€20 & €15, Epicure Press
While many people will be familiar with the in-depth biennial 'Georgina Campbell's Ireland: The Guide', now Epicure Press have come up with a companion version to be published in alternate years. By deciding to go a more discerning route in 'The Best of The Best', Campbell can afford to cherry-pick the finest restaurants, accommodation, pubs and cafés throughout the country. Although not as bulky a tome as her other publication, this book still has plenty of offerings for anyone interested in eating their way around the country.
Maps of each county head up the alphabetically entries for that part of the country and the book also includes a map of Ireland to further clarify matters. This ease of use is of supreme importance when the traveller is poring over the book, late at night by weak glove-box light, trying to find the hostelry in question.
Entries segue smoothly from Mallow's oft-praised Longueville House to the colourful Two Dog Café in Clifden, Ardfinnan's Kilmaneen Farmhouse and the atmospheric Vaughan's Anchor Inn in Liscannor - it is a relaxed and comprehensive mixture of the kind of places that you will (or hope to) encounter on any road trip in Ireland.
The 'Georgina Campbell's Ireland for Gourmet Golfers' is more of the same, with plenty of golf included. For this guide, Campbell teamed up with leading Irish golf writer Dermot Gilleece. While Gilleece covers the golfing angle - details of golf courses around Ireland, from Ballybunion to Ballyliffin and beyond - Campbell plots out the base towns, with accommodation, restaurants and pubs plus plenty of information for any accompanying non-golfers.
While 'Georgina Campbell's Ireland for Gourmet Golfers' is definitely orientated towards a more niche market, 'Georgina Campbell's Ireland' is the kind of book that anyone with an interest in food should have close by while traveling in this country.