Anyone who is a regular reader of the blog will know that I am a big fan of affordable, creative and interesting events that help to showcase a city. One of my favourite yearly events in Dublin is the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail which I have gone on since it started in 2010. You can read all about the fun we had at the 2014 one here. Campo Viejo also started doing a tapas trail in Cork last year and it looked great, so much so, that the girls and I said we might even think about going down especially for it. Surprisingly, we actually managed to get ourselves organised enough this year and made it down to Cork for the last Sunday trail of the season!
Now Cork is a well visited city on my holiday destination list but I had never eaten in any of the restaurants on the trail which made the event all the more exciting. Our guide for the afternoon was George who was a lively and very entertaining Cork woman – a pure born rebel as she called herself! Our first stop was Electric which has the most gorgeous art deco inspired facade.
It also has a great outdoor seating area which overlooks the River Lee so it’s a perfect spot on a sunny day. Electric started the trail off with panko crab cakes, three cheese aranicini and spicy meatballs all dished up on a sharing platter. Not a crumb was left!
Then it was off to the Cornstore which I was excited about as I had heard a lot about it. I have to say though that this was a disappointing stop on the trail. First off there weren’t enough seats for everyone so people had to stand. Secondly I think the venue sold themselves short on the food that they provided especially when compared to the other stops. We got three tiny pieces of food – mackerel on a flaky cracker, a skewer of spicy beef and a mushroom risotto ball. While they were all tasty in their own right it just wasn’t stitch on what we had before and on what was to come. As tourists to the city it didn't entice us to revisit.
Up next was a visit to Arthur Maynes which may well come top of the list of coolest places to eat in. The place is a former chemists and is full of old potions and lotions which makes for some very interesting decor.
We were treated to a selection of bread and dips, a Mediterranean chicken and sausage stew and a big bowl of rustic potatoes. The potatoes were slathered in the most delicious garlic sauce known to man and between the four of us we scoffed everything. We were almost tempted to ask the girls beside us could we finish theirs!!
To finish things off and to push us past bursting point, we rounded off the afternoon with a visit to Oysters in the Clarion Hotel for some serious dessert offerings. We were treated to a Cafe Gourmand which is one of their best selling desserts and with a board laden with treacle tart, raspberry sorbet and a pistachio choux bun it's not hard to see why!
For us the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail was a great way to see and eat our way through a city that we weren't overly familiar with. Yet again it was well worth the €25 and I think another roadtrip next year might just be in order!