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Enduring Passion —
Curating a world unique hospitality experience

"…if any young restaurant couple in Europe deserve to flourish it is the de Blacams, deeply rooted on its very western extremity." The Financial Times

 

Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites was created by Marie-Thérèse and Ruairí de Blacam with the aim of enabling guests to best experience their unique island location.


Every detail is inspired by the island and the unique way of living that is necessary in such a remote location of natural beauty.

It is an intimately private retreat run personally by Ruairí and Marie-Thérèse and a small team. Both are widely travelled and have curated their best hotel experiences into their very original hospitality offering.
 

Ruairí de Blacam

Ruairí is the cook in the restaurant, and as a native of Inis Meáin, is inspired by the purity of the ingredients and the food traditions of the island.

He spent 15 years working as a professional chef in Dublin, Italy, Germany and France before returning home to the island to open his own restaurant.

Ruairí was born before the island had electricity and experienced an Irish childhood that was more akin to that of the previous generation in the 1950s. It was a time when there was just one supply boat to the island each week - if the sailing wasn’t cancelled in rough weather.

Each house on the island had a cow, and milk was borrowed from the neighbour’s cow when your own cow was in calf. Pigs and chickens were also common, as was salting fish, and foraging, not for fashion sake but to ensure a continuous food supply.

He has a very grounded approach to food through which his philosophy of Elemental Eating has developed. Based on using the best available island ingredients and presenting them simply using just two elements in each dish to highlight their deliciousness.
 

Marie-Thérèse de Blacam

Marie-Thérèse wears many caps for Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites including Host, Interior Designer and Marketeer.

She has a broad background in these areas, and an enduring interest in food and hospitality first piqued by a work placement in Ballymaloe Cookery School near to her family home in East Cork.

As host and sommelier in the restaurant, she regularly provides insights to guests curious about the idiosyncrasies of their unique location.

A keen baker, she has developed the many breads, cakes and biscuits enjoyed by guests during a stay, and together with Ruairí, tends to the animals and plants they have nurtured to provide ingredients for the restaurant and suites.
 
 

Collaborators


  • photograph of Saileog Lally

Saileog Lally
    Drinks Aficionado

    Saileog was our wonderful restaurant manager for 5 seasons. She is now progressing her career in the drinks industry, while completing her WSET diploma and helping us in the continuous evolution of our carefully selected wine and drinks collection.

  • photograph of Shane de Blacam

Shane de Blacam
    Architectural Godfather

    Shane sensitively designed our stone-clad building housing the restaurant and suites. He and his partner John Meagher have been referred to as the “Godfathers of Irish Architecture”-Architects of Today (Laurence King 2004). Proud to be in his canon.

  • photograph of Roger & Olivia Goodwillie



Roger & Olivia Goodwillie
    Original Good-lifers

    Roger and Olivia have vast experience growing and rearing food for themselves and others in Lavistown House in Kilkenny. They are longtime friends and supportive guides of our growing in the polytunnel and vegetable garden next to the restaurant.

 

Awards

Marie-Thérèse and Ruairí have a long-standing commitment to quality, receiving reviews, awards and recommendations both nationally and internationally. Some listed below:
 

  • One of the 12 Best Restaurants (worldwide)The Financial Times 2011
  • Overall Best Dining Experience in IrelandIrish Hospitality Awards 2013
  • Best Small Hotels in IrelandAward winner Tripadvisor 2013
  • Best Hotels for Service in IrelandAward winner Tripadvisor 2013
  • Best Dining Experience in IrelandIrish Hospitality Awards 2012
  • Overall Best Boutique Hotel in IrelandIrish Hospitality Awards 2011
  • One of the 10 Best Architectural RetreatsGuide to Architectural Retreats 2010
  • Best Commercial Building in IrelandZurich LAMA Architecture Awards 2010
  • Best Restaurant in ConnaughtFood & Wine Magazine Awards 2010
  • Best Restaurant in IrelandHospitality Ireland Magazine Awards 2008
  • Newcomer of the YearGeorgina Campbell's Ireland Guide Awards 2008
  • One of the Top 10 Chefs to WatchBridgestone Ireland's 100 Best Restaurants 2008-2013
  • One of the Top 10 Best GetawaysBridgestone Ireland’s 100 Best Places to Stay 2008-2013
  • Best Design in Irish TourismIrish Tourism Industry Confederation Inaugural Awards
  • One of the 12 Best Restaurants (worldwide)The Financial Times 2011
  • Best Dining Experience in IrelandIrish Hospitality Awards 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012