Restaurant at Inis Meain Restaurant and Suites

Restaurant at Inis Meain Restaurant and Suites

The Aran Islands starred in a travel feature in the New York Times this week, written by Hollywood actor and author Andrew McCarthy.

McCarthy visited Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oírr islands “repeatedly”, over a several-months’ period, from early spring to high summer and it appears they made quite the impression on him.

Aside from cycling to the ruins of Dun Aengus and settling in for “one of Ireland’s staple country lunches — ham and cheese on toasted white bread” atop the highest hill of Inis Oírr (where local Aine O’Graiofa had “put a few tables out in front of her home and called it a restaurant”), McCarthy also enjoyed fine dining.

He visited the Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites on Inis Meain, known for its panoramic views, Instagrammable sunsets and the opportunity to truly get away from the stresses of mainland life.

Guests dine on a four course dinner that changes nightly, based around the best ingredients that the island has to offer, be it sea urchins or island lobster, and the restaurant uses only its own homegrown fruit, vegetables and herbs.

McCarthy talked to restaurateur and owner of Inis Meain Restaurant & Suites Ruairi de Blacam, who told him that “We’re ambivalent about tourists on this island. You’re left to go about your business. Get a map — you’ve got shoes — and off you go.”

Raving about the restaurant’s “delicious lobster bisque”, McCarthy also ate a dish of scallop ceviche with toasted almonds as he watched “a setting fireball sun slash light across the limestone just outside the restaurant’s picture window.”

Writing that the islands are “hiding in plain sight” in the mouth of Galway Bay, we have a feeling that the NYT’s 3.5 million plus subscribers are furiously adding the Aran Islands to their travel bucket lists…

Read the full feature on the New York Times here.