September 19, 2016 | By Bryn Symonds |
Dublin and Ireland are great destinations for fall and winter travel. The summer crowds are gone and you can really connect with the unique character of the city and its surroundings. You’ll discover an incredible array of cutting edge cuisine, fascinating history and lively festivals to fill your days. And remember, November to January averages 7ºC in Ireland, it almost never snows, and spring starts in February!
As a guide for the famous Irish Food Trail, Paul Kavanagh knows Dublin. He tells us why fall and winter is the best time to go.
Why is fall and winter such a special time in Ireland and Dublin?
This is a magical time of the year. The long summer evenings are just starting to leave us behind. Fall has arrived and the autumn leaves are changing colour. The cities are a lot quieter and everyone is just more relaxed.
Plus, there’s some great seasonal produce. The first Kerr pink potatoes of the autumn season are hitting the tables and they are delicious!
What festivals and special events can we look forward to?
Winter and fall have so much to offer. My favourite festival of the year is the Bram Stoker Festival in time for Halloween. Four days of living stories and four nights of deadly adventures. On the same weekend we also have the Cork Guinness Jazz Festival so you’ll be spoiled by choice.
Three places in Dublin we have to visit?
You have to visit some history. 2016 marks 100 years since the 1916 Rising that eventually lead to the Republic of Ireland. So no visit would be complete without the Kilmainham Gaol Museum and the General Post Office, the main stronghold of the Irish Volunteers.
The second place you have to visit is the Teelings Whiskey Distillery. It’s the only working distillery in Dublin’s city centre and the first distillery to open its doors in over 125 years.
Lastly, why not join me on one of our popular food trails. We offer a taste of traditional Irish fare and some of the newest cuisine.
The Irish Food Trail is an experience of the amazing food scene in Dublin. What are the most popular restaurants on your tours?
The Woollen Mills, The Winding Stairs, and Gallagher’s Boxty House are definitely some of the most popular. They offer seasonal Irish cuisine and know how to do it well. The Woollen Mills offers cockles and mussels on our tour. People really seem to love this.
Some call what’s happening with food in Ireland a complete cultural revolution. How do you feel about that?
What a great question. You just have to walk the streets of our cities and towns to see the level of great food on offer. We have just seen some new restaurants receive Michelin Stars in Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Waterford and Belfast and we have a growing number of celebrity chefs on TV shows across the world.
The best place for live music?
The most authentic live music is at the Cobblestone in Smithfield, Dublin. If you want something different why not try my local pub, Darky Kelly’s. It is just around the corner from our office and right next door to Christchurch Cathedral. They have live music every night.
The best place for a cozy afternoon?
The Black Sheep Dublin on Capel Street. You can sample the best modern Irish beers from the Galway Bay Breweries. There are 23 craft beers on tap and over 110 craft brews in house. It also has great food and chatty staff.
One historical fact that will surprise us?
The potato only arrived in Ireland about 450 years ago and came from South America thanks to Sir Walter Raleigh.
Three places outside of Dublin we all have to visit at least once this fall and winter?
Cork is the food capital of Ireland and a “must do” for any visit to the Emerald Isle. This is where the land meets the sea and local rules.
The famous Cliffs of Moher on the Atlantic coast are definitely not to be missed.
But for me the real treat is up north, in Donegal. You can watch the winter sun set over the Atlantic Ocean from the Slieve League Mountains. The sea cliffs here rise 1,972 feet above the ocean.
Ready for a your Ireland adventure? Check out our website to start planning today. #EatDrinkExplore