Think you’ve visited every outdoor area in Cork?
While many are plain to see, front and centre on the street in front of busy bars and restaurants, there are some real hidden gems when it comes to al fresco dining venues.
With clever heating for cooler nights and ample protection from the scorching sun or the crisp autumn breeze (you never know what you’re getting these days), we’ve been scoping out the most unique off-the-beaten-track venues for a romantic dinner à deux in the coming weeks.
Here are three to book, pronto:
1. THE GROCER’S GARDEN AT AYE
You’re probably familiar with the fun front garden at Aye on Anglesea Street, but there’s a hidden treat on the other side of the walls. The bar’s newest area, the Grocers Walled Garden, is a secret non-smoking sun trap that you can reserve for dinner or lunch.
The food is fresh and interesting (Lobster Noodle Pho, Gochujang Chicken skewers, Beef Brisket Tacos…) and the cocktails are decidedly moreish – don’t miss the Mandarin Sour; kumquat infused Jameson Whiskey, Briotett Mandarin Liqueur, lemon, simple syrup and orange bitters.
Check available dates and secure your table using Aye’s online booking system here.
2. THE SEA TERRACE AT DUNMORE HOUSE
Nestled into the hill overlooking Clonakilty Bay, the Sea Terrace at Dunmore House Hotel offers one of the most spectacular lunchtime vistas available in this part of the world.
Coffee is by Stone Valley Coffee Roasters, with hefty sourdough sandwiches and a choice of interesting burgers (try the breaded fish fillet burger with lemon aioli) available to enjoy alfresco in the salty air.
NOTE: They’re closed to accommodate wedding parties this week, but non-residents will be welcome to visit again from Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 on.
3. SOPHIE’S ROOFTOP RESTAURANT AT THE DEAN
One of the cosiest outdoor terraces in town, no matter what the weather is doing, Sophie’s Rooftop at The Dean guarantees a side of panoramic Cork views with every course.
You can book in for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily or reserve a table for brunch on the weekends. The wood-fired pizzas are sublime (special mention for the BBQ Smoked Pork, with pickled cider apples and onion jam) with succulent steaks and fresh fish specials at dinner, but we’re still dreaming about the beautiful Burrata, served with heirloom tomatoes, basil oil and white balsamic – late summer on a plate.
There’s an exciting cocktail menu to sample too (try the Mad Ting; Havana Especial Rum, lime, passionfruit and Ting Grapefruit Soda).
Email [email protected] or phone 021 2341205 to book.