The Clare Jam company stands in an idyllic position in a clifftop position a mile or so to the south of Doolin.
The Manufacturing area is not much bigger than a good-sized garage but they make a bewildering variety of very high quality jams. The small attached shop sells them from between 2 Euro 40 a jar and 3 Euro (for the normal sized jamjar)
I especially liked the more unusual flavours such as the Orange marmalade I found with added Poitin (a legal version of Irish Potato moonshine) and spices.
They make great presents.
The Magnetic Music store is housed in the middle of Fisher street and has a wonderful cafe attached (see other tip).
If Irish music is your thing then you will certainly find what you want here. The range is massive, ranging from the ultra-traditional to groups like ‘The Dubliners’ who are known all over the world, to more modern interpretations of the music in the hands of somewhat eclectic individuals.
The shop also produces magazines, and a website, much of which is aimed at Germans, who seem to be particularly attracted to this type of music.
This shop is small yet it captures the heart of the Doolin area. It has crafts created by local artists from pottery to poetry, artwork to artfully woven scarves and coats.
What to buy: I am a fan of the artwork of Tim Muloney, which is offered at Celtic Waves. My performance partner finds Anna Nielsen's Pen & Ink art engrossing. I have picked up several copies of a cook of Poetry, which is handmade and written and illustrated by a local author
What to pay: There are a wide range of products available from postcards to framed wall art.
The Magnetic Music Cafe is a music store and coffee shop set up inside a thatched cottage on Doolin's Fisher Street. It was quite a stroke of luck to find such a high calibre music store in Doolin. It has quite an unusual inventory of Irish, Celtic and world music. It has listening posts so that you can hear the CD you are interested in purchasing. As well, Mary and Petr and their staff are always availble to offer excellent advice on selections. They also carry Books, Instructional Videos and DVDs.
You walk up a garden path and in through a bright red Dutch door. Their terraced garden is enough of a reasoin to go visit. Venture inside and you are guaranteed a multi-sensory pleasure. Your eyes will delight in the small tables set about with tablecloths of many fabrics and patterns, crockery vases and glass jugs on every table filled with flowers from the garden and of course all of the music and products to see. Your ears will thrill to the sounds of a different Cd played every hour. In addition, during the summer season, Mary and Petr hold a series of Concerts on the weekends. Your taste buds will delight in a good cup of coffee, hot tea or hot cocoa accompanied by fresh baked cakes, pies and scones, all served in china cups and plates, with cloth napkins.
The Cafe & Music Shop is open April through November
What to buy: Each year that I return, I stop into the Magnetic Music afe and always find a new and unique CD to carry with me on my travels. After checking into my lodgings, they are my first stop for a cup of cocoa and a generous slice of chocolate cake, accompanied by hospitable conversation from either Mary, Petr or one of the staff.
What to pay: A cup of Cocoa & a slice of cake was 6 Euros. The Cds averaged about 20 Euro
While Doolin does have shops selling basic groceries you'd be well advised to stock up in on of the larger towns before you arrive if you're planning on going down the self catering route. Of course the pub grub is always a good option too ;-)