Restaurant and Bed & Breakfast
- Map of Inishmore -
Joe and Maura Wolfe have owned and operated the Man of Aran Cottage on Inishmore for over a decade. During that time they have turned the small system of buildings and restaurant into a first class operation. The cottages are cozy and well maintained with an old world charm that has to be experienced to truly be appreciated. Joe is an avid organic gardener with nearly half the acre of land the cottage is situated on given over to this pursuit. Maura is native to the Aran Isles though she spent many years of her life in London, England where she took training as a chef; a skill she applied and mastered working in Buckingham Palace. Utilizing the excellent produce from Joe's garden, Maura conjurs masterful meals that she serves in the small restaurant located in the main building. The soups she creates, in particular, are original, unique and exquisite; and Joe, while professing no artistic talent, fabricates simply amazing salads out of his garden, featuring a medley of greens as well as many flowers including squash flower and even pansies.
The Man of Aran Cottage is perched over the North Atlantic and surrounded by a stark and breathtaking wilderness of open meadows filled with wild roses, saxifrage and ferns. The coast itself is rocky and delightful to explore, with an abundance of wildlife and tidal pools to hold one's interest. As a whole the island is sparsely populated with very few autos to impede hikers or bicyclists alike. Within a 15 minute walk of the cottage lies Dun Aengus (Dun Aonghus), one of the finest Celtic stone circle forts to be found in Europe. There is also a village nearby with restaurants, pubs and several boutiques as well as authentic Irish sweater shops. You'll be amazed to find that many of the most familiar sweater patterns seen throughout the world originated right there on the Aran Isles.
The islands are reached by ferry which depart from both Doolin and Galway as well as Rossaveal. You cannot bring your auto along, nor will you find an ATM money machine on the island*, so be prepared to rent bicycles and bring plenty of Euros. Given a chance to visit Ireland, you will undoubtedly find a stay with Joe and Maura to be a highlight of your trip. It is both beautiful and rejuvinating.
*UPDATE: There's now an ATM at the grocery store in the main village.