Val Manning’s roadside Emporium, just near Ballylickey bridge in West Cork, has long been a stalwart of the Bridgestone Guides but who would have thought that it could be so wonderfully rejuvenated at this stage of its existence? The touchpaper was lit by the arrival of Val’s niece Laura and her husband Andrew Heath into the business and their enthusiasm seems to have sprinkled the whole place with some magic dust. More than just an emporium for the finest locally sourced food in the area, Manning’s is now a super cool café - it might be the only place in West Cork serving a Flat White – and if the raspberry cupcakes and scones that we tried are anything to go by, the food is delicious. The genius touch though, is the addition of a sherry bar, right at the front of the shop. It’s hard to imagine anything more enjoyable than sitting at that little bar with a glass of chilled fino sherry, some local cheese or cured meats, listening to the genial and venerable Val chatting away to customers and so visibly enjoying his work. The wine selection is the work of someone who knows what they’re doing – some great Rieslings and quirky New World Sauvignon Blanc’s caught my eye. And one more thing about Manning’s – it’s buzzing with customers. It took our third visit before we could get a seat in the café!

Nationwide (RTE1 Television) - 4th July 2011

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Ummera Blog

Anyone travelling on the road north of Bantry will have passed this little shop with the grand name; anyone with a modicum of interest in food will have been compelled to stop and enjoy Val’s company and stories. To those of us working with food in West Cork (and further field), Manning’s has been the Mecca for artisan producers over the years and given support and encouragement to many.

Go Ireland

For many people, Manning’s Emporium is synonymous with the spirit that is West Cork. Sociable, choice, creative, it’s a shop where you can loiter for hours, chatting, discovering, selecting. The shop really blooms in the summer when the organic vegetables are at their best, the cheeses are at their best, and indeed, everything is at its best.

Discover Ireland

Val Manning has been operating the Good Food Ireland principle for years and it’s down in no small way to this man that the first artisans of West Cork found their feet. He supports numerous small producers and cheese makers in the area. Here is one of the men, and indeed one of the shops, that helps the food revolution happen.

Good Food Ireland

To visit here is to visit a food Mecca. And to speak to Val is to chat to a man who knows everything there is to know about local food, and can give you a potted history about everything he sells. Val is a real “Slow Foodie” actively involved in that international philosophy of “Good, clean and fair food”. The shelves are stacked high with the finest this country has to offer as well as goods and produce from Europe and further afield.