Bantry Market Day
Bantry Travel Blog› entry 5 of 5 › view all entries
Being the first Friday of the month and also the start of spring could only mean one thing �" Fair day in Bantry. A market in the town square and surrounding streets attracting the very best of Irish produce and producers from mainland Europe. Bantry fair is well know and established in Ireland as being one of the best gourmet food markets in Europe.
We arrived in town at 10am and the main square overlooking the seafront was already buzzing with traders and shoppers. There is always a great energy that the fair brings, with many of the locals knowing each other and using the opportunity to catch up with local goings on.
I was really inspired by the fresh food stalls particularly in New Street, heading up past the tourist information office.
Aware that I had to be back to meet Hugo in under an hour, I planned out a meal using some of these super fresh ingredients. To my right I found myself walking past a fish shop with loads of great fresh fish on display. So here's what I decided to do, I got some fresh salmon fillets, freshly cut for me, went back to the market, and picked up some of that fresh hand-made tagliatelle I saw earlier on the pasta stall and also went past the French cheese man to bag some tasty goats cheeses and a couple of baguettes from the 'Stuffed Olives' shop.
The fresh ingredients were great, but I loved that market place interaction with the various traders, they had a great energy for sound customer service, that made you really want to buy from them rather than force selling to you. I really appreciated and enjoyed that.
Once back at the farm house, I gathered some big bits of fire wood and read a book for a while before actually lighting the fire at around 7pm. We had enjoyed some fair weather, however the evening temperature suddenly fell away with the fading light. With the fire started, the real excitement started with cooking with the ingredients purchased earlier. I was cooking for 4 of us and made a white source to go with the fresh pasta and salmon fillets. After dinner, I settled down in the lounge on the couch in front of the log fire chatting with the others.
South-west Ireland is always a place I enjoy returning to. It's charming unspoilt scenery, with a mix of rugged coastline, lush valleys and rolling mountains make for a really dramatic backdrop to what is an incredibly easy-going, chilled-out country. You cant fault the Irish people, warm natured and very welcoming to all who travel there. I am now looking forward to Dublin in June, another Irish city waiting to be explored!!