Dan and I finished our week in Ireland with two nights in Adare. The town has a tagline of “prettiest village in Ireland”, so we had pretty high expectations before arriving. Ultimately, Adare was our least favorite of the four places we visited – I would say without hesitation that Adare is certainly worth a day trip, but I would probably advise against spending more than one night there (unless your trip is very long and you have time to kill!).
Adare’s biggest claim to fame is a white thatched roof cottage that is featured on many calendars and postcards, and we were disappointed to find that the cottage had burned down within the last few months. Adare’s other claim to fame is the esteemed Adare Manor, which was under such intense construction that we could not go in. So, to be fair, our view on the merits of the village may be a bit tainted! That being said, Adare has a number of other cute thatched roof cottages, a stunning old castle, and a visitor’s center that is very well done. In contrast to Galway, Dingle, and the expanses of Irish countryside we had driven through on our trips to the Cliffs and the Wicklow Mountains, Adare was FULL of trees and had almost none of the rolling Irish fields we had become used to – I can see how, if you are from around there, you would find the trees and parks to be amazing since they look quite different from the rest of the surrounding areas, but we come from Massachusetts, which is full of trees and is noticeably lacking Irish farmland, so it was a bit less novel for us 😉
All of that being said, it’s a lovely village to visit for a long sit in the park (Adare has the biggest and scariest crows I have ever seen), a stroll along the thatched roof cottages, and a tasty gluten free lunch! Aside from the village itself, the main reason we had decided to go Adare was because it seemed like the gluten free options were endless. This turned out to be both true and not true…
Gluten Free Accommodations in Adare, Ireland
Coatesland House B&B:
The Coatesland House was also included in our vacation package, and we chose it because their website specifically noted that they can handle dietary restrictions. The bed and breakfast itself was nice – the rooms were fine, the location was convenient (about a 5-10 minute walk to the village center), and the breakfast room was beautiful. The highlight of this bed and breakfast, however, was the two dogs who lived there. They were adorable and just loved getting attention from the guests! That being said, if you don’t like dogs, it’s probably not for you. We had an okay experience with the breakfasts there – the first day, the owner attempted to make gluten free pancakes for us using a mix she had found at the store. I’m not sure what mix it was, but they didn’t turn out anything like pancakes and were a rather odd consistency (and she knew that – she apologized profusely). The following day, she did not want to serve us those again so just offered eggs and bacon. She served us toast before our meal too. My only concern was that it didn’t seem like she was completely aware of cross contamination – it looked like our bread came in the same basket that the regular bread comes in, so I wasn’t sure how well it had been cleaned out. Another couple eating next to us had one gluten free member and one non-gluten free member, and she served their bread in the same basket – it seemed to be okay for them, but wouldn’t have been for me. We were fine, but I would hesitate to stay there again because of it – and I would hesitate to recommend it to someone with Celiac/a severe intolerance.
Where do I recommend staying? Well, as you're about to read below, the Fitzgerald Woodlands Hotel offers tons of great gluten free options, and the hotel itself is really lovely. I can't vouch for the rooms, but I did eat there a few times, and I found myself wishing we had stayed there!
Gluten Free Restaurants in Adare, Ireland
The Good Room Cafe & Bistro:
When we were planning our trip, The Good Room was the first restaurant that popped up on a Google search for “gluten free Adare”. At the time, they had a website (it looks like it no longer exists), which stated right at the top that they were known for their amazing gluten free options. Reviews from past diners indicated that nearly every single menu item could be made gluten free. Needless to say, we were super excited to try it – and super disappointed to find that either the reviews were wrong, or the restaurant had changed hands somewhere along the line. The restaurant itself was quite unpleasant – while it was in a very cute building, the inside was HOT. It was the most stifling hot restaurant I’ve ever dined in, and I have a fairly high tolerance for heat (I’m always cold). Our waitress was pretty unpleasant, and was very condescending when we asked about the gluten free options. She had no idea what options there were – it was as if she had never been asked that before. We were eventually able to figure out something we could order, and the chef said they did have gluten free bread. Dan had a burger on gluten free sandwich bread, and I had a version of their bruschetta on gluten free sandwich bread. It was very expensive for what it was, and while the meal itself tasted okay and I had no reaction to it, it was pretty disappointing considering our expectations were so high. The environment of the restaurant and our waitress also had an extremely negative impact on our experience. The highlight of the meal was the dessert, which was a gluten free chocolate hazelnut cake – that was delicious. If you find yourself in Adare needing somewhere to eat, I would recommend the Good Room for coffee and a dessert, but not a full meal (unless you’re desperate/it’s winter and thus hopefully not as hot in there).
Timmy Macs Bistro:
Timmy Macs is at the Fitzgerald Woodlands Hotel, which is very close to the village of Adare but probably not walkable. We drove over in our rental car, and there was plenty of free parking. Timmy Macs is nice on the inside, and their menu is labeled with little C’s to indicate gluten free items. I had the Irish chicken supreme, which was fabulous (the photo I have of it is very blurry, but you can kind of see it behind Dan’s meal). Dan got the gluten free pizza, which tasted better than it looks, but wasn’t great. Even though Dan didn’t love the gluten free pizza, I’d still recommend eating here because the chicken was so yummy. They also offered a terrific gluten free cake for dessert, and the prices were all quite reasonable.
Fitzgerald Woodlands Hotel Afternoon Tea:
There are few things that I love more than a full afternoon tea! In addition to Timmy Macs, the Fitzgerald Woodlands Hotel offers a gluten free afternoon tea service in their quaint lobby. This was the highlight of our time in Adare – the entire tea was very well priced (I believe it was 18 euros for the entire tea, including champagne!), and every item served was delicious. It started with pots of tea and big glasses of bubbly (toasting our last night of our Ireland vacation!). We then moved on to the scones, which were superb – the homemade jam was among the best jam I have ever had. The finger sandwiches were outstanding, and all of the desserts were amazing (especially the creamsicle mousse – which I expected to like the least!). Our server noted that the pastry chef at the hotel loves the challenge of perfecting gluten free baked goods, and you could tell that this was true. If you find yourself in Adare and needing to eat gluten free, this is a must-try!
Adare wrapped up our last day in Ireland. If Ireland is on your mind even a little bit – you need to go! We loved every second of our trip – the gluten free food was phenomenal, but the country as a whole is just really special (hence why we are already making our way back 😉). Even though Adare marked the end of our trip, stay tuned tomorrow for a bonus post! I will be posting a gluten free guide to Kilkenny, an Irish village near Dublin that I visited with my parents a few years ago, as well as some extra tips and tricks for booking through Great Value Vacations!
Check out all of the Celiac Wanderlust Gluten Free Ireland Guides!
Gluten Free Dublin, Ireland
Gluten Free Galway, Ireland
Gluten Free Dingle, Ireland
Gluten Free Kilkenny, Ireland