Food, craft & music

Thanks to its gentle and generous nature, this corner of the world has a wonderful food culture. West Cork’s farmers, award-winning artisan producers and chefs are leading Ireland’s culinary revolution. From traditional pubs to world-class restaurants, at local farmers’ markets, and long-established food festivals, you can enjoy great food, which is locally sourced, right across West Cork.

Food producers of West Cork take pride in what they do and each item reflects not only the thought and effort put into creating their unique products but also the passion and enthusiasm they give to their work.

Look out for the distinctive Fushsia ‘A Taste of West Cork’ logo, which incorporates quality food and tourism products. The initiative was devised and implemented by West Cork LEADER Co-operative in partnership with the local food and tourism sectors, the National Food Centre and Failte Ireland.

From mouth-watering strawberries (no easy task to grow in this region), to award-winning cheeses and blackpudding, from succulent organic meat to fresh, flavoursome fish, from rich and luxurious yoghurt to smooth creamy beer — the list is endless. If you haven’t sampled some of the local produce while visiting West Cork, you are definitely missing out on a one-of-a-kind gastronomic experience.

There’s a strong creative community here. Arts and crafts, storytelling and traditional music thrive – as do scores of cultural festivals.

Calling on a tradition of Celtic design that goes back to the Irish crosses and beyond, craftspeople throughout West Cork are creating contemporary designs with an Irish twist in everything from woodturning to jewellery, using natural native materials. The West Cork Craft & Design Guild has over 21 craftmakers as members. Many have opened their doors to visitors so don’t miss your chance to include that very special craft experience while on holiday.

Traditional Irish music is celebrated with passion and energy right throughout the year whether as part of a festival or nightly in every town and village in West Cork. Informal ‘sessions’, or mixed gatherings of musicians performing for their own enjoyment, take place on a weekly or more frequent basis in pubs and hotels. Admission is usually free.

In the music session, instruments are played in unison in combinations of any number. From the thump of the Bodhrán to the airy rasp of the wooden flute, Celtic music is known by its instruments. Don’t miss out on your chance to experience toe-tapping trad.