A relaxing weekend in West Cork

Since lockdown I have barely been out of Cork and the one good thing that has come from all of this, is that I’ve gotten to see places on my own doorstep that I would have pretty much just taken for granted.

Last weekend I stayed in the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery and tried out their new West Cork Gin experience package.

Even though I live a short enough distance away, can you believe that I have never once walked around Rosscarbery town which seems absolutely crazy for a West Cork native. The family-owned hotel is perfectly situated along the Wild Atlantic Way and it’s so relaxing just looking out at Rosscarbery Bay.

We really needed to recharge so we spent most of our time hanging around the hotel and drinking delicious gin cocktails in the cosy library and eating the tastiest food from the Kingfisher Bar and Bistro.

You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating in the Celtic Ross as their menu features ingredients from local producers and I would highly recommend trying their crispy monkfish tikka. It was a personal favourite of mine and I ate it two nights in a row - it was that good.

You can also visit their gourmet food van Craft which now does a fabulous brunch menu.

On Saturday even though the heads were a bit sore from the gin cocktails, we pottered into Clonakilty. Clonakilty is the next town over to me so I’m well familiar with the place, but we decided we would try out some places that we hadn’t been to before and be total tourists.

As part of the hotel package, we had a tour of the Clonakilty Distillery and even though I pass the distillery all the time I didn’t even know you could go on a tour of it.

We spent a lovely afternoon with Paddy giving us a guided tour of the place and he was a fountain of knowledge and great craic.

Even though the distillery is more known for whiskey, they also produce Minke gin which is right up my street and we had a lovely tasting at the end of the tour. I had worked up an appetite after the touring so we headed over to Scannells bar for some lunch.

It would have been somewhere I would have passed before but never thought to go in but what a lovely surprise it was. It has a great traditional pub feel and we were seated by a roaring fire. I haven’t sat in a pub by a fire for so long, I was almost emotional!

I could have stayed there for the day but I think Rob as designated driver would have other plans for the day.

Again, the food was just delicious and for foodies like us, an absolute treat of a weekend to have had such excellent food at every meal. After a weekend of indulging, we took a much needed long stroll down to Rosscarberry pier and even though I had brought my swimming togs with the idea of possibly doing a bit of a swim in the Warren I settled for a dip in the pool in the hotel instead.

As someone who never knows what she wants for Christmas and in place of a physical gift, this whole package would make a lovely gift for someone and would be the perfect rest pre or post the madness of the festive season!