Dining with a difference: 5 to savor

Dunguaire Castle, County Galway

Medieval banquets, fairytale dinners and the ship of dreams: take a seat at Ireland’s most unusual dining experiences.

1. The Dead Dinner, James Joyce House, Dublin

Like the sound of having dinner in the setting that inspired one of the greatest short stories in the world? At the James Joyce House in Dublin’s historic Usher’s Quay, you can do just that. This is not just dinner… this is dinner in the dining room where Joyce set his famous novella, The Dead. The tradition of the house is that a place is always set for the unexpected visitor. Guests are encouraged to tell stories, recite poems or sing a song, if they feel like it.

Book your date with The Dead

Titanic Belfast

1. Titanic Meal at Rayanne House, Belfast

The ship was lost over 100 years ago, but you can still savor the taste of Titanic at the resplendently Victorian Rayanne House. The world-famous Taste of Titanic menu is a five-star, nine-course meal that was served to first-class passengers on the ship of dreams.

Everything is masterfully prepared by chef Connor McClelland, think roasted pigeon and saffron champagne vinaigrette. And the view? Choose the right room and you could have a bird’s eye view of the lough where Titanic first set sail. Even better, work up an appetite at the splendid Titanic Belfast exhibition nearby.

Dine on a first-class meal

Ballyvolane House, Cork and Hilton Park, Monaghan

2. Plucked-from-the-garden-produce at Hidden Ireland

Want the family hospitality of a B&B in a luxurious private home? Then you’ll love Hidden Ireland. Local, fresh and homemade food is the motto of all Hidden Ireland homes. Take Hilton Park in County Monaghan, dine on a carefully crafted meal, with ingredients straight from the family herb garden.

Or try Ballyvolane House, where in-house chef Teena Mahon will treat you to slow-cooked game and rare breed meat.

Ready to experience some Hidden Ireland Treats?

Brazen Head, Dublin

3. Food and folklore at The Brazen Head, Dublin

Welcome to Ireland’s oldest pub, once the haunt of literary legends (James Joyce and Jonathan Swift) and revolutionary giants (Wolfe Tone and Michael Collins). The Brazen Head had its humble beginnings as a coach house in the 11th century, and while we don’t know how much of that original structure is still intact, the history is written on its timeworn walls.

The food, however, is whatever you fancy – traditional or contemporary. Tuck into dinner by candlelight while you relax into a night of magic and myth courtesy of Ireland’s most renowned storytellers.

Fancy a night of food and folklore?

Game of Thrones collage

4. Game of Thrones feast at Castle Ward, County Down

Grab your broadsword: you’re about to be transported to Westeros at Castle Ward, a wonderful collision of Gothic and classical architecture. You will be greeted by the castle Maester at the entrance, and escorted to the armory to don your party attire. After that, it’s time to break bread with fellow diners, feast on a roasted hog and wash it all down with a pitcher of Winterfell’s finest ale. And in true Game of Thrones party spirit, you can expect plenty of live music and re-enactments.

Would you like to experience a feast of Westerosi proportions?

Bunratty Castle, County CLare

5. Medieval banquet at Bunratty Castle, County Clare

Ascend the castle steps, cross the drawbridge and take your seat in the magnificent 16th century Great Hall. Sink into a spectacle of medieval songs, music and reenactments as you sip from a goblet of mead and feast on a scrumptious four-course meal.

Fancy being King and Queen for the evening? You might just get chosen for a seat at the head of the table. Oh, and watch out for the scoundrel, who will reveal himself during your meal. He’ll have to be relegated to the dungeons…

Ready to get all medieval at a banquet?

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