There’s something very special about open air markets, particularly in the morning. Food and craft markets have exploded in popularity on our lovely little island in recent years and the Lough Derg region has more than stepped up to the plate. So, set out to Lough Derg this weekend armed with your cloth tote or woven basket and take full advantage of some of the best local produce around; whether it be reared, caught, bred, baked or cooked!
Killaloe in County Clare has a weekly Sunday Farmer’s Market that is sure to impress. The stalls are set up ‘between the waters’, as it has been so aptly named. The historic bridge that connects the twin towns has a part that juts out to the right, earning its name ‘between the waters’. If a family-friendly, community orientated and customer-focused experience is what you’re after then look no further.
Killaloe Sunday market is a tradition for many and a treat for all. There is a diverse range of stalls selling everything from Indian food to smoked cheese and mango chutney. Meander through the stalls, ask for tasters and question the friendly people providing this much-loved service. One of the best aspects of these markets is the opportunity to meet the people behind their food.
You will find the most delicious of artisan breads with crusts crafted into love hearts or attractive spirals. These melt-in-your-mouth creations are a must-try. They use secret recipes passed from generation to generation, indulge in the delicious mystery! If you’re a fan of cheeses, you will be in smoked heaven, with all kinds of smoked cheeses as well as goudas, elementals and everything in between. There is also a stall selling delicious hummus, pesto, olives and tapenades to name a few, sure to tantalise your tastebuds. If you’re a late riser and decide to catch the latter half of the market, be sure to try a burger or hot dog. There is so much to try, so, why not head to Killaloe farmer’s market and add some flavour to your Sunday?
Tuamgraney is home to a different market experience. If you visit Tuamgraney Car Boot Sale on a Sunday, you will be entering a world of all the quirky bits and bobs you can possibly imagine. This half indoor, half outdoor market is a verified treasure trove of pre-loved gems – from clothes to homeware to vinyl. The stalls are set up in an equestrian centre’s arena, providing ample space to create a winding maze of all things secondhand.
Take full advantage of antique and vintage finds from wardrobe and homeware clear-outs which have made their way to locations like Mountshannon for entirely affordable prices. A lovely way to round off a long weekend is to lose yourself as you comb through furniture, decor pieces, glassware, ceramic, jewellery and bric a brac. Take your time rifling through the wide range of items on display, you’re sure to find some covetable vintage forever-pieces. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Lakeshore Community Market is Tipperary’s fresh-food haven. This fab little traveling market visits the villages of Ballinderry, Terryglass and Lorrha rotating each week. With an abundance of fresh crispy sourdough breads, homemade cakes, organic fruit and vegetables and some delicious asian cuisine, there’s something for everyone. Rain, sun or wind, you can rest assured the determined food producers and distributors will be set up and waiting for customers. There is a real sense of community dedication, commitment and involvement in this rural village.
This is a market that retains that old Irish, informal element. At least one of the stalls will be manned by young entrepreneurs, putting their baking skills to work and looking to earn some extra pocket money. You might also come across some shy youngsters, being encouraged by parents to handle money and interact with the passersby, a confidence-building exercise. These niche elements add to the attraction of seeking out the off-the-beaten-track markets as you are supporting independent traders while also having unique and hard-come-by experiences.
From sweet to savoury, there is a diverse selection of stalls sure to whet the appetite of passersby and seasoned chefs alike. Whether you’re looking for a delicious cake and coffee or a hearty Thai green noodle curry to fuel your shopping, the traveling Lakeshore Community farmer’s market is sure to deliver.
Next up is Nenagh where a Farmer’s Market takes place every Saturday. Expect local fresh fruit and vegetables, organic meat and poultry, plus much much more. When you visit this market, you will be met with a diverse array of fledgling start-up food producers as well as established professionals in the organic food trade. Chat to these lovely people and learn more about what you are consuming.
As you stroll through this gourmet treasure-trove with a keep cup in hand, there will be many a smiling face ready to pack up whatever fresh, organic produce you desire. James will be able to provide you with the best of fruit, vegetables and eggs, his stall a rainbow of deliciousness. The Sheepwalk Farm stall is home to the best of organic beef and lamb. You can rest assured that your meat is originating from locally-reared, well taken care of animals. Tracy stocks delicious local farmhouse cheeses. She has a huge selection and is more than happy to let you taste before you buy! If you’re looking to treat yourself to something special or fancy getting a gift for someone you care about, Gillian has knitwear, preserves and plants.
Gillian from Lough Derg Chocolates will be on hand with a range of homemade confectionary, pleasing a growing chocolate-hungry market. Treat yourself to traditional truffles with fresh cream fillings, milk chocolate bars or cute chocolate lollies. As you continue through the market you’ll be amazed time and time again with home baking from Noreen, fish from John, cured pork products from Bronius, preserves and food lovers gifts from Maeve… and lots more.
Lough Derg markets have so much to offer, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. You will leave with your heart as full as your belly.
A few great spots to check out on your travels….
Tuscany Bistro in Killaloe offers a taste of Italy on the shores of the glorious Lough Derg. Tantalise your tastebuds in a simply stunning location!
Goosers Bar & Restaurant is nestled on the banks of the Shannon in Ballina/Killaloe, Co Tipperary. Along with excellent food, it offers panoramic views of Lough Derg and Co. Clare.
De Roistes Bar & Restaurant is a must-visit in Ballinderry offering the best of smokehouse food.
Cafe Q in Nenagh is always packed with friendly people, offering delicious coffee, great food and great vibes.
The Garden Cafe in Scarriff is a truly special experience – they grow the majority of their food in the community garden with everything else being sourced locally. They have a wide selection of herbal teas, fair trade and organic coffee and the atmosphere is warm and welcoming.
Cinnamon Alley located in Nenagh is all about quality top homemade food, serving breakfast, lunch, desserts and coffee.
Fuschia Lane Farm award winning holiday rental cottages are situated close to Terrryglass in Co Tipperary and are the perfect base for touring around the lake.
Lough Derg Thatched Cottages are located in the picturesque village of Puckane. Take a step back in time in these traditional style cottages, all equipped with a thatched roof and real fires.
Abbeyview Bed & Breakfast offers accommodation in a friendly and spacious home. The relaxing ambiance and friendly welcome will ensure you will enjoy your stay.