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Sally's blog

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

Fia is the favoured new place of worship in Dublin 6, says John McKenna

10.25am on a Sunday morning in Rathgar, and Fia is full.
The nearby churches are most likely empty, but Fia is full.
There is so much laughter in the room that you might imagine it was Friday evening, right after work. That sound, of course, is the sound of people energised and excited by great food. If you want to assess if an individual restaurant is good, don’t look at the menu: listen to the volume.
10.25am on a Sunday morning, and Fia is loud. And that’s because Fia is exceptionally good.

Sally McKenna relishes the Dublin 8 District Vibe of the Radisson Blue Royal Hotel

Just a short stroll up from St Stephen's Green, the Radisson Blu Royal hotel feels like no other Dublin city centre hotel. The ten-year-old building sits just behind the narrow, medieval streets surrounding Dublin Castle, and a couple of blocks down from St Patrick's Cathedral. It is also near to the once glorious, but now architecturally-overlooked, 16th century mansioned Aungier Street.

Great chefs need great sommeliers to take the dining experience to a new level. Here are three food and wine duos who take it higher.

The hardest working man in Ireland is Zsolt Lukács.
Just look at the guy, haring around table after table at Aniar restaurant, in Galway’s West End, as he tends to everyone’s wine selection.
It would seem that everyone this evening has opted to have the tasting menu with the wine pairing. This is a smart move but, with seven courses on each of the menus – and a quartet of little dishes to start – it means Mr Lukács is changing every table’s wine and wine glasses after every course.

Bantry’s iconic The Snug has just opened their new dining room open in time for the Chamber Music and Literary Festivals. A report, plus all the other key Bantry destinations you need to know.

The Snug/O'D’s
It’s long gone 10 o’clock on Saturday night but, for the staff in Bantry’s The Snug, there is no chance yet to ease up, kick back, and call it a day.
Pressure for a table is still intense: the 5 French tourists at the bar are waiting to eat, and there are a 3-top and a 4-top of locals still hoping for a table.

All human life, from babes in arms to grizzled saddle warriors, are riding Waterford’s Greenway, one of the biggest hits of the year

It’s not all about the Wild Atlantic Way, you know.
If you need proof that the rest of the country hasn’t just gone away, and ceded control of the tourist dollar to Dublin and the WAW, then you need to take a trip to the Waterford Greenway.
We turned up at Coach House Coffee, just outside Kilmacthomas, to see what was happening on the WG.

Life style is often thought to be a dirty word. Bunsen shows why it’s an essential attribute of every smart food business.

Bunsen’s southern branch, on French Church Street in Cork city, is a study in two exacting disciplines.
The first is hamburgers, of course. Bunsen is all about burgers. It’s all about how you create, make and serve, a hamburger, something Bunsen has done with consistent imagination ever since Tom Gleeson opened his first store on Dublin’s Wexford Street.
But just as significantly, Bunsen is a study in style. 

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