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

No need to worry, no need at all

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued a draft opinion that food from cloned livestock is safe to eat.
“Healthy clones and healthy offspring do not show any significant difference from their conventional counterparts”, the EFSA said in its opinion, to which it is now inviting views before drawing a definite conclusion in May.

On your 'phone

Bridgestone Mobile

We like the quiet life, but we don't seem capable of managing it whenever the annual Bridgestone 100 Best Guides appear. What should, we think, be an unexceptional event seems to have turned in to an annual snowball fight, with us against a series of diverse interests, from Killarney to builders to guys who turn out braised lamb shanks as if their life didn't depend on it.
With the new 2008 100 Best Guides, the snowball fight has been as intense as ever.

Give me a T...

Congratulations to An Bord Pleanala, who have refused the supermarket behemoth Tesco permission to build yet another supermarket in the pretty town of Callan, in County Kilkenny
Kilkenny thus retains its status as the most singular county in Ireland, for it is the only county that does not have a Tesco store.

Poor Ould Fellas

“All they want to eat is some bread, some cheese, and some oxtail soup. And by that I mean normal white sliced bread, a box of Galtee cheese, and oxtail soup that comes out of a packet, and makes one-and-a-half pints, as God intended it”.

The FT in Dublin

Nicholas Lander, the restaurant reviewer for the Financial Times, reported last Saturday on a trio of Dublin addresses, where he seemed to have thoroughly good time when visiting the capital.

Surviving Resolutions

New Year resolutions fail for a very simple reason: they are self-denying.
But, surely that is the point? Doesn’t there have to be a bit of Hades, a spot of self-mortification, in order to have a true resolution? Mustn’t the flesh be flailed, the guilt assuaged, before the pilgrim can make progress towards a new enlightenment?

The 'Burlo

The newspapers have been filled with stories lamenting the passing of The 'Burlo, Dublin's Burlington Hotel.

To read them, one might imagine that The 'Burlo was the capital's equivalent of Ballymaloe House, an iconic concept with cutting-edge cuisine and a cultural impact as deep as it was wide. The 'Burlo cabaret was, one might imagine, as great an artistic feat as Wagner's Bayreuth or Britten's Aldeburgh.

Wild Garlic, Gooseberries... and Me

“When did you last come across a cookery book that had been conceived and executed as a work of art?”, we asked back in November.

And then Denis Cotter, of Cork's Café Paradiso, published “Wild Garlic, Gooseberries... and me”, as if in answer to our question. A cookery book conceived and executed as a work of art.

If you had asked us if Mr Cotter could have topped the success of his previous books – in our opinion the best cookery books written by a working chef – we would have said it was a task that bordered on the impossible.

Surviving Christmas

The symptoms are hypertension and, most likely, affluenza.

The condition is known as Christmas Dinner.

You know the Christmas dinner. It’s the meal when the CEO is expected to miraculously morph into the CHEF without anyone noticing, having already bought all the appropriate gifts for everyone at the appropriately enormous expense and wrapped them in the appropriately deluxe gift wrap.

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