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Ireland's County Cork, Word for Word

THE FACTS

Aer Lingus has flights from New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago to Cork Airport (via Dublin). Alternatively, you can fly to Shannon Airport (near Limerick); from there it's only an hour's drive to northern County Cork. We booked our car through Auto Europe (800/223-5555; fax 207/842-2222).

WHERE TO STAY
Many of Ireland's best accommodations are listed in The Blue Book, the register of a private association of noteworthy country houses and restaurants (view its Web site at www.irelands-blue-book.ie). Inquiries can be made by phone (353-46/23416) or e-mail (bluebook@iol.ie). Full breakfast is usually included in the rates.

Longueville House Mallow; 353-22/47156, fax 353-22/47459; www.longuevillehouse.ie; doubles in low season from $135; dinner for two $76. Lovely, family-run Georgian manor on 500 acres, less than an hour's drive from Cork City. The restaurant is one of the finest in the country.
Ballymaloe House Shanagarry; 353-21/465-2531, fax 353-21/465-2021; www.ballymaloe.ie; doubles from $70; dinner for two $69. Beautiful inn famous for its restaurant; the well-known Allen family also operates a cooking school nearby.
Blairs Cove House Durrus; 353-27/61127, fax 353-27/61487; doubles from $76; dinner for two $75. Four suites in a Georgian manor, about 10 miles from Bantry, with yet another top-notch restaurant (unfortunately closed in winter) and spectacular views across a pasture to Dunmanus Bay.
Arbutus Lodge Hotel Montenotte, Cork City; 353-21/450 1237, fax 353-21/450-2893; www.arbutuslodge.net; doubles from $97. Wonderful rooms, though after a recent change of ownership the atmosphere is rather more officious than at many family-run places.

RESTAURANTS AND PUBS
Isaac's Restaurant 48 MacCurtain St., Cork City; 353-21/450-3805; dinner for two $32. Draws crowds with good international dishes, such as curries, steaks, and prawns cooked with chilies and garlic butter. After dinner, go across the street for a pint of Murphy's at the Shelbourne, one of the city's better pubs.
Blue Haven Hotel & Restaurant Kinsale; 353-21/477-2209; dinner for two $68 in the dining room. Excellent seafood; don't miss the smoked salmon cooked over a fire of oak chips.
Ahernes Seafood Restaurant 163 N. Main St., Youghal; 353-24/92424; dinner for two $65. Easily one of the top fish restaurants in Ireland.

ESSENTIAL READING
Literary Guide to Ireland by Thomas and Susan Cahill (Wolfhound)
A Writer's Ireland: Landscape in Literature by William Trevor (Viking Press)
The Collected Stories by William Trevor (Penguin Paperback)
Irish Stories by Elizabeth Bowen (Dufour Editions Paperback)
A Book of Ireland Edited by Frank O'Connor (Collins)
Classic Irish Short Stories Edited by Frank O'Connor (Oxford University Paperback)

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