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Sally's blog

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

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.

The spirit of Kilkenny, in Thomastown! The Blackberry Cafe

The spirit of Kilkenny is bottled up within the lovable former cobbler’s shop that is the Blackberry Café.
Everything about this phenomenal pocket rocket of a place invites you to believe in the totem that is Killkenny, invites you to believe in everything small, handcrafted, and organic.
Walking into Jackie Hoyne’s café is just like stepping into a Beatrix Potter book, the real deal with an unbeatable classic country aesthetic. As the name suggests, this little place is simply sweet and simply divine.

Following the Bronte trail to Banbridge and to Blend and Batch

The little town of Banbridge has always been blessed with a thriving food culture. Local butchers, Quails, have provided legendary service to the community for decades, and recently opened a pizza restaurant in addition to their cafe and deli. There has long been good home baking in the form of The Windsor, on the main street, whilst the two best country houses in the province, Blackwell House and Newforge House, are nearby.

Winging the wines of the world

There are 2 factors that distinguish the wine merchants of Ireland.
First of all, they have great taste. They find the best, most interesting wines, and bring them into Ireland for us.
Secondly, they are super efficient. Mail in some complex, mixed-up order, and chances are a courier is going to be calling you 48 hours later asking where you want the cases brought to.

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