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Sally's blog

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

Lina's Nepalese Cookbook

The best cookery books are those which are abidingly personal, books that are testaments to life's adventures. Lina Gautam's Nepalese Cookbook is one of the most delightful – and modest – examples of this valuable genre, as Ms Gautam intersperses her childhood memories of food with the great adventure for which people in Ireland know her best – the setting up of Monty's Restaurant, in Dublin's Temple Bar, with her husband, Shiva.

The €10,000 curry: it's all for Nepal

Enjoy superb food, raise money for the earthquake relief effort in Nepal and be in with a chance to win great prizes including dinner for two and overnight accommodation at Neven Maguire’s acclaimed MacNean House and Bistro in Blacklion, Co Cavan. Head for Smock Alley Theatre in the heart of Temple Bar in Dublin on May 24 for a night of curry, drinks and dancing being organised by three chefs.

The informal dinner is open to 100 guests and is priced at €100 per ticket, with the aim of sending at least €10,000 to Nepal through the charity Touch Ireland.

Takekaway - Bean to Bar Chocolate in Ireland [Podcast]

If you thought chocolate began with CDM and ended with Flake, think again. Brilliant chocolatiers are rewriting the book of what you can do with beans and bars. Sally McKenna talks to some of the key players in the melting pot of Irish chocolate.

Thanks to all the people who we spoke to for this podcast: Allison Roberts from Clonakilty Chocolate,; Hannah and Rachel Dare from Organico Bantry,, Caitlin Ruth from Deasy's Harbour Bar.

Stanley's, Dublin, by Leslie Williams

Leslie Williams is bowled over by Peter Clifford's subtle cooking in Stanley's, on Dublin's St. Andrew's Street.

Pork; fennel; nettle; and strawberry – flavours few of us would put together but, roll them round in your head, and you realise someone should have thought of this before.

Next add in some caramel and moscatel scented Palo Cortado Sherry, and citrus and almond flavoured, salty dry Amontillado (plus a touch of that old furniture aroma) and the string quartet becomes a chamber orchestra.

Bogbean Café & B&B, Roundstone, Connemara, Co Galway

Bogbean sounds just... right.
What is it? It's a smart, suave café and a series of five B&B rooms upstairs in the centre of Roundstone, run by Orla Conneely and Shane McElligott.
But Bogbean is also a plant, and a strangely appropriate one, at that. Why so?
Well, because it's a plant that likes to have its feet wet, with its stems reaching well into the water in its habitat of bogs, canals, streams, fens and slow-moving water.

The Idle Wall, Westport

John McKenna heads back to his childhood in Aine Maguire's The Idle Wall, in Westport, County Mayo

Aine Maguire's menus are a palimpsest, both of her private life, and of her cooking life. Her food in her new restaurant, The Idle Wall, down on the waterfront in Westport, County Mayo, is unusually personal: there are dishes directly influenced by her family, dishes from the places of her youth, dishes that have been triggered by precise experiences at precise times.


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