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Sally's blog

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Caroline Hennessy reviews The Gannet's Gastronomic Miscellany

Book review: The Gannet's Gastronomic Miscellany by Killian Fox (Mitchell Beazley) by Caroline Hennessy   Put together by a group of London-based writers, photographers and filmmakers, The Gannet is an online magazine that believes, like Claudia Roden, that the best of stories are to be found in the kitchen.

The articles are a delicious meander through relaxed chats, interviewees' picks of local coffee spots, restaurants and shops, collections of loved food objects and favourite cookbooks.

The Cheese Press is a Universe Unto Itself

Some food shops create a universe unto themselves. In Ennistymon, in County Clare, Sinead Ni Ghairbhith’s The Cheese Press is a self-contained world.
You might walk in here to buy some cheese, or to get a cup of the fine, locally roasted Anam coffee, and find that you are still there an hour later, maybe just chatting away to all and sundry, or maybe you decided to head down the stairs and found yourself joining a yoga class.
Cheese. Yoga. Coffee. The universe. It’s all here.

#ZeroKM Dinner @Macreddin

Certain events signal a new epoch in food: the opening of Ballymaloe; the invention of Milleens Cheese; the first Eurotoques dinner in Trinity College; Food On The Edge.

Evan Doyle's Zero Km, 1 dinner, 1 night, 100 people, at the Brook Lodge Inn, belongs in this exalted list of culinary game changers. 

Eamon Barrett experiences a rare level of luxury in the super-spec Ballyfin, in County Laois.

Ballyfin is the kind of hotel you desperately want to hate. It's owned by a billionaire American; it has a room called The Gold Room; the staff form a line to meet you at the front steps when you arrive, and Condé Nast Traveller voted it the Best Hotel IN THE WORLD - it just has to be all in the most appallingly bad taste, doesn't it? But it isn't. In fact, it's the most exquisite and perfect hotel I've ever stayed in. If I could afford it, I'd stay there at least once a month.

Tara and Enda are taking the humble burger to new artisanal heights in Burgatory, and playing some good rock ’n’ roll tunes whilst they are at it.

Would you like a side of Guns 'N' Roses, The Eagles, Green Day and The Doors as you step inside a Galway cottage predestined to be a punk of a joint?

In the brand new Burgatory, in Galway’s Spanish Arch, it’s almost as if a shack from the Midwestern United States flew across the Atlantic and rooted itself in the proud West coast city of Ireland.

Previously, Burgatory was a truck called Harlowe, which toured around festivals. But now owners Enda Hoolmaa and Tara Haugh have decided to root themselves in the heart of Galway's colourful Quay Lane.

Washington Street in Cork is where it’s all happening. PJ McKenna admires the rotisserie style of Spitjack.

The first thing one notices about Spitjack is that you could – in theory – enter this new Cork city restaurant by stepping up and through the large bay window that fronts onto Washington Street. On the day I visit, the window is opened out, letting the atmosphere of Washington Street come in to brighten up the calm, charming dining room.

Soma is a lean, mean machine of a coffee house, and a pivotal addition to Cork’s coffee culture

SOMA is the cool school, minimalist counterpoint to Cork city’s more typical bricolage style of coffee house, typified by the excellent Filter and Alchemy.
Where those great coffee houses are maximalist and choc-a-bloc, Soma is lean, stripped back, a Bauhuas coffee house. The exterior is matt black, counterpointed by the white lettering of the name. Inside the lighting is bright, the tables are hewn from thick planks, and there are couches and a long communal table.

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