Leonie Cornelius.

A wild evening in West Cork

From young buck blue cheese custard to beef tongue to smoked eel to dahlia gel, this definitely wasn’t an average Saturday night for me.

It was all part of a collaborative nine course menu at the Eccles Hotel & Spa specially designed by the incredible Chef Eddie Atwell and well known writer, designer and broadcaster Leonie Cornelius. Guests dove into the wild world of high end and quality ingredients from the native Irish landscape, farms and beautiful gardens.

It was hard to pick out a favourite from the nine dishes from A Taste of Wild at Eccles but my top three were the Beet & Blue, Turf & Lough and Dahlia. The Beet & Blue had young buck blue cheese custard, shallots, garden beetroot, beetroot jam, beetroot puree and seed granola. The Turf & Lough included a rump fillet, beef tongue, smoked eel, lovage emulsion and plantain.

The Dahlia dish had apple jam, aero, dahlia gel, blackberry, yogurt espuma and dahlia crumb.

All the edible flowers used in the dishes came from Bumblebee Flower Farm - such as dahlias which featured a lot on the night.

The evening featured stories and descriptions of how the recipes were created. Eddie and Leonie served mind blowing delicious wild creations and guided the guests through each course. Sharing their personal stories, memories, and associations as they went, the night was a fun and joyful event celebrating the rich bounties of the wild Irish larder.

The stunning tasting menu was served overlooking Glengarriff Bay. Following the evening of culinary delights, guests sauntered up to their rooms with full tummies and spent a peaceful night at the cosy Eccles Hotel.

Thanks to Chef Eddie Attwell’s culinary prowess, Eccles Hotel & Spa has fast established a reputation for its excellent food, with most of the produce on Eddie’s menus picked fresh daily from the hotel garden and polytunnels he has planted, foraged locally or supplied by the best of West Cork’s artisan food and drink suppliers.

Chef Eddie Attwell was recognised as West Cork’s Local Food Hero in 2019 and the hotel’s breakfast was a national winner at Georgina Campbell’s National Breakfast Awards 2020. Prior to joining the Eccles team, among other career highlights, Eddie spent time in the 2* Michelin restaurant L’Enclume in Cumbria and has appeared twice on BBC’s 'The Great British Menu'.

Leonie Cornelius is an award-winning garden designer interior architect and bestselling author who specialises in customised garden and interior designs for companies and brands as well as private clients.

For more information on the four-star Eccles Hotel & Spa, Glengarriff Harbour, Glengarriff visit eccleshotel.com, call 027-63093 or email reservations@eccleshotel.com.

A Taste of Wild at Eccles and an overnight stay was gifted to the journalist.