to get a pot of tea and a scone or slice of brac and sit looking down over the rail at the activity below. The Cork lilt, noisy around me and, that’s when I know I can relax.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. The English Market is at the heart of this city both geographically and emotionally. It is a bustling hive of activity with stalls covering butchers, fishmongers, green grocers, a spice emporium and much, much more. It is also home to the World Renowned Farmgate Cafe - Once I have my pot of tea and scone here, I know I'm home

 

The Farmgate Cafe is split into two sections. One the self-service section where I get my tea and scone and the other, a table service section where I often go for breakfast or late lunch. If you only get to the Farmgate once make sure it’s for breakfast - their Market Breakfast (yes, you guessed it, all produce sourced from the English Market) is stunning. The menu consists of traditional Irish / Cork favourites with a modern twist. Do give the Cork dish tripe and drisheen a try for the experience in it.

 

Good Day Deli

Good Day Deli is described as a “Sustainable Foods Cafe” serving a mix of healthy, local, seasonal, organic and fair trade foods with a commitment to sustainability throughout their food chain. There is a presiding influence of the South Pacific, particularly from New Zealand and the Cook Islands where co-owner Kristin is from.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork - The Good Day Deli is located within the tranquil area of Nano Nagle Place

 

For me, the highlight of the Good Day Deli is the location, in the sanctuary of Nano Nagle Place.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. The Good Day Deli is located high up the city in Nano Nagle Place. The food is healthy and wholesome which matches the feel of the historic place. Enjoy some lovely food, peace and quiet and the views across the city

 

Hillbilly's

Hillybilly’s Fast food isn’t my usual go-to option when I’m holiday but, to leave Hillbilly’s out of this list would be to do a disservice to Cork. Hillbilly’s is now a big brand and have stores across Ireland but they began in Cork. They became famous for their secret recipe chicken, which features in the “breast in a bun” and signature gravy which remains unchanged to this day. Only open for takeaway at the moment and with altered hours, but, on any normal weekend, I’d say they’d be pretty popular after a good night out in Town.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide of Cork, Ireland Hillybillys is a family owned fast food restaurant in the middle of the city, by the Berwick Fountain. Well worth visiting for the Breast in a Bun special

 

Idaho

Idaho is run by the fabulous Richard & Máiréad Jacobs, Richard front-of-house and Máiréad the chef. Their cafe is bijou but the small space is always ‘jointed’ - Cork slang for full to the rafters. No matter though, Richard and co are always full of fun and banter, and the best thing, you get welcomed like an old friend.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork.daho is run by the fabulous Richard & Maraide Jacobs, Richard front of house and Maraide the chef. Their cafe is bijou but the small space is always ‘jointed’ - Cork slang for full to the rafters. No matter though, Richard and co are always full of fun and banter, and the best thing, you get welcomed like an old friend.

 

Located on Caroline Street just behind Brown Thomas it is rather a hidden gem and perfectly located for a treat mid-shopping spree.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork Ireland, Brownies at the Idaho Cafe, soft, squidgy, light and oh so good. Do stop as Idaho is the perfect place to refuel when out shopping or exploring this magnificent city

 

Richard describes Idaho as “a small, daytime café, serving breakfast, brunch, lunch and rather good cakes. We use the English market as our walk-in cold room, using great Cork food products daily, on our menu since 2001. Recently we have started growing all our own herbs, lots of vegetables and apples from our orchard. We serve the food we love, with love”.

 

Iyers

Iyers is a South Indian restaurant on Pope’s Quay, run by Gautham Iyer. Iyer is quoted as saying “I really like food. My core philosophy is this: you could eat poison, but if it is served in an attitude of love and you consume it in an attitude of calm, you will digest it. It’s the Prana, or life force, in the food and in your presence that matters: it either costs you effort or it gives you power.” The food is vegetarian and flavour packed; you will certainly not be missing the meat.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels a Guide to Cork, Ireland - Iyers Cafe, a taste of South India in Cork. Vegetarian food so good that you'll never miss the meat - Misal Chaat

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels a Guide to Cork, Ireland - Iyers Cafe, a taste of South India in Cork. Vegetarian food so good that you'll never miss the meat  - Vegetarian Thali

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels a Guide to Cork, Ireland - Iyers Cafe, a taste of South India in Cork. Vegetarian food so good that you'll never miss the meat  - Chilli Gobi

 

Lafayette's Brasserie

Lafayette’s Brasserie Located in Cork’s Imperial Hotel, Lafayette’s is like stepping into a piece of art. The stunning decor is that of the 1920s and the brasserie is a hive of activity. From guests enjoying a relaxing break to shoppers enjoying a reviving tea and cake to business persons having a meeting over delicious meals. The ingredients are sourced locally, from the English Market, where possible.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels a Guide to Cork, Ireland - Lafayettes Brasserie located in the Imperial Hotel is an art deco dream, beautiful, intricate high ceilings, marbel floors, and outstanding customer service. A great place to relax and enjoy a coffe, tea or mineral (Irish for a soft drink/soda)

 

Keep an eye open for their forthcoming "Once upon a Tea Time" menu, which is inspired by some of the Imperial Hotel’s most well-known guests, the Princess Grace pastry is an elegant Pistachio Crust choux with Raspberry Gel & Pistachio Disk created and handmade on site. A Strawberry Macaroon Ruby Whipped Chocolate Ganache will tempt any taste buds, while the Michael Collins’ Cocoa Berry Chocolate Mousse with Espresso & Midleton Rare Irish Whiskey and Charles Dickens’ Banana Loaf provides a couple of sharper bites. For those that prefer more savoury mouthfuls, a Cold Smoked Irish Salmon and Fresh Dill sandwich served on Doty’s Brown Bread catches the eye. Additional choices include an Ardsallagh Goats Cheese Tartlet, Hereford Beef, Rocket and Horseradish on Brioche Bun, Poached Egg & Chive with Light Mayo or the refreshing Cucumber & Yoghurt on O’Keeffe’s Loaf. The finger sandwich selection is complemented by freshly made raisin scones, served with Irish butter and jams.  

 

Bastien Peyraud General Manager of the Imperial Hotel says “Here at the Imperial Hotel, we’re very proud of our unique history and the many tales we have from guests that have come to stay with us over the years. Some of those have inspired a new ‘Once Upon a Tea Time’ menu that we hope will capture the imagination and offer an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours with family and friends while being well looked after by our hospitality team.” 

 

Market Lane

Mar­ket Lane is an award-winning restau­rant and bar sit­u­ated on Oliver Plunkett Street, which is lined with shops, cafes and pubs, Market Lane has a menu mixing traditional Irish ingredients with a dash of continental flair. It’s a great spot for those planning a long night out in town, as it also has a splendid early bird menu. Where pos­si­ble they use ingre­di­ents from The Eng­lish Mar­ket and local arti­san pro­duc­ers to make up the menu which has a wide range of fish, sal­ads, meat, game and sand­wiches, in addi­tion to coeliac and veg­e­tar­ian dishes.

 

Mutton Lane

Mutton Lane Located in a laneway next to The English Market, this small cosy pub would be easy to miss. It used to be where live sheep were run into the market for sale.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels a Guide to Cork, Ireland - Mutton Lane a tiny pub almost hidden down a small laneway, pop in for a pint and some great craic

 

Venture inside this small dark and cosy pub, for a drink and some good conversation. 

  

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels a Guide to Cork, Ireland - Mutton Lane a tiny pub almost hidden down a small laneway, pop in for a pint and some great craic

 

It gets very busy in the evenings with the crowd spilling outside to sit on beer barrels down the lane. Be sure to take a look at the stunning wall mural outside painted by local artist Anthony Ruby.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels a Guide to Cork, Ireland - Mutton Lane a tiny pub almost hidden down a small laneway, pop in for a pint and some great craic

 

Nash 19 

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels a Guide to Cork, Ireland - Nash 19 is an institution in Cork, run by the fabulous Claire and team it is both a restaurant, deli and almost gallery with local works of art displayed throughout the restaurant. The Full Irish is outstanding, well, all of the food is outstanding, but I love to go for a relaxed breakfast experience.

 

Nash 19 is located in the heart of the City on Princes Street, a stone’s throw from The English Market. It is run by the lovely Claire Nash and has been in situ for 28 years. Run by a fantastic, friendly and welcoming team this is a true Cork institution that is superb for a long lazy breakfast, lunch or dinner. Popular with Corkonians and tourists alike which is always a great sign. Nash19 work closely with an amazing bunch of regional growers, farmers and producers.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels a Guide to Cork, Ireland - Nash 19 is an institution in Cork, run by the fabulous Claire and team it is both a restaurant, deli and almost gallery with local works of art displayed throughout the restaurant. The Full Irish is outstanding, well, all of the food is outstanding, but I love to go for a relaxed breakfast experience.

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels a Guide to Cork, Ireland - Nash 19 is an institution in Cork, run by the fabulous Claire and team it is both a restaurant, deli and almost gallery with local works of art displayed throughout the restaurant. The Full Irish is outstanding, well, all of the food is outstanding, but I love to go for a relaxed breakfast experience.

 

O'Flynn's Gourmet Sausages

O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages are located in The English Market and on Winthrop Street, both stores run by a fabulously friendly bunch.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. O'Flynns Gourmet Sausages are located in the English Market and The Hatch Winthrop Street. They serve amazing sausage sandwiches and fried potatoes. All with Cork inspired names. You can also buy packs of their sausages which come in many varieties

 

They are fabulous for grabbing breakfast or a quick snack on the run - sausage sandwiches with fabulous toppings and perfect fried potatoes. They also sell packs of their locally produced fantastic sausages in an array of varieties. Many of the sausages and sandwiches have a Corkonian twist on the names such as Cork Boi, Hodder’s Lane, The Pana Dawg etc.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. O'Flynns Gourmet Sausages are located in the English Market and The Hatch Winthrop Street. They serve amazing sausage sandwiches and fried potatoes. All with Cork inspired names. You can also buy packs of their sausages which come in many varieties

 

Be aware you’ll get the taste for these traditional Irish sausages and will be needing to order them online too!

 

Quinlan’s Seafood

Quinlan’s Seafood, a family business, have Seafood bars Cork, Killarney, Tralee and Killorglin. Quinlan’s obtain all their fish and seafood from their own boats and fish factory. They offer fresh fish and shellfish that are locally and seasonably sourced. From the more traditional fish and chips to chowders and seafood platters, there is something for everyone at a really decent price.

 

Salt

Salt is another great place to eat, and again in keeping with most other traders, they shop locally sourcing most of their ingredients from The English Market. Their most popular item on the menu according to owner Celine is the Kiwi Brunch - “poached eggs, smoked bacon or artisanal smoked salmon, pickled onions, guacamole on toasted biggie bread” and it’s easy to see why - what a flavour bomb!

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Salt Cafe Cork have a fantastic menu but the most popular item is their Kiwi Breakfast. Looks scrumptious doesn't it?

 

They are currently only operating on a takeaway service but fingers crossed we can be back to normal soon.

 

Seventy-Six on the Mall 

Seventy-Six on the Mall Located in the Imperial Hotel Cork, Seventy Six on the Mall is a popular bar with a couple of light menu options - a meat and cheese platter. The interior of the bar was inspired by the work of the great Irish architect and interior designer, David Collins; in keeping with the rest of the hotel, the bar is opulent and luxurious, with a multi-tone blue decor. It is the perfect place to have a relaxing nightcap before returning to your room, or it makes a great location to have a relaxed evening with friends.

 

St Peter's Cork

St Peters Cork Located on North Main Street, St Peters is somewhere you might wander past without giving another thought.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. It'd be easy enough to wander right on past St Peters without a second thought, but what a dire thing that would be! They are a community centre with exhibitions etc, but hidden at the back in their Secret Garden you can enjoy cakes and coffee in a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. It'd be easy enough to wander right on past St Peters without a second thought, but what a dire thing that would be! They are a community centre with exhibitions etc, but hidden at the back in their Secret Garden you can enjoy cakes and coffee in a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

 

That’d be an awful shame as it is a recognised heritage centre with regular exhibitions and a fabulous hidden garden where you can take a moment for peace and reflection (and enjoy a rather fabulous cake & coffee) away from the hustle and bustle of city living.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. It'd be easy enough to wander right on past St Peters without a second thought, but what a dire thing that would be! They are a community centre with exhibitions etc, but hidden at the back in their Secret Garden you can enjoy cakes and coffee in a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. It'd be easy enough to wander right on past St Peters without a second thought, but what a dire thing that would be! They are a community centre with exhibitions etc, but hidden at the back in their Secret Garden you can enjoy cakes and coffee in a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

 

The English Market

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. The Heart of Cork City is the English Market. Steeped in history it is a must visit

 

The English Market is at the heart of Cork City. It has served the people of Cork in the face of famine, flood, war. recession, and continues to do so now in the face of a pandemic with an albeit altered system in place.

 

But, I hear you ask, why the “English” Market? Well here’s a bit of history for you: “The Market was created in 1788 by the Protestant or “English” corporation that controlled the city at that time. It was a new flagship municipal market located at the heart of the new commercial city centre. When local government was reformed in 1840, and the representatives of the city’s Catholic, “Irish” majority took over, they established another covered food market, St. Peter’s Market (now the Bodega Bar on Cornmarket Street), which became known as the “Irish Market” to distinguish it from its older counterpart which remained associated with its English creators.  It is thus that the name “English Market” dates from this era of transition.” (Cork City Council).

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. The Heart of Cork City is the English Market. Steeped in history it is a must visit

 

Lisa McInerney’s description in The Blood Miracles (a very Corkonian must-read by the way) is enough to pull my heartstrings for the City - “You could do it all day, inhaling. The coffee, the sugar, the chocolate and warm cakes, the rain kicked in on people’s shoes, the cheese, the tang of olives, the butcher stalls at the entrance, the smell of salted, raw, clean, cold meat, the air then that hits you from the street outside”.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork The Glorius Heresies by Lisa McInerney is a heart wrenching book about a few Corkonian characters whose lives intertwine over the years. This passage specifically refers to Ryan reminiscing his Mam

 

Whatever you want, food-wise and often other items as well, you can find it in The English Market providing you are willing to shop locally, seasonally and thoughtfully. Who needs supermarkets?

 

Go on up to the Farmgate for a cup of tea and sit looking down over the shoppers and traders, take in the chatter - rough and rapid Hiberno-English dialect, accents, local colour. I'd go so far as to say the best language, not to mention accent in the country but I may be biassed, like. 

 

The Hibernian Bar

The Hi Bi Another rather fabulous and quirky Cork pub. A great place for a pint of the local stout (Murphy’s or Beamish) but beware there’s a ban on mobile phones - this is a place to chat and make new acquaintances not sit screen watching.

 

Karen Croakley Hi B bar

 

The Long Valley

The Long Valley on Winthrop Street is a proper old fashioned type of pub. Famed locally for their huge doorstep style sandwiches (which you can also get toasted), a must-try is the local spiced beef. A fabulous stop for lunch.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork The Long Valley Pub is famed locally for its fantastic sandwiches. A perfect lunch spot

 

The Roughty Foodie

The Roughty Foodie is located in the heart of the English Market and is a small Irish family-owned business. Run by the fabulous Margo, it is unsurprising they have won awards - namely Winner of Food Emporium of the Year 2017 and Cork Business Woman of the Year 2017.

 

Stop by to pick up your picnic essentials - fresh fruits, salad ingredients and cheeses amongst other local produce. Do not just walk on by,

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork The Roughty is a great place to buy local, seasonal produce - pick up some delicacies and head off on a picnic

 

The Spit Jack

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork The Spit Jack on Washington Street is a popular place to eat throughout the day. From splendiferous breakfasts to rotisserie roast meats and perfect sandwiches you cannot go wrong here

 

Located on bustling Washington Street, just off Grand Parade, the Spit Jack is a popular place for meals throughout the day.

  

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork The Spit Jack on Washington Street is a popular place to eat throughout the day. From splendiferous breakfasts to rotisserie roast meats and perfect sandwiches you cannot go wrong here

 

Fabulous food, drinks, staff and setting make this a great place to enjoy a relaxed meal with friends, family or solo. Grab a window seat if you can watch the world go by while you indulge in some beautifully cooked food. Traditional Irish dishes cooked with a modern twist.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. The Spit Jack on bustling Washington Street is hugely popular with locals and tourists alike and it's easy to see why with their splendid breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus. Local, seasonal produce is used wherever possible. The spit roast meat which is the house speciality is cooked to perection and served in every which way you could want

 

The speciality is rotisserie-cooked meats, hence the Spit Jack name. My favourite dishes are the rotisserie chicken, bacon and stuffing sandwich and the porchetta with all of the trimmings. As with many places, Spit Jack is currently only offering take away but they have a vast menu and some great offers so do give them a try.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork The Spit Jack on Washington Street is a popular place to eat throughout the day. From splendiferous breakfasts to rotisserie roast meats and perfect sandwiches you cannot go wrong here

 

Three Fools Coffee

Located in a glass pod on Grand Parade Three Fools is the perfect place to get a great coffee whatever the weather. Grab an iced coffee to go and sit in Bishop Lucy Park in the summer, or in the rain take solace and sit looking out of the window watching the world go by. I like to savour a coffee or two and read a good book at Three Fools. Run by a fantastic, welcoming team there is no pressure to “hurry and leave”, you are welcome to take your time but note it does get very busy as it is so popular.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork The Fools Coffee is located in a glass pod on Grand Parade, as such it offers great people watching opportunites whilst you enjoy the perfect coffee. I love sitting in here when it rains!

 

Tom Barry’s

Situated up Barrack street Tom Barry’s is a little out of the way but it is a great pub with a really friendly, young vibe. The perfect place for a wood-fired pizza in their fabulous beer garden on warm summer evenings.

 

West Cork Burger Company

West Cork Burger Company offer mouthwatering burgers and accompaniments, homemade using local produce. Due to the current restrictions, they are offering a homemade burger box option - “Create your own West Cork Burger from the comfort of your home! This is a new experience, unlike anything you have ever done before. We will deliver our fresh ingredients to your house and provide you with detailed instructions on exactly how to prepare the burgers just like we do in our restaurant!” If I was in Cork I’d be jumping to try these out.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork West Cork Burger Company offer a huge variety of delicious burgers and fries. Perfect, laid back dining.

 

Places to Visit:

Blarney Castle

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Blarney Castle and Gardens - only a short journey outside the city and you'll find an oasis of calm, packed with Irish history, take a stroll around the beautiful gardens or be brave and head to kiss the Blarney Stone - will it give you the gift the gab?

 

Most famous for the Blarney Stone which visitors can kiss and supposedly gain the gift of eloquence, but there is much more to Blarney Castle and Gardens than that. The gardens are a joy to stroll around, bringing you diverse surroundings from tranquil to serene, to mystical and magical places.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Blarney Castle and Gardens - only a short journey outside the city and you'll find an oasis of calm, packed with Irish history, take a stroll around the beautiful gardens or be brave and head to kiss the Blarney Stone - will it give you the gift the gab?

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Blarney Castle and Gardens - only a short journey outside the city and you'll find an oasis of calm, packed with Irish history, take a stroll around the beautiful gardens or be brave and head to kiss the Blarney Stone - will it give you the gift the gab?

 

Plan to spend a whole day at Blarney, you’ll need it to explore all it has to offer. Enjoy lunch at the Stable Cafe to refuel you for the rest of your days adventures.

 

Butter Museum

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cork Butter Museum - spend a couple of hours learning about the great success stories of Ireland, the butter trade. Located in the historic Shandon area of Cork city, the story begins with the central role of dairy culture in the Island of Saints and Scholars. The Museum goes on to describe the internationally important Butter Exchange in nineteenth century Cork, the traditional craft of home butter making and the modern success of the Kerrygold brand. In the course of this story, the commercial, social, and domestic life of Ireland is recalled.

  

Located in the historic Shandon area of Cork, the story begins with the central role of dairy culture in the Island of Saints and Scholars. The Museum goes on to describe the internationally important Butter Exchange in nineteenth century Cork, the traditional craft of home butter making and the modern success of the Kerrygold brand. A great place for anyone interested in Irish or food history to spend a couple of hours visiting.

 

Clonakilty Model Village

Take a trip out to West Cork to visit the town of Clonakilty and the fabulous Model Village.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Spend a day out in Clonikilty and visit the Model Village, wander around a mini Cork and see life as it was in the 1940's. A particulary enjoyable trip for families with younger children.

 

Walking into the Model Village you step back in time and see life as it was in the 1940s. See the old West Cork railway line portrayed in delightful miniature serving the towns. The models and figurines are handmade at the Model Village to a scale of 1:24. A great experience, especially for families with younger children.

 

Cobh

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Spike Island, famously known as the Alcatraz of Ireland has served many purposes from a Monastic settlement to a military base to a prison

 

Cobh (formerly Queenstown) is situated on the south coast of Ireland in County Cork, only a short railway or car journey from the city centre.

 

Cobh is most famous for being the departure point for 2.5 million of the six million Irish people who emigrated to North America between 1848 and 1950. These included Annie Moore and her two brothers – the first immigrants to be processed on Ellis Island in New York. On 11 April 1912 Queenstown was the final port of call for the RMS Titanic as she set out across the Atlantic on her ill-fated maiden voyage. The RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat off the Old Head of Kinsale on May 7, 1915. The survivors were brought to the town of Cobh, and over one hundred victims lie buried in the Old Church Cemetery about a mile north of the town.

 

The Titanic Centre is well worth a visit, but also take the time to wander the town’s streets and take in the brightly coloured houses. Maybe take part in a Rebel Walking Tour to gain more insight into Ireland’s history too.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cobh is a beautiful town to wander around, backed with places to visit such as the Titanic Experience, Rebel Walking Tours and getting the boat out to Spike Island - Ireland's Alcatraz most famously, but there's plenty more history than that.

 

Cork City Goal

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Walk up through through the beautiful area of Sunday's Well and head to the Cork Goal. It is a magnificent castle-like building which once housed 19th century prisoners. Take a trip back in time and wander through the wings of the Gaol, accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates and the jingle of the warders’ keys.
The cells are furnished with amazingly life-like wax figures and Graffiti on the cell walls reveals the innermost feelings of some inmates. The audio-visual show will help you learn about the social history and contrasting lifestyles of 19th century Cork.

  

Cork City Goal is located in Sunday’s Well and is walkable to from the city centre. Cork City Gaol, is a magnificent castle-like building which once housed 19th-century prisoners. Take a trip back in time and wander through the wings of the Gaol, accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates and the jingle of the warders’ keys.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Walk up through through the beautiful area of Sunday's Well and head to the Cork Goal. It is a magnificent castle-like building which once housed 19th century prisoners. Take a trip back in time and wander through the wings of the Gaol, accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates and the jingle of the warders’ keys.
The cells are furnished with amazingly life-like wax figures and Graffiti on the cell walls reveals the innermost feelings of some inmates. The audio-visual show will help you learn about the social history and contrasting lifestyles of 19th century Cork.

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Walk up through through the beautiful area of Sunday's Well and head to the Cork Goal. It is a magnificent castle-like building which once housed 19th century prisoners. Take a trip back in time and wander through the wings of the Gaol, accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates and the jingle of the warders’ keys.
The cells are furnished with amazingly life-like wax figures and Graffiti on the cell walls reveals the innermost feelings of some inmates. The audio-visual show will help you learn about the social history and contrasting lifestyles of 19th century Cork.

 

The cells are furnished with amazingly life-like wax figures and Graffiti on the cell walls reveals the innermost feelings of some inmates. The audio-visual show will help you learn about the social history and contrasting lifestyles of 19th century Cork.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Walk up through through the beautiful area of Sunday's Well and head to the Cork Goal. It is a magnificent castle-like building which once housed 19th century prisoners. Take a trip back in time and wander through the wings of the Gaol, accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates and the jingle of the warders’ keys.
The cells are furnished with amazingly life-like wax figures and Graffiti on the cell walls reveals the innermost feelings of some inmates. The audio-visual show will help you learn about the social history and contrasting lifestyles of 19th century Cork.

 

Crawford Art Gallery

Crawford Art Gallery is a national cultural institution located in a significant heritage building in the heart of Cork city dedicated to the visual arts, both historic and contemporary.  The gallery's collection comprises of over 3,000 works, ranging from eighteenth-century Irish and European painting and sculpture, through to contemporary video installations. The building is an oasis of calm in the city and it is all so easy to lose track of time as you wander through the exhibitions across multiple floors. There are regular tours to take part in also, giving you the chance to learn more about art history.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cork has a very creative soul, and if you want to see the best of the city's visual arts you could not miss out on the Crawford Gallery. Sprawling over several stories, the fantastic building sits on Emmet Place, a stones throw from Patrick Street. With a focus on Irish art, the gallery features collections of contemporary and traditional arts, with many rotating exhibitiions. Tours are available so you can learn about the art history.

 

Make sure you pop to the cafe to indulge in a fantastic traditional lunch (the devilled kidneys on sourdough are a particular delicacy) or a sweet treat.

 

Crawford Art Gallery Cafe 5

 

Crawford Art Gallery Cafe 2

 

Crawford Art Gallery Cafe 3

 

 

Elizabeth Fort

Elizabeth Fort offers free admission but if you’d like a tour there’s a small fee of €3 (correct at date of publication).

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Elizabeth Fort the 17th century star fort just off Barrack Street offers great views across the city and is an important historical point in the city

 

Elizabeth Fort is a 17th-century star fort off Barrack Street. It was originally built in the 1600s as a defensive fortification on high-ground outside the city walls, the city eventually grew around the fort, and it took on various other roles – including use as a military barracks, prison, and police station. Even if you bypass the history, the Fort is well worth the visit for the views it offers across the city.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Elizabeth Fort is a 17th century fort, just off Barrack Street. Well worth a visit for the city views alone

 

Fitzgerald Park & Cork Public Museum

Fitzgerald Park on the Mardyke is just a short distance from the city centre. It is a great area when local and visitors can enjoy a stroll by the banks of the River Lee. It is a haven of quiet which has playground facilities, cafe and museum to explore. There are many sculptures in the park, one of which is of Michael Collins by Seamus Murphy. You can also cross the famous Shakey Bridge (Daly’s Bridge( and wander across to the historic Sunday’s Well area of Cork.

 

Fota House and Wildlife Park

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Fota House was designed in the 19th Century by Irish archtects Morrison. It now offers visitors a view of how life was lived in the past as both a servent and member of the gentry - two very different lifestyles indeed!

 

Fota House was designed by 19th-century architects Richard and William Morrison. From the beautifully proportioned rooms with exquisite plasterwork to the preserved service wing and kitchens, Fota House offers visitors an intimate look at how life was lived in the past, whether as a servant or as a member of the gentry. You can also stroll around the beautiful gardens.

 

Fota Wildlife Park, part of the Zoological Society of Ireland, is located on 100 acres at Fota Island. Their vision is to inspire people to understand and conserve the biodiversity of our natural world. The Park’s core values of conservation, education, research and entertainment have ensured that they bring the best in facilities and animal care to the sanctuary.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Fota Wildlife Park is part of the Zoological Society of Ireland is located on 100 acres at Fota Islad. There are a huge variety of animals to observe and learn about. A fabulous family day out.

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Fota Wildlife Park is part of the Zoological Society of Ireland is located on 100 acres at Fota Islad. There are a huge variety of animals to observe and learn about. A fabulous family day out.

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Fota Wildlife Park is part of the Zoological Society of Ireland is located on 100 acres at Fota Islad. There are a huge variety of animals to observe and learn about. A fabulous family day out.

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Fota Wildlife Park is part of the Zoological Society of Ireland is located on 100 acres at Fota Islad. There are a huge variety of animals to observe and learn about. A fabulous family day out.

 

A great day out for all.

  

Kinsale

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Kinsale is only a short trip from the city. A stunning seaside place with picturesque views out to sea, beautifully coulourful houses and shops, plus, it is a food capital. Known as Irelands Riviera and it is very easy to see why.

 

Originally a medieval fishing port, historic Kinsale (from the Irish, Ceann tSaile – ‘Head of the Sea’) is one of the most picturesque, popular and historic towns on the south-west coast of Ireland.

 

Kinsale is a stunning place with its beautiful setting; its long waterfront, yacht-filled harbour, narrow winding streets and brightly painted galleries, shops and houses. The impressive fortifications of Charles Fort and James Fort guard the narrow entrance by the sea – giving clues to its rich history.

 

There are several guided walking tours (including an evening Ghost Tour) available and plenty of information at the Kinsale Tourist Office in the centre of the town. Known as Irelands Riveria it is twinned with Antibes, South of France, Mumbles, Wales and Newport, Rhode Island. Not only does Kinsale claim to be one of the most picturesque and oldest towns in Ireland, but it is also internationally renowned for the number and quality of its restaurants.

 

It has been hailed as ‘The Gourmet Capital of Ireland’, with no shortage of cafés, pubs and restaurants to suit every taste and budget.

 

Michale Collins House & Centre

Michale Collins House is located in Clonakilty. The “Big Fella” as Collins was often known, is a key figure in the fight for Irish Independence. The museum is dedicated to telling Collin’s life story entwined with the history of Ireland’s revolutionary history. The Michael Collins Centre is A family run interpretive centre and museum, located at Castleview just outside of the seaside town of Clonakilty. Tim and Dolores Crowley who are directly related to Michael Collins run the Michael Collins Centre. Tim’s Grandfather, also called Tim Crowley was on active service during the 1916 Rising and was afterwards interned at Fron-goch Camp in Wales, in loft No 3 with Michael Collins. The Crowley Farmhouse at Letter, north of Clonakilty was HQ and safe house for the Clonakilty Battalion of the IRA during the War of Independence. One of the Crowley sisters Margaret was Adjutant of the (Cumman na mBan) in Clonakilty town, she used the Crowley farmhouse as a halfway house for despatches and other material being sent on to outlying IRA and Cumman na mBan units. You could easily visit both sites in the one day.

 

Nano Nagle Place 

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Nano Nagel Place. One of the most historical and serene places to visit in the city. Nano Nagle's history is rather fascinating. Renowned for founding the Presentation Order and providing education for Catholic children in Cork (at a time when this was unavailable due to British Penal Laws). Head up to Nano Nagle place to learn more, enjoy fabulous views over the city, or just to sit and contemplate in the tranquill grounds. Whether you are religious or not there is a spiritual feeling to the place.

 

Honoria Nagle (AKA Nano) was born in 1718 to a wealthy Cork family.

 

Before her death in 1784, Nano had opened seven schools for poor children across Cork city, founded an almshouse for poor women, and most notably, founded the Presentation Order, who continue her education and social inclusion work today. The repressive Penal Laws at that time meant that education for Catholics was not available in Ireland (unless they were willing to attend proselytising Church of Ireland schools).

 

Since under the Penal Laws, operating a Catholic School could result in three months imprisonment, Nano had to work in secret. She began by opening a school next to our site at Nano Nagle Place in the early 1750s. This girls’ school focussed on reading, writing, Catechism and needlework.

 

Within ten years demand for the education which Nano provided was such that she was operating seven schools across the city of Cork, teaching both boys and girls.

 

By day she visited each of her schools, and by night she visited the poor of the Cork city. This was dark and treacherous work. as the city streets were neither lit nor properly policed. Nano travelled by the light of the lantern she carried, and across the city of Cork she became known as ‘the Lady of the Lantern’.

 

In 1771 she used money inherited from her wealthy uncle to build a convent for the Ursuline sisters, a teaching order, whom she invited from France. This convent survives as the oldest building at Nano Nagle Place today. Nano’s tireless work in her schools across the city and for the poor of Cork could never have been done if she were a sister in an enclosed order, as the Ursuline sisters were. Thus, she founded her own order ‘The Institute of Charitable Instruction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus’ in 1775. She and three followers promised poverty, chastity and obedience to God until death, but they did not take enclosure and continued to teach and care for the poverty-stricken where they lived.

 

For five years, the small cottage near Nano’s first school, on modern-day Douglas Street, just south of Cork city centre, was their first convent. Nano then built a small convent on the same street, where sisters from the order are again living today (albeit in a newer building on the site).

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Nano Nagel Place. One of the most historical and serene places to visit in the city. Nano Nagle's history is rather fascinating. Renowned for founding the Presentation Order and providing education for Catholic children in Cork (at a time when this was unavailable due to British Penal Laws). Head up to Nano Nagle place to learn more, enjoy fabulous views over the city, or just to sit and contemplate in the tranquill grounds. Whether you are religious or not there is a spiritual feeling to the place.

 

Nano Nagle Place is a place of sanctuary and peace in the city, offering space to sit and reflect, plus some great views over the city. Grab some food at the Good Day Deli whilst you while away some time contemplating. If Nano were alive today I’m sure she’d be the kind of person to be awarded a Nobel Prize for her efforts.

 

Saint Finbarre's Cathedral

At the top of town overlooking Grand Parade sits St Finbarre's Cathedral. It is a real Cork landmark and must be visited when you're in the Real Capital. The Church of Ireland property is very impressive architecturally with towering Gothic spires, but this belies an even more opulent interior. You can wander the beautiful grounds for free but there is a small fee to enter; well worth it though as there are guides to show you around and explain the fascinating history.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Saint Finbarres Cathedral is a real Cork landmark, stitting at the top of town, overlooking Grand Parade. It is an impressive building, with Gothic spires and an opulent interior.

 

Seaside

There are many coastal areas to visit in County Cork, several are only a short drive from the city centre. Deirdre O’Shaughnessy recommends Shangarry, Inchydoney and Fountains Town being two other great places. If the weather is good, take a picnic and balm out on the beach. Just explore, Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is beautiful altogether.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cork County has many fabulous seaside towns which are worth exploring. Pack a picnic and head to the beach to balm out and enjoy the views if the weather is good. Even if it's raining or cold, just go for a drive and enjoy the scenic coastline.

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cork County has many fabulous seaside towns which are worth exploring. Pack a picnic and head to the beach to balm out and enjoy the views if the weather is good. Even if it's raining or cold, just go for a drive and enjoy the scenic coastline.

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cork County has many fabulous seaside towns which are worth exploring. Pack a picnic and head to the beach to balm out and enjoy the views if the weather is good. Even if it's raining or cold, just go for a drive and enjoy the scenic coastline.

 

Shandon Bells

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Shandon Bells are located in St Anne's Church in the Shandon region of the city on the Northside of the River Lee. A truly historic region that is well worth a wander. St Anne's is also known locally as the Four Faced Liar as each clock face tells a different time.

 

St. Anne's Church “Shandon Bells” is one of the oldest churches in the city built in 1722. You can play the bells if you so wish but I’d recommend it for the 360-degree views of the city - you’ve to climb 132 steps to get that view though!

 

Spike Island

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Spike Island is most famously known as Ireland's Alcatraz but there's much more to its history than that. This is a photo taken at night, looks a bit spooky doesn't it?

 

Spike Island is most famously known as Ireland’s Alcatraz, but there’s far more to the Island’s history than that. In the last 1300 years, Spike Island has been host to a 7th-century Monastery, a 24-acre fortress, the largest convict depot in the world in Victorian times, a young offenders institution and centuries of island homes. 

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Spike Island is most famously known as Ireland's Alcatraz but there's much more to its history than that.

 

Today the island is dominated by the 200-year-old Fort Mitchel, the star-shaped Fortress which became a prison holding over 2300 prisoners.  It was the largest prison in the world at the time and there has never been a larger prison in Ireland or Britain before or since. You can visit the Island by boat from Cobh during the day, or if you’re brave enough at night for a rather spooky tour.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Spike Island is most famously known as Ireland's Alcatraz but there's much more to its history than that. Would you be brave enough to go on a night tour? I think I would

 

Triskel Arts Centre

The Triskel Art Centre is located in a renovated Georgian church and forms a cultural hub in the centre of the city; hosting musical events, art exhibitions, literary events and cultural cinema in a most beautiful setting.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Triskel Arts Centre is located in a renovated Georgina Church and forms a cultural hub in the city. They hold various exhibitions, literay events and much more, but even if you don't go to an event, it's worth popping in for the architecture.

Triskel Cork inside the Church

 

University College Cork

University College Cork grounds are open the public to stroll around. It’s well worth a look at the stunning architecture, which always reminds me of Hogwarts.

  

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. University College Cork is open to the public to stroll around the grounds. And what fabulous grounds they have witha riverside campus. The buildings however, always remind me of Hogwards. Oh to study here, how bad?

 

What a lovely place to study? I certainly wouldn’t object to some Post Grad course completion there.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. University College Cork is open to the public to stroll around the grounds. And what fabulous grounds they have witha riverside campus. The buildings however, always remind me of Hogwards. Oh to study here, how bad?

 

Wander the City Centre

Cork is a very walkable city. Have a stroll along the Lee to take in the sights and sounds of the city and the beautiful brightly coloured buildings. You’ll never get bored.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cork is a beutiful city to wander around. Full of quirky side streets, fabulous shopping, eating and drinking. Plus so much history too. Definitely worth a visit. Easy to see why Corkonians love it so.

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cork is a beutiful city to wander around. Full of quirky side streets, fabulous shopping, eating and drinking. Plus so much history too. Definitely worth a visit. Easy to see why Corkonians love it so.

 

If you think you’re losing your geographical bearings just look for the Berwick Fountain on Grand Parade right in the centre of town.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cork is a beutiful city to wander around. Full of quirky side streets, fabulous shopping, eating and drinking. Plus so much history too. Definitely worth a visit. Easy to see why Corkonians love it so.

 

Cork offers a wide variety of shopping possibilities. Patrick Street in the city centre is the traditional shopping area, with a wide range of department stores including Brown Thomas Penneys, Dunnes etc.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Cork is a beutiful city to wander around. Full of quirky side streets, fabulous shopping, eating and drinking. Plus so much history too. Definitely worth a visit. Easy to see why Corkonians love it so.

 

Opera Lane is the newest addition to Cork’s retail district housing many well-known brands. Take a little more notice as you explore and you’ll find plenty of independent, small stores offering an array of goods.

 

If you're feeling energetic head up Patricks Hill to the Northside and look down over the city. Hard work walking up the steep hill, but take your time and keep looking back, sure the view is worth it.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Head up the steep Patricks Hill for a spellbinding view across the city. I might be a bit biassed but the Northside is definitely the best side.

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Head up the steep Patricks Hill for a spellbinding view across the city. I might be a bit biassed but the Northside is definitely the best side.

 

 

Wouldn’t you like to be beside the Lee?

 

Georgina Ingham | Culinary Travels A Guide to Cork, Ireland. Wouldn't you like to be beside the Lovely Lee? I know I would. There's no place I'd rather be than at home in the Real Capital of Ireland. Cork first, Ireland second.

 

 

Pin for later

Cork is the city break you probably never thought of (but really should). Why go? For the craic of course. Cork city really is the place to eat, drink and be merry.

 

Thank you

With thanks to the following people for allowing me to feature their photography. Do have a sconce at their sites:

Karen Cronin

Aaron Lynch

Peter O’Toole

Sinead Barry

(Please also note that many of the companies featured also kindly provided photographic content).

 

 
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