There’s something magical about Ireland.
Dun Briste, Downpatrick Head, County Mayo, Ireland
We fell madly in love during our holiday earlier this year, gaining a special fondness for the country’s western coast affectionately known as the Wild Atlantic Way. Its fresh sea air, bracingly powerful winds, fields of scrubby heather, near-daily rainbows, and millions of scruffy sheep. Its rugged shores, dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views. Its universal small-town feeling and general friendliness graciously extended to wayfaring strangers.
Unsurprisingly we frequently found ourselves deep in conversation with the locals – typically about eating and drinking, preferably over a bowl of something steamy or a pint of something dark and frothy. In addition to their excellence at preparing their bounty skillfully and serving it generously, the Irish speak with intense pride about the things they grow, raise, harvest, make, brew and cook. There is literally a story behind every mouthful, and we attempted to unravel each.