Warm hospitality gives a sublime taste of the true West

West at The Twelve's Connemara scallops with leeks, smoked black pudding, a potato and dried seaweed terrine, and a scallop roe cream was one of the best dishes I’ve eaten so far this year

West at The Twelve hotel in Barna just outside Galway city: the dining room is run like a well-oiled and friendly machine PIC: Michael Dillon

West at The Twelve

Barna, Co Galway

091-597000, thetwelvehotel.ie

Chef: Martin O’Donnell

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times – or at least it was for my wallet during an August trip to the west, a part of the country I’ve only got familiar with relatively recently.

I’m an east coast girl who didn’t learn to drive until the age of 30, a fact that ruled out holidays ...