Travel Guide: Ennistymon, Clare- Ireland.

 

Little Fox

A trip to Ennistymon is worth it just to pop into Little Fox for lunch, coffee and cake or whatever you fancy.

I made a trip here a few weeks back to check it out but it was closed as they don’t open on Mondays – Wednesdays. It was worth the wait and the second trip back this weekend.

As soon as you step in here you can feel the authentic, simple and inspired feel about this small cafe / restaurant brightly nestled in yellow on the corner letting you know that you have arrived to Ennistymon.

The menu changes and is based around using as much local and seasonal produce as possible and with nearby organic farms like Moyhill Community Farm, Little Fox’s own small holding, Locally produced St.Tola’s cheese and more heartfully crafted produce from around Clare and Ireland. What you will have on your plate is a delicious feast for sure.

I had their tacos (minus a few things to make it plant based) which were great – soft tortilla/tacos, shredded seasonal veg (carrots, beets, salad), beans and served with some tasty hummus. A perfect coffee to accompany it also.

My friend had their sweet potato and cous cous cakes served with eggs and salad and was raving about it.

 

Look at this fantastic video from The People We Meet – giving you a glimpse into the journey and life behind The Little Fox and how it came to creation.

Their decor is uncomplicated and with a sense of being inspired by nature and an environment conscious ethos as well as with their food. The staff and atmosphere in here speak for themselves – both a joy! Food is fantastic and if you want to add a cake to your meal then you will be delighted by the options on offer.

You can even pick yourself up a pot of mince pie filling while the festive season is upon us.

I love it here, relaxed, warm and welcoming and like sitting in a friends place for lunch. They also have evening dining on Friday’s and Saturday’s and with their new range of of biodynamic / organic wines it will be a treat for sure.

 

 

Aloe Tree

This is a health food store and more!

I popped in to see what I could find and was pleasantly surprised to discover that not only is it excellently stocked with all sorts of health and natural treats but there is a cafe area, where you can sit on their long wooden sharing table. They also have a zero waste section where you can refill your goods and use less single use packaging (yay, all stores need these) and there is an organic veg and fruit section.

The staff are lovely, the coffee is good and they have some nice homemade vegan and non-vegan sweet treats, smoothies and more at the counter – as well as all the usual faves one can find in this kind of store.

They recently introduced evening dining nights here and the last event they held ‘From The Streets of India’ sounded like a feast of my liking – Masala papad (one of the best things about Indian street dining), Pav Bhaji and Dahl Makhani were some of the delights on offer ; sounds like a proper Indian evening. They are having a New Orlean’s New Year’s Eve dinner this year, which sounds like a great way to ring in 2019.

They have some fantastic hampers and gift ideas for this time of the year that include a lot of Irish and local products – which is fantastic because we have so much to support and offer here and Clare / Ennistymon alone could fill the stockings of all your family with the talent and produce that comes from here.

Check it out.

 

The Cheese Press

Seriously, how can one small street like the Main Street in Ennistymon have just so many fantastic places to drink good coffee, eat local and fresh food and sit in a really welcoming and delightful space?

This place is super.

The local artisan goods alone had me walking around in circles to keep checking out what I had missed. The stack of different CDs from local musicians highlights the musical talent on top of everything else that you can find here in this little town.

You can buy slippers made by Mongolian communities and support their work and villages, you can buy organic goods from MoyHill Farm or you can get yourself some locally made St.Tola Cheese from their deli section – this cheese shop only sells Irish made cheese.

 

If you want to sit in and soak up the atmosphere and possibly get to enjoy an impromptu music session then definitely make the time to do so.  You can get yourself a cheese plate (€7.50), some tasty sandwiches, all day brunch or – for the plant based eaters don’t let the name stop you from coming here as there is a vegan plate especially for you all – mezze style, my favourite! Hummus, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, pesto and more! Yumm!

Oh  for the honey eaters you can try some of a friends locally made honey (Clare Wildflower Honey) as well as more locally produced pots.

Take a look at Cheese Press owner and get a bit more of a sense of the inspiring place (and person!), Sinead speaks Tibetan from her time spent with Tibetan refugees- how cool is that and many more languages. (Check out the video from Languages Initiative here.)

They encourage using less waste , less packaging and single-use stuff which is a big plus for me ! You can stock up on keep cups or I also saw lots of other excellent bits and pieces in here to help you reduce your impact on our dear environment.

You can really feel that is community and supportive spot and again you can cater for all your gift needs with a trip here. So many wonderful local products and companies / organisations that you would love to support through your euros.

 

Pot Duggans

I came down here to check out the Christmas markets that are on this weekend (15th & 16th) and oh I wish I didn’t have to leave and could cosy up by their fire with a drink in hand and stay put for the night.

Firstly, the market is another collection of super local producers and crafters from around Ireland. There was some beautiful jewellery, handmade cards, handmade books and notebooks (and you can actually take a workshop with the lady behind this in Dublin, Galway and other locations).

There was hot mulled cider to try (I was driving so had to decline), there was a vintage stand with some cosy winter woollies and an amazing collection of books and clothes, trinkets and more.

It is inside in a fabulous little outhouse type building and it has that nice festive feel that I love – lots of fairy lights, a roaring stove fire, good background music (not just christmas songs!!) and lovely vendors and visitors alike.

Pot Duggans is also a great venue for gigs and music, where all the musicians who are both born in and out of Ennistymon come and play and I can only imagine what a nice event space it is from the feel about it today.

Ennistymon has it all! This is definitely a place for long evenings and sitting by the fire.

 

The Salmon Bookshop

Every magical little town HAS to have an equally endearing bookshop – and Ennistymon is no different. I took a walk away from the main street and came across this literary treat. I love when a book shop still has the remnants of the house it has been created in. You walk in the back and the old kitchen counter is now home to stacks of books.

There is an arm chair and a tall reading lamp in the corner by an unused fireplace where you can sit and feel like you are sitting in your own personal library.

I love it.

It is also a writing centre, created by Salmon Poetry – an Irish publishing company. Previous events here have included poetry and music evenings, book launches, Ennistymon Book Festival (does this not just sound like heaven?) and I’m sure anything that happens here is alive with Irish culture, spirit and community,

It is one of those places you can enter and spend a long time lost in everything that surrounds you.

 

MoyHill Community Farm

I’ll add Moy hill in again (you can read more about what these guys do in my other Clare Guide).

It is great to see how this community farm really is a huge part of the communities that they wish to support and be part of. The local restaurants and cafes are supplied with fresh, organic veg as well as locals being able to stock up their own kitchens with seasonal and local produce.

The ethos behind this farm ripples out into the community and sustains and encourages support as well as attracting like minded people and businesses – creating that interwoven community spirit which is so palpable in Ennistymon!

Just yesterday I saw that they have launched a 2019 calender with some stunning images from farm friends

which you can buy and through your €8 purchase you will support the wonderful work of this farm and it’s purpose : “This farm feeds local people, through care, work, listening, learning, skill and cooperation. Loves earth through humility and regenerating landscapes. And inspires by being joyful, functional, beneficial, financially stable model of a regenerative community.” (Source).

Buy yours HERE.

Or in stores around Ennistymon and Clare.

 

Apple Blosom Thrift Store

What a delightful store to sift through!

The front section is filled with clothes and coats and all sorts of vintage pieces you’ll want to take home with you (I saw two tops and three jackets I had to drag myself away from this time). My friend got two porcelain espresso cups for 50c each, delighted!

The back section has more kitchen pieces and books and random bits and pieces – a nice collection!

I love these types of shops – things are second hand, reused and also you don;t know what you will find. One of those places you can look around for ages and still find new things the next time you come back to that particular rail or table. There are so many great bits and things to thirft through (hence the name) that it takes a while to adjust the eyes to see it all.

It is my favourite way to shop – just go in a see what you may come out with and with usually much better quality than what you find in high street stores nowadays.

Another great gem in this town. The town that keeps on giving and giving.

 

Second hand Rose

This is another smaller second hand charity shop just up the street where you can take a look for some second hand bits and pieces that might inspire you.

All of the proceeds go towards the local steiner school, Mol an Oige National school – a school worth supporting. One of the ethos’ of steiner schools is that fundraising must be part of their support system.

Do check it out and do support however you can. There’s lots of bits in there!

 

Yoga and Other Activities

 

Take a walk to The Falls hotel and walk along by the cascading rivers. It’s stunning, how have I never known about this place? How lovely it must be to walk here everyday.

There is definitely no shortage of yoga classes or wellness in it’s many forms on offer here. You can see that from the posters covering the walls in most shops and cafes.

There are yoga classes on the go in The Cheese Press (check / ask for timetable), I saw that there are craft and crochet mornings in The Little Fox on Thursday mornings. Meditation classes and women’s groups and just so much happening here. It’s great to see. Next trip will be to explore more of this side of Ennistymon.

I saw this poster around the town and it sounds really nice, a 6 week open mind and heart workshop taking place in The Glebe and starting in January. You can see the full event and details HERE.

Photo: Source

 

 

You can check out my Yoga Travel Guide to Clare from a few months back and see what else is on offer in the area – which is just so much. Clare is a real west of Ireland treat. 

 

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