I was in good company, along with award-winning travel writer Pól Ó Conghaile, Auriel from Seatrails, author and historian Joe McGowan and Eithna O’Sullivan owner of the award-winning restaurant Eithna’s by the Sea.
Auriel spent some time telling us about the area we were going to see and the history of it. I’m not going to tell you all the details because it’s far better to hear it from Auriel herself. In this photo she is holding a coral reef fossil which is 330 million years old! Pol is exploring some of the Wild Atlantic Way and Sligo is part of that. I’m looking forward to reading his article about it.
Joe McGowan was telling us what life was like when he was growing up in Mullaghmore. He has a huge respect for the sea and was telling us about how the locals enjoyed the many things that were washed up on the shore including barrels of rum, rubber, cotton and wood. In fact the cradle Joe slept in when he was a baby was made from wood washed up on the shore which his father made into a cradle. Joe also told us about the diet people would have lived on years ago including slouc and crannach (types of seaweed)and limpets. It’s great to see the interest again in seaweed, although for some households it’s always been used. I remember my mother regularly giving us Carrageen moss in various guises, it’s meant to be great for sore throats and chesty coughs.
Auriel is like Sligo’s version of Wonder Woman. She thought nothing of running up the steep steps by the harbour and was going to walk along the top of the wall. The rest of us weren’t as keen so she came back down again.
We went around Mullaghmore Head and Auriel pointed out promontory forts which are defensive structures located above steep cliffs. They are Iron Age and date to about 500 BC upwards. There are lots of prehistoric settlements along the Sligo shores not just the forts but also shell middens. These shells give Sligo its Irish name of Sligeach meaning ‘the shelly place’. We also saw the location of the big waves although there weren’t any surfers out yesterday.
After all that walking and talking we’d worked up an appetite so we headed back to Eithna’s By the Sea. This wonderful restaurant was the winner of Georgina Campbell’s ‘Best Seafood Restaurant in Ireland’. Eithna’s by the Sea is a unique seafood, shellfish & seaweed restaurant in Mullaghmore.
Eithna is a lovely lady and so talented. Eithna’s by the sea is a lovely cosy restaurant. We were seated by a roaring fire and with the wonderful food and great company I could have stayed there all day.
I had parsnip and wild garlic soup and a seafood tasting plate, which included crab, lobster, squid and mackeral. It was like a work of art, it look wonderful and tasted as good as it looked. We also had seaweed bread and a variety of pestos including a seaweed one, peppers and chilli and a wild garlic one. We also had roasted seaweed which tasted like really good quality crisps…just amazing! Eithna sources most of her produce locally, in fact the lobster came from Mullaghmore Sea Farms which is located just across the road from Eithna’s. You can’t get more local than that.
Aidan from the Tattie Hoaker supplies salad to Eithna’s. He happened to be delivering when we were there. He’s based only a few miles from Mullaghmore.
It was a really wonderful day out. I can’t wait for the next one. Not only do we have such beautiful scenery here in Sligo we also have fantastic food and brilliant adventures, what more could you ask for? The rest of my photos are here.
If you missed out on this Seatrails event why not book the next one which takes place on the 26th and 27th of April, you can book just one day or both. Check out Seatrails for more information.