Billy Whitty likes to keep it up close and personal when it comes to running Aldridge Lodge, his restaurant with rooms in Duncannon.
His partner, Joanne Harding, is also his business partner. His dad supplies the lobster and crab for the menus, his fish is from no further than Kilmore Quay and may even come from his brother-in-law's trawler. He has vegetable beds and polytunnels on his seven acres, and a local farm supplies the potatoes for the restaurant. You might find vegetables from a local allotment on your plate, and you will eat and sleep in a house built by Billy's sister's company.
If you had this sort of experience in regional France, or Italy, it might be unremarkable. But it takes a lot of graft and effort and determination to build such a close and intimate supply chain in Ireland, and Mr Whitty has it down to a T.
Such a proximate food chain means that those are his very own vine-ripened tomatoes in your Hook Head crab cocktail, and it's Wexford pork belly pairing with that lovely fillet of turbot. Elda venison will have been locally hunted and prepared by Jason Conway, and locally smoked salmon will have a tempura of Kilmore Quay scallops. There are foraged foods such as forest mushrooms and samphire and wild herbs, but there is also tekkie stuff like 62 degree rump of lamb with spinach and pea pannacotta, and 14-hour beef with half a lobster.
And then there are three smart and comfortable rooms for guests, so you can make a true celebration out of a visit to Aldridge Lodge: eat local, stay local.
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