Valentine’s Day is around the corner and this is the one day of the year you can be corny by spoiling that special someone in your life with shiny, red hearts and lots of chocolate.
But if you or your someone is somewhat of a foodie, this is also the perfect opportunity to try out some of Ireland’s most romantic restaurants. Here are 10 of the Emerald Isle’s romantic restaurants.
Gregans Castle Hotel, Co. Clare
This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday, so it’s the perfect opportunity to go away for the weekend! If the Wild Atlantic Way is your favourite getaway spot, the Gregans Castle Hotel in Ballyvaughan (about 53km south of Galway City) will be the best Valentine’s treat.
If you want to enjoy some fine dining, the team here serves, “creative and modern dishes using fresh, local ingredients like organic Burren lamb and game and fresh Atlantic fish and shellfish.”
It’s also here where you can enjoy an extensive wine list featuring wines from each continent.
And if you just want to go for a pint or a nice cocktail, The Corkscrew Bar is just the place.
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If you want some traditional spoils on Valentine’s Day, Delahunt is the place for you. Here they aim to “provide the best seasonal, local produce in a relaxed and welcoming setting”. In keeping with the building’s Victorian origins, their menus are influenced by “traditional and often overlooked cookery techniques.”
Home curing and smoking, slow-cooked braises, pickles, preserves, and traditional desserts are some of their specialities.
If you don’t want to have a bite, you can always enjoy a drink in The Sitting Room, which runs separately from the restaurant. This part is walk-in only and subject to availability.
Greenes Restaurant, Cork
Want to spoil your Valentine with dinner at an innovative, modern place? Greenes restaurant’s team work,s “in tandem with the best of Cork’s food producers and in other parts of Ireland to create a menu that’s devoted to local, seasonal, foraged and organic ingredients.”
They use traditional food practices, such as pickling and fermenting, together with innovative techniques.
And if you’re just in for a drink, Cask is the place to be. “We run a seasonal cocktail menu, which changes every 12 weeks. The concept is simple; Mother Nature determines which direction our drinks evolve. We forage wild ingredients and use amazing local producers to create a menu we believe is the most original and interesting in this country.”
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The Strawberry Tree, Co. Wicklow
This multi-award winning restaurant is Ireland’s first certified organic restaurant. The cuisine here is matched by the dramatic surroundings. If you’d like to come here for Valentine’s Day, you can either choose the five-course dinner menu or the nine-course tasting menu — both of these showcasing wild and organic foods.
To secure your spot here, it’s best to make a reservation.
Eala Bhán, Sligo Town
After going for a stroll next to the Garavogue River, you can enjoy a lovely, romantic dinner at Eala Bhán restaurant in the heart of Sligo Town. With its cool brasserie bistro feel, you’ll be treated to classic food with a contemporary twist. It offers everything you could want.
The local seafood is hand-selected and prepared to perfection. All of the steak is cooked to your liking, while the produce is organic whenever possible, sourced from local suppliers and direct from local producers.
Piglet Wine Bar, Dublin
If you want to take your Valentine to a small, cosy wine bar, Piglet in the Christchurch end of Temple Bar is the perfect place. “The wine list is a carefully selected mess where natural, biodynamic and organic wines cohabit with the most classic European appellations.”
To eat, you can choose dishes from an “often changing list of dishes that can be mixed, matched and shared in order to suit any kind of appetite”.
Here you can also always find a variety of specials which change daily depending on what ingredients they have.
Knockranny House Hotel, Co. Mayo
If your Valentine’s Day is going to be a Valentine’s weekend this year, the Knockranny House Hotel in Westport is a great spot for a romantic getaway. And you don’t even have to go far to enjoy delicious food.
Whether you’re a guest staying at the hotel, or just want to go for a bite, the hotel’s restaurant La Fougère has impeccable food with fresh fish (caught and landed daily), locally reared beef and lamb with fruit and vegetables grown in Knockranny’s gardens on the menu. “Eating at La Fougère is all about relaxed fine dining, great food chosen from local producers and an interesting wine list.”
If you’re in the mood for some proper Valentine’s spoils, Campagne located in the heart of medieval Kilkenny is perfect! The menu is guided by the seasons and its produce. The restaurant’s inspiration comes form regional France and its cuisine.
It’s also a member of Ireland’s Blue Book, a collection of Irish country houses, historic hotels and restaurants.