Our designer and general cool-guy Fiachra went west for a dose of West Cork fun. Here's his pick of the best things to eat, see and do in the Rebel County.
"Go West young man" says the song, but being an awkward mix of belligerent and people-pleaser we only half obey and go south-west instead. To Bantry in fact, the baby toe on the boot of Ireland. Where getting away from it all also, intermittently, includes, your phone reception. With more and more people considering stay-cationing in Ireland, we say considering we mean advised by their bank managers, we're setting off to see what this outpost of the Peoples Republic can offer.
1. The journey.
Philistines, micro-managers and Google maps will tell you to take much of the trip via the M8 to Cork city and then head north-west from there, but we say "No!". Breaking off 'somewhere around Thurles will catch you some of the most breath taking scenery the country has to offer. With the weather set to four-seasons-per-hour our journey took us through brooding storm cloaked Caha mountains, followed, moments later, by lush green sun speckled valleys. It's all very impressive and, we're not afraid to admit, made us a little patriotic... and light headed, maybe it's time for dinner...
2. La Cascade, Sheen Falls.
As the old Irish proverb goes 'If you must get away from it all, make sure there's a bloody good restaurant nearby" and so we can't resist detouring slightly to Sheen Falls renowned Falls restaurant for dinner. After a quick G&T to rejuvenate us from the drive, we get a little lost admiring the impressive collection of Irish vinyl records on display in Oscars Bar (so good to see Dr Strangely Strange up there with Phillo and Rory!) and settle down in one of the most comfortable dining rooms we've ever graced. It would be sacrilege to come to this part of the country and not order the seafood, and we're well rewarded, the monkfish is perfectly cooked and the sea trout is outstanding, flaky and full flavoured. We can't possibly face desert, but we order the chocolate brownie anyway and somehow it vanishes all the same. We're now fully committed to ensuring every journey we take beyond the pale justifies a stop off at Sheen Falls.