Cork's English Market & the Mutton Lane Inn
It’s often easy to take what you have on your own doorstep for granted. For many years the English Market was something that the people of Cork walked through as a shortcut, a shelter from the rain, a long-held tradition not considered so important by younger generations.
Food festivals, the efforts of local traders and a renewed interest in locally-produced food and drink had, however, begun to revitalise the Market even before the announcement of the Queen’s visit in 2011.
That same tour was a highlight of the monarch’s State visit, with the image of ‘laughing fishmonger’ Pat O’Connell beamed around the world alongside a smiling, relaxed and happy Queen!
The Market received a facelift and freshen up in advance of the Queen’s visit. A new promotional video was unveiled, and slowly but surely more and more locals realised the real potential of the gem hidden away in the square of ground between St. Patrick’s Street, the Grand Parade, Oliver Plunkett Street and Princes Street.
Visitors and newly-arrived residents always take time to wander through the maze of stalls and counters, breathing in the smells and sampling the freshest, tastiest produce; in contrast, only locals abiding by long-held traditions (‘My Grandmother always bought her meat from Tom Durcan’) tended to believe the extra time spent in ‘shopping in town’ was worth the effort.
Thankfully, the Market is now busier and more popular than ever. From traditional butchers, fishmongers and poultry counters to the more modern stalls such as On the Pig’s Back, The Real Olive Company and The Alternative Bread Company, Ireland’s reputation as a world class food producer is reflected by the wares on sale six days a week every week.
The Cork Heritage Pubs have close ties with Cork’s food market tradition. The Mutton Lane Inn on Mutton Lane (off Patrick’s Street) is a perfect spot to enjoy a pint and some of the tastier, take-away foods available. The Bodega, meanwhile, is located on the very spot where the Irish Market once stood – and maintains that historical link through its tasteful refurbishment.
However, the Market is not all about meat and fish. Fruit and vegetables, herbs, spices, coffee, the finest cheeses, paté, homemade pasta, chocolate, baked goods, sauces and oils are all available to tempt the palate (and the purse!).
The same quality foods inspire our brunch, lunch and dinner menus every day – ensuring we carry on the city’s most important and proudest tradition of supporting our own.
For more details about Cork’s English Market, visit www.englishmarket.ie and make sure to pop in to pay a visit soon!