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

Bad Habits

You read it, and want to weep.

“Ireland’s meteoric rise in economic strength is one to be applauded but given these stated behaviours one would have to wonder if it is at the expense of its workers, whereby commuting time, deadlines and other pressures are creating unhealthy and unsustainable food habits in its working community”.

And just what are the “stated behaviours” that Irish people confessed to Amarach Consulting as it carried out its second Food Futures Survey? In what ways are we nurturing “unhealthy and unsustainable” food habits in our working community?

The Limerick Food Bloggers & 101 Talbot

Keen readers of the new Bridgestone Guide will have noticed that Valerie O'Connor is one of our contributing editors. But you may not have known that Valerie first came to our notice thanks to her sharply opinionated and funny writing on her blog, www.valskitchen.com.

And, now that Valerie has relocated back to her native Limerick, it turns out she has joined up with the most bloggerful group of food lovers you can find anywhere: The Limerick Food Bloggers. Check these guys out:

Cookery Book: Cook Simple by Diana Henry

Megabytes has often praised the work of Diana Henry, especially her classic first book, "Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons". Somehow, as well as writing for The Sunday Telegraph. Ms Henry is managing a cookery book each year, and her latest is another beauty. "Cook Simple" borrows it's name from Escoffier's dictum, "Faites Simple", and takes the idea of simple cooking to deliciously logical extremes.

Cookery Book: "Cooking by Hand" by Paul Bertolli

When did you last come across a cookery book that had been conceived and executed as a work of art? Today, the majority of successful cookery books are works of pure commerce: Nigella, having done Feast, must now deliver Fast, because what else can constitute a framework for the next television series? Jamie, having delivered the Cookery Bible (the big book!) must now do The Good Life, because what else can constitute a framework for the next television series?

Menu of the Season: The Waterfront Restaurant

The Waterfront Restaurant, Lord Bagenal Hotel, Main Street, Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow

This menu from The Waterfront was one of the most memorable meals of our restaurant-going year. It all started with an amuse of air-dried Connemara lamb with lavender honey…

Starter
Fillet of Red MulletChickpea fries, Lemon & Basil Tartar Sauce €13.50
Pressed terrine of Confit Duck & Foie grasApricot Compote, Warm Brioche €13.50
Roast Breast of QuailWild Mushroom Risotto, Salsify Crisps €14.00

Sweetie Pies

Ever since Alison Pearson's heroine took a rolling pin to her M&S mince pies to distress them for her child's school open day in the brilliant novel "I Don't Know How She Does It", it has been impossible to pass off any professionally made cakes or biscuits as being from your own hand.
But fear not: a bag of Sweetie Pie cakes, pies and sweet loaves are so gloriously hand-made, so abidingly domestic, that you effectively could claim them as your own work. If you were a really good baker, that is.

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