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Sally's blog

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

Richard Milnes' cooking fuses the avant garde with the classical in Dillon’s Restaurant in West Cork.

There are 2 chefs to be discovered in Richard Milnes, of Dillon’s Restaurant in little Timoleague, in West Cork.
One is Richard Milnes, Modernist. This guy likes to throw curve balls at everything he gets his hands on. He reinvents brandade as a smoked haddock and salt cod creation, served with pickled carrots and tarragon. He gives the treatment to ham hock terrine by working some ox tongue in there to shake it up. The dude serves celeriac: as a steak.

Noble, Holywood - Restaurant review by Sally McKenna

Sally McKenna enjoys another rock-steady, uber-professional kitchen delivering smart modern food in Northern Ireland.

The opening of Noble, a brand new restaurant in Holywood, Co. Down, was anticipated with much excitement in the pretty coastal town just outside Belfast. When Saul McConnell announced with chef Pearson Morris (both from Michael Deane’s stable of restaurants) that the collaboration was due to open upstairs in the former long-established Iona Bistro, there was a lot of chat locally along the lines of: “Is it open yet?”

Eating Norn Iron

John McKenna reels in the years and finds himself back in Daft Eddie’s in County Down, where it all began.

Daft Eddie’s on Sketrick Island in County Down was an oasis. In the Northern Ireland of the early 1980’s, the cooking that Nick and Kathy Price prepared at this island destination seemed like little short of a miracle. Their food had: Freshness. Originality. Colour. Impishness. Flavour.
In the land of the beef sausage and the soda farl, the Prices brought technicolour to a monochrome food culture.

Belfast on a Plate (Book Review)

Northern Ireland’s big year of food and drink gets the classy monument it deserves.

First things first: Belfast on a Plate: A flavour of the city in recipes and stories is a thing of beauty, a most gorgeous book. Produced by David Pauley and his team at The Studio Publishing Company, the book does full justice to the powerful creativity that powers the city’s dining culture, and it captures the energy, the sweat, and the sexiness that makes Belfast such an exciting place to eat.

Blackwell House, Scarva

Joyce Brownless is mistress of all she surveys in Scarva’s stunning Blackwell House.

"I never remember not being able to bake a cake or make pastry” says Joyce Brownless, the owner of Blackwell House, and the force behind what has quickly become Northern Ireland’s leading luxury guesthouse, a hidden escape in the backwater of the rolling drumlin hills near the village of Scarva in South County Down.


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