A Taste of the Waterways Favourite Places to Eat and Drink 2009 Edition A Taste of the Waterways 1 Barrow Navigation 2 Erne System 3 Grand Canal 4 Lower Bann Navigation 5 Royal Canal 6 Shannon Navigation 7 Shannon-Erne Waterway NB: The maps supplied are intended only to clarify the text and should under no circumstances be used as a navigational aid. Key to Abbreviations: D: Dinner L: Lunch Debit / Credit Cards: MC: Mastercard V: Visa D: Diners L: Laser S: Switch M: Maestro A Taste of the Waterways Favourite Places to Eat and Drink A spell on Ireland’s inland Waterways Ireland’s mission waterways offers the perfect statement is “…to provide a high antidote to the hectic pace of quality recreational environment modern life – the rivers and canals centred on the inland waterways slow the visitor down to a gentler in our care for the benefit of our pace and, once you’ve adjusted, customers...” it’s a wonderful sensation. Time Waterways Ireland is proud of its afloat spent pottering along, association with Georgina enjoying the wildlife and exploring Campbell and the quality of her the unfolding countryside makes a relaxing and publications in this area and is delighted to be rewarding holiday for people of all ages – and, partners in this 2009 edition of “Taste of the while cooking on board is fun, the generous Waterways”, the guide to favourite places to eat sprinkling of good eating places and friendly pubs along the waterways. The guide includes almost along all of Ireland’s rivers and canals means 100 independently assessed restaurants and there’s plenty of time off for the cook too. Cutting hostelries along the Barrow Navigation, the Erne edge cuisine is not likely to be a feature at the System, the Grand Canal, Lower Bann, the Royal majority of restaurants in rural areas along the Canal, the Shannon-Erne Waterway and the waterways, but there are many talented Irish chefs Shannon Navigation. Waterways Ireland would taking great pride in quality local produce and the particularly like to congratulate the winners of the discerning visitor should be in for some pleasant inaugural Taste of the Waterways Awards, Conor surprises – and highlights to be found along the and Ronan Maher of the Oarsman, Carrick-on- way include some exceptional restaurants Shannon. suggested as special trips, where the dining experience can be memorable. In response to requests from Waterways Ireland users on the Lower Bann, Georgina Campbell has This year, at the launch of their flagship Ireland included some restaurants on Lough Neagh which Guide and associated annual awards, Georgina is not within Waterways Ireland’s remit. Campbell Guides introduced a new Taste of the Waterways Award, sponsored by Waterways The dining experience is a central part of enjoying Ireland, an award that should help to introduce a the waterways, whether for a day or a week, on a lot of new visitors to a side of Ireland that is still charter boat or on your own boat, fishing or unknown to many – what a wonderful surprise walking along the waterways. To complement the they have in store. And a real treat awaits those many and varied dining options featured in this who visit the inaugural winner. Chosen, of course, guide, a number of “Dining on Board” recipes as a benchmark to flag the very best hospitality to have also been included in the 2009 edition. be found along the waterways, The Oarsman (see page 52) in Carrick-on-Shannon is an outstanding Through production of this guide and other pub with all the old-fashioned virtues (open fires, promotional material such as the “What’s On warm hospitality, caring hands-on owners) and Guide” and the” Lakeland & Inland Waterways” seriously good modern food showcasing local series of regional guides based on the Shannon, produce: truly excellent. Shannon-Erne and Erne waterway corridor, it is hoped to increase the numbers of visitors to the But, whichever area you may be visiting,we hope waterways all year round with ensuing economic that this independently assessed guide will lead benefits for service providers and the local you to many enjoyable experiences and, when you economies. have chosen your preferred dining destination for the evening, we strongly recommend that you ring I hope you enjoy your visit to the beautiful ahead to make a reservation, especially in high waterways and take the opportunity to eat at season and at weekends. Our recommendations some of these establishments. If on the vary tremendously in style, but we hope that they waterways, wear your life jacket and come home will leave you with happy memories of Ireland's safely. wonderful waterways. Georgina Campbell Martin Dennany Editor Director of Marketing and Communications Note: Northern Ireland numbers called from the Republic are prefixed by 048, not the internal prefix 028. The prefix from Northern Ireland to the Republic is 00 353, then omit the first 0. Directory Enquiries: For any number within Ireland, dial 11811 when calling from within the Republic of Ireland, or 118500 when calling within Northern Ireland. 1 A Taste of the Waterways Barrow Navigation Robertstown on the Grand Canal is a crossroads of the inland waterways. Within its hospitable area, the Grand Canal continues its stately progress across Ireland, trending northwest after coming in from the east and Dublin. The attractive Milltown Feeder is soon headed off to the southeast towards Pollardstown Fen. And the Barrow Line – older than the section west to the Shannon – is almost immediately 1 heading away to the southwest, beginning a long descent to the sea. Properly speaking, the Barrow Navigation does not begin until Athy. From there, using a mixture of river and canal, it runs southward for 69 2 kilometres through always beautiful and increasingly impressive scenery, 3 until it reaches tidal waters at St Mullins. But although the 45 or so kilometres of waterway from the Robertstown area to Athy are totally a canal, and the Grand Canal at that, for the purposes of savouring hospitality along the way we can regard the Barrow as beginning where the waterways divide at Lowtown, a kilometer westward of Binns Bridge at Robertstown. 4 5 6 7 8 For good measure, the waterways divide twice. Taking the Old Barrow Line, there’s a pub at LITTLETOWN 9 10 BRIDGE, and if you should head up the Milltown Feeder, there’s another at MILLTOWN itself, a fully equipped little village. But those with distance covering in mind will head on for RATHANGAN, an attractive spot where the Bridge Bar (045 524412) is close to hand, while hungry boaters will find home cooked fare just across the way at the Bluegrass Café. 2 Barrow Navigation and Barrow Line The canal’s first acquaintance with the Five kilometres further on, VICARSTOWN “goodly Barrow” is at MONASTEREVIN – is the busiest port on the Barrow Line, a in fact, it crosses the river by aqueduct. lovely little spot with the classic steep Monasterevin finds itself the ultimate canal bridge in its midst, and the Crean transport hub, a focal point for railway, family’s hospitable pubs, the Vicarstown road, river and canal. It is also within Inn and Creans (057 86 25189) on either Dublin’s commuter belt, so it can seem side. No food is available at either (maybe very busy though the motorway has a sandwich, at best), but a little further on relieved the urban traffic pressure. there’s a jetty at the Cuan Mhuire Garden However, if a berth is possible near the Centre (059 863 1493) just outside ATHY, lifting bridge, Boland’s Bar nearby is a and the informal café-restaurant there peaceful haven. would be very suitable for a light daytime bite. It takes a while for Monastervin’s frenetic activity to fade astern, but at the first little It’s 12 kilometres to Athy, with three locks stone bridge south of the motorway in town to descend to the Barrow itself. crossing, there’s complete rural peace The town has two good hotels – the most with a jetty on the west bank,and Sean central is the Carlton Abbey Hotel (059 Ward’s lovely old-world thatched pub – 863 0100). Right beside the canal The Fisherman’s (057 86 26488) – within harbour, the Bridge House/Purcells still has a very short stroll at Fisherstown the style of the classic wayside hostelry, Crossroads, also on the west bank. Not a but the road through Athy is mighty busy, daytime place during the week - opening and other parts of the town are quieter. times vary, usually from 6 o’clock Conveniently central is The Emigrant (059 midweek, Saturday from 2pm and Sunday 863 2717), a fairly recently re-styled pub 12.30-11; they serve a range of gourmet with its main entrance looking onto the pies & chips. river and with a separate café, reached through the bar or from its own entrance at the back. Athy Farmers Market & Craft Fair is held on Emily Square in front of the Heritage Centre on Sundays (10-2). 3 A Taste of the Waterways 1 Gargoyles Café, open all day Mon-Sat and on Saturday Grand Canal House, night for dinner. More in the special Athy, Co Kildare occasion bracket is The Grill & Grape 059 864 1482 Steakhouse (059 917 97170) on Centaur Street, which is attractively situated facing the river and offers a novel feature, Hot Rock steaks, which are served to the table for you to cook for yourself. 2 La Piccola Italia, 144 Tullow Street, Carlow, Co Carlow 059 914 0366 Just beside the bridge in the centre of the town, Triona and Brid Edgar's friendly, casual café offers very good breakfasts and variations, lovely salads and sandwiches, and an interesting evening menu including Tapas. Everything is sourced locally where possible and they take pride in good home cooking, especially baking. Open Mon-Sat, 9am- 6pm (Sat from 10 am); opens for D if Husband and wife team Adriano Lafrate there is a minimum booking of at least 8. and Elaine Meaney’s informal modern Closed Sun. MC, V. restaurant is simple and classy, with a bar where you can take a little time over The first experience of being on the River menus offering a wide range of favourites. Barrow itself at Athy is only the briefest – You’ll find authentic Italian cooking, a you’re quickly across and back into a relaxing ambience, good service and value canalised section. But after Ardreigh Lock for money. Elaine (a trained pastry chef) three kilometres further south, river runs front of house with warmth and cruising is resumed. Upwards of ten makes the desserts, so you’re bound to kilometres south, and at MAGANEY end on a high note. D Tue-Sat, 5-10pm BRIDGE there’s a quay and landing stage, (Fri/Sat to 11pm); Early D Tue-Sat, 5-7pm and the Three Counties pub marks the & Sun 1-7pm. L Tue-Sat. 12-2pm. Closed fact that the borders of counties Carlow, Mon. MC, V, L. Kildare and Laois meet hereabouts, and is across a busy road. CARLOW is 10 As the Barrow grows in size on its stately kilometres further south along the progress southward, so the shoreside Navigation, a busy river town with all choices increase. Next port after Carlow is facilities (see below). Although not LEIGHLINBRIDGE (pronounced renowned as a dining destination, the “Lochlinbridge”) where the options town has a number of good informal include berthing at the marina at the eating places including the popular famed Lord Bagenal Inn (see entry), or Rattlebag Café (059 913 9568) on Barrack along the public quayside. Street (an ideal place to drop into for a snack – their home baking is delicious - or maybe something more substantial), and Hennessy’s Fine Foods (059 913 28490) on Dublin Street, a great deli and café 4 Barrow Navigation and Barrow Line 3 The Lord Bagenal Hotel, 4 The Step House Hotel, Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow Main Street, Borris, Co Carlow 059 972 1668 059 977 3209 Although growing fast, this beautifully James and Cait Coady's lovely old house situated hotel retains some of its original has recently been redeveloped to character in the old end bar, with its open incorporate the pub next door (in the fire and comfortably traditional air. Bar family for 5 generations), re-opening as meals include a lunchtime carvery/buffet, The Step House Hotel – and it’s a credit to but connoisseurs will enjoy the restaurant the Coadys, who also own one of for its exceptional wine list, a fine Irish art Ireland's finest classic pubs, Tynans Bridge collection, and eclectic well-balanced Bar, in Kilkenny city. Head chef Alan Foley menus offering plenty of choice, including uses the best local ingredients, organic Dunmore East seafood and local where possible, in both the fine dining farmhouse cheeses. Bar food 12-10 daily. Cellar Restaurant and the 1808 bar, where Restaurant D Wed-Sat 6-10, L Sun only excellent casual food is offered. Cellar 12-4. Amex, D V, L. Restaurant D only Fri & Sat 7.30-9.15; Bar meals 12.30-8.45 daily (sandwiches/light Then, in less than five kilometres, food only 4.30-6). MC, V, L. BAGENALSTOWN (Muine Bheag) is along a handsome curve of the river. The 5 M. O’Shea, Main Street, waterside area is developing, and the Borris, Co Carlow nearest pub is Jimmy D’s (059 972 1758) 059 977 3106 this friendly pub is an evening place during the week, opening from 5 o’clock, but operates normal pub hours at weekends (no food). Continuing south, the river winds its way through fine farmland with spectacular scenery beyond. GORESBRIDGE, the next port of call, is finding itself anew as a river port. There’s berthing below the bridge on the west bank, and first pub in the village Halfway up the steep main street, is Donohoe’s, complete with shop next O’Shea’s picturesque old grocery section door. at the front links into a modern-day shop next door, with larger rooms for food or BORRIS, seven kilometres downstream, is music sessions behind. ‘Flexible’ food rather less accessible – in fact, from the service could include breakfast for hungry river you wouldn’t know it was there at fisherfolk, a deliciously wholesome hot all. But berth at Ballytiglea Bridge or Borris lunch menu 12-2 and, at other times, Lock, and find your way up the hill to a fresh sandwiches can usually be made up perfect little town which prospers quietly. for small numbers, from the deli in the shop. Music every fortnight or so: “it’s a bit random”; MC, V, L. 5 A Taste of the Waterways By this time the scenery is perfect, and 7 The Waterside, after descending several locks, including Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny the beautiful Clashganna, we reach the 059 972 4246 perfect little river port of GRAIGUENAMANAGH. People voyage here, and go no further. It has everything, including a book market – a collection of booksellers sharing permanent premises on the main street – and an annual Book Fair. For more direct sustenance, the Waterside and Boats Bistro (see entries overleaf) are right on their respective quays; in the village there’s a smashing Brian and Brigid Roberts’ characterful little daytime café Coffee on High, and quayside restaurant with rooms is nearby we find the legendary pub and attractively located away from the road on general merchants Doyle’s (see entry) the Kilkenny side of the river and offers a while nearby is Ryan’s (059 972 4117), range of mainstream choices such as which is also a delightful pub in the old salmon, steaks and interesting vegetarian style. dishes. A local eel fishery dates back to the Cistercian monks who built the town 6 Boats Bistro, Tinnahinch, and weirs on the river and, in good years Graiguenamanagh, Co Carlow when it is active, menus may also include 059 972 5075 the speciality Graiguenamanagh smoked eel. D daily 6.30-9.30, L Sun only 12-3. Reservations advised. Light meals in summer, 11-4. Amex, MC, V, L. 8 Doyle’s, Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny 059 972 4203 On the Carlow side of the beautiful stone bridge linking counties Kilkenny and Carlow, Arnie and Georgina Poole’s smartly informal restaurant enjoys fine views of the River Barrow, Duiske Abbey and Graiguenamanagh village. Georgina’s tasty, reasonably priced, modern bistro food is served in a pleasant atmosphere This charming village enjoys a choice of (with a concise, fairly priced wine list and appealing hostelries, but don’t leave excellent Illy coffees), and it would be without allowing time to drink in the worth the trip for the views from the atmosphere of Doyle’s: a fire burns in the upstairs bistro of the weir, bridge and back bar, and the old shop at the front village alone. Phone to check opening offers a varied collection of useful items, times – low season w/e only. MC, V. including much of interest to the fisherperson – even the briefest of visits here will lift the spirits. Shop open Mon- Sat 9.30am – normal pub closing time; Sun open from 12 noon. 6 Barrow Navigation and Barrow Line Graiguenamanagh is in the midst of lovely 10 Bassett’s at Woodstock, countryside, and just across the flank of Woodstock Gardens, Brandon Hill, the pretty village of Inistioge, Co Kilkenny INISTIOGE is well worth a taxi journey 056 775 8820 through beautiful scenery. Here on the River Nore you will find plenty of characterful places to eat and drink including a friendly traditional inn, The Woodstock Arms, the well known restaurant Circle of Friends (056 77 58800); light daytime meals and an à la carte evening menu), named after the film which was made in the village, and two restaurants which draw diners from afar, The Motte and Bassett’s at Woodstock Returning Inistioge native, John Bassett, (see entries below). and his partner, Mijke Jansen, run this scenically located contemporary restaurant 9 The Motte Restaurant, at the historic and beautifully restored Plas Newydd Lodge, Woodstock Gardens & Arboretum. Inistioge, Co Kilkenny Overlooking the Nore valley, and 056 775 8655 conveniently situated beside the visitors’ carpark (note the saddleback pigs in a small pen) this is not just a ‘garden visits café’ but a destination restaurant where everything is cooked and served correctly and very carefully presented, without being too cheffy. L Wed-Sun, 12-4 (Sun to 6); D Wed-Sat from 7. Closed Mon & Tue. MC, V, L. Rodney & Deirdre Doyle’s small restaurant Inistioge is on the River Nore, but it is tidal is in the classically proportioned Plas water, and the Barrow Navigation finishes Newydd Lodge – named in honour of ‘the at the sea lock above ST MULLINS. A ladies of Llangollen’, who eloped from three kilometre stroll along the towpath Inistioge in the 18th century. Today, an L- reaches St Mullin’s, and a short but steep shaped room with a Kilkenny marble climb finds Blanchfield’s Bar, nestling fireplace and simple, effective decor is the amidst hills which are a whole world away setting for accomplished modern cooking, from Lowtown at the north end of the featuring many specialities: don’t miss the Barrow Line. crème brulée! D 7-9.30, Thu-Sat (also Sun of bank hol w/e). Closed Sun-Wed, also 1 week June. MC, V, L. 7 A Taste of the Waterways Erne System 4 5 3 4 5 3 6 7 6 7 2 8 9 2 1 10 8 9 10 1 Erne System (Clockwise from Belturbet) The characters of the winding Erne DERRYLIN: Knockninny Restaurant (028 waterway’s upper and lower lakes are so 6774 8339) is in a large bungalow fairly different that visitors could be forgiven for near the harbour (L12.30-2.30 daily, D by thinking that they should be given two reservation); collection arranged in bad completely different names. Upper Lough weather. Erne is a total intertwining of water and land. Once you pass through Enniskillen, BELLANALECK: At the marina, The which is itself on an island, Lower Lough Moorings (028 6634 8328) offers popular Erne at first seems similar, but soon it fare daily and traditional Sunday lunches opens into the wide spaces of the Broad and, a short walk away, The Sheelin is a Lough overlooked by the spectacular Cliffs pretty thatched cottage in the village (see of Magho, and its nature is markedly entry below). different. However, islands are a feature of both lakes, and there is an island restaurant – at Lusty Beg on the Lower Lough. 8 Erne System 1 The Sheelin Tea Shop, Just outside Enniskillen, on the west shore, Bellanaleck, Co Fermanagh Jim and Eileen Treacy’s golf resort is of 028 6634 8232 international standards (the premier Nick Faldo course is due to open mid-2009). The property lies between two lakes on its own bridge-linked island and offers sweeping lakeland views. Head chef Noel McMeel (known for his commitment to quality local ingredients) offers fine dining in the Catalina Restaurant, also good informal food and – from mid-2009 – meals at the Halfway House & Seafood Just a short stroll from the marina, this Experience on the 9th hole of the new pretty cottage offers a museum of Faldo Course. Catalina: D nightly 6.30- traditional Irish lace as well as 9.30, L Sat & Sun 1-2.30; Bar & Drawing refreshment. The tea shop is a light and Room menus 12-9.30 daily; Garden Hall airy space with some outside tables in an Afternoon Tea, 2-5 daily. Amex, MC, V. attractive paved area, complete with fountain. Julie Snoddy has earned a BELLEEK is a friendly place with a reputation for superb baking: her welcoming riverside hotel, the Carlton speciality scones are popular with morning (028 6865 8282), a fascinating Visitor coffee, and there is always an array of Centre (and tea rooms) at the world baked goodies on display - paradise famous Belleek Pottery (028 6865 8501) squares, mile-high lemon meringue pie, and several great music pubs, including old-fashioned Victoria sandwich cake… Moohans/The Fiddlestone (028 6865 Open daily 10-5.30 (Sun to 6). MC, V, 8008) a pub with guesthouse on the main Switch. street, where Gilmartins Irish Craft Shop (028 686 58371) is exceptionally friendly For convenience, we continue our and helpful. clockwise theme, but it can be a complex business. On the Lower Lake, navigation 3 The Thatch, becomes more clearcut. As the expanse of Belleek, Co Fermanagh the Broad Lough opens out ahead, there’s 028 6865 8181 sheltered berthing at Tully Bay or Tully Castle. Then it’s “open sea” to Belleek, a friendly little town which has been marvelously revived in recent years. 2 Lough Erne Golf Resort, Belleek Road, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh 028 6632 3230 This 18th century listed building is the only originally thatched village building remaining in County Fermanagh. Homemade food has been served here for a century, a tradition upheld today, with home-made soups, freshly made/ toasted sandwiches, hot specials and delicious bakes like chocolate squares and muffins. And you can buy fishing tackle, hire a bike – or even a holiday cottage – here too. Open Mon-Fri, 9-5, Sat 10-5. MC & V (on orders over £10). 9 A Taste of the Waterways 4 Lusty Beg Island, 5 Lough Erne Hotel, Boa Island, Kesh, Co Fermanagh Kesh, Co Fermanagh 028 6863 3300 028 6863 1275 This unusual place is worth a visit, if only This friendly hotel is attractively located on to call into the pleasant waterside pub for the Glendurragh River and makes the a drink and an informal bite like smoked most of its setting. Wholesome fare, salmon and brown bread. Visiting boats helpful staff and good value make this a are welcome; phone ahead for details of relaxing stopping place and the view is barbecues and other theme nights. soothing. Breakfast 8-10; L 12.30-3; Grill Children welcome. Summer: bar food Menu Mon-Sat 3.30-9 (Fri- Sun to 9.30). daily; music Saturday night. Weekends: Light snacks available all day, every day. breakfast 9-10.30, light bar food 1-6, D 6- Amex, MC, V, Delta, Switch, Maestro. 9. Call to check food service, especially off-season; reservations recommended. CASTLE ARCHDALE has a harbour (and, in MC, V, Switch. summer, a tea room). The eastern shore of the Lower Lough from Kesh to Enniskillen The town of KESH has much to offers a remarkable variety of hospitable recommend it, with a fine harbour stopovers before you return to the development, a welcoming hotel (see multiple choices of Enniskillen. right) and the Mayfly pub (028 6863 1281), on the main street, for traditional 6 Erne Palace Chinese Restaurant, music. Inishclare, Killadeas, Co Fermanagh 028 68628550 Not only will you find superior Chinese cuisine in this unlikely spot, but it’s raised into an even higher class by the building, the décor, the service and above all the harbourside location…Very high timbered ceilings, beautiful lighting, stylish table settings and a gallery area for private parties (also with lovely lake views) make for glamorous surroundings for the good food and smart service offered here. D daily 5-10 (Fri & Sat to 11), L Sun only 12- 2. MC, V. 10 Erne System 7. Manor House Hotel & Restaurant, Allow time to browse around in the Killadeas, Co Fermanagh Buttermarket Area - The Jolly Sandwich 028 6862 2211 (028 6632 2277) across the road from Blakes serves wholesome lunches and stocks tasty things for the boat, and Rebecca’s is a consistently excellent coffee shop in the Craft & Design Courtyard; down towards the river on Queen Elizabeth Road, Franco’s (028 6632 4424) was among Enniskillen’s first contemporary restaurants, and remains one of the most popular. An interesting place to visit is the Clinton Centre at the Just a short walk up from the marina, this War Memorial, Belmore Street, where The period house makes a fine hotel. The East End Restaurant (028-6632 0883) is restaurant is well situated to take best open all day (8-5), Monday to Saturday. advantage of the lovely lough views and Also worth considering for snacks and menus offer interesting choices; both food light lunches is the new Marks & Spencer and service here generally match their (028 6632 4649) at Erneside SC: the rather grand surroundings, although the lakeside location is pleasant - glass sided bar can be noisy at busy times. L & café area, water flowing by, nice black D:12.30-2.45 & 6.30-9.30 daily. Bar meals: leather sofas and low tables – and 12.30-9.30 daily. Amex, MC, V, Switch. perhaps the best cappuccino in town, too. On the river near the Killyhevlin Hotel (see Thereafter, a return upstream towards the entry), Ardhowen Theatre Restaurant (028 Upper Lake brings fresh diversity along its 6632 5254) provides a stunning lunch- eastern shore. time waterside venue with pontoons directly adjacent. If you fancy a round of ENNISKILLEN: This historic town, home to golf and/or some out of town dining, a the headquarters of Waterways Ireland, visit to the Lough Erne Golf Resort (see has plenty to offer hungry visitors. Perhaps entry) is in order – or, for a real the first call should be to the famous gastronomic treat, consider taking a cross- O’Doherty’s Butchers (028 6632 2152) in border taxi to nearby Blacklion for some Belmore Street, to buy their renowned fine dining at celebrity chef Neven black bacon and other goodies to take Maguire’s renowned MacNean Bistro (071 back to the boat. Nearby are the long- 985 3022). established Scoffs Restaurant (028 6634 2622) and L’Italia (028 6632 2226), formerly Picasso’s; there has been no change of chef, but this attractive and friendly two-storey restaurant now serves an all-Italian menu. New kids on the block include the latest stylish restaurant/deli Taste (028 6634 7744); open Mon-Wed 8.30-5.30, Thurs-Sat to 10.30 and Dollakis Restaurant (see entry) both near the Town Hall, and also Russell & Donnelly (028 6632 0111) on Darling Street, a predictably impressive and successful café/deli from the Café Merlot/ Number 6 partnership of Gerry Russell and John Donnelly at Blakes of the Hollow (see entry). 11 A Taste of the Waterways Erne System 8 Blakes of the Hollow, customers in a light mood. Tightly packed Church Street, Enniskillen, tables are laid bistro style, and simply Co Fermanagh worded menus reflecting the national 028 6632 2143 identities involved offer something new for Enniskillen. Expect tasty cooking, great service and very good value too. L&D Tue- Sat, 12-4 & 5.30-10; Sun L only, 12-4. Closed late Jan/early Feb & 1-14 Sep. MC, V, Switch. 10 Killyhevlin Hotel, Killyhevlin, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh 028 6632 3481 One of the great classic pubs of Ireland, Blakes has been in the same family since 1887; while the old Victorian bar remains unchanged (traditional music, Friday nights), there are now two restaurants run jointly by chef Gerry Russell and front-of- house/wine guru John Donnelly: Café Merlot, for a stylish informal bite (and Saturday jazz to 1 am), and the Restaurant @ No 6 upstairs, for weekend fine dining Just yards from the handy jetty, this (by reservation). Cafe Merlot L&D daily, spacious hotel makes a convenient 12-3.30 & 5-9.30. (Value D, 5.30-7.30). stopping place and windows right along No 6: D Fri-Sat 6-10, by reservation, or the main building capitalise on wonderful any day for parties 12+. MC, V, Laser, lake and mountain views. Silks restaurant Switch offers formal dining (efficient and attentive service is the trump card here), 9 Dollakis Restaurant, Cross Street, but informal meals in the Boathouse Bar & Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh Grill may have more appeal for boating 028 6634 2616 folk, and there are comfortable sofas in the windows where you can have coffee. Snacks 7am-10pm; business lunch/carvery, 12.30-2.30; Grill Menu, 2.30- 8. Regatta Restaurant: D 7-9.30 daily; Sun L (carvery), 1-3. Restaurant reservations advised. Amex, D,MC, V. This cheerfully cosmopolitan little restaurant burst onto the Enniskillen dining scene in 2008 and, with an experienced team of various nationalities, it immediately found a niche. It has a pleasantly contemporary airy feel, and music (think Zorba the Greek) puts 12 A Taste of the Waterways The Grand Canal 14 10 9875 64 32 1 11 12 15 13 In 1791, the earliest functioning sections For contemporary Dubliners, the Grand of the Grand Canal were operational from Canal is essentially the elegant waterway James’s Street Harbour beside Guinness’s which curves around the south of the Brewery in Dublin, to Athy in County inner city, integral to the Georgian Kildare on the River Barrow. The longterm architecture and marking the boundary plan, however, had always been to between the elite postal districts of Dublin connect to the Shannon in the west from 2 and Dublin 4. That this section of the the River Liffey and the Port of Dublin to canal was an add-on conceived in the the east. 1790s is neither here nor there. It was opened with a spectacular party in 1796, Today, we certainly think of the Grand and as far as Dubliners are concerned, this Canal as being the waterway linking is the Grand Canal. It’s the rest of the Ringsend on the shores of Dublin Bay waterway which is an add-on…… along 131 kilometres to Shannon Harbour near Banagher in County Offaly, on a This may be a cavalier approach to the route which has been operational since history of Ireland’s inland waterways. But 1804. And we think of the Barrow Line, for visiting boat folk, it does mean that which “leaves” the Grand Canal at the “new” section, between Ringsend and Lowtown, as being part of the Barrow Inchicore, is city cruising at its best. The Navigation. Almost lost in the passage of hospitality lineup is almost bewildering in time is the thought that this branch line its variety – it’s said there is a pub at or was once – albeit briefly – the main near every bridge. We list a range of waterway, while the former terminus in special establishments, while always Dublin has disappeared as a harbour, as remembering that, after a surfeit of city has its little connecting canal, which now pleasures, boat people will soon yearn for accommodates the Luas light railway. open spaces. 13 A Taste of the Waterways A Taste of Canalside Dublin 1 Riva Restaurant, Visitors arriving into Dublin by boat have Hanover Quay, Dublin 2 many interesting shopping and dining 01 675 3577 experiences to look forward to within a gentle stroll of one of the landing stages dotted along the canal. Starting right at the beginning of the canal, some well- located establishments include Herb Street (01 675 3882), Ely HQ and Riva and, although not as obvious, Bridge Bar & Grill is very handy too, while Rachel Keane’s lovely speciality food shop Haddington Delicatessen (01 667 6685) at 53 Haddington Road has both treats to take Dublin’s developing docklands are back to the boat and great home cooked bringing big changes to this area and, in daytime food to take away. Canaletto, what has become something of a on Mespil Road, is highly visible from the restaurant walkway - tucked away from canal but you could easily miss Canal Bank traffic and with uninterrupted views over Café. The Hilton Hotel is also very obvious the Grand Canal Basin - the latest venture and exceptionally conveniently located for from well know restaurateur and wine the boating visitor, and as is the popular importer Dieter Bergman is an attractive Barge Inn (01 475 1869) beside it and, restaurant with a smart modern interior further along, Nonna Valentina and Locks and generous terrace seating for fine days. (see entries below for all establishments With a buzzy atmosphere, contemporary previously highlighted but without phone Italian cooking, it appeals to all age numbers). But there are far too many groups. Open daily 12-11 (Sun to 9pm) places of interest for us to list them all MC, V, Laser. here – the pleasant Mespil Hotel (01 488 4600), for example, is handy to berthing 2 Ely HQ, (opposite side from the Hilton) and offers Hanover Quay, Dublin 2 lunch and dinner at its Glaze Restaurant. 01 633 9986 There are also some gems just a few minutes from the canal – from Charlemont Bridge, for example, just seven minutes walk up Ranelagh Road brings you to RANELAGH VILLAGE, an area which offers one of the city’s best (and most compact) collections of food and wine shops, with a range of over thirty restaurants to choose from, including Mint (01 497 8655), one of the city’s top fine dining destinations, and many excellent informal restaurants. This, the third of Erik and Michelle At PORTOBELLO, too, there are some Robson’s stylish establishments, has large treats – including the popular smart-casual eating areas on two levels, a covered and daytime Lennox Café (01 478 9966) heated terrace, huge windows and Bretzel Bakery (01 475 2742), overlooking the Grand Canal Basin, and a where you can stock the boat up on youthful atmosphere. Just before going to speciality breads – both are on Lennox press it transformed itself from café/wine Street, quite near Nonna Valentina. bar to gastro-pub - a sign of the times no doubt. Expect the trademark great wine list (with exceptional by-the-glass choices), 14 The Grand Canal cocktails, a new range of beers (including 4 Canaletto Restaurant brews from Dublin’s Porterhouse pub) and Mespil Road, Dublin 4 menus with a ‘green’ bias, including 01 6673002 produce from the family’s organic farm in Co Clare. Open Mon-Sat 12noon - 11.30pm (Fri & Sat, late opening to 12.30am). Closed Sun Amex, Diners, MC, V, L. 3 Bridge Bar & Grill, The Malting Tower, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2 01 639 4941 This modern yet cosy restaurant near Patrick Kavanagh’s statue (Baggot Street Bridge) offers a wide selection of classic Italian dishes, complemented by a good wine list. You’ll find a good selection of light pasta dishes, many of them vegetarian, as well as more substantial meat and seafood options. The friendly service and open kitchen at the rear of the dining room adds to the intimacy and a Despite its unlikely location under a private dining room is available railway arch (albeit very handy to the downstairs. Open 12noon-11pm daily; all canal) and its pared down simplicity, this is major cards. a smart restaurant and bar: sister to Town Bar & Grill off St Stephen’s Green, it 5 La Péniche follows the same philosophy of creating Mespil Road, Dublin 4 focused dishes based on quality 087 790 0077 ingredients. There’s a nod to Italy in uncluttered food with real flavour – impossible not to like, good value, and served in stylishly informal surroundings. L&D Mon-Sat, 12.30-3.30 & 6-10.30; L Sun only, 1-5. Value D Mon-Thu. Amex, MC, V, Laser. Enjoy a full four-course meal, a simple charcuterie plate or just a dessert with coffee on this smartly got up floating restaurant (red velvet couches, gleaming varnished tables) offering authentic French bistro dishes. The unusual setting and friendly, helpful service make for a great atmosphere – and on Thursdays dinner is even more fun, eaten under way as La Péniche cruises the canal. L Tue-Fri, 12-3; D Tue-Sat, 6-10.30; Sun L only, 2-5. MC, V, Laser. 15 A Taste of the Waterways 6 Canal Bank Café, 8 Nonna Valentina, Upper Leeson Street, Dublin 4 Portobello Road Dublin 8 01 664 2135 01 454 9866 This almost-canalside restaurant offers One of the respected Dunne & Crescenzi quality ‘everyday dining’ and the user- group, this attractively located two-storey friendly menu is divided by types of dish restaurant is stylishly simple, with the rather than by course; only the best main emphasis on immaculately sourced ingredients are used – organic beef and ingredients and great service. Concise lamb, free-range chicken and a wide menus in Italian and English may include variety of fresh fish daily. In recent authentic versions of old favourites experience service can be slow but you (bruschetta, buffalo mozzarella, breseola), can expect good vegetarian dishes, classic while specialities include home made desserts – also a strong breakfast menu, pasta, deeply flavoured sauces and and a compact, carefully selected, wine organic meat, poultry and game supplied list. Open daily, 10am- 11pm. Amex, D, by the renowned organic butcher, MC,V, L. Downey’s. Don’t miss the house tiramisu with vinsanto. Open daily 12-11; early D 7 Hilton Dublin Hotel, Mon-Fri 4-7. Amex, MC, V, Laser. Charlemont Place, Dublin 2 01 402 9988 9 Locks Restaurant, Windsor Terrace, Portobello, Dublin 8 01 454 3391 Right beside berthing – and a Luas station to take you straight into the city centre if you like – this exceptionally conveniently An open fronted kitchen allows diners in located hotel makes a very handy meeting the bright and buzzy ground floor dining place and a recent refurbishment room of the ‘new’ Locks to view the programme has transformed it into an action, and there’s a small bar area for attractive modern hotel. Although not browsing wide-ranging menus (rustic likely to be a first choice for dining, with French classics with gourmet accents), so many other excellent restaurants including an early dinner value menu and nearby, the Uisce restaurant overlooks the a Feasting Menu, for groups. Expect Grand Canal, and oysters and Guinness in exciting bistro dining in vibrant the bar could be appealing if you want to surroundings – and informed service from watch a match on the big-screen TVs. L & smart young staff. L daily, 12-3; D Mon- D daily. Amex, MC,V. Sat, 6-11, early D 5.30-7.30 pm. Closed Sun D, bank hols. Amex, Diners, MC, V, Laser. 16 The Grand Canal Heading Out of the City... 11 Restaurant La Serre, Reaching the countryside will take time. Lyons Demesne, Celbridge, Co Kildare Negotiating your way through Dublin’s 01 630 3500 many locks is an art in itself. Facilities will improve at CityWest, but nevertheless it’s a relief to get through the motorway bridge and find there’s a breathing space at Clondalkin. But the city still intrudes, and most crews will plan, before nightfall, to continue past the 12th Lock (it’s actually the 21st since the Grand Canal Basin in Ringsend) and reach the haven which is HAZELHATCH, where The Hatch Beautifully situated alongside the Grand pub (see below) is rightly cherished by Canal, with the entrance - guarded by boat folk. stone lions - just beside the 13th lock, arrival at Lyons Demesne is impressive, 10 McEvoy’s/The Hatch, with statuary, box balls, a little bridge over Hazelhatch, Co Kildare a mill race and a massive front door 01 628 8283 leading into The Lyons Den bar. Beyond, the restaurant is in a courtyard area and an elegant Turner-style conservatory, where chef Paul Carroll offers stylish dining in a bright space alongside maturing gardens. L&D Wed-Sat, 12-3 & 6-9.30; Sun & bank hol Mon 12-7; reservations advisable. Amex, MC, V, Laser. This delightfully friendly pub is full of character, with all the little signs of a much-loved local. There’s a snug front bar gleaming with well-maintained wood and notices about local activities, behind it a larger bar more recently added, with a warming stove to gather round. The whole place is spick & span and it’s a pleasure to visit – don’t expect food, though, except maybe crisps and nuts.... From 12.30 ‘most days’. Open all year. Although the tentacles of Greater Dublin spread wide, it is pleasantly surprising how rural much of the Grand Canal can soon become. From Hazelhatch onwards, you’re in the county of Kildare, synonymous with fine farms and thoroughbred horses. SALLINS is the next port of call, with sustenance offered at both Flanagans Mill (045 880795) and the Bridgewater Inn (see entry below), which is ideally located on the quay in the heart of this canal village. 17 A Taste of the Waterways 12 Bridgewater Inn, Sallins, 13 Vie de Chateaux, Co Kildare The Harbour, Naas, Co Kildare 045 880681 045 888 478 This smartly maintained quay-side establishment attracts fans from a wide Just beside the harbour, this small French area. It’s an appealing destination, with a restaurant and wine bar has simple décor warm and friendly atmosphere in the bar, and tightly packed tables, has a warm where wholesome fare is served. Sweet atmosphere and a big blackboard menu Guinness bread is a speciality, served with offering unusual dishes that you won’t home made soup or, perhaps, haddock find elsewhere. There are sociable platters smokies; expect weekday dishes like of charcuterie or (mainly French) cheeses, pasta, burgers, pan-fried chicken and a chargrilled rib of beef on the bone for scampi, while more extensive weekend two - and cheerful bistro classics like snails menus may include crab claws, cajun in garlic butter, moules frites and tarte chicken with garlic aioli & chill jam and tatin. Tasty food, friendly service and good Bridgewater bangers & mash with onion value. L Mon-Fri 12-2.30; D Mon-Sun 6-10 gravy. Meals: Mon-Fri, 12.30-2.30 & 5-9; (Sun to 9 ). MC, V, Laser. Sat & Sun 2-8.30. MC, V, L. On the MAIN LINE, progress continues A kilometre beyond Sallins Bridge, the onwards across the Leinster Aqueduct NAAS LINE offers a return to urban over the River Liffey (last glimpsed in amenities, its four southward-bound Ringsend), and upwards through three kilometres bringing a boat through five more locks. And then suddenly, or so it locks to the harbour in Naas town, where seems, with the canal about three the choice of eating places includes La kilometres down the road from the Primavera (045 897926) which, despite expanding Quaker-named village of the name, is broadly Mediterranean rather Prosperous in County Kildare, you’ve than Italian (and offers good value on the reached the heights. The next lock is early dinner menu, available 5-7 Tue-Sun, descending. The Summit Level is just 40 with limited availability after 6pm on Sat) kilometres from Dublin Bay, but 29 locks while, for lovers of Asian cooking, Asia de have been negotiated. The mood changes. Brún Restaurant (045 871 544; formerly The atmosphere is of the west.We cruise Lemongrass) is just off the main street along in relaxed style, and behind the Town Hall and has the great ROBERTSTOWN, the hub of the Grand advantage of long opening hours (Mon- Canal system, is easily reached. Sat 12.30-10pm, Sun 1-10pm). At the other end of the main street (behind the former Lawlors Hotel), the Kildare Farmers Market is held 10-3 on Saturday in the carpark of The Storehouse (045 889333) in Friary Lane; en route along the main street, make a point of dropping in to one of Ireland’s finest unspoilt old pubs, Thomas Fletcher (045 897328) if they are open – it’s not a morning place. 18 The Grand Canal Here, the visible history of the inland products, for example, are from nearby waterways intertwines with the Birr). They promise ‘breakfast, lunch, cakes developing reality of modern Irish life. & treats’ and, with soup & sandwiches at Robertstown is of the country, of the west €7.50 and a steak sandwich for €9.50, it’s and of the past – but only just, with good value too. Open Mon-Sat from 8.30 Dublin so near by road. Charlie Weld’s (Mon & Tue to 5.30, Wed-Fri to 6, Sat to pub on the quay dates from 1850. Just 5.30). No credit cards. along the quay towards the imposing building which was once the old Canal From Edenderry Harbour to the next port, Hotel, Mullaney’s (045 860808) is a bar DAINGEAN, is nearly 20 non-stop with grocery and, quietly set back from kilometres, unless you berth at Rhode the quay, Ann Dowling’s bar (045 860299) Bridge on the way, and walk the 2 km to is a real haven. the village. RHODE has three pubs –Doyle’s, Killeen’s and Mulvin’s. The Westward from Robertstown, the main largest is Killeen’s – The Village Pub, (046 canal crosses the Bog of Allen, a magical 973 7017) – where they do light food. and mysterious place. After ALLENWOOD, where Glennon’s bar (045 860 110) is the Daingean itself was of strategic last oasis, there are no facilities for 12 importance in more turbulent times, and kilometres, until Edenderry in County there’s much of historic interest at this Offaly. The EDENDERRY BRANCH opens tidy canal township. For the hungry and up to starboard through Downshire thirsty, the Midway Park Hotel & Bar (057 Bridge, and it brings us – after 1.5 km – to 97 53238) is welcoming, while a delightful canal harbour where Mary characterful adjacent pubs include The O’Connor’s Harbour House (046 977 Cosy Bar, The Grove, and Seery’s. 3583) is in classic style, and offers the unusual experience of being able to look Five kilometres beyond Daingean, we up at your boat berthed across the road in arrive at the attractively-named Chenevix Edenderry Harbour. An authentic new Bridge, and tiny BALLYCOMMON beside Indian café & restaurant Mirchi (046 977 it. Just beyond, the currently defunct 3800) opened on Dublin Road just before Kilbeggan Branch of the canal swings going to press, and Eden Deli (see entry) away to the northwest. Meanwhile at offers whole daytime fare. Ballycommon, the hub of the sailor’s universe is Ballycommon House, Gerry & 14 Eden Deli, Maria McGrath’s pub (057 935 3016) JKL Street, Edenderry, Co Offaly right on the canal, a classic – and you can 046 973 3994 buy free-range eggs there. From an extremely rural area, the Grand Canal is now approaching TULLAMORE, a busy commercial town. With the revival of the waterways, its harbour will in time be re-vamped. With a berth secured, the newly arrived boat folk find all their needs met nearby. This thriving town is perhaps best known for its most famous product, Niall & Niamh Walsh’s smart two-storey Tullamore Dew and, while it may no deli and café near the harbour is known longer be made here, there’s much of for its good wholesome fare and there are interest in the canalside Tullamore Dew no short cuts taken – they bake their Visitor Centre and there’s plenty of breads freshly every morning using hospitality-related activity going on today. organic flour, make all their own stocks Well established restaurants popular with and support local producers (Rudd’s pork locals include the Tullamore Court Hotel 19 A Taste of the Waterways The Grand Canal (see below), and several on Harbour Street Westward from Tullamore harbour, we – Jamie’s (057 935 1529) run by Adare have 35 kilometres and 10 locks before Manor-trained Jamie Owens with his the Shannon is sighted. Much of it is mother Jeanette in charge out front, ably across territory where the peat industry assisted by daughters Ashling and Jessica; was predominant, leaving scenery which Anatolia (0506 23669), which is great for can be something of an acquired taste. steaks and surf’n’turf (and open for lunch The settlements along the canal tend to and dinner); also the friendly Acorn (057 be workaday places, and the two pubs 932 4700), a friendly restaurant which along the canal – The Thatch (which is no recently re-opened following renovations longer thatched) at CORCORAN’S BRIDGE, – and the Italian restaurant Sirocco’s (057 and Gallagher’s at POLLAGH – are aimed 935 2839) is nearby, on Patrick Street. very much at local trade rather than canal Lovers of spicy food should head up to traffic. the popular Thai/Indian restaurant, Shisar (0506 51439), at the top of High Street. From time to time, however, the scenery becomes lighter, and one of the prettiest 15 The Tullamore Court Hotel, places – it’s 28 kilometres from Tullamore O’Moore Street, Tullamore, Co Offaly – is BELMONT. A lovely place to stop for a 057 934 6666 night or two, enchanting on summer evenings. And just up the road, one kilometre’s stroll away, is the crossroads with two pubs; Kelly’s which is total pub, while Cahill’s (0906 457202) is the classic country conglomerate with pub, lounge, general store and service station. Belmont provides a breathing space before the final five kilometres to crowded SHANNON HARBOUR. It’s crowded not with people, but with boats. And the talk is almost always of boats – you can enjoy the best of it in the legendary McIntyre’s (057 9151493). And then, the lordly Shannon beckons, a long way indeed from This large modern four-star hotel is Ringsend in Dublin. welcoming, with an extensive foyer, and bright and cheerful public areas. Very much the hub of local activities, it serves the community well, with an excellent leisure centre and fine business facilities - and makes a good meeting place within easy walking distance of the whole town. The staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful, and the food is generally above the standard expected in hotels. Open all year except Christmas; food available daily. MC, V, Laser. 20 A Taste of the Waterways Lough Neagh & Lower Bann 8 7 5 6 4 3 1 2 21 A Taste of the Waterways Lough Neagh the entire lake clockwise from this (Clockwise from Kinnego) excellent focal point. Navigation of the Lough Neagh is very much its own place. lough requires a chart, and also essential It is so extensive at 390 square kilometres is the River Bann and Lough Neagh that wind direction and barometric Pilot by Michael B Savage, whose pressure can locally affect the water level. unrivalled and devoted knowledge of the Much of its shoreline is lowlying – albeit lake and its waterways is of benefit to all. with handsome hills in the distance – so Navigation of the River Bann requires a traditional eyeball navigation is not always copy of the Waterways Ireland published easy. In times past, when this inland sea user guide. was the hub of Ulster’s waterways system with connections to Belfast, Newry, At KINNEGO, with a large well-sheltered Coleraine, Coalisland, the Erne and the marina expanded to provide 190 berths, Shannon, the Lough Neagh boatmen the Harbour Office (028 3832 7573) – would often have to find their way “by new in 2005 – has a cafeteria at guess and by God” if they lacked a weekends. The impressive Lough Neagh compass. Discovery Centre (028 3832 2205) nearby at OXFORD ISLAND provides fascinating Today, the advent of GPS makes this vast insights, and a comfortable (unlicensed) body of water much more user-friendly to restaurant. The nearest pub is at recreational boating. But Lough Neagh DERRYMACASH, and all facilities are in the remains determinedly workaday, which is town of LURGAN, about 25 minutes walk. part of its attraction. It is associated with It is perhaps best reached by taxi for the two long-established industries – eel haven of the Brindle Beam (see entry). fishing, which dates from time immemorial, and sand dredging – and at 1 The Brindle Beam Tea Rooms, the same time continues to be popular Windsor Avenue, Lurgan, with wildfowlers and anglers, while Co Armagh. motorcruiser and sailboat numbers are on 028 3832 1721 the increase. The sand dredging barges – there are around sixteen in all, and the larger ones are virtually small ships – move at their own steady pace. They’re worked hard and, when fully laden, the decks are level with the water, making them slow to manoeuvre. Sand is dredged all year round, but there is more than enough room for everyone – although, while trade There’s a welcoming fire and friendly table is quieter at weekends, cruisers need to be service at the first floor restaurant of this considerate of the working vessels’ needs. unusual small department store, where Although the provision of berthing and everything is freshly made each day, the other facilities for recreational boating is salad cart offers up to 30 different dishes, on the increase, with marinas at Antrim, and Ulster baking is seen in great tray Kinnego and Ballyronan,in some parts of bakes and desserts. Scrupulously clean, the lough the only harbours are primarily well-priced (not cheap, but good value for for commercial boats, so it is good the quality) with real home cooking and manners to request permission to berth. favourites like Irish stew and beef hotpot The principal recreational boating area is offered, this place is a gem. Open Mon- around Kinnego Bay in Lough Neagh’s Sat, 9.30-5.30 (L 12-2.30, Aft Tea 2.30- southeast corner, so we take our review of 4.30). Unlicensed. Closed Sun &12-13 Jul. MC, V. 22 Lough Neagh & Lower Bann Navigation Westward along Lough Neagh’s south Heading west from Bannfoot on Lough shore, PORTADOWN is reached via the Neagh, the next river is the Blackwater, meandering Upper Bann. This busy which gave access both to the Coalisland commercial town has a public quay on the Canal and the Ulster Canal, which west shore immediately below the old provided the link to Lough Erne and the bridge, while the flotilla of small local craft Shannon System. have their berths on the opposite bank. Portadown is home to the stylish and The BLACKWATER itself is an attractive hospitable Seagoe Hotel (028 3833 3076), waterway if you can negotiate the low and Simon Dougan’s renowned Yellow motorway bridge, upriver you find a Door Deli, Bakery & Café (see entry below). pleasant National Trust property, The Argory (028 8778 4753), with its own 2 Yellow Door Deli, Bakery & Café, jetty. On southward, there’s berthing at Woodhouse Street, Charlemont Bridge to give access to MOY, Portadown, Co Armagh. an elegant village atop a little hill, which 028 3835 3528 offers all you could want, appealingly arranged around a handsome tree lined square. Ryandale Inn (028 8778 4629) is a substantial pub of real old-fashioned character, with open fires and a separate dining room; flanked by an antique shop and Daly’s Wines, it’s only a couple of steps to McKearney’s Butchers (028 8778 4284) and another inviting pub, Jordan’s Bar/The Auction Rooms (028 8778 4891); and there’s even a home bakery, Moy To reach the Yellow Door from the Fayre & Bakery (028 8778 9885), across harbour/railway station, walk up the hill the square too. Down nearer the bridge, under the motorway bridge: it’s on the there are one or two coffee shops, also a right - and well worth finding. Simon pharmacy and a shop selling practical Dougan is one of the luminaries of the items like fishing gear. Northern Ireland food scene, and his in- house bakery produces some of the finest The top of the navigation is bread anywhere. And, as well as retailing BLACKWATERTOWN, whose old name of a wide range of fine foods, their own Port Mór tells us everything – in the specialities include patés, terrines, friendly Portmór House (028 3754 8053) chutneys, salads and ice cream, all there’s a welcoming fire in the bar, and it available in both the shop and the café. has a popular neighbourhood restaurant Don’t miss the house special, hot smoked (weekends). An old wall map reveals Irish salmon with grilled soda bread, wild Blackwatertown’s history as a major rocket and lemon dill cream…Breakfast inland waterways harbour. from 9am, L 12-2.30; food from deli all day until 5pm; Licensed. MC, V, Switch Upriver of Portadown, the Bann gets you to Moneypenny’s Lock (028 3834 1635) and the defunct Newry Canal. Finally closed in 1949, it was last navigated – and by a yacht at that – in 1937. 23 A Taste of the Waterways Northward from Maghery along Lough 3 Tilley Lamp Restaurant, Neagh’s western shore, we’re on the Ardboe, Co Tyrone. coast of Tyrone for 20 kilometres. The 028 8673 7673 lowering of the lake in times past means that some ancient miniature harbours may be long forgotten, but tiny little ports are home to the eel fishing fleet. The first “official” harbour is at BROCAGH north of Washing Bay, where Brocagh Castle (028 8773 8916) is home to the Castle Bay Community Centre, complete with restaurant. Nine kilometres along the coast, there’s a A taxi from Battery Harbour (at the pub, special area at ARDBOE or Church see above) brings you to this warm and Point,with its Sixth Century Abbey and a friendly restaurant, one of the few to Tenth Century Celtic High Cross – possibly serve that elusive local speciality, Lough the oldest in Ulster. There are “portlets” Neagh eels (if available). A sign advising along the lakeline, but the local boating that ‘split bills cannot be handled’ warns magnet – just 1.5 km north of the point – that booking is necessary, especially is BATTERY HARBOUR, which has 12 weekends. Open Mon, Wed & Thu 12-9; marina berths, is a proper little fishing Fri & Sat 12-10; Sun 12-3 & 5-9. Closed port complete with a lifeboat house and Tue. MC, V. some very impressive fishing boats in the classic Lough Neagh dragracer style. Up the road, the Kinturk Cultural Centre There’s a Chinese restaurant, Good (028 8673 6512) is the neighbourhood Fortune (028 8673 7203) open all year, focal point, with bar and restaurant, and 4.30 –“late” and also a quayside pub (028 nearby the restored Coyle’s Cottage is an 8673 6367) where you can get a taxi to eloquent testimony to the life of the eel the famous Tilley Lamp Restaurant (see fishermen in days long ago. entry) at Ardboe. This hospitable place may be three kilometres from the lake, Nine kilometres northward from Battery but it’s the essence of Lough Neagh. Harbour is BALLYRONAN, which is to northwest Lough Neagh as Kinnego is to the southeast – it’s the focal point for recreational boating in the area. The impressive and superbly sheltered marina (028 7941 8399) has expanded to 72 berths, and the harbourside buildings include the attractive Clannad Restaurant (028 7941 8099). Within a very few minutes walk, Ballyronan itself is a real country village with three pubs, the nearest being The Cove. Heading on from Ballyronan, Lough Neagh enters Toome Bay. The pace quickens. It’s a major sand-dredging area, 24 Lough Neagh & Lower Bann Navigation and the lake seems to gather itself for exit home cooking. And, should the urge to through the Lower Bann. TOOMEBRIDGE shop until you drop come over you while village is becoming accustomed to the fact in Antrim, remember that the factory that being by-passed from the main road outlet shopping centre Junction One, benefits community life, with the which offers huge discounts off designer renovated O’Neill Arms (028 7965 0202) and international brands, is virtually in the settling in as a focal point for the area. town – and with a choice of restaurants and cafés to sustain you. Lough Neagh’s north shore is in County Antrim, as is most of the east shore. 4 The Stables Restaurant, Heading eastward from Toome Bay, there Castle Street, Antrim Town, are fishing portlets hidden along the Co Antrim. coast, and the first proper landing stage is 028 9446 5189 near enough at the mid-point of the north shore, at CRANFIELD BAY. A pleasant spot, with a “summer and weekend” pub beside it, the Cranfield Inn (028 9447 2342). Antrim Bay finds the lake’s shoreline becoming more scenically assertive. The town of ANTRIM is “of the lake, but not on it” – the town centre is about 20 minutes walk from the berthing at the ‘All Antrim’ dines at this bright and mouth of the Six Mile Water, but it’s a spacious two-storey restaurant and bar, pleasant enough outing in fine weather, near the shopping centre – and its taxi up past the immaculately maintained rank. A welcoming, family-friendly place Massereene Golf Club. At the jetty, there with a sprinkling of olde-worlde decor to is the seasonal Loughshore Café (028 give it some character, its reputation for 9446 3966), while the nearest hostelry in quality and value keeps it busy: carvery- town is the hospitable Cova Inn (028 9442 style meals are the big seller here, and 8249) on Bridge Street, with pub grub on portions are renowned for their certain days. Nearby, The Stables generosity. Meals Mon- Sat, 12-9, Sun to Restaurant (see entry right) is conveniently 8; weekday carvery 12-3, Sun 12-6.Amex, located beside the shopping centre, where D MC, V, Switch. you can get a taxi to bring you back to the boat with provisions. The Top of the Heading southwest from Antrim, a Town (028 9442 8146) at 77 Fountain passage of six kilometres brings us to Street is also worth considering – Ballyginiff. There’s a busy sand quay, but if although aptly named (up through the a berth can be found, McKenna’s Pub town centre, beyond a mini-roundabout), (028 9442 2229) is just across the little this classic Ulster pub/restaurant might not shore road, a characterful place where seem too long walk a walk in fine wildfowlers, anglers, fisherfolk and weather, and becomes an attractive sandmen relax after their day’s activities. option if a taxi is brought into the equation – a pleasingly traditional place The 20 kilometres from Ballyginiff towards with darkwood furniture and proper fires, Kinnego offer some of the most it has a well-deserved reputation for good interesting cruising on Lough Neagh, as 25 A Taste of the Waterways the shoreline is well indented south of Lower Bann Navigation Gartree Point with many bays and coves, – Toomebridge to Coleraine and there’s also Ram’s Island to visit. While the Upper Bann is a meandering Lough Neagh has several islands, but most river in its approaches to Lough Neagh, are tiny and inaccessible. Only Coney the Lower Bann seems much more Island in the southwest corner, and Ram’s businesslike as it goes from the lough to Island “offshore” on the east side, provide the Atlantic. There may be a breathing convenient landing and historic monastic space in Lough Beg a couple of kilometres remains. Inshore from Ram’s Island, the north of Toome, but after the extensive aptly named SANDY BAY has busy horizons of Lough Neagh, Lough Beg dredger quays, but it also has proper seems of modest scale, although recreational berthing at Crumlin Marina impressively graced by Church Island with (028 9442 3227). Apart from the sand its distinctive spire. The Bann meanwhile dredging operations, it’s a very rural makes its way to the ocean. setting. The nearest village – Glenavy – is four kilometres up the road, and the Amenities along the Lower Bann have larger Crumlin itself is at seven kilometres. been much improved in recent years, with In Glenavy, McGeown’s (028 9442 2467) new landing stages and mooring jetties, in the heart of the village is a friendly pub together with improved marking and restaurant with 17th century origins, and navigational signage all adding to an attractive bistro menus offering seafood enhanced cruiser experience. The specialities. waterway itself is one of pleasant surprises. Although fairly direct in its For those who prefer to stay close to their route, it is sufficiently winding to provide boat and yet enjoy refreshment ashore, attractive vistas, and the 52 kilometre the convenient spot hereabouts is journey to Coleraine offers many GAWLEY’S GATE in the bay south of Hog convenient stopping places. Park Point. There’s a snug inlet with a landing stage, and right beside it is the PORTGLENONE, 14 kilometres north of Gate Inn (028 9265 1764), which Toome, has a small marina (028 2563 becomes the hub of the neighbourhood at 5900) below the bridge, and there is also weekends and holiday time, the very some berthing at the old town quay complete welcoming package including a beside the Wild Duck Inn (see entry), and restaurant. there’s also a rare fine dining opportunity just a taxi ride away, at Ardtara Country In the final approaches back to Kinnego, House, at Upperlands Lough Neagh’s coastline is attractive, and (see entry). historically interesting too. South of Haggan’s Point, if you leave Morrow’s Point with its private yacht harbour to starboard, the course is into a little bay called Ellis’s Gut. It’s here that in times past the Lagan Navigation & Canal reached Lough Neagh from Belfast. This waterway was closed in 1958, but it can still be traced. 26 Lough Neagh & Lower Bann Navigation 5 The Wild Duck Inn, Eleven kilometres downriver, there’s Portglenone, Co Antrim berthing on the west bank at KILREA 028 2582 1232 above the bridge. Here, the impressive waterside Portneal Lodge (028 2954 1424) is a community venture complete with restaurant to provide a base for many outdoor activities. The short stroll into Kilrea itself will bring you to the Arbutus Restaurant (028 2954 0140), on Bridge Street, also a short walk from the jetty, McLaughlin’s Corner (028) 2954 1129) is an attractive pub on Bann Road, offering an all day à la carte menu. Also in Right beside the old town quay, this Kilrea, on the left as you walk up from the friendly family-run pub offers wholesome jetty, Manor House & Golf (028 fare that will cheer and restore – perfect 29540134) offers food from 11.30 and an for hungry boating folk. Bar menus are evening menu from 5pm. quite extensive, and specialities such as sizzling steak (sirloin with onions, Continuing north, the river is serious mushrooms, and a Diane sauce) feature angling territory. After passing through on the more selective restaurant menu. Movanagher Lock, Vow Jetty is slightly Music Fri & Sat nights. Meals: full menu less than a kilometre further along, on the Mon-Sat 12-9, Sun from 12.30. east bank. A peaceful berth, and through Reservations accepted. MC, V, Switch the woods and up the hill we find the friendly Anglers Rest pub/restaurant (028 6 Ardtara Country House, 2954 0280) in a very rural setting, where Gorteade Road, Upperlands, the talk is of the ways of the wily fish. Maghera, Co Londonderry 028 7964 4490 Through Agivey Bridge, and the 53-berth Drumaheglis Marina (028 2766 6466) is three kilometres further along, on the east bank. It has all facilities, and makes an excellent base for the area. Within easy reach by taxi for gourmet fare is the Brown Trout Country Club & Inn (see entry) to the west. Once home to the Clark linen family, meals are served in the former snooker room, still with Victorian skylight and original hunting frieze, and in the conservatory or bar. The lovely setting, a warm welcome and accomplished cooking of the finest local ingredients should make a meal here a highlight of your holiday. Reservations required. L&D daily in summer,12-2.30 (Sun 12-4) and 6.30-9.30 (Sun to 9)(Sun D 6-7.30, limited menu) Check times off season. Amex, MC, V, Switch. 27 A Taste of the Waterways Lough Neagh & Lower Bann Navigation 7 The Brown Trout Golf & Country Inn, 8 The Water Margin, Coleraine, Agivey Road, Aghadowey, Co Londonderry Co Londonderry 028 7034 2222 028 7086 8209 The O’Haras’ lively family-run country inn An impressive first floor restaurant above is just the spot for a round of golf to the Boat Club, this magnificently located make a change from life afloat, and you’ll Chinese restaurant has fine river views and soon find friends in the convivial bar. all the ingredients for a special meal out. Excellent homecooked food in both bar In addition to the familiar set ‘banquets’ (with barbecue area) and evening and western favourites like aromatic duck restaurant. Traditional music (Sat 9.30pm). and sizzling dishes, the more adventurous Bar meals: 12-9.30 daily (to 10 in diner will find unusual dishes too – all summer). Restaurant: D daily 5-9.30. enhanced by good service from helpful, Amex, D,MC, V, Laser, Switch. smartly dressed staff. L daily, 12.30-2 (Sun 1-9.30), D daily 5-10.30. MC, V, Delta, Continuing downriver, the conclusion of Switch. the inland navigation at the tidal lock at The Cutts south of Coleraine had the historic Salmon Leap pub/restaurant (028 7034 2992) right beside it on the west bank, though it has recently re-located across the Bann and away from a riverside location. However, as a bustling university town, Coleraine has many cosmopolitan dining options including Pizza Pomodoro (028 7034 3222), about 300m from Christie Park Jetty, and - at Coleraine Riverside Park, about 300m from Sommerset Jetty, there’s an Indian restaurant, Indus Valley (028 7035 4242), and Yoko Restaurant & Noodle Bar (028 7032 0100). The Premier Inn (0870 4236490) at Riverside Park also has a restaurant (‘Table, Table’), and a longstanding riverside , and a particular riverside favourite is the Water Margin (see entry). 28 A Taste of the Waterways The Royal Canal 7 8 9 10 6 5 4 1 3 2 The Royal Canal This beautiful canal, at one time virtually The Royal Canal is an endearing waterway. forgotten, has become an environmental There is something exhilarating about the asset. Along its banks and towpath, the continued existence of any part of it in the regeneration of town and country 21st Century, against all the odds. And its interacts with the growing vitality of a planned reopening to run all of the 146 winding waterway which enchants at kilometres from Dublin Port to the every turn. And for the voyager along the northern River Shannon is a lovely idea, a Royal Canal, the convenient hospitality testimony to modern personal dedication, options improve with every year. and the wayward eccentricity of those who built the Royal Canal between 1789 Heading away from the Liffey at the and 1817. beginning of the canal, but still very much in the heart of Dublin, pubs and It’s a long story, well known to waterways shops can be accessed at Binns Bridge. devotees. For contemporary enthusiasts, it And further along at Cross Guns Bridge – means there’s a refreshing waterway 1.5 kilometres after passing beneath the corridor which enlivens Dublin’s north soaring structures of the majestic Gaelic inner city, adds an extra dimension to the Athletic Association Stadium at Croke city’s outer suburbs, brings new interest to Park, where Jurys Croke Park Hotel (01 rural areas of the north midlands, and 871 4444) offers all facilities, and is a introduces people to a little-known part of popular venue for watching the matches the country over to the northwest. on their big screen – there’s a comfortable landing stage just below CROSS GUNS BRIDGE. Right beside it is Porter House North (see entry). It’s a welcome oasis, for this stretch of the canal is thirsty work, with many locks. 29 A Taste of the Waterways 1 Porter House North, railway is not unduly obtrusive. But Cross Guns Bridge, meanwhile, the hum of motorway traffic Glasnevin, Dublin 9 is becoming more evident. And suddenly 01 830 9884 it’s all happening at once. “Intersection” is scarcely the word for it. There’s double lock Number 11, and the Royal Canal and the railway both cross above the motorway, yet go under its associated roundabouts. Then under another bridge or two, then through another double lock (Number 12). And you’re there…..It’s more than an oasis, it’s a sanctuary. You’ve reached CASTLEKNOCK, and beside the welcome berth there’s that fine Originally the Iona Garage, owned by the establishment The Twelfth Lock (see Cahill family (who were also associated entry). One of Ireland’s newer inns, with the aviation industry), this large perhaps, but already part of Royal Canal white building, right at Cross Guns Bridge, folklore. is hard to miss. Although now a trendy pub, some of the original art deco features have survived. Menus offer a 2 The Twelfth Lock, range of popular dishes, including pizzas Castleknock Marina, made in a special pizza oven in an open Castleknock, Dublin 15 kitchen. Wheelchair accessible. Food 01 860 7400 served daily: Mon-Sat, 12-10; Sun 12.30- 10. MC, V. By the time you begin to get hints of countryside up towards Ashtown north of the Phoenix Park, you’ll have made 15 lock transits. But in order to encourage weary crews, they count doubles as singles. Thus at 6 kilometres up from the sea, you’re officially approaching Lock 9, but it’s the fifteenth bit of work. So The heart of this attractive small hotel is a another refreshment stop would be cosmopolitan, light-filled open-plan bar, welcome, and there is a very good one, with a sunny deck overlooking the canal. just three kilometres further along. But it’s Staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful, the most extraordinary three kilometres quickly taking orders from attractive you’ll experience on any Irish canal. menus – warm salads, pastas, home made burgers, wraps and steaks are typical, also There are three more locks, all of them a 12th Lock Stirfry offered in several doubles. And the railway is right variations, including vegetarian; a separate alongside. Back in 1845, the impoverished restaurant serves late week evening meals. Royal Canal was completely bought up by Bar Food: Sun-Thu,12- 9; Fri-Sat 12- railway promoters in order to provide a 8.Wheelchair accessible. Bistro Bar:Wed- convenient route for their proposed Thu 7-11.30, Fri & Sat 7-12.30. Amex, permanent way. The blessing is that the MC,V, L. canal survived at all, and the miracle is the 30 The Royal Canal The early promoters of the Royal Canal Restaurant and in the lounge, for a more may have been slightly eccentric. But informal meal. Lounge/bar food daily, 12- seemingly they also had a sense of 10. Restaurant: Tue-Sat, 6.30-10; Sun 12- humour. For any crew coming up from the 8. Value D 5.30-6.30. Amex, D, MC V, L. sea lock on the Liffey will have worked hard by the time they’re downing a pint MAYNOOTH – eight kilometres and one just ten kilometres along the waterway in lock further west – provides the first the bar of The Twelfth Lock. But after proper canal port. A busy university town, that, for a modern motorcruiser with no Maynooth is a handy place to top up concerns about a towing horse, it’s just a general stores – and there’s a fine off case of swanning along – there isn’t licence, Mill Wine Cellar (01 629 1022), on another lock for 12 kilometres. However, Mill Street. Bars and restaurants within because the canal is merrily following the easy walking distance of the harbour contour line along the valley of the River include Fitzgeralds/The Roost (01 628 Liffey, it tends to be at some distance 9843) on Leinster Street (nearest to the from the hostelries of Lucan. But after 9 harbour) and, just around the corner on kilometres a berth at Cope Bridge will the main street, Kehoe’s Restaurant & provide access to the culinary pleasures of Deli. A good walk or a short taxi ride LEIXLIP just one kilometre down the road, (Maynooth Cabs, 01 628 9999) will take and particularly Becketts Hotel (01 624 you to Carton House Hotel (see entry). 7040), just across the bridge, and the Bradaun Restaurant at Leixlip House (see entry). If you need a taxi for shopping or 4 Carton House Hotel, eating out in the Leixlip/Lucan/Maynooth Maynooth, Co Kildare area, a reliable company is Tony Casserly’s 01 505 2000 Century Cabs (01 601 4411). 3 Bradaun Restaurant, Leixlip House Hotel, Captains Hill, Leixlip 01 624 2268 Once the residence of the Dukes of Leinster, this imposing 1740’s mansion was designed in classic style by the renowned architect Richard Castles, and is set in one of Ireland’s finest country estates - now home to two championship golf courses. Vast yet very elegant, it’s a Up on a height overlooking Leixlip village, stimulating combination of old and new; a this lovely Georgian house has an visit is worthwhile for the overall atmosphere of discreet opulence that experience but, if you choose to dine, contrasts perfectly with the boating life. Good modern Irish cooking is offered both in the elegant, high-ceilinged Bradaun 31 A Taste of the Waterways The Linden Tree is mainly an evening The Long Level continues its stately restaurant (reservations required) and an progress with an aqueduct over the informal option is offered in the Blackwater River, and then, six kilometers Clubhouse, in renovated stables some beyond Enfield, it curves briefly to the distance from the house. Restaurant D north. On this curve is MOYVALLEY daily, 6.30-9.30. L Sun only, 2-5pm. All BRIDGE, and not only will you find the major cards. perfect hostelry at Furey’s Bar (see entry), but – across the motorway bridge and KILCOCK – reached after six kilometres, through grounds up a long driveway – the through two locks – is a charming friendly Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort harbour. The village has several pubs, with (046 955 1009) offers a range of activities O’Keeffe’s/The Green Ribbon (01 628 and pleasant dining options in either the 7225) right on the quay, a neat stonebuilt Waterways Restaurant or the first floor establishment, and it has a Sundial Bar, where large windows restaurant/carvery too. Suitably fortified, overlook the golf course and countryside. you sail through Kilcock’s double lock, and Moyvalley is a place of enchantment for after four kilometres, there’s another canal folk, a rural retreat - yet it’s within double at McLoughlin Bridge – Number easy road reach for Dublin boat-owners. 17, Ferns Lock. It’s not just any old lock, though, this Number 17. For, after Ferns 5 Furey’s Bar, (or Ferrans), you’re on the Long Level, 32 Moyvalley, Co Kildare lock-free kilometres. 046 955 1185 It makes for stylishly effortless cruising. After nine kilometres, you’ve reached ENFIELD (or Innfield). From the harbour, which is quite attractive – the new bypass bridge is part of it, and it has been well done in stone, with generous planting – a path leads through a linear ‘leisure park’ to the town. The first pub/restaurant is the Bridge House (046 954 1127), where the path meets the (still busy) main road, and This charming and immaculately other eating places in the town include maintained establishment has a Flattery’s (046 954 1032), a homely, welcoming bar with cosy sections, one family-run traditional bar and restaurant with a stove and canal views offering the on the main street, and Lees Enfield best of every world. Menus don’t give too Chinese (046 954 9500), which is in much away – soups, sandwiches, steaks, substantial premises at the far end of the burgers, salads – but one of their famous town. If you are prepared for a longer steaks, with ‘all the trimmings’ is just the walk (or to take a taxi) the nearby ticket for folk coming off boats. NB: Johnstown House Hotel (046 954 0000) groups must book ahead. Meals Mon-Sat, offers boutique shopping and leisure 12 -7.30 (last orders). No food on Sun. facilities as well as a choice of dining MC, V, L. options. If you’re in Enfield on a Friday morning and need fresh provisions, head for the farmers’ market at the Community Hall (from 11 o’clock). 32 The Royal Canal Smooth progress continues for another Above Lock 25, first stop on the Summit nine kilometres to HILL OF DOWN. There Level is McNEAD’S BRIDGE, where is a harbour just before the Boyne considerable road re-alignment has taken Aqueduct (four kilometres from Moyvalley) place. In the midst of bridges new and old which gives access along 1.5 kilometres of there’s Mary Lynch’s pub/restaurant (see country road to the village of entry), easily accessed from the canal and LONGWOOD which has amenities, and it long a favourite with boat people can also be reached via an overgrown fortifying themselves for arrival in path from Ribbontail Bridge. But at the Mullingar ten kilometres further on . delightful harbour of Hill of Down, the facilities are right on the canal – a coffee 6 Mary Lynch’s Pub, shop at the attractive boat hire base at MacNead’s Bridge, the north bank, and a pub, shop and post Coralstown, Co Westmeath office at Moran’s (046 954 6202) on the 044 937 4501 other side. The Long Level has nearly run its course, and west of Hill of Down you might well yearn for the shelter of a lock, as it’s open territory here. But then the civilized landscape of Hyde Park takes over the north bank, and comfort is all around when, eight kilometres from Hill of Down, the harbour at THOMASTOWN BRIDGE is reached. This is one of the choice John and Mary Moriarty’s old-world pub a stopping places along the canal and, on short distance east of Mullingar is tucked the quayside, Nannie Quinn’s Pub (044 between the N4 and the Royal Canal, with 937 4814) is a friendly bar and music a grandstand view of the new harbour destination. works from the back of the bar. A blackboard menu offers traditional home- You inevitably slow the pace in progress cooked dishes like soup of the day, fish west, for this is where the Killucan Flight pie, roast of the day and steak begins – eight locks virtually on the trot, sandwiches, and there’s likely to be live to lift us from the Long Level to the 24 music at weekends too. It’s a popular kilometres of the Summit Level. It’s a very destination for locals, and a useful place pleasant area to linger. In addition to the for travellers to know about. Meals from attractions of Thomastown, the hospitable noon Mon-Sat. No food on Sun. No credit facilities of the village of KILLUCAN are cards. just a “country mile” (2.5 kilometres) up the road to the north. Then back on the The canal circles this busy commercial Killucan Flight between Locks 21 and 22, town along the contour line, so much so RIVERSTOWN BRIDGE gives access that the MULLINGAR urban waterways southward to The Hideout/Cunningham’s experience is like being in a boat in a (044 937 4124), a multi-purpose pub/shop moat. There’s a landing stage entering unique even by Irish standards. town at Dublin Road Bridge, while the main canal harbour – and a handsome one at that – is on the north side of town. From there it’s about half a kilometre to the central area, which offers every facility for visitors including a range of good places to eat (see entries). 33 A Taste of the Waterways The Mullingar Park Hotel (044 934 4446) 7 Gallery 29 Café, on the Dublin Road has brought welcome Oliver Plunkett Street, additional facilities and a good reputation Mullingar, Co Westmeath for its restaurant, complementing the 044 934 9449 attractive old town centre Greville Arms Hotel (044 934 8563) which continues to be central to local activities, and the new Annebrook House Hotel (044 935 3300), which is built around a beautiful old house and tucked away off the main street, with the town park on its doorstep and the River Brosna flowing through its grounds. Of the town’s many fine pubs, Canton Casey’s is a place for those who Although now only open three days a appreciate old world bars (at its best at week, Ann & Emily Gray’s smart black- quiet times – it can get very busy), and Fat painted traditionally-fronted premises is a Cats Brasserie (044 934 9969) offers good place for any time, including informal dining upstairs, over the bar; for breakfast and afternoon tea. It’s bright a traditional pub serving reliable and welcoming – and the buzz of an open wholesome fare, head for Con’s Bar (044 kitchen and lovely freshly cooked food on 934 0925) on Dominick Street. The display draws people in. Great bakes informal mid-range Zest Restaurant & Café complement a range of tasty soups, salads (044 933 3816) opened on Oliver Plunkett and hot dishes – and there are freshly Street recently and new restaurants – made dishes to go too. Open Thu- Sat, including several ethnic ones – are 9.30-6. Wine licence. Closed Sun. opening all the time, so it’s worth taking a No credit cards. browse around the town. Lovers of Indian food should check out the long- 8 Ilia A Coffee Experience, established Saagar (044 93 40911), which Oliver Plunkett Street, is near the Dublin Bridge. Mullingar is a Mullingar, Co Westmeath great shopping town too – Ilia Gourmet 044 934 0300 (044 9340300) specialist food store offers many treat there’s a farmers’ market every Sunday (10.30-2.30; probably at Fairgreen, beside Penneys, but venue subject to change) and you can stock up with wonderful Westmeath beef at the renowned butchers Tormey’s (044 934 5433; Harbour Place shopping centre), and with wine and other drinks at Cana (044 934 2742) on Castle Street. Menus at Julie Magan’s delightful 2-storey coffee house/restaurant begin with an extensive breakfast (their Bagel Combo – toasted bagel with crispy bacon, poached egg, topped with melted cheddar & tomato relish ‘just walks out of the door’!), then there’s a moreish all-day menu of creative modern dishes and a great range of drinks including, of course, coffees (Java Republic), any way you like. Takeaway available; ‘Ilia Gourmet’ is across the road; see also ‘Ilia Tapas & More’. Wine licence. Open Mon-Sat, 9-6. Closed Sun. MC, V, L. 34 The Royal Canal 9 Oscars, Oliver Plunkett Street, Westward of Mullingar, the atmosphere of Mullingar, Co Westmeath the Royal Canal changes. The last railway 044 934 4909 line – and one long disused at that – peels away at Ballinea five kilometres out of town. Another five kilometres, and the next lock – Number 26 at the attractive COOLNAHAY HARBOUR in the middle of countryside – is descending. In theory, the River Shannon is beckoning. But the Royal Canal being what it is, it ambles about for very many pleasant kilometres before finally linking up with the Shannon at CLONDRA at the far side of County This smartly painted centrally located Longford. restaurant is extremely popular locally, pleasing people of all ages with its It makes for entertaining cruising, and consistency, lively atmosphere and mix of provides glimpses of some startlingly traditional and contemporary favourites at beautiful scenery. As for ports of call, the reasonable prices. This is beef country, so new mood is sensed at BALLYNACARGY, a section of the menu given over to steaks nine kilometres (and ten locks) beyond should come as no surprise, but there’s Coolnahay. An attractive harbour, and a much else besides and occasional offers neat little township with four pubs, are especially good value. D daily from notably the friendly and cosy Munnelly’s 6pm, L Sun only 12.30-2.15. MC, V, L. (044 937 3288) and Halligan’s (044 937 3306) which is at the front of a 10 Ilia Tapas & More, Dominick Street, remarkable conglomerate, as there’s an Mullingar Co Westmeath excellent Halligan-owned mini-market next Tel: 044 934 5947 door, and the tidy family farm out the back. It’s upwards of eight kilometres – and three locks – to reach ABBEYSHRULE, an entertaining place. It has an aqueduct over the River Inny, which is on its way to nearby Lough Ree, the nearest part of the Shannon. But the Royal Canal says thanks but no thanks, and goes its own sweet way, the long route to Longford. Or so it A sister of the Ilia Gourmet store and Ilia seems. But it’s said the established Grand A Coffee Experience (see entry), this stylish Canal Company opposed any link by the new tapas bar-cum-restaurant proved Royal Canal to Lough Ree. And in any such an instant hit that reservations are case, before the advent of engine power, essential, even early in the evening. a terminus on a lake would have been of Emphatically not a typical standing room limited value. Be that as it may, for anyone only Spanish tapas bar, it’s a fun and in a hurry in Abbeyshrule, there’s a club- relaxing place to dine out with family or run airfield (044 57459). And there are friends, the food is carefully sourced and two pubs. Rooney’s (044 935 7886) which tasty dishes are cooked with flair and opens in the evenings, and The Rustic Inn served efficiently – and, once you get the (044 935 7742) where Ted and Betty hang of how the menu works, it’s good McGoey are the heart of the village. The value too: no wonder it’s always full. welcome is warm, they do soup and D Mon-Sat 6-10; MC, V, Laser. sandwiches all day, there’s an evening menu, and daytime groups can book ahead. 35 A Taste of the Waterways The Royal Canal A road culvert at Abbeyshrule prevents For many decades, the idea that the Royal direct westward progress, but much of the Canal beyond Keenagh could be restored Royal Canal beyond has had resuscitated seemed very unlikely. Bridges water in it for some time, and “new” had been levelled, and water was absent. ports beckon. Hidden in the countryside But it’s happening. Soon, the old link to north of the canal, the villages of Longford town will be in focus, and the Tagshinny and Barry both have pubs – pleasant village of Killashee on the main Tagshinny is the nearer. The township of line will be shaping up to become a port Ballymahon in County Longford may of call. Beyond it, the Shannon link – likewise be a country mile – this time RICHMOND HARBOUR at Clondra (or south – from Ballybrannigan Harbour. But Cloondara) – has never gone out of it rewards the effort – BALLYMAHON is a business. It’s a wonderful place, a fine place with maybe a dozen pubs, the miniature port complete with its own dry pace-setter being Skelly’s (090 643 2105) dock. And a couple of pubs. The with its marvellous walk-in fireplace, and a Richmond Inn (043 26126) is right on the breakfast menu which extends into the quay, and landlord Des McPartland is a evening. hospitable fund of waterways knowledge. They do soup and sandwiches at lunch, Next stop for sustenance will be FOIGHA while a group booking ahead can eat BRIDGE, five kilometres on, with the later. An ideal spot to contemplate this crossroads and all country facilities nearby. extraordinary harbour. The Royal Canal Just under ten kilometres beyond may have slipped away from the River Ballybrannigan, the tidy little town of Liffey in Dublin through a hole in the wall. KEENAGH welcomes the restored But it arrives beside the Shannon at waterway. The Royal Canal is less than Clondra in County Longford in one kilometre’s distance at Mosstown considerable style. Harbour, and its revival goes very well with Keenagh’s vibrant sense of community. 36 A Taste of the Waterways Shannon Navigation Mid Shannon Area (MS) 4 2 3 1 Lough Derg Circuit (LD) 7 6 8 9 10 4 5 11 3 12 2 1 Limerick City (L) 1 2 3 4 37 A Taste of the Waterways Shannon Navigation L1 DuCartes at The Hunt Museum, Limerick Old Custom House, A holiday along the inland waterways is, Rutland Street, Limerick by definition, a quiet and relaxing affair 061 312662 where life is lived at a wonderfully slowed- down pace. But the contrasting experience of visiting a lively city can bring an extra dimension to a holiday along the river – so taking a look at Limerick could be just the thing to add spice to a laid- back break. Of great historical interest, Limerick City is also renowned for its rich cultural tradition, with many excellent museums, galleries and theatres to visit – and Ireland’s first purpose-built concert This delightful modern café/restaurant on hall. (Tourist Information Offices have the river side of the Hunt Museum, details of events.) Limerick also offers overlooks the marina, with tables outside great shopping and a wide variety of on the terrace in fine weather. As well as pubs, clubs and, of course, restaurants. In restoring visitors to the museum, it’s a addition to the eating places popular lunchtime venue for locals: expect recommended below, very promising contemporary home-cooked food, based recent newcomers to the city include The on locally sourced, freshly prepared River Bistro (061 400990) on George’s ingredients attractively presented, and you Quay, recently taken over by well-known should not be disappointed. Licensed. chef Diarmuid O’Callaghan, the lovely Hours as for museum: L 12- 3, light Brasserie One at 1 Pery Square (061 refreshments 10-5 (half day Sun). Diners, 402402) which, despite the breezy MC, V, Laser. informality implied by the name, veers towards the fine dining end of the spectrum, and Hampton’s (061 609325) on Henry Street, a large, stylish and reasonably priced basement restaurant- grill next to the Marriott Hotel, which has become an immediate success. More information on restaurants in the city can be found in the Limerick Good Food Circle publication, which is available from tourist offices, and from the Georgina Campbell website Ireland-guide.com. Limerick City is only a short taxi ride from Killaloe, if you prefer to leave your boat there. 38 Shannon Navigation L2 The French Table, L4 Copper & Spice, Steamboat Quay Limerick Cornmarket Row, Limerick 061 609274 061 313 620 Thomas and Deirdre Fialon’s riverside restaurant is a welcome recent arrival in In an interesting area of the city near the the city. Dark wood, crisp white linen and restored Milk Market buildings, lovers of gleaming glassware set the tone for spicy food will enjoy this stylish restaurant Thomas’s good cooking (mainly classic offering an unusual combination of Indian French, with the odd rustic note), and and Thai cuisine. There’s a stronger welcoming staff are quick to make arriving leaning towards authentic Indian food guests feel at home. The all-French wine than Thai, however, with a wide range of list is of special interest – and a lunchtime vegetarian dishes and, unusually, home- roast beef sandwich with sautéed made ethnic Asian desserts. You’ll find a potatoes (€9) has to be the best value different experience from other ethnic meal in town. L Tue-Fri, 12-3; D Tue-Sat, restaurants in the city, and value for 6-10.30. Closed 2 wks Jan & Jul. money too. D Mon-Sat, 5-10.30; value D 5-7. Amex, MC, V, Laser. L3 Moll Darby’s, George’s Quay, Limerick 061 411522 With nautical décor giving it plenty of atmosphere, this comfortable big quayside establishment is family-friendly, offers good food at reasonable prices – and is open on Sunday, when many other restaurants are closed. Head Chef Denis Creegan aims for a good balance on menus offering wholesome Irish dishes alongside international favourites, fresh fish, and breads and desserts that are made in-house. L Mon-Fri 12.30-3; D Mon-Thu 5.30-10 (Fri & Sat to 10.30); Sun 4.30-10. Early D Mon-Sat 5.30-7. Amex, MC, V, Laser. 39 A Taste of the Waterways Lough Derg Circuit LD1 Cherry Tree Restaurant, (clockwise from Killaloe) Killaloe, Co Tipperary LOUGH DERG is a handsome inland sea 061 375688 set in an attractive blend of mountain and hillside, woodland and farm. KILLALOE is where the Shannon becomes more purposeful in its approach to the sea. It doesn’t reach the beginnings of salt water until Ardnascrusha above Limerick, but at KILLALOE between the mountains the great river’s sense of exit is most strongly felt. This quintessential river port is two townships – BALLINA in Tipperary on the east bank, and KILLALOE, with its ancient Discerning diners travel from afar to chef cathedral, across the river to the west in patron Harry McKeown’s fine Clare; here you will find the friendly contemporary riverside restaurant, where Kincora Hall Hotel (061 376000) and accomplished cooking is based on marina, good eating places including carefully sourced seasonal ingredients: characterful Crotty’s bar (see entry) and summer menus showcase organic herbs Elizabeth O’Donnell’s aptly-named, “27 2 and vegetables, the style is admirably Church Street” (061 6228570), a pleasant simple, and specialities include superb restaurant serving ‘modern country’ bistro local sirloin of beef (dry-aged and cut to cooking in a welcoming atmosphere. order) and great salads. Well-behaved However, it’s all known as Killaloe, the children welcome until 7pm (children’s place where boats in from the sea regard menu offered). D Tue-Sat, 6-10; L Sun the inland waterways as truly beginning, only12.30-3). Closed late Jan/early Feb. and the other village (Ballina) you’ll meet Reservations advised. Amex, MC, V, Laser. some real old salts in popular venues like the Lakeside Hotel (061 376122), beside LD2 Crotty’s, Bridge Street, Cherry Tree restaurant (see entry), while Killaloe, Co Clare Liam O’Riain’s (061 376722) is a 061 376965 traditional unspoilt pub. Also on the Ballina side The River Run (061 376805) on Main Street is an interesting combination of bistro, wine bar and gallery (L Tue-Sun, D Tue-Sat) and, a short walk along the river front, Goosers (061 376791) is an attractive pub with an outside seating area, offering both bar and restaurant food (very busy in summer). A weekly farmers market (Sundays, 11-3) is held Between the Passing through tall wrought iron gates on Waters (between the canal and the river) the hilly street which looks down over the opposite the Tourist Information Office; it bridge between Killaloe and Ballina, you makes a colourful outing and offers the walk into a leafy bower with picnic tables, opportunity to stock up with wholesome and then on into the most appealing old- organic fare. fashioned pub interior you’ll see for many a mile. They serve exemplary pints, but it 40 Shannon Navigation is also a very popular dining destination relaxation. Simple, good food at (service is brisk and pleasant) offering affordable prices and long opening hours simple, hearty food - with the provenance make this a useful stop-off for locals and proudly displayed on menus bearing visitors alike - there’s a full bar and a suppliers’ names. D daily, from 5pm (Sun limited wine list available for more formal & bank hols from 4pm). No credit cards. meals. Open for snacks from 10 am. Mon- Sat 10- 2.15 (L from 12 noon), Sun L 12- SCARRIFF - When Limerick became more 4; D Wed- Sat 5.30- 9.30. MC, V, Laser. accessible from the waterways in 2001, Scarriff ceased to be the most westerly MOUNTSHANNON-DROMAAN port on the Shannon inland system, but it WILLIAMSTOWN-WHITEGATE: is still Lough Derg’s most westerly On one of the few south-facing coasts on harbour. It’s a no-nonsense sort of place, any of the main lakes, Mountshannon a little country town atop a hill with a prospers in its sunny position. Dromaan choice of pubs, a focal point at The harbour to the east also offers good Grainey wholefood & crafts shop (061 shelter, while the little port nearby at 921265), and a strong community spirit, Williamstown, although privately run by a seen in activities such as the farmers cruiser company, will make visitors markets and other food-related activities welcome if space is available. From either at weekends, which are a good source of harbour you are within a couple of miles interesting stores for the boat. On the of the village of Whitegate, with its lively square, you will find the Bel Pepper Bistro pubs “the music capital of East Clare”. (see entry) while, nearby at MOUNTSHANNON is an attractive, TUAMGRANEY, Paul and Nuala Kilkenny’s relaxed village with plenty to recommend friendly and attractive stone-built ‘Bar & it. Keane’s pub (061 927214), where Eating House’ Teach Uí Bhrian (061 traditional music sessions are regularly 921249) offers food daily. held, is a good traditional bar, lounge and shop and the Mount Shannon Hotel (061 LD3 Bel Pepper Bistro, 927162) is a very pleasant village hotel The Square, Scarriff, Co Clare with open fires, weekend music and 061 921999 barfood daily. It’s a bit of a climb to this restaurant on the town square, easily spotted by its lively purple and yellow exterior – a promise of a casual cheerfulness that tells the story. It’s a place for a tea and a bun as much as for a main meal, and the newspapers lying around encourage quiet 41 A Taste of the Waterways LD4 An Cupán Caifé Northwards through Lough Derg, Mountshannon Co Clare Cloondavaun Bay Marina on the Galway 061 927 275 shore is a pleasant rural harbour, giving access to the Red Oak Restaurant (see entry right). LD6 Red Oak Restaurant, Clonmoylan, nr Portumna, Co Galway 087 797 4079 Dagmar Hilty's attractive little cottage restaurant is simply decorated and welcoming - ideal for a cup of coffee or a casual lunch (homemade soups, salads, pasta), as well as offering more ambitious set dinners and à la carte menus in the evenings. The wine list includes well chosen house wine by the glass. Children Anne Hilty’s pretty cottage restaurant near welcome (high chair, children's menu). the marina has a loyal following. Printed Free broadband wi/fi. L Fri-Sun only menus offer a range of simple dishes (oak 12.30-3.30 (& Bank Hol Mon) Afternoon smoked salmon, spaghetti bolognese, tea served Fri-Sun, 3.30 -6; D Wed-Sun, 6- apple pie with cream) and, given adequate 10.30. MasterCard, Visa, Laser. notice, you can have virtually anything you like – seafood platters, loin of lamb and LD5 The Snug Café Winebar, fillet of beef – for dinner. Half portions are Mountshannon, Co Clare available at half price too, which many 061 926826 guests appreciate. Ring well ahead to check times and make reservations. Open Tue-Sun 4-9.30/10. MC, V. PORTUMNA: The public harbour is south of the town at the 17th century Castle – which is located in fine parkland and has recently restored gardens – while the hire cruiser base at the other end of the town is beside the bridge, about 3/4 mile’s Returning visitors disappointed by the walk. The Campus garage sells groceries closure of Noel’s popular restaurant will and has a little coffee bar and, just across be pleased to find this stylishly cheerful the bridge, The Ferry Inn (090 974 7139) little place in the same premises. Outside offers food; The Shannon Oaks Hotel (090 the appealing whitewashed building, 974 1777) offers every amenity, including gardens are set up with tables in fine bar and restaurant meals, while, in the weather; inside is comfortable and heart of town, An Caislean pub (090 974 relaxing, with simple menus offering 1559) is noted for traditional music. variations on crostini, and main course choices of pizza (cooked in pairs so, if ordering more than two, it’s best to share and wait for the next delivery), salads and pasta dishes – all well-made and pleasantly served. D Fri & Sat, 6-late; Sun: 2-9. MasterCard, Visa, Laser. 42 Shannon Navigation LD7 Dysons, Patrick Street, LD8 The Derg Inn, Terryglass, Portumna, Co Galway Co Tipperary 067 22037 090 974 2333 About halfway between the public For its log fire on a chilly day and outdoor harbour/Portumna Castle area and the tables in fine weather, The Derg is a Emerald Star marina, near the Post Office, welcome sight after the pleasant walk up John and Heather Dyson’s bright from the harbour. Excellent traditional Irish contemporary two-storey restaurant lies dishes like bacon & cabbage and beef & behind a smart marble frontage, and has a Guinness pie are a speciality, also music in pleasant decked area off the main first- summer (usually Friday & Saturday nights); floor dining area. John takes pride in various styles, traditional on late Sunday sourcing the best of ingredients locally, afternoon. Food daily, 11-10; off season with an emphasis on organic foods and from 5pm, includes game in season. fish brought in daily from Galway; Amex, MC, V, Laser. sophisticated cooking may include some dishes with traditional influences. D Wed- At the tidy village of BALLINDERRY – 2 Sat 5-9.30, Sun 1-7. MC, V, Laser. miles from Kilgarvan harbour, home to Brocka-on-the-Water (see entry) – Hogan’s TERRYGLASS-KILGARVAN-COOLBAWN: Bar (067 22022) has live music and is a The Tipperary shoreline of Lough Derg is fine example of an Irish country pub. notably prosperous and journeys inland can be rewarding. At TERRYGLASS village (half a kilometre from the harbour), you’ll find The Derg Inn (see right), and Paddy’s Bar (067 22147) serves a fine pint as well as good food, and has music Wed-Sun in summer (Saturdays off season). 43 A Taste of the Waterways LD9 Brocka-on-the-Water, restaurant are open to non-resident Kilgarvan Quay, Co Tipperary boating guests by reservation - cruisers 067 22038 may call free of charge for meals, although overnight berthing is about €45. D Tue-Sat, 7-9; not suitable for children after 7pm. Reservations essential. Amex, MC, V, Laser. DROMINEER: One of the Shannon’s most- visited places, popular with cruisers, anglers and sailing folk alike. Many regulars head straight for The Whiskey Still (see entry). Hens clucking around a well-stocked garden bode well for your dinner at LD11 The Whiskey Still, Anthony and Anne Gernon’s almost- Dromineer, Co Tipperary waterside restaurant. Although the family 067 24129 home, it’s very much a “proper restaurant”, with an airy high-ceilinged conservatory, open fire, comfy chairs, and aperitifs served in generous wine glasses. Seasonal menus offer specialities like deep-fried Cooleeney cheese (made nearby) with home-made chutney, and Gaelic steak with home-grown vegetables. Delicious. D Tue & Thu-Sat, 7-10. Closed Sun, Mon, Wed. Reservations strongly This characterful bar is an attractive old advised. Wheelchair accessible. No credit place just up from the harbour, with a cards. stove in the bar on cold days and wholesome fare on offer – well-presented, COOLBAWN QUAY: this is an attractive tasty and served in a relaxed and friendly marina village development with berthing atmosphere. For fine weather, there’s a and club facilities (see entry). timber deck facing the water – just the spot for outdoor dining on long summer LD10 Coolbawn Quay, evenings. Food all year: Mon- Fri 5.30- Nr. Nenagh, Co Tipperary 9.30, Sat & Sun 12.30-9.30 (Sun bookings 067 28158 only). Summer (May-Sep) 12.30-9.30 daily (Sun bookings only) MC, V, Laser. GARRYKENNEDY: A port of two harbours and two pubs. The older harbour at the castle used to shelter Guinness barges as they voyaged from Dublin towards Limerick via the Grand Canal, the Shannon and Lough Derg. The older pub at this delightful place is Ciss Ryan’s (067 23364; Quiet, restful and very beautiful, this garden), and the thatched one (which may private marina and unusual small resort seem older than it is) is Larkins (see entry). and spa is modelled on the lines of a 19th century Irish village. A cosy bar and 44 Shannon Navigation LD12 Larkins, SHANNON HARBOUR: Some day this Garrykennedy, Co Tipperary historic spot, where the Grand Canal 067 23232 meets the lordly Shannon, will be fully restored. Meanwhile, although it once slumbered there are new signs of life: the charming and hospitable Harbour Master House B&B (057 915 1532) is an attractive period house beside the harbour (well signed; a handy place to stay while renovating old boats – with which this harbour abounds); nearby, you will find the Harbour Bar, and McIntyre’s (057 915 1493), a classic inland waterways pub run You can’t miss this pretty white cottage by Dermot & Shirley McIntyre, with a little pub with its cheerful red paintwork. grocery, and music in summer. Daytime bar menus may be a little predictable (and hearty country portions BALLINASLOE: The re-establishment of a are to be expected), but things gear up for waterways link westward to this market dinner, when you can look forward to town in County Galway added an extra dishes like honey roast duckling and great dimension to cruising in this area. The steaks – with cheerful, friendly service. marina is beside the town centre, where Music at weekends and every Wed in there’s a handy supermarket, and summer (with Irish dancing). Food wholesome food is to be found at the 10.30am-9.30pm daily (Sun 12.30-9.30). surprisingly named Kariba’s Restaurant MC, V, Laser. (090 964 4830) on Society Street, which is deservedly popular for its good value, with Mid-Shannon Area daytime food (Mon-Sat) and evening BANAGHER: From Portumna, the route meals (Thu-Sat), available all year round. northward is through a watery and sacred The new Carlton Shearwater Hotel is at land, at its best around Meelick where the Marina Point – which, despite the name, is ancient chapel merits a visit. After the in the town centre; in line with other wide open spaces, Banagher has much to Carlton Hotels, it offers good facilities. offer the visitor and, for those who seek Ballinasloe Farmers Market is held every the 'real Ireland' this is an interesting little Friday, 10am-3pm (Croffy Centre, Main town. Pat and Della Horan's small family- Street). run Brosna Lodge Hotel (057 915 1350) provides the genuine experience, offering SHANNONBRIDGE: There are ancient river good food and genuine hospitality. Good crossings in this area, where eskers from food is also offered at Flynn's Bar and the ice age run east and west across the Restaurant (057 915 1312) where the cosy north-south line of the river. The bridge at bar has an open fire, and at Heidi's Coffee Shannonbridge is one of the most Shop (087 956 2680) - renowned for impressive of all, and at Killeen’s generous helpings of wholesome food wonderful pub (aka The Village Tavern, and good value. And, of course, there is 090 967 4112) weary travellers can be J.J. Hough’s (0509 51893), a characterful restored – the house special is hot rum pub renowned for traditional music and and chocolate! – and there’s music too. craic. Next door another pub, The Bog Oak (090 967 4224), is also a favourite with boat folk. 45 A Taste of the Waterways MS1 The Old Fort, Shannonbridge, (090 647 4848) pub and its restaurant Co Roscommon Hatter’s Lane Bistro (090 647 3077), 090 967 4973 which is around the corner or down the stairs through the pub, depending on where you start off. The town is gaining a reputation for good ethnic restaurants too: lovers of spicy foods should check out Kin Khao Thai Restaurant (Tel 090 649 8805) in Abbey Lane, where you will find some of the country’s finest Thai food and hospitality, and Al Mezza (090 649 8765), formerly of Jamestown Co Leitrim, nearby on Bastion Street. Also nearby, on the On the Roscommon side of the bridge quayside near the Norman castle, don’t linking Offaly and Roscommon, Fergal miss one of Ireland’s best-loved pubs, Moran’s impressive, lovingly restored Sean’s Bar (090 649 2358), for real Napoleonic fort is a fascinating place in atmosphere: all owners since 1630 are on which to enjoy a meal. There’s a record, and they serve an excellent pint. welcoming open fire and comfy seating in Hotels include the famous Prince of Wales the large brick-floored reception/bar area Hotel (090 647 7246), thriving once again and, upstairs, interesting, well-cooked in the centre of the town after a complete meals are served in a pair of candle-lit re-build, a recent arrival is the Sheraton dining rooms with modern table settings Athlone Hotel (090 645 1000), adjoining and crisp white napkins. Early dinner the new shopping centre, and, just out of menus offer great value. D Wed-Sat, 5- town on the Roscommon side, is the 9.30 (also Sun in summer, 5-8); L Sun (very) large and beautifully located only, 12.30-3. MC, V, Laser. waterside Hodson Bay Hotel (see entry, Lough Ree Circuit). CLONMACNOIS: A place to linger and reflect. Every monument and every ruin at MS2 The Olive Grove, Custume Pier, the riverside site of this ancient monastic Athlone, Co Westmeath city is eloquent of a sacred and intensely 090 647 6946 spiritual past which continues to speak to the present. For bodily sustenance, there’s a good coffee shop in summer. ATHLONE: This bustling, youthful centre town of Ireland has urban vitality and an ever-increasing awareness of the river’s significance – and, although other towns along the mighty Shannon will no doubt be keen to mount a challenge, it is seen by many as the culinary capital of the Garry Hughes and Gael Bradbury’s inland waterways, with a cluster of great spanking new waterfront premises eating places (see a selection below) in overlooks the castle and, with windows the town and surrounding area. Too many, all along the riverside, it may well have in fact, to mention here, but they include the best location of any restaurant on the the entertaining pub and informal Shannon. Spacious and chic, a major restaurant mix of Gertie Browne’s feature is the riverside deck (partially 46 Shannon Navigation covered by an awning, although MS4 The Left Bank Bistro, sometimes closed due to bad weather). Bastion Street, International menus may include exotics Athlone, Co Westmeath (fillet of antelope...), food is stylishly 090 649 4446 presented, and the friendly staff and long opening hours make this place especially worth knowing about. Children welcome. Free Wifi. Open from noon daily; Amex, MC, V, Laser. MS3 Radisson SAS Hotel, Athlone, Co Westmeath 090 644 2600 Although not visible from the river, Annie McNamara and Mary McCullough’s smashing contemporary restaurant is close to the west bank. Bare tables and paper napkins convey the laid back style that suits their lively multicultural food: delicious fish and vegetarian specials are on a board, and more-ish desserts overlap into the light ‘between-meal’ menus. Magnificently located in the heart of the Open Tue-Sat, L12-5 & D 5.30-9.30. town, this riverside hotel has style: an Closed Sun & Mon, Good Friday/Easter expansive foyer leads into an informal split weekend; Amex, MC, V, L. level restaurant – and opens out onto a huge riverside deck overlooking the marina. The usual Radisson attributes of contemporary chic at an accessible price apply, plus lively modern food, imaginative use of a great location and easy accessibility to shops and other facilities. Children welcome. Meals available all day. Amex, D,MC, V, Laser. 47 A Taste of the Waterways Shannon Navigation Lough Key/Lough Allen (LKA) 3 Drumshanbo Knockvicar 2 1 Upper Shannon Area (US) 5 6 7 8 9 4 3 1 2 Lough Ree Circuit (LR) 2 3 4 1 5 48 Shannon Navigation Lough Ree Circuit LR2 The Yew Tree, (clockwise from Athlone) Lecarrow Co Roscommon 090 666 1255 LOUGH REE: Lough Ree’s gentle shoreline gives it a different character to Lough Derg – some sailing enthusiasts would suggest that it provides steadier breezes for their sport. Its sailing history goes back to 1770 and beyond, much older than Lough Derg’s official date of 1835. HODSON’S BAY: The Hodson Bay Hotel (see entry) fronts onto a public harbour on Lough Ree and is adjacent to Athlone Golf Just a short walk up from the attractive Club. little harbour, Gerald and Sarah Aherne’s smartly presented restaurant is a welcome LR1 The Hodson Bay Hotel, newcomer to Lecarrow. Open from Hodson’s Bay, Co Roscommon lunchtime onwards, it’s a friendly and 090 644 2000 welcoming place, offering generous portions on a short à la carte lunch menu during the afternoon – good soups and salads, traditional Irish stew, perhaps – with more elaborate dishes in the evening. L&D daily 12.30-5 (Sun from 1pm) & 6-9 (Sun to 8pm). Children’s menu (to 6pm). MC, V, Laser. KILLINURE POINT: An easy stroll from Peter Quigley’s marina on the east shore Strategically located to serve the west and brings you to the Killinure Chalets among the east of Ireland, and the lake too, with the trees, where the Irish-German Fishing considerable style, this large hotel has Club (090 648 5155) is renowned for its excellent leisure facilities. Bar food is wholesome food. standard fare, but there’s a choice of dining options, including the GLASSON-BALLYKEERAN: The contemporary Octagon restaurant, with exceptionally pleasant southeast corner of lake view, and – although the tables are Lough Ree has many inlets and sheltered tightly packed together in this large places. It’s a choice area, reflecting a restaurant – recent visits suggest that discerning quality of life – and the nearest visitors should be pleasantly surprised with part of the Shannon Navigation to Dublin. both the service and the high standard of Being popular with boat owners from the food in L’Escale (reservations required). capital, berthing can be very limited, Amex, D, MC, V, Laser. particularly at weekends. However, the Glasson Golf Hotel (see entry) welcomes LECARROW: Hidden on Lough Ree’s visitors to its marina, and there is also a western shore, a little canal leads to the commercial marina at Ballykeeran. sheltered harbour of Lecarrow; Coffey’s Grogan’s Pub (090 648 5158), in Glasson pub (090 666 1118) is the sailors’ haven. village (Goldsmith’s “village of the roses”) was established in 1750 and retains its old-world charm; informal food is available at the back in ‘Nannie Murph’s’. 49 A Taste of the Waterways LR3 Glasson Hotel & Golf Club, LR5 Wineport Lodge, Glasson, Co Westmeath, Glasson, Co Westmeath, 090 648 5120 090 648 5466 Beautifully situated overlooking Lough Ree Berthing is available for guests dining at and its own harbour – where visiting Ray Byrne and Jane English’s luxurious cruisers coming to the hotel may berth – lakeside hotel (limited space, so phone the original building (now the clubhouse) ahead). The chic contemporary restaurant was once the Reid family’s home. Non- and stunning view make a great setting resident are made very welcome in the for Chef Cathal Moran’s modern seasonal Lakeview Café & Bar and Lakeside menus, which feature the best local Restaurant (and on the golf course), but ingredients including Irish Angus beef, taxis to Glasson village are also willingly game in season and home-grown herbs; arranged. Food all day. B’fast: 8-11; Bar local suppliers are named on menus, Menu 12-10; D (Restaurant) 6.30-9.30. which is both interesting and reassuring. Amex, D,MC, V, Laser. Reservations strongly advised. D daily 6-10, L Sun only 3-5. Amex, D, MC, V, Laser. LR4 Glasson Village Restaurant, Glasson, Athlone Co Westmeath, Upper Shannon Area 090 648 5001 LANESBOROUGH: With its peat-fired power station, Lanesborough is a workaday sort of place. It is possible to pass straight through from Lough Ree and all the way up the Shannon to Tarmonbarry before a lock makes for a mandatory stop, so Lanesborough is not a major port, though its little harbour invites a visit – and a newer harbour is now available on the west shore, with a couple of pubs nearby. In the river there’s a Chef-proprietor Michael Brooks opened in private marina, on the west bank. this attractive stone building in 1986, making him the area’s culinary pioneer. TARMONBARRY: The main highway from There’s a real country atmosphere, with Mayo crosses the Shannon here, so the old pine furniture and a conservatory pubs of Tarmonbarry (see Keenans and which is particularly pleasant for Sunday The Purple Onion below) are well lunch. Michael’s cooking is seasonal, accustomed to restoring the weary imaginative and fairly traditional; fresh fish traveller, whether by river or road. features strongly, including shellfish in season and freshwater fish like Lough Ree eel. D Tue- Sat 6- 9.30; L Sun only, 12.30- 2.2.30. Early D midweek (good value). Amex, MC, V, L. 50 Shannon Navigation US1 Keenans, Tarmonbarry, ROOSKEY: Mooring facilities are available Co Roscommon, between the Lock at Rooskey and the 043 26052 lifting bridge at the centre of the village. The Shannon Key West Hotel (071 963 8800) has good facilities; bar food is available all day. DROMOD: A proper little harbour, and a neat village too: Cox’s (071 963 8234) gable wall says it all. US3 The Brandywell, Dromod, A favourite watering hole for river folk, this Co Leitrim, well-run bar and restaurant beside the 071 963 8153 bridge serves informal meals all day; bar specials might include fish casserole or bacon & cabbage at lunch, half roast duckling for dinner, perhaps (and the steak sandwich is not to be missed) The separate restaurant is now in a bright new room on the waterside corner of the building, but the hospitality is thankfully unchanged: good wholesome food and cheerful, efficient service keep happy customers coming back. Food daily:12.30-8.30. L The McGuinness family’s large pub with 12.30- 2.30; D 6.30-8.30. Restaurant accommodation has a relaxed atmosphere closed D Sun. Closed Good Fri. Amex, and a reputation for hearty, wholesome MC,V, Laser. food for hungry travellers – and daily specials are marked up on the blackboard. US2 The Purple Onion, Wheelchair accessible. Food all day Tarmonbarry, Co Roscommon (reservations advised for evening meals 043 59919 and Sunday lunch). Amex, MC, V, Laser. CARNADOE WATERS: Enchanting waterways, pleasantly remote. Down towards Strokestown – also worth visiting – the nearest landing is at Grange, where facilities are anticipated at the Silver Eel Pub (071 963 3299). JAMESTOWN AND DRUMSNA: Drumsna This unusual art gallery-cum-pub/restaurant has Duignan’s (071 962 4703) as its has an olde world feeling with dark wood social centre, while Jamestown has its and bric-à-brac, and good original famous “semi-detached pubs” and a good paintings adding interest and charm. It can restaurant, The Cottage (see below). get very busy in the evening but, even if Cruising folk, enjoying the traffic-free you have to read while standing, menus peace that by-passes have brought, can offer an impressive choice for a small savour all of these. restaurant, and may include some unusual dishes like wild boar sausage alongside popular choices like sirloin and T-bone steaks – also organic food including salmon and chicken. D Tue-Sun, 5.30-9.30p (Sun 4.30-7.30) L Sun only, 12.30-3.30. MC, V, Laser 51 A Taste of the Waterways US4 The Cottage Restaurant, US5 The Oarsman, Bridge Street, Jamestown, Co Leitrim, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, 071 962 5933 071 962 1733 Formerly a well-known Lebanese The winner of the GCGuides/Waterways restaurant (Al Mezza – now relocated to Ireland inaugural Taste of the Waterways Athlone), new proprietor chef, Shamzuri Award, the Maher family’s pub is Mohd Hanifa, offers pleasing modern outstanding in every way: spick-and-span, European and Asian food at this cheerful welcoming and efficiently run, even at the white-washed restaurant on the edge of busiest times, it is just the kind of place the pretty village of Jamestown; from the visitors hope to find. A cosy fire and quay, it’s a pleasant half mile walk comfortable seating maximize enjoyment through the village – pavement all the of the excellent meals produced by a way and past two particularly enticing strong kitchen team, and there’s a pubs. Reservations are not essential, but sheltered beer garden at the back, which this is an understandably popular little makes a nice spot for a sunny day. restaurant and it can be very busy, Bar meals Tue-Sat 12-8 (L12-3; D5-8); especially at weekends. L&D daily 12-4 restaurant D Thu-Sat 6.45-9.15) Amex, &6.45-10. MC, V, Laser. MC, V, Laser. CARRICK-ON-SHANNON: The busy capital US6 Vittos Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar, of the north Shannon is cosmopolitan in Market Yard Centre, its outlook, with a growing range of Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim restaurants and some fascinating shops: 071 0962 7000 the Market House Centre is a good browsing spot and it's right at the heart of this vibrant town, and the hub of local activities including Farmers Markets (Thursdays), Crafts Markets (Saturdays), and many special events. Lovers of spicy food will find a good Indian restaurant, Shamrat (071 965 0934), on Bridge Street and, just beside the bridge, at Cryan's Bar (071-962 0409) you’ll find music - the restaurant, known for steaks, has moved This attractive stone-built restaurant is a into their new hotel alongside. The two friendly place offering an extensive menu main hotels – the Bush Hotel (071 962 of pizza, pasta, salads and chargrilled steaks, chicken dishes, burgers and more 0014), much loved for its friendliness and traditional Irish dishes - all freshly prepared warmth (with comfortingly traditional in-house and cooked to order - plus a full food and delightfully courteous service in bar. Very family friendly, and - useful to the restaurant), and The Landmark Hotel know on a cruising holiday - all menu (see entry), provide for traditional and items are also available to take away. international tastes, respectively. New Outdoor seating in summer; toilets moorings with 28 berths are available wheelchair accessible. D Tue-Sat, 5.30-9, opposite the Landmark Hotel in Carrick. all day Sun 12.30-8.30 MC, V, Laser. 52 Shannon Navigation US7 Victoria Hall, US9 Ciúin House, Hartley, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim 071 962 0320 071 967 1488 This stylish contemporary restaurant is in Although it means a walk from the centre an imaginatively restored and converted of Carrick-on-Shannon (take a left at the almost-waterside Victorian building, Leitrim Observer offices), this purpose built beside the Rowing Club. Bright, colourful guesthouse is well worth knowing about and classy, it has great appeal, and the for its restaurant as well as for excellent, first floor dining space is especially quietly-located all-year accommodation. attractive. The wide range of broadly Suppliers are credited on interesting Asian dishes offered translates into meals menus that may include some Asian that are well-executed and served by dishes alongside more traditional seasonal smart, attentive staff. Long opening hours fare; cooking and food presentation are and good value make this a useful place both exemplary, and matched by attentive to know about. Open daily, 12.30-10. service and good value. Open for MC,V, Laser. breakfast, lunch and dinner. MC, V, Laser. US8 Landmark Hotel, Dublin Road Carrick-on-Shannon Co Leitrim 071 962 2222 Informal daytime meals at this almost- riverside hotel are offered in Aromas Café – and the balcony dining area (formerly Ferraris) is now the Boardwalk Café, named after the new boardwalk across the road. But it is the fine dining restaurant, CJ’s, that has earned a following with discerning diners - who enjoy the setting, the welcoming ambience, comfortable surrounds, stylish cooking and professional service – with all the extra little touches that add a sense of occasion. CJs, D Mon-Sat 6-10. Aromas Café, 9-5; bar food served daily. Amex, MC, V, L. 53 A Taste of the Waterways Shannon Navigation Lough Key/Lough Allen Circuit LKA1 Cootehall Bridge Restaurant & Coffee House, There are many waterways and lakes in Cootehall, Co Leitrim, this section of the Navigation, so we take 071 966 7173 Lough Key and Lough Allen together, though they are inland seas, lakes or waterways of very different types. Lough Key is a pretty island-studded sort of place, while Lough Allen is decidedly rugged though handsome, with the iron mountain of Slieve Anierin to the east, and the old coal hills of Arigna to the west. COOTEHALL – a visit to Henry’s (071 966 After many years under the stewardship of 7030) unspoilt old pub is a must. Near the Manfred Khan, this popular restaurant bridge, The Watersplash pub (071 966 changed hands in 2006 and its success 7003) is a friendly place in fourth continues under the current owner Eric generation O’Regan hands – it has a beer Cahill, whose style is rustic French/Italian garden, music on Fridays, and a general food with Irish influences – and menus store too – and Cootehall Bridge based mainly on local and organic Restaurant (see below) has its own produce include some of the old pontoons. favourites like authentic French onion soup. D Thu-Sat, 6-9.30, L Sun only 12.30-5.30. Reservations advised. Call to check opening off-season. MC, V, Laser. 54 Shannon Navigation LKA2 Bruno’s Restaurant, Knockvicar, LOUGH KEY offers many choices. BOYLE near Cootehhall, Boyle, has its own harbour, 800m from the town Co Roscommon, where there are fine music pubs including 071 966 7788 Kate Lavins (071 966 2855), the Abbey Bar (071 966 3333), Clarke’s Restaurant & Bar (071 966 2064) offering traditional fare (lunch and evening meals) and an authentic oriental restaurant, Chinese Delight (071 966 3123). Across the bridge, The Stone House Café (086 155 2620) is a dramatically situated riverside daytime restaurant (Mon-Sat 10- 6), serving wholesome food and good coffee, while Bruno Boe’s attractively located the characterful old Royal Hotel (071 966 contemporary restaurant is equally popular 2016), has a welcoming atmosphere, with local diners and boating visitors. The open fires and a riverside restaurant. In dashing cosmopolitan approach is unusual Lough Key’s southeast corner, The for a rural restaurant: expect an Italian Moorings (071 966 7916) provides welcome, real Italian cooking – and fair berthing, with a restaurant, bar and prices. Service can be slow, but the traditional music in season. appealing overall package keeps everyone coming back. D 6-9.30 L Sun only 1-4. A la carte. Reservations required; advisable to ring and check opening hours, especially off season. Amex, MC,V, Laser. 55 A Taste of the Waterways Shannon Navigation LOUGH ALLEN has only relatively recently LKA3 Ramada Lough Allen Hotel & Spa, joined the Shannon Navigation on a full- Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim, time basis, as it was previously used as the 071 964 0100 reservoir to maintain water supplies to the reaches of the river below and for Ardnascrusha Hydro-electric Station way downriver. Lough Allen Canal is entered at Battlebridge, where Joe Beirne’s (071 962 0802) is a classic country pub – no food, but superb pints, a barbecue area, and traditional music. Shore facilities on Lough Allen are steadily improving, with berthing at Spencer Harbour in the northwest corner, and a summer harbour on the east Although not especially impressive from shore at Cleighran More. But the main the outside, this contemporary hotel focal point continues to be begins to win you over from the moment DRUMSHANBO, which may be most you step into the foyer – a welcoming conveniently reached from Acres Lake on area with appealing modern decor and a the waterway south of the town. A town beckoning glimpse of the lough view. of many pubs, we like the unspoilt Pleasing informal meals are served in the Conway’s Corner House (071 964 1020), high-ceilinged Drumlin Bar, which hedges where you can buy the papers and read weather bets with a deck and an open them in front of the fire. Just outside the fire; dinner is in Rushes Restaurant which, town, the modern Lough Allen Hotel & oddly, does not overlook the lough. Amex, Spa (see below) offers a wide range of D,MC, V, Laser. amenities and there are plans for a small marina beside the hotel. 56 A Taste of the Waterways Shannon-Erne Waterway 4 5 6 3 2 Newtowngore 1 Shannon-Erne Waterway LEITRIM VILLAGE is an attractive little This “modern” waterway is based on the place, although the road traffic seems to line of the old Ballinamore-Ballyconnell race through when you’re at boat speed. Canal, but state-of-the-art hydroelectrically There is a towpath walk, however, and a operated locks and other refinements modern hotel, the waterside Leitrim reflect the investment and planning which Marina Hotel (071 962 33628), which has went into re-connecting the Shannon and the advantage of being away from the the Erne. Lough Scur at the mid-point is road. Pubs include the Leitrim Inn (071 the summit level, so though the Shannon 96 20460), with a reputation for homely runs downstream in a broadly southern traditional food, while The Barge direction, with the Erne it’s the other way. Steakhouse (071 962 0807) is an inviting The nearer you get to the Erne, the more stone bar and restaurant with a convoluted the waterways become, so for welcoming open fire in the characterful convenience, we take Belturbet as being bar; behind it, a large restaurant opens the northeast end of the Shannon Erne onto a garden where there is plenty of Waterway, and detail Upper and Lower seating - steaks are the speciality and they Lough Erne as a circuit. hold barbecues in summer 57 A Taste of the Waterways KILCLARE is a couple of hours cruise up BALLINAMORE’S pubs include The Poor from Carrick-on-Shannon – just a handy Scholar (071 964 5982), which is handy to distance to feel like a coffee and a stretch the quay. Also attractive is the ashore, and the attractive canalside oldfashioned Lawrences (071 964 4037) Lynch’s Bar (071 964 1029) – it’s The and Smyth’s Pub (071 964 4955) across Sheemore from the road – can also the road; they arrange a rota for nightly provide grocery and hardware; not really a music. food place (although snacks are available) but you can relax in the bar, or sit outside 2 Glenview Restaurant, at the back in fine weather and watch the Aughoo Bridge, Ballinamore, boats going by. Co Leitrim 071 964 4157 KESHCARRIGAN has craic aplenty and great music on Thursday evenings at Des Foley’s famous friendly pub Gertie’s (071 964 2252), which also offers ‘all-day breakfast’, while Julianos (see entry) is an informal restaurant. Nearby Canal View House & Restaurant (071 964 2404) is a French-run B&B, with a restaurant and its own pontoons. 1 Julianos Italian Grill, Both locals and holidaymakers enjoy the Keshcarrigan, Co Leitrim restaurant at Teresa Kennedy’s farm 071 964 2698 guesthouse which, unusually, also offers an impressive little agricultural museum (small entrance fee) as well as good food. Guests congregate in the bar before going to formally-laid tables in the large dining room, where traditional 5-course dinners are served – and a piano suggests that parties have been known to happen here. D daily, 6-8.30; reservations advised. L Sun only 1-3; reservations essential. MC, V. About 200m from Gertie’s, this neat café- style restaurant in a new terrace of shops is perfect for boaters in the nearby marina, who can have a pint on their way back to the boat. It’s simply furnished, with an open kitchen, and welcoming staff offer a restaurant menu similar to their take away list (the speciality is pizza), with the addition of a few steak dishes and a stir fry. Everything is freshly made using quality ingredients – there’s even a bowl of freshly grated Parmesan on the table - and a small, but very adequate wine list. Open daily in summer, Mon-Sat 4.30-11, Sun 3-10.30. MC, V, Laser. 58 Shannon-Erne Waterway 3 Swan Island, 4 Pól O’D, Ballyconnell, Newtowngore, Co Cavan Co Cavan 049 4333065 / 087 2605102 049 952 6228 Patrick and Ann Bradley’s delightfully Paul and Geraldine O’Dowd’s cottagey rustic little waterside bar and restaurant restaurant is in two atmospheric olde- has handy berthing – and offers boat hire worlde ground floor rooms and a newer, for those arriving by land. Welcoming staff brighter one upstairs. Paul cooks with flair have a can-do attitude and generous and confidence, and many dishes have fresh-flavoured food has a barbecue become house specialities – a trio of theme, featuring delicious breads, simply seafood with prawn & vermouth sauce, cooked meats and fish, baked potatoes for example. The surroundings are and a seriously good selection of salads relaxing, and matched by reasonable and accompaniments. Open from 11am- prices, and friendly, helpful service under ‘late’ in summer (informal daytime menu; Geraldine’s supervision. Children welcome. evening à la carte); off season, D Tue- Sat Wheelchair accessible. D Wed-Sat 6.30- from 6.30 and Sun L, from 12.30. MC, V, 9.30. Amex, MC, V, Laser. Laser. BELTURBET is a bustling place. On the way BALLYCONNELL is a pretty little town with to town from the cruiser base, the neat many temptations to linger. The Angler’s façade of Flynns bar (049 952 2369) Rest (049 952 6391) bar & restaurant was invites you into a haven for pints, pub recently completely rebuilt, but has grub, and summer barbecues in the beer retained its warmth and hospitality, while garden. Across the main road, Cassidy’s Molly Maguire’s (049 952 6228) is the (049 952 2559) is a gem, a classic Irish place for music. A couple of miles from bar. And that’s all before you cross the the bridge, the huge Slieve Russell Hotel bridge into the main part of town, where (049 952 6444) offers many facilities facilities abound and you’ll find good food including golf. of very different styles at Le Rendezvous and the Seven Horseshoes (see entries), and the old Erne Bistro which is under new management and now known as The Lawn Restaurant & Lounge (049 952 2443). 59 A Taste of the Waterways Shannon-Erne Waterway 5 International Fishing Centre, 7 Le Rendezvous Restaurant, Belturbet, Loughdooley, Co Cavan Main Street, Belturbet, Co Cavan 049 952 2616 049 952 4089 The Neuville family’s International Fishing Christophe Grellier’s small restaurant is Centre has a restaurant which is mainly for friendly and informal and, brings a residents but is also open to non-residents genuine French dining experience to the coming in off the river and, like the rest of town centre. The décor may have been the operation, it is very French. There are been done on a shoestring, but there's pontoons at the bottom of the garden nothing budget about his food - featuring where the menu is displayed – and, when classics of French cooking (boeuf the weather allows, tables are set out on bourguignon, poulet bordelaise, at least the terrace. Reservations advised. Dinner one seafood dish, crème brulée), the 7-9pm daily. Closed Dec-Mar. MC, V. emphasis is firmly on quality (suppliers credited), and generous portions. Good 6 The Seven Horseshoes, choice of wine by the glass too. D Tue- Belturbet, Co Cavan Sun, from 5.30: Tue-Thu to 9.30; Fri & Sat 049 952 2166 to10pm, Sun to 9pm. Early D 5.30-7.30. MC, V, Laser. This town-centre pub with accommodation oozes character, with its unique wattle hurdle ceiling and welcoming open fire. Expect hearty home cooking (in the bar or first floor restaurant) at reasonable prices: steaks, mixed grills and panfried plaice are the order of the day. Just right for appetites fired up by plenty of fresh air. Meals daily: L 1-3 (Sun 1-4), evenings 5 or 6 to 9. Restaurant: D daily, L Sun only (carvery, 1- 4). Reservations advised, especially at weekends. Amex, MC, V, Laser. 60 A Taste of the Waterways DINING ON BOARD Going ashore to eat is always fun, but Add the tagliatelle to a large pan of dining on board is also a major part of any boiling salted water - the bigger the pan boating holiday experience. Modern the better. Give it a stir occasionally to cruisers are equipped with everything prevent sticking. Cook for 8-13 minutes needed to cook a full meal – and, as from boiling - check with the packet excellent ingredients can be bought at instructions, which vary, and do a bite-test every little town along the waterways, to get it just as you like it. memorable meals can be made very easily. Keeping it simple suits the holiday mood, Meanwhile, cut the smoked salmon into so why not try one of these easy dishes – long strips and mix with the basil. Pour it could be the highlight of your holiday! the cream into a pan and bring to the boil, then boil for 1 minute until Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle with thickening; stir in 4 tablespoons of the Parmesan Cream Parmesan and season with pepper. This simple dish is taken from our new Drain the pasta well and toss with the cookbook, “From Tide To Table”, Parmesan cream; finally fold in the published in association with BIM , the smoked salmon and basil mixture until Irish Sea Fisheries Board; www.bim.ie nicely combined. Divide among warmed (€25 from bookshops, or online from shallow bowls or any suitable serving Ireland-guide.com), and is an exception to plates and garnish with the basil to serve. the general rule that you should not add Parmesan to a fish-based pasta dish. Like all simple food, its success depends on using the best ingredients, so buy the best quality smoked salmon you can find, and grate your own cheese freshly. For such an easy dish, this turns out very stylishly. SERVES 4-6 350g/12oz tagliatelle 225g/8oz sliced Irish smoked salmon, preferably organic (eg Clare Island) 4 tbsp torn fresh basil, plus extra to garnish 300ml/1/2 pint double cream 6 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan or hard cheese (eg Gabriel or Desmond, made in West Cork) sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 61 A Taste of the Waterways Irish Stew The meat should be removed from the Like peasant dishes everywhere, there are bone, trimmed well and cut into bite-sized countless versions of the traditional Irish cubes. [For easy removal from the stew, Stew. At its simplest it was made with the bones can be tied loosely in muslin, if (very cheap) neck of lamb, potatoes, available, with the fresh herbs.] onions and, perhaps, carrots; by contrast, Place the meat in a large heavy-based in recent times refined ‘gourmet’ versions pan, and cover with cold water. Add a using more expensive ingredients and little salt and bring to the boil, then drain fancier cooking methods have appeared and rinse the meat. on restaurant menus. Between these Replace the meat in the rinsed pan, extremes, there are many good versions of adding the bones and herbs, if using; add this great classic – which is especially well the onions, seasoning, carrots, leeks and suited to pub food and remains one of the turnip. Cover with water, bring up to the most popular dishes on menus. As you get boil, then reduce the heat and simmer so much flavour for very little trouble (and gently for one hour, occasionally removing the minimum of washing up), it is also any scum that rises to the surface. ideal for cooking on board. In this version, Add the potatoes, bring back up to based on a recipe from Bord Bia (Irish simmering point and continue cooking for Food Board; www.bordbia.ie), several another 25 minutes. For the last 5 more vegetables are included than would minutes, add in the cabbage. When the be usual in the traditional dish - and, for meat and vegetables are cooked, remove convenience, the meat is taken off the the bones and bouquet of herbs. Stir in bone before cooking, although the bones the chopped parsley and a dash of are cooked with the meat and vegetables Worcestershire sauce. Taste, adjust the to give depth of flavour. There is no need seasoning if necessary, and serve in deep to follow the recipe slavishly - the bones bowls, with fresh brown soda bread. are not essential, for example, but the butcher should be able to supply them - and perhaps the muslin too. Serves 4-6 1-11⁄2 kg/2-3lb shoulder of lamb, trimmed & cubed sprig each of parsley & thyme and a bayleaf, tied 3 large onions, chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper 3-4 carrots, chopped into bite-sized pieces 2 or 3 leeks, trimmed, sliced & washed 1 small turnip, chopped into small cubes 4-6 Rooster potatoes, peeled and quartered 1/2 a small green cabbage, trimmed & shredded Finely chopped parsley Dash of Worcestershire Sauce. 62 DINING ON BOARD dash of Tabasco sauce Artisan Sausage & Potato Salad Grill the sausages under a medium grill for A robust main course salad is always 8-10 minutes, turning them occasionally, useful for lunch or a light supper on board until browned on all sides. Slice thinly and in warm weather, and interesting sausages leave to cool. make a good and easily available ingredient . The art of sausage making has Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add the been undergoing something of a revival in halved potatoes and sauté for about 5 Ireland in recent years and, in addition to minutes or until golden brown. Add the a number of small companies that sausages, spring onions and cherry specialise in making a variety of styles and tomatoes and sauté for 3 minutes. Finally sizes of artisan sausages – sometime add all the dressing ingredients and toss including less usual ingredients such as well. Remove from the heat. venison, and rare breed pork – many butchers take pride in their own ranges, Turn the potato mixture and the salad made in-house. Annual sausage-making leaves into a large bowl, and toss to mix. competitions are a great incentive, held in Taste to check seasoning and serve both Northern Ireland and the South. immediately, with some crusty bread. Serves 4-6. 6-8 good-sized artisan sausages 450g/1 lb small new potatoes, just cooked but still firm 1tbsp olive oil 4 spring onions, sliced 6 oz/150g cherry tomatoes, halved 1 (130g) bag Italian or Continental salad leaves, or equivalent lettuce For the dressing: 1 tbsp olive oil 2 tsp white wine vinegar or lemon juice 1 tsp tomato purée 1 tsp clear honey 63 A Taste of the Waterways ‘27 Church Street’, Killaloe, 40 Brindle Beam Tea Rooms, The, Lurgan, 22 ABBEYSHRULE, 35 Brocagh Castle, Brocagh, 24 Acorn, Tullamore, 20 BROCAGH, 24 Al Mezza, Athlone, 46 Brocka-on-the-Water, Kilgarvan Quay, 44 ALLENWOOD, 19 Brosna Lodge Hotel, Banagher, 45 An Cupán Caifé, Mountshannon, 42 Brown Trout Golf & Country Inn, Aghadowey, 28 Anatolia, Tullamore, 20 Bruno’s Restaurant, Knockvicar, 55 Ann Dowling’s, Robertstown, 19 Bush Hotel, The, Carrick-on-Shannon, 52 ANTRIM, 25 Café Merlot (at Blakes), Enniskillen, 12 Arbutus Restaurant, Kilrea, 27 Cahill’s, nr Belmont, 20 ARDBOE, 24 Canal Bank Café, Grand Canal Dublin, 16 Ardhowen Theatre Restaurant, Enniskillen, 11 Canal View House, Keshcarrigan, 58 Ardtara Country House & Restaurant, Canaletto, Grand Canal Dublin, 15 Upperlands, 27 Canton Casey’s/Fat Cats Brasserie, Argory, The, River Blackwater, 23 Mullingar, 34 Asia de Brun Restaurant (formerly Lemongrass), CARLOW, 4 Naas, 18 Carlton Abbey Hotel, Athy, 3 ATHLONE, 46 Carlton Hotel, Belleek, 9 ATHY, 3 Carlton Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe, 45 BAGENALSTOWN, 5 CARNADOE WATERS, 51 BALLINAMORE, 58 CARRICK-ON-SHANNON, 52 BALLINASLOE, 45 Carton House Hotel, Maynooth, 31 BALLINDERRY, 43 Cassidy’s, Belturbet, 59 BALLYCOMMON, 19 CASTLE ARCHDALE, 10 BALLYCONNELL, 59 CASTLEKNOCK, 30 BALLYMAHON, 36 CELBRIDGE, 17 BALLYNACARGY, 35 Charlie Weld’s, Roberstown, 19 BALLYRONAN, 24 Cherry Tree Restaurant, Killaloe, 40 BANAGHER, 45 Circle of Friends, Inistioge, 7 Barge Inn, Grand Canal Dublin, 14 Ciss Ryan’s, Garrykennedy, 44 Barge Steakhouse, The, Leitrim, 57 Ciúin House & Restaurant, Carrick-on-Shannon, 53 Bassett’s at Woodstock, Inistioge, 7 Clannad Restaurant, Ballyronan, 24 BATTERY HARBOUR, 24 Clarke’s Restaurant & Bar, Boyle, 55 Becketts Hotel & Restaurant, Leixlip, 31 Clinton Centre Enniskillen, 11 Bel Pepper Bistro, Scarriff, 41 CLONMACNOIS, 46 BELLANALECK, 8 CLOONDAVAUN BAY MARINA, nr Portumna, 42 Belleek Pottery, 9 Coffey’s pub, Lecarrow, 49 BELLEEK, 9 Con’s Bar, Mullingar, 34 BELMONT, 20 Conway’s Corner House, Drumshanbo, 56 BELTURBET, 59 Coolbawn Quay, nr Nenagh, 44 BLACKWATERTOWN, 23 Cootehall Bridge Restaurant & Coffee House, 54 Blakes of the Hollow, Enniskillen, 12 COOTEHALL, 54 Blanchfield’s Bar, St Mullin’s, 7 Copper & Spice, Limerick, 39 Bluegrass Café, Rathangan, 2 CORCORAN’S BRIDGE, 20 Boats Bistro, Graiguenamanagh, 6 Cottage Restaurant, The, Jamestown, 52 Boland’s Bar, Monasterevin, 3 CRANFIELD BAY, 25 BORRIS, 5 Creans, Vicarstown, 3 BOYLE, 55 CROSS GUNS BRIDGE, Royal Canal Dublin, 29 Bradaun Restaurant, Leixlip House Hotel, 31 Crotty’s, Killaloe, 40 Brasserie One, Limerick, 38 Cryan's, Carrick-on-Shannon, 52 Bretzel Bakery, Grand Canal Dublin, 14 Cuan Mhuire Garden Centre, Athy, 3 Bridge Bar & Grill, nr Grand Canal Dublin, 15 DAINGEAN, 19 Bridge Bar, Rathangan, 2 Derg Inn, The, Terryglass, 43 Bridge House/Purcells, Athy, 3 DERRYLIN, 8 Bridgewater Inn, Sallins, 18 DERRYMACASH, 22 64 2009 Index Dollakis Restaurant, Enniskillen, 12 Hilton Hotel, Grand Canal Dublin, 16 Doyle’s, Graiguenamanagh, 6 Hodson Bay Hotel, 49 DROMINEER, 44 HODSON’S BAY, 49 DROMOD, 51 Hogan’s, Ballinderry, 43 Drumaheglis Marina, 27 Ilia A Coffee Experience, Mullingar, 34 DRUMSHANBO, 56 Ilia Tapas & More, Mullingar, 35 DRUMSNA, 51 Indus Valley, Coleraine, 28 DuCartes at the Hunt Museum, Limerick, 38 INISTIOGE, 7 Duignan’s, Drumsna, 51 International Fishing Centre, Belturbet, 60 Dysons, Portumna, 43 Irish-German Fishing Club, Killinure, 49 East End Restaurant, Clinton Centre, Enniskillen,11 J.J.Hough’s, Banagher, 45 Eden Deli, Edenderry, 19 JAMESTOWN, 51 EDENDERRY, 19 Jamie’s, Tullamore, 20 Ely HQ, Grand Canal Dublin, 14 Jimmy D’s, Bagenalstown, 5 Emigrant, The, Athy, 3 Joe Beirne’s, Battlebridge, 56 ENFIELD, 32 Jolly Sandwich, The, Enniskillen, 11 ENNISKILLEN, 11 Jordan’s Bar, Moy, 23 Erne Palace Chinese Restaurant, Inishclare, 10 Julianos Italian Grill, Keshcarrigan, 58 Ferry Inn, The, Portumna, 42 Jurys Croke Park Hotel, Royal Canal Dublin, 29 Fisherman’s The, Fisherman’s Crossroads, 3 Kariba’s Restaurant, Ballinasloe, 45 Flanagans Mill, Sallins, 17 Keane’s, Mountshannon, 41 Flynn's Bar & Restaurant, Banagher, 45 KEENAGH, 36 Flynns, Belturbet Keenans, Tarmonbarry, 51 Franco’s, Enniskillen, 11 Kelly’s, nr Belmont, 20 French Table, The, Limerick, 39 KESH, 10 Furey’s Bar, Moyvalley, 32 KESHCARRIGAN, 58 Gallery 29 Café, Mullingar, 34 KILCLARE, 58 Gargoyles Café, Athy, 4 KILCOCK, 32 GARRYKENNEDY, 44 Kildare Farmers Market, Naas, 18 GAWLEY’S GATE, 26 KILLALOE, 40 Gertie Browne’s/Hatter’s Lane, Athlone, 46 Killeen’s, Rhode, 19 Gertie’s, Keshcarrigan, 58 Killeen’s, Shannonbridge, 45 Gilmartin’s Irish Creaft Shop, Belleek, 9 KILLINURE POINT, 49 Glasson Hotel & Golf Club, 50 KILLUCAN, 33 Glasson Village Restaurant, 50 Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, 12 GLASSON-BALLYKEERAN, 49 KILREA, 27 Glenview Restaurant, Aughoo Bridge, 58 Kin Khao Thai Restaurant, Athlone, 46 Goosers, Killaloe, 40 Kincora Hall Hotel, Killaloe, 40 GORESBRIDGE, 5 KINNEGO, 22 GRAIGUENAMANAGH, 6 Knockninny Restaurant, Derrylin, 8 Grill & Grape Steakhouse, The, Carlow, 4 L’Italia, Enniskillen, 11 Grogan’s Pub, Glasson, 49 La Péniche, Grand Canal Dublin, 15 Haddington Delicatessen, nr Grand Canal La Piccola Italia, Carlow, 4 Dublin, 14 La Primavera, Naas, 18 Halligan’s, Ballynacargy, 35 Lakeside Hotel, Killaloe, 40 Hampton’s, Limerick, 38 Landmark Hotel, The, Carrick-on-Shannon, 53 Harbour House, Edenderry, 19 LANESBOROUGH, 50 Harbour Office, Kinnego , 22 Larkins, Garrykennedy, 45 HAZELHATCH, 17 Lawn, The, Restaurant & Lounge, Belturbet, 59 Heidi's Coffee Shop, Banagher, 45 LECARROW, 49 Hennessy’s Fine Foods, Carlow, 4 Left Bank Bistro, Athlone, 47 Henry’s, Cootehall, 54 LEIGHLINBRIDGE, 4 Herb Street restaurant, Grand Canal Dublin, 14 Leitrim Inn, The, 57 Hideout,The/Cunningham’s, 33 Leitrim Marina Hotel, 57 HILL OF DOWN, 33 LEITRIM VILLAGE, 57 65 A Taste of the Waterways 2009 Index LEIXLIP, 31 Old Fort, Shannonbridge, 46 Lennox Café, 14 Olive Grove, The, Athlone, 46 LIMERICK, 38 Oscars, Mullingar, 35 LITTLETOWN BRIDGE, 2 OXFORD ISLAND, 22 Locks Restaurant, Grand Canal Dublin, 16 Paddy’s Bar, Terryglass, 43 LONGWOOD, 33 Pizza Pomodoro, Coleraine, 28 Lord Bagenal Hotel, Leighlinbridge, 5 Pól O’D, Ballyconnell, 59 Lough Allen Hotel & Spa, Drumshanbo, 56 POLLAGH, 20 LOUGH ALLEN, 56 PORTADOWN, 23 Lough Erne Golf Resort, Enniskillen, 9 Porter House North, Royal Canal Dublin, 30 Lough Erne Hotel, Kesh, 10 PORTGLENONE, 26 Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Portmór House, Blackwatertown, 23 Oxford Island, 22 Portneal Lodge, Kilrea, 27 LURGAN, 22 PORTOBELLO, nr Grand Canal Dublin, 14 Lusty Beg Island, nr Kesh, 10 PORTUMNA, 42 M. O’Shea, Borris, 5 Purple Onion, The, Tarmonbarry, 51 MacNean Bistro, Blacklion, 11 Radisson SAS Hotel, Athlone, 47 MAGANEY BRIDGE, 4 RANELAGH VILLAGE, nr Grand Canal Dublin, 14 Manor House & Golf, Kilrea, 27 RATHANGAN, 2 Manor House Hotel & Restaurant, Rattlebag Café, Carlow, 4 Killadeas, 11 Rebecca’s, Enniskillen, 11 Mary Lynch’s, McNead’s Bridge, 33 Red Oak Restaurant, Clonmoylan nr Mayfly pub, Kesh Portumna, 42 MAYNOOTH, 31 Rendezvous Restaurant, Le, Belturbet, 60 McEvoy’s/The Hatch, Hazelhatch, 17 Restaurant @ No 6 (at Blakes), Enniskillen, 12 McGrath’s pub, Ballycommon, 19 Restaurant La Serre, Celbridge, 17 McIntyre’s Shannon Harbour, 20 RHODE, 19 McIntyre’s, Shannon Harbour, 45 RICHMOND HARBOUR, 36 McKearney’s Butchers, Moy, 23 Richmond Inn, The, 36 McLaughlins Corner, Kilrea, 27 Riva Restaurant, Grand Canal Dublin, 14 McNEAD’S BRIDGE, 33 River Bistro, The, Limerick, 38 Mespil Hotel, Grand Canal Dublin, 14 River Run, The, Killaoe, 40 Midway Park Hotel, Daingean, 19 RIVERSTOWN BRIDGE, 33 MILLTOWN, 2 ROBERTSTOWN, 18 Mint, nr Grand Canal Dublin, 14 Rooney’s, Ballyshrule, 35 Mirchi, 19 ROOSKEY, 51 Moll Darby’s, Limerick, 39 Royal Hotel, Boyle, 55 MONASTEREVIN, 3 Russell & Donnelly, Enniskillen, 11 Moohans/The Fiddlestone, Belleek, 9 Rustic Inn, The, Abbeyshrule, 35 Moorings, The, Bellanaleck, 8 Ryandale Inn, Moy, 23 Mount Shannon Hotel, 41 SALLINS, 17 MOUNTSHANNON, 41 Salmon Leap, Coleraine, 28 Moy Fayre & Bakery, Moy, 23 SANDY BAY, 26 MOY, 23 SCARRIFF, 41 MOYVALLEY BRIDGE, 32 Scoffs Restaurant, Enniskillen, 11 Moyvalley Hotel & Golf Resort, 32 Seagoe Hotel, Portadown, 23 Mullingar Park Hotel & Restaurant, 34 Sean’s Bar, Athlone, 46 MULLINGAR, 33 Seven Horseshoes, The, Belturbet, 60 Munnelly’s, Ballynacargy, 35 Shamrat, Carrick-on-Shannon, 52 NAAS, 18 SHANNON HARBOUR, 20 Nonna Valentina, Grand Canal Dublin, 16 SHANNON HARBOUR, 45 O’Doherty’s Butchers, Enniskillen, 11 Shannon Key West Hotel, Rooskey, 51 O’Keeffe’s/The Green Ribbon, Kilcock, 32 SHANNONBRIDGE, 45 O’Neill Arms Hotel, Toomebridge, 25 Sheelin Tea Shop, The, Bellanaleck, 9 Oarsman, The, Carrick-on-Shannon, 52 Shisar, Tullamore, 20 66 Silver Eel pub, Grange, 51 Sirocco’s, Tullamore, 20 Skelly’s, Ballymahon, 36 Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell, 59 Snug Café Winebar, Mountshannon, 42 ST MULLINS, 7 Stables Restaurant, Antrim, 25 Step House Hotel, The, Borris, 5 Stone House Café, Boyle, 55 Swan Island, Newtowngore, 59 TARMONBARRY, 50 Taste Deli-Bistro, Enniskillen, 11 Teach Uí Bhrian, Tuamgraney, 41 TERRYGLASS, 43 The Brandywell, Dromod, 51 The Motte Restaurant, Inistioge, 7 The Roost, Maynooth, 31 The Storehouse, Naas, 18 The Thatch, Belleek, 9 The Twelfth Lock, Castleknock Marina, 30 Whether you are visiting Ireland’s Thomas Fletcher, Naas, 18 Inland Waterways by boat or THOMASTOWN BRIDGE, 33 Tilley Lamp Restaurant, Ardboe, 24 enjoying the myriad of activities TOOMEBRIDGE, 25 available along the banks, a range Tormeys butchers, Mullingar, 34 TUAMGRANEY, 41 of publications has been compiled Tullamore Court Hotel, Tullamore, 20 to give you information about the Tullamore Dew Visitor Centre, 20 TULLAMORE, 19 wonderful attractions, activities, Vicarstown Inn, 3 places to eat, heritage and events VICARSTOWN, 3 Victoria Hall, Carrick-on-Shannon, 53 available along the navigations. A Vie de Chateaux, Naas, 18 booklet listing the publications, Vittos Restaurant & Wine Bar, Carrick-on-Shannon, 52 giving details of their contents Water Margin, Coleraine, 28 and a publications order form can Waterside, The, Graiguenamanagh, 6 Watersplash, The, Cootehall, 54 be received by contacting: Whiskey Still, The, Dromineer, 44 Wild Duck Inn, Portglenone, 27 Wineport Lodge, Glasson, 50 Waterways Ireland Marketing & Woodstock Arms, The, Inistioge, 7 Communications Division at: Yellow Door Deli, Bakery & Café, Somerview House, Portadown, 23 Yew Tree Restaurant, The, Lecarrow, 49 Old Dublin Road Yoko Restaurant, Coleraine, 28 Carrick-on-Shannon Zest Restaurant & Café, Mullingar, 34 Co Leitrim Tel no +353 (0)71 965 0787 Fax no +353 0)71 962 2866 Email email@example.com Web www.waterwaysireland.org 67 My Restaurant Recommendations Georgina Campbell Guides and Waterways Ireland would like to invite you to make your own notes on your favourite eating experiences or you can submit your restaurant recommendations and comments to us, and we'll add them to the list to be visited for the next guide. Post or email your comments to: Georgina Campbell Editor, ‘A Taste of the Waterways’, Georgina Campbell Guides Ltd, PO Box 6173 Dublin 13 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web www.ireland-guide.com 68 A Taste of the Waterways About the Authors... Husband and wife team W. M. Nixon and Georgina Campbell have been researching and writing their unique independent annual guides to eating and drinking along Ireland’s inland waterways since 1998. W.M. Nixon first cruised on the waterways in 1957 with a sailing dinghy and a tent, and has since been on all the inland waterways in a wide variety of craft. He is Sailing Correspondent with the Irish Independent, and Contributing Editor to Ireland Afloat, and has written several books in addition to contributing to international maritime journals. Georgina Campbell specialises in Irish food and hospitality and publishes a series of specialist guides, including Ireland's premier hospitality guide, Georgina Campbell's Ireland – the guide (€20 from bookshops or www.ireland-guide.com), which pinpoints all the best places to eat, drink & stay throughout Ireland. Her books on Irish food include "The Best of Irish Breads & Baking", "Irish Country House Cooking" and the recently published seafood cookbook, “From Tide To Table”. She is a member of both the British and the Irish Food Writers Guilds, and a member of the international Slow Food movement. “Copyright: GC Guides Ltd (concept, text, restaurant images), PO Box 6173, Dublin 13 (E:email@example.com W:www.ireland-guide.com). Waterways Ireland copyright this production. Design and print Mitchell Kane Associates.” Georgina Campbell Guides PO Box 6173, Dublin 13 www.ireland-guide.com Waterways Ireland 2 Sligo Road, Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, BT74 7JY Tel: +44 (0) 28 6632 3004 www.waterwaysireland.org - Independently Assessed & Personally Selected - If requested this brochure can be made available in accessible formats DISCLAIMER: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information given here is accurate at the time of going to press. GC Guides and Waterways Ireland are not liable for any errors or changes which may have occurred.
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