If you just go just for the food and wine, you’ve missed the best part!!
Yes, Burren Fine Wine and Food has absolutely delicious locally-sourced food — the pizza is fantastic (and that’s coming from a New York pizza snob) and the salad is so incredibly fresh and free of chemicals and pesticides that each vegetable actually tastes how you think it should in your mind’s eye — but there are plenty of other reviews here singing praises for the food so while I echo them enthusiastically, my purpose is to tell you not to miss the eco-tours Burren Fine Wine and Food offers.
Never having been to the Burren before, we didn’t want to see it out of a car window — we wanted to experience it up close and personally. I began researching and came across Burren Fine Wine and Food eco-tours and loved the concept of respecting such beauty by touring it on foot or by bike. I contacted the proprietor, Cathleen, by email. She was quick in her reply, answered all of my questions, and accommodated our limited schedule. When the day of the tour finally came, we were introduced to Cathleen’s daughter, Caireann, who led our bike tour. She asked what our interests were and she tailored the tour to them. As we peddled along the spectacularly scenic coastal route, she told us about the history, topography, and geology of the area and what it was like growing up in the Burren. Caireann stopped at multiple hidden spots that only someone with such intimate knowledge of the area would know about – castles, church ruins, wishing wells, fairy trees — and she shared their history and lore. Had we been looking at a map or using GPS we would have missed all of it! What a special and intimate way to tour this stunning area. If you really want to experience the the Burren, I highly recommend taking a tailor-made tour with Caireann who is as engaging and entertaining, as she is knowledgeable.
At the end of our bike trip, we were famished and were delighted with our delicious feast on the charming patio. There wasn’t a crumb left.
Thank you Cathleen and Caireann for a wonderful and unique experience — we will be back!
P/S a few tips — because it is so vast, spend some time studying the Burren and figure out what you would like to concentrate on — you could never hope to see it all in one visit, let alone by bike; ask Cathleen well in advance if she can accommodate your interests and what the back up plan is if it rains; bring a variety of clothing (consider wearing padded bike shorts as the seats are a bit hard) – we were glad to have dressed in layers as it got quite warm after peddling in the sun; bring a bottle of water and sunscreen if it is sunny out; and don’t let this be the day of your first workout ever – the ride is no problem if you are reasonably fit, but if not, you might find it a bit strenuous.