Just returned home to the US after 10 days split between the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin and a farmhouse in Tinahely (southern Wicklow)… About 11 km from Tinahely is the beautiful town of Aughrim, winner of the 2007 Tidytowns National competition and home to The Stonecutter Cafe. What a great find!
Our first thought was to lunch at one of the two pubs in the center of town one afternoon, but neither was open. We then decided to try The Stonecutter after we saw all of the alfresco tables in use. We made the right decision... For lunch we tried the pizza slice and salad (mushroom and Serrano ham pizza and just picked local greens) and prawn salad sandwich. A side of perfect pommes frites, a nice glass of red, and a tasty Belgian beer sealed the deal to book dinner the following night.
For dinner, our party tried the steak, chicken, and lamb chop dishes. All are locally sourced meats from nearby Wicklow farms. All were perfectly cooked and served with bowls of organic vegetables and crispy roasted potatoes, all picked early that morning. Served very simply and very fresh… With entrees around €23 average, the value was great especially compared to the restaurants in Dublin. The Stonecutter has been at this location for 10 years or so under several owners where the reputation of the place has gone from “very good” to “terrible” and once again to “excellent”. The latest owner seems dedicated to providing great food at reasonable prices. Don’t pass it up…
Also, for a unique country pub experience, try the Dying Cow pub in Tinahely. This tiny family owned pub is right on the Wicklow Way hiking trail. It is my favorite spot in all of Ireland to drink a Guinness and enjoy local music on Thursday nights. The actor Michael Douglas recently stopped by while hiking the Wicklow Way. Word is no one paid any attention to him in the pub...
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