Wild Atlantic Way Afternoon Tea – Part One

“I know now where the world ends”

H. V. Morton – Travel writer

Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick

The Wild Atlantic Way stretches for over 2600 km along the west coast of Ireland from Cork up to Donegal. A few weeks ago, as a family get together, fourteen of us spent a few days not far from Westport, Co Mayo and explored just a small part of this beautiful coast.

Knowing my weakness for tea and cake (and because it was my birthday), my brother and sister treated me and Mr Me to afternoon tea at Knockranny House – perched on a hill above Westport overlooking Clew Bay and it’s 365 islands, one for each day of the year.

As it was International Women’s Day only yesterday it would be wrong not to mention Grace O’Malley (Granuaile). Born in 1530 on Clare Island in Clew Bay, she is known as Ireland’s Pirate Queen, leader of a force of over two hundred men. Described as ‘the most notorious woman in all the coast of Ireland’, when her sons were captured by the English she set sail from Clew Bay for England to petition Queen Elizabeth I for their release. The two women conversed in Latin, their only common language. Grace was granted her request and she returned home. A remarkable woman – a seafarer, politician, leader and queen.

But back to Knockranny and tea…

Our table was right by the window with a magnificent view of Croagh Patrick in the winter sunshine. I was a little doubtful when our tea arrived, convinced we’d never manage to eat all the goodies in front of us. How wrong can you be? And it would have been rude not to… Every bite was delicious. The star of the show had to be the melt-in-the-mouth Chocolate Brownie mousse but the Knockranny smoked salmon finger sandwiches washed down with a glass of Prosecco came a very close second.

Special mention goes to the lightest of scones eaten, Cornish style, jam first – of course.

Top-ups of tea  (Earl Grey) appeared seamlessly but too soon it was time to tear ourselves away from the view and head off to meet the rest of the family. We will return!

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