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Sally's blog

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

Raftery's Lounge, Craughwell, Co Galway

The pristine country town pub with a great welcome, nice drinks, and lovely food. It’s what we all want, and what we search for on our travels, from The Snug in Bantry to The Tavern in Murrisk.
And that’s why we are here, in little Craughwell, about 25kms west of the city in  County Galway, parking the car in the car park of Raftery’s Bar.
The bar has been in the hands of the Raftery family for four generations, and the family have maintained the pub with fastidious care all that time: it’s a place where everything gleams.

Athrú 2016 Inaugural Conference

The Athrú 2016 Inaugural Conference takes place in Galway this July.

Leading female chefs and restaurateurs from across Ireland and Europe are coming together for a culinary think-in and conference on gender roles within professional kitchens and throughout the hospitality sector.

The two day meet up will run from Monday 18th July to 19th July with workshops being facilitated at 56 Central and key note addresses and think in collaborative sessions with all attendees. The workshops will run from 9am to 2pm on both days.

l'Gueuleton by William Barry

One of the shortcomings of food writing in the press is that food writers often only write about the hot new places, and don’t celebrate some of the restaurants who quietly get on with the business of pleasing customers, and keeping standards high, year in year out. One such restaurant, and an old favourite of mine, is l’Gueuleton (pronounced as la-goul-a-ton) on Fade Street.

Where to Eat & Stay on the Wild Atlantic Way (3rd edition)

Hillside Lodge is run by Ruth and Stuart Morgan. Mrs Morgan has a background in textiles and design, so the rooms are super-tactile. Mr Morgan has a background in the music biz, and has acted as guitar whizz to everyone from U2 to the Killers. So when you are on the landing and ask yourself: “Is this Sting’s bass guitar I see before me?”, well, yes indeed, it is Sting’s bass guitar, and what’s more he has signed it.

The Portaferry Hotel, and 10 Seafront Getaways

The Portaferry Hotel, Portaferry, County Down
A ratio. A certain ratio. Often, it’s a ratio that determines if something feels right. You walk into the bedroom in The Portaferry Hotel, for example, and the room feels just right: bright, welcoming, snug, cosy, inviting. And the reason why it feels so good is that ratio: the size of the seaward-facing windows proportionate to the width of the room. Spot on.

Forest and Marcy, Dublin

A single dish can sometimes define a cook, and where that cook is at. But it can also define a nation, and where that nation is at, in terms of its culinary traditions.
Ciaran Sweeney’s fermented potato bread, with bacon and cabbage, a €8 starter dish on the menu at Forest & Marcy, on Dublin’s Leeson Street, does just that, both for Mr Sweeney himself, and for Eating in Ireland, 2016.

Stef Hans Café, Thurles

As we linger over making the decision to order some lemon tart in Stef Hans, in Thurles, the waitress, Joanne, tells us this story:
“It was my eldest’s first holy communion last Sunday, and on the Friday night, who comes to the house with a whole lemon tart for us but Steffi!”
And the pair of us simply melt into a puddle. But not before ordering the lemon tart.

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