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Sally's blog

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

Mortell's Delicatessen and Seafood Restaurant [Review]

When did it happen that the fine old words of catering – monger, patissier, confectioner – got replaced with words like ambient, part-baked or food service? Thank goodness some sense prevails in institutions like Mortell’s of Limerick, but I’m finding it difficult to think of another café anywhere that, if you order a ham sandwich, they give you their own baked ham, their own coleslaw – made with their own mayonnaise, on their own home baked soft white yeast loaf. Can you imagine how delicious that tastes?

The Little Milk Company [Video]

The secret of organic milk lies in the grass, its quality, its diversity, its deliciousness. Conventional farming uses chemical aids to grow grass, but the organic system concentrates more on feeding the soil, thereby creating pastures that are diverse, and deep-rooted. Organics allows for more biodiversity in what grows in the field - organic farmers actually prefer their grassland to be full of clover and other plants, because they know it makes the milk from the cows grazing on the pastures taste better.

Renvyle House [Recommendation]

John McKenna visited Renvyle House

Renvyle House Hotel has entered a second century of service with two of the great masters of Irish hospitality – Ronnie and Tim – guiding the helm.

In 2013, Renvyle House Hotel celebrated 130 years as an hotel. Consider, for a moment, what Ireland was like in 1883. Consider what Ireland was like when W.B. Yeats spent his honeymoon here, or when Black’s Guide noted, in 1912, that a week’s residence in Renvyle cost £3, in a fine house that was “most homely and comfortable”.

Digital Publishing from McKennas' Guides

Digital publishing from McKennas’ Guides continues apace. We have just launched version 1.1 of our 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 2014. Those of you who purchased it can download the new version free from the App Store. We have fixed a number of issues that bugged us in version 1, particularly the Facebook links, which now link directly to the establishment's page on Facebook, and the same on Twitter. We’ve also optimised the images to reduce the size of the app, and we’ve been able to correct some minor text isses and contact details.

Meet The Brewer - Kevin O'Hara, Independent Brewing Company of Ireland

What inspired you to make beer?
I'm been lucky enough to make some great friends, a lot of those
friendships would have been formed or cemented while enjoying a beer
or two. I have always liked "messing" or experimenting and started
making beer at home, playing around with different ingredients and
flavours. For me, nothing beats having a beer with friends and I like
to think that other people can now enjoy my beer whilst relaxing with
their friends and their own special moments.

[2 min Video] Meet the Brewer - Sarah Ruarty

Sarah Roarty is one of those astonishingly dynamic women whom you are going to be hearing a great deal about. Her first step into the public sphere is the brilliant N17 beer, and she has an oatmeal stout on the way. But it is Ms Roarty's holistic approach to beer making that is particularly noteworthy, as she plans to grow shiitake mushrooms and make dog biscuits from the more than 90% of spent produce left behind in brewing. Watch this woman! And watch this introduction to a singular brewer and beer sommelier.


[Restaurant Review] William Barry reviews Shells in Sligo

It amazes me how so many hostelries can make a shambles of a sandwich, or bungle a burger, or destroy a fry.

Thankfully this is never the case in the Shells Seaside Café, in Strandhill, just outside Sligo. Arrive to Shells on a Saturday or Sunday at any time of the year and you may have to queue for a table in this busy destination cafe: it’s worth the wait, however, for the exceptionally good food.

[2 min Video] #bestsandwichinireland - Entrepans, Galway

Our search for the #bestsandwichinireland takes us to Galway, where the Pork Bahn-mi made by Paul and Frank is spoken of in hushed tones in foodie circles as being the #bestsandwichingalway. We went along to their "road truck that doesn't move" in the characterful, quintessentially Galway, traditional yet innovative Bierhaus, Henry Street, in Galway city.


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