Carlingford Oyster Festival
After years of talking about it, I finally made it to this years Carlingford Oyster festival! Carlingford is only a short drive from where I live in Dublin so I really have no excuse for not going sooner, but I was delighted to go there last weekend to film a short video for visitcarlingford.com. There was so much going on, from the oyster eating competition to the world crab fishing contest! It didn’t take me long to be seriously impressed by the place. Just look at those oysters!
It’s a small fishing village, surrounded by mountains and sea, and full of seafood restaurants… heaven! This particular weekend was made more amazing due to the festival taking place, and the streets were full of local restauranteurs who were selling oysters by the shell at stalls (if you’re nice you can get a few sneaky free ones). They come raw or cooked, and my favourite (although hard to choose) was from the stall at The Bay Tree restaurant. You could nearly miss this gem of a place as it’s slightly off the main road, but it really is somewhere everyone should try in their life! While filming, the owner/chef offered us a taste of his mini smoked haddock fishcakes, and for the first time in my life, a cooked oyster. They were so simply done, just steamed in the shell in a dry pan, and then he had the most AMAZING asian sauce. I was in heaven! So much so that we decided to book a table to get a full feed for after the day of filming.
I was torn between scallops or oysters for starter but as they say… ‘when in Rome do as the Roman’s do’. I just couldn’t resist a few more. This time I tried with both the asian and a garlic and parsley sauce. D.I.V.I.N.E is all I can say.
Even though the menu had a good variety of meat and fish mains, I decided to stick with the seafood and opted for sole. My God it was the biggest portion of fish I have ever been served in my life (not that I’m complaining)! It was served on the bone, which I like as there is no worrying about choking on a bone (I’m a hypochondriac!).
The menu was a set price of €35 for three courses so I just HAD to get dessert. I went for a chocolate brownie served with vanilla ice cream, caramelised peanut popcorn and salted caramel sauce. I know, I didn’t think it sounded great either but as I said, I just HAD to get it 😉 It was a great end to the meal, and I would have taken a full bag of the popcorn if I could have! This was the best meal I’ve had over the last while, and I will definitely be back sooner rather than later.