The historic Newport House was already well known in fine dining circles, largely because of its inclusion in Ireland’s Blue Book, but Manager Catherine Flynn says the Gourmet Greenway coupled with the Wild Atlantic Way initiative has introduced them to a new section of the market.
“It has made an extraordinary contribution to turnover. The little Gourmet Greenway booklet is fantastic. It pulls together the places to eat and stay with local producers, so it is a complete food story of the region,” says Catherine.
“It has brought guests to us who perhaps didn’t know about Newport House. We have always had lots of business from the Blue Book and that has meant overnight stays but the Greenway has brought so much non-residential trade from people on activity holidays.”
The property is very close to the cycle path, which means people can drop in for lunch or afternoon tea. Lunch could be homemade soup, or the in-house smoked salmon on an open brown bread sandwich. They have their own smokery on site and they use as many local ingredients as possible on their menus.
“Sometimes people will have a glass of wine with lunch,” says Catherine. They have won many awards for their wine cellar, including the Connaught Wine Experience Award from the Restaurants Association of Ireland.
“While they are having lunch or afternoon tea, they will often ask to have a look at the dinner menu and will then book a meal even if they are staying elsewhere.”
“A good number of the Gourmet Greenway producers supply us,” says Catherine. “Croagh Patrick Sea Foods bring Clew Bay native oysters daily. Gerry Hassett from Keem Bay Fish Products supplies us with all our fresh white fish sole, turbot, brill, monkfish, halibut, hake and plaice. We get local beef, lamb, chicken, award winning black and white puddings, bacon and sausages from Kelly’s Butchers in Newport.