The Old Presbytery B&B has the most wonderful breakfast. I encourage all of you who are thinking of traveling to Kinsale to stay here. The hosts are very warm people, the rooms are delightful and the breakfast are gourmet. It started with a buffet of fruit, yogurt, muesli, a selection of dried fruits, and a selection of cereals.
The yoghurt was very good, just like the one I had at the Powerscourt gardens. The fruit was fresh, and delicious. They had an unusual cold cereal mix (seen in the picture on the right) of muesli, raisins, grated apple, and yoghurt. All of these were perfectly excellent.
The bread selection was small. There was a white cake with a layer of icing, raisin soda bread, and home made brown bread. The white cake and raisin bread were disgusting, and tasted old and store bought. The homemade brown bread was not as good as the previous ones I had tasted, but still filled with nuts and grains. For my main breakfast I got the traditional Irish Breakfast. It is very similar to an English breakfast, except without the beans, and with mushrooms and black and white ‘pudding’.Everything about this plate was perfectly done. The sausages were soft and meaty, the ham was perfectly cooked, and the mushrooms were exquisite. The egg especially impressed me. As I have said before, I am a bit of an egg snob, and this egg was even better than my fathers (who made eggs professionally for nine years).
I was apprehensive about trying the two puddings. I am not exactly sure what is in the white pudding, but I am positive there is blood in the black one. After about ten minutes of sitting at the table trying to muster up the courage to try the black pudding, I decided I was a coward, and settled on only tasting the white. It tasted nutty, dry and savory with a hint of nutmeg. It wasn’t anything truly special, but it is a traditional Irish staple.
I also was lucky enough to try a bit of the Crab Frittata that was on the menu. It was very good, and had a good amount of crab in it. The only downside was there were bits of shell in it, but this is a common occurrence when the crab is fresh.
TIME TO RELAX
After a lovely breakfast I decided to indulge, and take a soak in the huge tub in my room. Thankfully there was a place to put my after-breakfast cup of tea.
After breakfast, while walking around dingle, I came across a fresh, artisan, family owned chocolate shop. I went in with great expectations, and finally they were met. The chocolate was beautiful, and looked like art. I decided to try a few from the showcase.
All of them were excellent. Probably some of the most high quality chocolate in Ireland. I was surprised when I bit into the truffles, and found that they were filled. All of the truffles I’ve had have been smooth thick chocolate balls infused with various flavors. But these were filled with cream that contained the flavor.
The first was the Vanilla Truffle. I believe that to have something truly delicious, you must first master the simplest type. The Vanilla Truffle had definitely been mastered. The crème inside was very fresh and homemade. It was made with high quality beans which really brought out the rich cream, and chocolate flavor. The Plum Truffle was my favorite. It was unexpected, but the crème had the perfect mixture of creaminess, sweetness, and slight tartness. The Dark Chocolate bite was very good as well. It was probably my least favorite, just because it was so dark. Because of the dark taste I felt that I couldn’t fully appreciate the passion fruit flavor. There was a nice peppery-ness that did play off both the dark chocolate element, and the passion fruit element.
After arriving in Dingle, I figured I was ready to cool down. Contrary to the usual weather in Ireland it is was very hot, with temperatures rising to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. I stopped off at Murphy’s Ice Cream Shop, which was crowded. They make their ice cream fresh, with cream straight from the local Dingle cows. I picked two flavors; Rum Raisin, and Dingle Sea Salt. Both tasted incredible because of the local cream. You can really taste good quality in local things. The Rum Raisin tasted very strongly of alcohol which I didn’t like. But for anyone who does like that, that is the flavor for you. I love the Dingle Sea Salt. When done right, savory and sweet are a lovely pairing, and here the sweet cream was really brought out by the saltiness.
For dinner I decided on trying out some Pub Grub. It was my first ever experience, and I expected greasy sub-par food. I was delightfully surprised when both dishes I tried were flavorful and artfully balanced.I got sausages cooked in Guiness, with gravy and mustard mashed potatoes. Everything about this dish was lovely, especially the potatoes. I have never tried mustard potatoes before, and the tastes really marry well with one another. The sausages were also very good, but in my humble opinion were a tad over cooked. The gravy was not too salty, and tasted smoky and delicious! I also got to try the Fish Pie. It was a very visually appealing dish, and equally appealing to my taste buds. The top was adorned with grated strings of potato which looked beautiful. The filling was very creamy, and not too salty. It contained a diverse assortment of fish which was also refreshing to the palate.
Before going to watch traditional Irish music in a cathedral, I decided to stop once again for a sweet treat/cool-me-down at Murphy’s Ice cream Shop.
This time I spotted a new flavor – Brown Bread. My mind was blown! How was it possible that they could make my absolute favorite thing (good brown bread) into an ice cream flavor!? but it was possible, and I got it. The lady working the counter was very sweet and told me how the store loved to experiment with weird new combinations of flavors, and personally brown bread was her favorite. This time I got Brown Bread (shown above as the top scoop) and Dingle Sea Salt once again. I loved Brown Bread, apparently they simply crush up brown bread, caramelize it in some sugar and butter, and then mix it into the ice cream. It is my all time favorite flavor, I’m gonna have a hard time selling it to the Americans.