Clodagh McKenna is the author of five best-selling cookbooks. She has two restaurants in Dublin and creates the menu with Aer Lingus onboard European and Transatlantic flights. Clodagh’s TV series 'Clodagh's Irish Food Trails' airs on PBS.
Before I visited Lyme Regis in Dorset, the only thing I knew about it was that Meryl Streep once stood at the end of its pier, staring out to sea in an enormous black cape. Now I know better. Dorset is one of England’s most beautiful counties. Often referred to as “Hardy’s Country,” the rich, rolling farm land and bustling seaside towns have provided the inspiration for novelists from Thomas Hardy and John Fowles to Ian McEwan and even Jane Austen.
But it was not the French Lieutenant's Woman that brought me to Dorset—it was food. Today the rich and fertile farm lands of the Dorset countryside and the fishing grounds of the English Channel have attracted a hub of outstanding artisanal producers, farmers and fishermen. Their produce has in turn attracted some of Britain’s finest chefs, including Dorset-born chefs Mark Hix and Cass Titcombe and River Cottage founder Hugh Fearnleigh Whittingstall.