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

A New Delight

A darling new discovery at this morning's Bantry market is Crumbles, a new bakery based in Ballydehob and run by Patricia Delaney and Colleen O'Kane.
Smashing brownies, great almond croissants, lovely meringues, pretty gingerbread people – this is a very PC bakery – and a cracking smoked Gubbeen cheese loaf which I have just demolished for lunch were just some of the delights on offer, all at very keen prices for such artful work.

The Melancholy of the Products

An interview with our favourite Spanish chef, Andoni Luis Aduriz, of Mugaritz just outside San Sebastian, discloses this magnificent quote:

“Mine is a “tepid” cuisine, a cuisine of whispers, a cuisine where I seek inspidity in every sense. Diners at Mugaritz have to tune themselves in, to make more of an effort to understand than has been asked of them up until that moment.
It's a new tone, as if the melancholy of the products was emerging. It's a tremendously subversive exercise.

Kildare Pies

No news is more urgent or important – even on the day of a Taoiseach's announced resignation – than the news of good pies.
Pie lovers, herewith follows the good news:

My name is Harry Morrin O'Rourke, son of Mary Morrin who you wrote an article on a few years ago.
I'm just dropping you a note to say that in the last couple of months we have restarted the pie business on a larger scale, have had them certified as organic and are now selling at Temple Bar market and some shops around town.

Fishing for Coffee Beans

Food people are always fascinating characters – how could they create exciting foods if they weren't? – but John Gowan's story, as told in the Irish Times Health Plus this Tuesday, is one of the best lifetime stories one can read.
Dangerous Alaskan fishing trips, cascading around the USA as a teenager, captain of a fishing vessel aged 21, and then back to his native Cork to open the sublime Cork Coffee Roasters – this guy has done it all.

West Cork Natural Champions

Just in case you missed the Observer's latest Food Monthly, hearty congrats are due to Bill Hogan and Sean Ferry, the makers of Gabriel and Desmond cheeses, who netted the judges Outstanding Achievement Award. The legal travails which Mr Ferry and Mr Hogan have had to endure are dealt with in the article, and one imagines that their courage in facing up to the legal juggernaut that is the combined Departments of Agriculture and Food Safety was a factor in garnering West Cork Natural Cheeses this important international prize. Well done guys!

Keira, Keira, Keira!

We always pant in anticipation of the newest edition of skymag, the monthly delight/penance we endure for having a subscription to a non-terrestrial channel.
But, imagine our joy when this month's hot cover girl, Keira Knightley, is trailered thus: “Celebrity Interview: Keira Knightley on fame, fashion and farmers' markets!”.
And inside, here is the handsome Miss Knightley in reply to this penetrating enquiry:
“So we won't see you partying till dawn soon, then?” (how do they think them up?!)

Georgina's Tearooms

A concise farewell from a great stalwart of County Louth's and Carlingford's food culture:

I need to inform you that Georgina's Bakehouse Tearooms has ceased trading. After 30 years in the Bakery/Tearooms business I decided to retire, and as I did not wish to pass the business on, I have retired.
I would like to express my gratitude for inclusion in your guides since 1999, seeing the review every year was always great encouragement to keep striving towards the highest standards. Thank you once again for all your help.
From Georgina E. Finnegan.

Knocked Up

Judd Apatow is, it seems, everywhere. Writer, director, producer, co-producer, the man behind an endless stream of movies that garner major box office success.
So, time to settle down with Knocked Up, Mr Apatow's big hit, in order to get a feel for this auteur's theory and practice.
The theory would appear to be that if you create what seems to be a funny situation – slacker impregnates WASPish career girl – that you don't need to spend any more time on the script.


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