Kilshanny House is the ideal country pub, writes John McKenna


smoked salmon gateaux at Kilshanny HouseKilshanny House is a peach. It’s everyone’s idealised version of the Irish country pub, a place where everything gleams, where the courtesy and welcome are real and true, where the cooking is smart and shows its capable way around local artisan ingredients. You step in the door, take a look, and you’ve found a little bit of heaven,

st.tola goat's cheese infused in herbsMary Butler and Aidan Galvin are the owners, and they have brought a marvellous pair of sensibilities to the craft of running a County Clare landmark. The pub is set hard by the N86 between Ennistymon and Lisdoonvarna. If you need a Google map reference, just type in that it’s across the road from the wee field with the mare and the foal who was born a month ago, and that will get you there, sure as rain.

Pristine doesn’t describe the housekeeping. Everything gleams with the sheen of 5-star spit and polish. If you thought rural pubs inevitably offered the patina of age and nicotine, step into Kilshanny and see what a different sensibility can do. The rooms are bright and magazine photo-shoot styled, the feng shui is precise.
luxury grain free chocolate cake raw cacco toppingAnd the cooking completes the picture of a destination where everything has been considered. Tomato and celeriac soup is a beautiful combination, especially with a little slick of kefir cream. A gateau of excellent Burren Smokehouse smoked salmon is a lotus of superb salad leaves with slices of the beautiful smoked fish arrayed with a milliners precision amongst the dressed leaves. St Tola goats cheese is served with Aidan’s beautiful brown bread and another fine, fresh salad. A pudding of gluten-free chocolate cake is light and intense.

Mare and foal across road from Kilshanny HouseKilshanny House is quixotic and mesmerising. It’s yet another of those extraordinary Burren destinations – Gregans Castle, the Burren Perfumery, Hazel Mountain chocolates, the Burren Emporium – places where dynamic people have fashioned cutting-edge ventures in unlikely, idyllic destinations. Add it to your county Clare list of don’t–miss places.

And remember: straight across the road from the mare and the foal.

You can’t miss it.

EDEN Award for Burren Food Trail

Press release: 2015

Burren Food Trail 2015The Burren Food Trail has been named the Irish winner of this year’s “European Destination of Excellence – Tourism and Local Gastronomy” (EDEN) award for developing a tourism offering based on their local gastronomy that balances sustaining the local environment with the promotion of viable tourism. This prestigious EU-wide competition is designed to encourage and promote a more sustainable form of tourism development and The Burren Food Trail was one of four destinations short-listed earlier this month. The three runner-up destinations are – Cong Food Village, Mayo, West Waterford and The Wild Atlantic Way So Sligo Food Trail.

The theme of the 2015 competition was ‘Tourism and Local Gastronomy’ and the winning destination was chosen following on-site assessments by a panel of expert adjudicators. Following this year’s theme the panel of adjudicators were looking for a destination that could provide examples of good practice, opportunities to improve the visitor food experience, a platform for the development and promotion of food tourism, an understanding of the challenges faced in the development of food tourism and a forum for networks to share knowledge.

Mary prepares for EDEN Award judgesWelcoming today’s accolade, John Mulcahy, Head of Food, Hospitality and Standards with Fáilte Ireland said:

“We are delighted to announce that the Burren Food Trail as the ultimate victors of this year’s EDEN competition. The standard of finalists this year was exceptionally high. During their onsite assessment The Burren Food Trail clearly demonstrated that their local gastronomy has taken a central role in their tourism offering while concurrently sustaining their local environment.

“This year’s competition focused on small, emerging, non-traditional destinations located off the beaten track that offered an authentic food experience. Only in its third year the Burren Food Trail is still relatively new and we were impressed with the importance they placed on making The Burren region synonymous with great food and great food experiences for visitors and the local community.

“The connection between growers, producers, retailers and chefs working together to promote their destination as a whole was very much evident, the importance of the environs and their environmental management policy and the code of practice for their destination was also very much a high point.”

The Burren Food Trail will now be awarded the European title of “Destination of Excellence 2015 – Tourism and Local Gastronomy” and will receive free marketing supports from Fáilte Ireland including a professional photo shoot for the destination to be used for promotional purposes, a grant of €5,000 for business development support initiatives. A formal EDEN award ceremony will take place in The Burren in July and the winning entry will also represent Ireland at a ceremony/exhibition in Brussels later this year.

EDEN judges find out more about Burren Beilini Speaking about competition, EDEN adjudicator Úna Fitzgibbon, Bord Bia said –

“These groups really appreciate the powerful association between taste and place, that sees Visitors drawn back to their regions not just by memories of people and landscapes but also by the food and drink that added to the pleasure of their stay.”

About Fáilte Ireland

Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority, was established in 2003 to guide and promote tourism as a leading indigenous component of the Irish economy. The tourism and hospitality industry employs an estimated 200,000 people and generates over €3.5billion in overseas revenue a year. Fáilte Ireland has implemented and managed EDEN in Ireland since the competition’s inception in 2007, and has successfully run this competition since then.

About the EDEN Competition

EDEN is an EU-wide competition with two main aims. Firstly, it highlights the value, diversity and shared characteristics of European lesser known tourist destinations, and secondly, promotes destinations where the economic growth objective is pursued in such a way as to ensure the social, cultural and environmental sustainability of tourism.

The aim of the EDEN project is to draw attention to the value, diversity and shared characteristics of European tourist destinations and to promote destinations where economic growth is pursued in such a way as to ensure the social, cultural and environmental sustainability of tourism.


The assessment procedure is based on both a written application which is evaluated by the adjudication panel. This initial assessment results in a short-list of destinations each of which was visited by the adjudication panel. Following the site visits and a subsequent meeting of the adjudication panel takes place to decide on the winning destination.

Seán Tyrrell and Brendan Larrissey début performance at Kilshanny House

On Friday  evening, March 20th  in Kilshanny House……
Seán Tyrrell’s soulful voice filled with such emotion and empathy brought the listener to places beyond the concert.   Brendan Larrissey  weaved delicately with his unique sound mastery of the fiddle connecting beautifully Irish traditional music with rich traditional Irish folk singing.
It was the début launch for Tyrrell & Larrissey in the cosy intimate setting at Kilshanny House located in the heart of the Burren on the Wild Atlantic Way.
These two genres are talking about a world tour…..doing what they do best play music from the heart and sing songs from the soul!
So stay tuned in and follow their story here………


photos by Jenny Martin


What the audience said…….

“captivating”……Adrienne from Limerick.
“breathtaking” ……Victor from London
.”beyond words”….Edel from Crusheen
“it was like finding the jewels in a hidden gem”…….John from Cork
“Kilshanny House is a lovely spot, ’twas like listening to them in my own kitchen, it was so homely there”…….Mattie from Doolin


The small Business Show podcast

Kehlan Kirwin, producer and presenter of The Small Business Show choose Kilshanny House for his first ever on location live recording on the second day of Spring 2015.

Kilshanny House is located just five minutes from The Cliffs of Moher on the Wild Atlantic Way.   Everyone who is in business in North Clare and beyond wanted to be on the show!

Some of the people behind the businesses that spoke with Kehlan were: Karl from The North Clare Local newspaper; Marie from Gourmet Wild Game;  Siobáin from St. Tola Cheese;  Martin the P.R.O. of Burren Ecotourism and he also runs a business with his wife, Natasha called Burren Escape; Majella from Little Learners; Joanne Sweeney-Burke Digital Training Institute.


Hear their vivacious voices….



The evening went on long after the mikes and the likes went down with the renowned Dessie Mulkere’s infectious storytelling. Kehlan might have captured a little bit without Dessie knowing. Sush don’t tell anyone! just click here………… If you would like to be on The Small Business Show, just drop Kehlan a line on *protected email*

Small Business Show on Location

These photos  capture  behind the sounds of Kehlan Kirwin’s first ever on location Small Business Show at Kilshanny House on February 2nd 2015.  The evening went on long after the lights and the mikes and  we laughed ’till the maidin geal to Dessie Mulkere’s storytelling! Photos were taken by Jenny Martin

Mulkere, Music & Musings

Delighted to share some of the photos and videos taken at Monday 7th July Burren Food Trail Event. People came from far and wide to hear Dessie’s unique style of storytelling and great music!



Photos and videos by Jenny Martin Photography