Room with a view
When the September sun shines, is there anywhere else better to be than in the foodie capital of Ireland - Cork?

And by Cork I mean the city and the county. This trip though, was just the city.  Possibly one of the best breakfast selections to be had in Ireland, is here, in the River Lee Hotel.
Kicking off with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, yoghurts, homemade muesli, porridge. Delicious preserves, huge selection of breads, pastries, cold meats and cheeses.  Followed by the full Irish and you are set up for the day.

Farmgate Cafe Menu
After a stroll around the city in the autumn sunshine and a spot of window shopping in this bustling city, we were ready for lunch in the Farmgate Cafe upstairs in the English Market.  The menu showcases many of the artisan ingredients available downstairs.

The English Market is acknowledged as one of the best in the British Isles.  It's buzzing with shoppers and gawkers like me.  It's impossible to resist the temptation to get completely carried away.  I bought Toonsbridge Mozarella having sampled some in the cafe at lunch and a big piece of Cork's finest spiced beef as well as a local Chorizo.
Entrance to the English Market

All this food shopping is thirsty work and the craft beers served in Mutton Lane were calling.  Friar Weisse is brewed by the Franciscan Well brewery in Cork city and is just the job to sooth frazzled nerves.  Mutton Lane is a charming, cozy little pub down a medieval lane just off St. Patrick's Street.  It would be very easy to perch on a high stool for the afternoon and work your way along the taps.

A very special dinner celebration was booked later that evening in Fenn's Quay restaurant - as if we hadn't eaten enough fabulous food already.  And with characteristic Cork charm they pulled out all the stops and turned it into a very memorable evening with some pretty slick cooking to boot.

What more can I say about Cork? Only that it is possibly one of the most charming cities I have visited in Ireland.  The people are friendly, helpful and witty.  The food is amazing.  There are some of the best and most progressive artisan food producers in this region and many are showcased in the English Market and in the restaurants and cafes.  Cork is on the Lee but the best way to sample it, is on a fork.