Tastes of the Shannon-Erne Blueway


 

With friendly traditional pubs, excellent restaurants and little hidden gems dotted along the waterfront, the Shannon-Erne Blueway has become a go-to destination for those who have a real love of food. The scene here is thriving, thanks to trailblazing cheese-mongers in the form of Corleggy Cheeses (corleggycheeses.ie), along with restaurants that place a real emphasis on the quality and provenance of their ingredients.

Spanning all budgets, you can dine out on fine food at the Watermill Lodge (watermillrestaurantfermanagh.com) or Neven Maguire's critically acclaimed MacNean House (nevenmaguire.com), just a short journey from the Blueway at Blacklion. Or chill out at more relaxed establishments, with a smattering of places to eat from when you're simply after some super-tasty fish and chips with the kids, or just a place to pick up some picnic treats.

Laid-back loveliness:

Fancy a laid-back pub to enjoy a casual lunch, then The Anglers Rest (theanglersrest.ie) in Ballyconnell, County Cavan, is a real crowd-pleaser, with classic pub grub done to perfection. The small intimate pub space at the front gives way to a larger space at the rear, with sturdy tables, candles and a welcoming atmosphere. The Seven Horseshoes (thesevenhorseshoes.com) in Belturbet is another classic spot that's perfect for lunch on a quiet afternoon, when soft light floods through the windows into the stone-walled space. Bliss.

And don't miss the truly delightful Smyth's Siopa Ol Pub & Restaurant in Leitrim's Ballinamore – take a seat by the fire in this lovely old traditional pub and enjoy a rich, warming bowl of beef stew, and maybe even a pint of Guinness!

Notes for night-time treats:

Busy days on the Shannon-Erne inevitably lead to hungry nights, and you'll find great little local restaurants that are more than happy to cater to your needs. There's a real charm to Tara and Geroid Lynch's Olde Post Inn (theoldepostinn.com) in the genteel village of Cloverhill, County Cavan. Set within the old post office dating from the 1800s, the surroundings are almost as delightful as the food, which is crafted using the finest ingredients from local suppliers.

Drop in during the cooler months to the Barge Restaurant and Steakhouse (barge.ie) in Leitrim Village, and you can enjoy dishes beside the open fire, while in summer the beer garden opens up for relaxed dining alfresco. Pol O'D's (polodrestaurant.com) in Ballyconnell is a local favourite for seasonal dishes and great vegetarian options, while the award-winning Oarsman Bar (theoarsman.com) in Carrick-on-Shannon regularly finds itself on lists of best places to eat in Ireland.

Feeling hungry? Thought you might, so bookmark these little lovelies for your trip to the Shannon-Erne Blueway…

Good for:

Treats to takeaway: Try Dinkin's Bakery (dinkinsbakery.com) in Belturbet where you can pick up great gluten-free cakes and pastries. Perfect for enjoying beside the water on a sunny day, simply pop into your backpack and go.

A great lunch: Pop into the Sweet Geranium Café (facebook.com/sweetgeraniumcafe) in Drumshanbo. It's a great spot for tasty delicious breakfast, brunch and lunch options with organic, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options often on the menu.

Honing your skills: A great way to really engage with the food culture while on the Shannon-Erne is with a cookery course at the Olde Post Inn (theoldepostinn.com). The purpose-built cottage can host 4 people cooking or 15 people theatre-style.

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​BLOGS:
​Five to try: Shannon-Erne Blueway Treats
​A local food hero
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Tastes of the Shannon-Erne Blueway