IRELAND: Culinary Treasures of the Emerald Isle

August, 2017

The food scene in Ireland has been enjoying a renaissance for several years so its the perfect destination for a culinary tour.  Join us in Summer, 2017 for seven nights as we travel through Dublin, Midleton (staying and cooking at Ballymaloe Cookery School), Cork and Dingle.  Staying at some of Ireland’s finest hotels – even a castle – we will visit cultural sites and experience cooking classes, food foraging, visit to fish smokery and sampling some of Ireland’s best restaurants.

Irish cuisine these days is guaranteed to be food that’s simple, delicious and expertly prepared. Fresh-off-the-boat seafood and sea vegetables harvested on local beaches; milk and dairy products from the local farmers’ fields and chefs that are getting creative with their culinary heritage.
Please note that if booking independent travel as a self-drive, some culinary elements of the tour may change.

Delicious Highlights will Include

  • Arrival dinner at the Greenhouse Restaurant, recently awarded a Michelin star
  • A food tasting tour of Dublin with a specialist foodie guide
  • Lunch at Caviston’s Seafood Restaurant, learning about Irish seafood from one of the Caviston’s
  • After a food foraging experience, participate in a cooking class with your bounty
  • Dinner at Ballymaloe House, Ireland’s most famous dining room and home of the Irish Food Revolution
  • Guided herb garden tour and cookery class at Ballymaloe Cookery School
  • Visit Cork’s English Market, established in 1785, in the company of a local food expert
  • Learn about the craft of smoking fish during a visit to Belvelly Smokehouse
  • Take a boat out on the Atlantic to catch fish and then prepare a meal with it at the Dingle Cookery School
  • Departure dinner at the award-winning restaurant in Dromoland Castle

Included in your tour is:

  • 7-day tour by luxury coach with an expert driver/guide
  • Full Irish breakfast daily
  • 3 lunches and 4 dinners
  • 2 nights at the Brooks Hotel, Dublin
  • 2 nights at Ballymaloe House Hotel, Shanagarry
  • 2 nights at Dingle Skellig Hotel, Dingle
  • 1 night at Dromoland Castle in Newmarket on Fergus (near Shannon)

Day 1
After an early arrival in Dublin, you will have a panoramic coach tour of the city en route to the hotel. Arrival dinner at a well-known Dublin restaurant that’s known for spotlighting all that is great from the best of Irish produce and the commitment of Irish producers and farmers.  Your tour guides will go over the details of your Ireland tour itinerary and the activities planned for the week.

Brooks Hotel, Dublin

Day 2:
A gentle walking tour of Dublin, to include Trinity College, which houses the Book of Kells and St Patrick’s cathedral.

There is also a guided visit to a food hall, a bakery, street markets, cheese mongers, delis and other specialty shops. Sample Irish produce as you learn about the culture and history of each neighborhood.  Lunch is at an authentic contemporary seafood restaurant. The menu is written daily depending on the catch from the fishing fleets.

Brooks Hotel, Dublin

Day 3:                                                                                                                                                           Morning departure from Dublin for the drive south into the ‘Garden of Ireland’, County Wicklow.  Arriving at Ballyknocken, family home of one of Ireland’s most renowned chefs, Catherine Fulvio. Welcome tea/coffee on arrival followed by a foraging lesson in the surrounding woods and fields with local forager, ‘Wild Mary’.  Learn how to prepare the bounty you’ve gathered in a cooking class followed by a light lunch where you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Afternoon drive over the mountains to Ballymaloe House, the very birthplace of the Irish food revolution.  Dinner at Ireland’s most famous dining room, in an idyllic country house, set in stunning gardens and surrounded by a 400 acre estate.

Ballymaloe House Hotel, Shanagarry

Day 4:
Drive to Cork City this morning for a panoramic tour of Ireland’s second-largest city. Settled on the banks of the River Lee and surrounded by hills, Cork has a food history of its own. Wander the covered English Market, established in 1785, with a food expert and learn about the local delicacy known as drisheen, a type of black pudding.

Afternoon cookery class in the world-renowned Ballymaloe Cookery School.

Ballymaloe House Hotel, Shanagarry

Day 5:
Morning guided tour of the herb garden at Ballymaloe where they grow over 70 different types of herbs. 

In the afternoon, we’ll go to Cobh, a pretty town overlooking a large natural harbor that turned out to be the last port of call for the ill-fated Titanic. On our way, we will visit an authentic Irish smokehouse.

Leaving Cobh behind, we’ll visit an award-winning cheese manufacturer in Macroom before continuing to the very edge of Europe, the breathtaking Dingle Peninsula – once described by National Geographic as “the most beautiful place on earth”.

Dingle Skellig Hotel, Dingle

Day 6:
Morning cooking class at the Dingle Cookery School where the star ingredient is fish.  You’ll start the day on a fishing boat catching fish, then head back to the school for a fish skills session where you’ll learn to prepare the fish before enjoying it for lunch.

Afternoon visit to Murphy’s Ice Cream shop – delicious ice cream which is made by hand the old-fashioned way.

Dingle Skellig Hotel, Dingle

Day 7:
Depart from Dingle for the drive through Listowel to Killimer where we’ll catch the ferry across the Shannon river and up to County Clare. Then a short drive to the Cliffs of Moher – vertical cliffs which drop dramatically into the raging Atlantic below. Stand on the blustery edge of Irelands steep, rocky Atlantic-battered cliffs and you’ll feel as though you’ve arrived at the true end of the world, with nothing but 2,000 miles of briny Atlantic swells between you and Newfoundland.

Early afternoon arrival at Dromoland Castle where you’ll have time at leisure to unwind, explore the grounds, visit their award-winning spa or perhaps play a round of golf.  We will gather tonight for a farewell dinner in their award-winning restaurant.

Dromoland Castle, Newmarket-on-Fergus

Day 8:
Transfer to Shannon Airport for your homeward flight.


Between Darina and Rachel Allen, there are a massive amount of great cookbooks from Ballymaloe. This recipe for Irish scones is inspired by its founder, Myrtle Allen and her Ballymaloe Plain Scones. It makes a large batch, so there are plenty to freeze and eat another day.


4 cups plain flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 heaped tbsp of baking powder
pinch of salt
3/4 cup of cubed unsalted butter, cold
3 eggs
scant 2 cups of milk


Sieve the dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Cut in the cold butter with a metal pastry hand-blender. Mix until the mixture looks like dried breadcrumbs.

Whisk eggs and milk together and pour into the dry ingredients.  Mix into a soft dough, wrap in plastic and cool briefly in the refrigerator.

Remove from the fridge and roll out to 3/4″ thickness on a floured surface.  Cut into round shapes of desired scone size and place onto a parchment-lined baking tray.

Bake in high oven of 450º for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

“I will arise and go now, And go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, Of clay and wattles made..

– W.B. Yeats, 1888

Prices and dates upon request.



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