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Sally's blog

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

Mike and John Favre’s wines, from Switzerland, are well worth your time and money.

Switzerland hauled in a mere four pages in the capacious 4th edition of Hugh Johnson’s World Atlas of Wine, but Mr Johnson cannily noted that: “As a producer she is small but impeccable.” Well, take a sip of the Petit Arvine white wine made by John and Mike Favre, in the Chamoson area of Valais, and you will agree wholeheartedly with Hugh. This is an impeccably made wine, rich in both minerality and salinity, in particular the latter, which gives it an almost-chewy mouthfeel.

Theatre of Food at Electric Picnic - The Movie

Every year McKennas' Guides commissions a brand new film to feature all the incredible talents who turn up to work with us at Theatre of Food at the Electric Picnic Music and Arts Festival. Cookery superstars, music superstars and a whole lot of superstars in waiting are all here. Get your tickets for 2017.

Thanks to Kilkenny film maker Alan Slattery from MicroFilms for the amazing production, and also to Samuel Colville McKenna for the music. Sit back and enjoy!

The bread at Gaillot et Gray is making as big an impact as their original pizzas

Leonard’s Corner is where it’s at.
Ennis Butchers is moving in. Barry Fitzgerald’s Bastible restaurant, and 57 The Headline, one of the city’s best craft beer pubs, are serious destinations. The unique PUPP is just down the street.
And Gaillot et Gray, on Leonard’s Corner, are baking the kind of breads, and making the kinds of pizzas, that have people crossing the city.

Kilkenny Whiskey Guild

You need to get up early in the morning to get ahead of those lads in Kilkenny.

Forever innovating and improving Ireland's medieval capital – they have just opened the Medieval Mile Museum, and it's a superlative piece of historical and architectural work – the city has just launched the Kilkenny Whiskey Guild, a collation of ten of the city's bars who will be offering a specialist whiskey menu with no fewer than 60 whiskeys, all curated by trained staff.

Connie and Colin admire the art lover’s paradise that is Pax House.

There is so much to love about what John and his dedicated group bring to Pax House. The butter balls on the breakfast table, on a silver leaf platter. The signature omelette made with cream cheese, camembert, tomato, seaweed and smoked salmon. Molly the cat who is the queen of Pax. The seashells which dominate the scene so beautifully, whether they have been mounted like the proud Nautilus on the living room shelves, scattered around near the bedrooms, or stuck onto circular forms and put into a giant bowl under a painting.

George Nelson and his team have created one of the glories of the North Anntrim Coast in Babushka

Babushka is the star of Portrush. But, just so you get the most out of George Nelson’s small-yet-perfectly-formed café, here’s what you need to bring before you walk down to the waterfront:

1. An Appetite
2. A Soapbox.
3. A Megaphone

So, get a seat in this little corridor of a room, order a posh bacon bap and a cup of Nano Challa from Ethiopia, with a slice of salted caramel to follow. Begin to eat, then pause, collect soapbox and megaphone, move outside, stand on soapbox, raise megaphone to your lips and start to holler:

Wellness in the hotelness of the Connemara Coast Hotel

A small number of Irish hotels exude hotelness.
By hotelness, we mean that they are destinations that exemplify the art of being an hotel. For us, the Connemara Coast Hotel at Furbo, a few miles west of Galway city, is one of those rare destinations.
In our minds we all have a picture of exactly what hotelness is – comfort; a warm welcome; delicious cooking; subdued but confident style; a place where you can truly relax thanks to charming and efficient staff who look after you and your needs; calmness; a place where you can switch off.

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