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

Nash 19 Xmas Hampers

Last month we mentioned in passing that one of the best Xmas puddings we know is made by Claire Nash and her team in Cork's superb Nash 19 restaurant.

Now, the good news is that you can buy the Nash 19 puds, and a whole lot more besides, via their hamper service, which is sold online, and through the Nash 19 shop, and via Brown Thomas, Cork.

Back in Black/Le Tire Bouchon

Well, you must be saying to yourselves, and where have you been all these weeks?...

The answer is that we have just emerged from the annual tunnel that is the writing and finishing of the annual Bridgestone 100 Best Guides, the 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 2009 and the 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland 2009.

C word, 2

Down in Ballinskelligs, they know a thing or three about chocolate.
Emily and Sarah of Cocoa Bean, and Colm of Skelligs Chocoltes work side by side, two separate companies, two distinct identities, but one location. Remarkable co-operation.
And remarkable chocolates. The girls have just introduced a new bar, Dark Chocolate with Christmas Tree, and it's a beaut: spruce, rosemary, ginger, spices and clementine zest all bundled together in a beautiful bar of chocolate.

Your Retail Therapy

Your Retail Therapy

Of all the weasel words that permeate our culture -– sugar-free; compassionate Conservatism; low-fat; friendly fire; buy-one-get-one-free – there is surely no more egregious expression than “retail therapy”.
When you are down and miserable, it proposes, you only need to flash the cash or pass the plastic to get cured, to find your balance and well-being, to regain your mental confidence.

Naked in West Waterford

Louise Clark has opened Nude Food in Dungarvan, West Waterford.
Eamon Barrett slips off his robe and is over the moon. Take it away Eamon:


Market stall holder Louise Clark has joined the ranks of the Dungarvan Dynamos with the opening of her super little cafe and restaurant Nude Food in O'Connell Street in the town.

It's an eclectic space: mismatched furniture, old living room lamps and a chandelier made from old bottles but it all works and the place has a lovely ambiance.

Some news...

The Tannery
Paul Flynn's new cookery school at The Tannery in Dungarvan will kick off on November 20th, with the first course being “An Irish Adventure with Food”. The school will be able to accommodate 45 people for demos, and 12 students at each hand-on course. Mr Flynn also has seven new rooms added to the swish mix of suites at the Tannery Townhouse. The Tannnery website is currently being updated which should be completed next week when you will be able to see everything that is going on...

Spanish Stars

The Good News From Georgia

Teliani Valley company

What with the Russians meddling in their affairs, and our soccer heroes battling with them on the pitch, Georgia has uncharacteristically been in the news a lot just recently, with there being little good news from Tiblisis.
Well, here is the good news from Georgia, courtesy of a selection of wines from the Teliani Valley company. Before you throw up your hands in shock-horror – Georgian wines!? – consider that wine making and drinking has been an integral part of Georgia's culture for 5,000 years.
That's right: Five Thousand Years.

Cuberoll Steak of Hereford Beef

Deverell's

So, just what is cuberoll steak?
We had a couple of pieces from Ivor Deverell's splendid Farm Factory Direct in Offaly, but had to go trawling through the web to discover that cuberoll steak is actually a trimmed rib-eye steak.
So, what did we do with them? We fried them in butter and oil over high heat, tossed in some garlic cloves and a big sprig of rosemary when we turned them, then let them rest and added some wine to the pan to make a garlicky, rosemary gravy. After the cuberolls had rested, we sliced them, and spooned the gravy over the top.

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