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

Cool People

Ely

Speaking of Cool People, as we were with Barack and Michelle, brings us to Michelle and Erik, founders of Dublin's blessed trinity of ELY winebars.
Mr and Mrs Robson have, for ten years now, proven themselves to be brilliant restaurateurs, with an intuitive understanding of what people want and how they want it. And that is why ELY, ELY CHQ and ELY HQ work. They serve us the things we want, the way we want them: fine wines, good food, great surroundings.

Phew! Finally, some good news for Western Malekind.

Barack

Intellectual. Gifted writer. Awesome orator. Leader of the world's most powerful and wealthiest nation. Father of two gorgeous girls. Hot, smart wife. Kingpin basketball player...
Come on, Barack! Give us Western males a break. How is a guy to match up!
But wait... it seems that Barack Obama, President of the United States, can't dance! Trips on his wife's dress. Stamps on Michelle's toes. Barack is not Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly, and isn't even Fred and Gene rolled into one, as we might have suspected.
Hope for Western malekind at last!

Your Staycation in 2009

Ok, so everyone is broke, depressed, and fed-up with the recession, credit crunch, global downturn, whatever you are having yourself.
If only you hadn't bought that holiday place in Marbella, Florida, Ghana, wherever, the one you can't afford to fly to any more!
Never mind the if only's. In advance of getting all the dope on the hottest new places to stay in Ireland and the hottest new restaurants, which the 2009 Bridgestone 100 Best Guides will reveal to you when they are published shortly, here are some don't miss destinations for your 2009 staycation


Healthplus, The Irish Times: A Great Big Hygge

Three times in my life, a turnip has stopped me dead in my tracks.

The first time was back in 2002, when I put a spoon into a bowl of turnip and brown bread soup, and tasted something that was nothing less than food for the Gods. It had been cooked by the brilliant Catherine Fulvio, who had just taken over the running of Ballyknocken House, near Ashford in County Wicklow.

Ms Fulvio cooks like a dream, but this dish showed something even more than dreamy cooking: it revealed the cook’s ability to ennoble the humblest of foods: the everyday turnip.

Holy Moley it's, it's... Ed Behr in the FT!

Ed Behr

Who says we have lost the power to be shocked and surprised?
Well, you could have knocked us over with a feather when we sifted through the many sections of Saturday's Financial Times only to discover that there, ON THE COVER OF THE FT WEEKEND MAGAZINE, is none other than... Ed Behr, maverick publisher of the world's greatest and most cult food quarterly, The Art Of Eating.
Ed Behr! On the cover of the FT! Well, stone me! Stone us all!

Megabytes Awards for 2008

Con Traas

Con Traas
Con Traas
In the most recent edition of his Apple Club Newsletter, Con Traas discussed codling moths, the Cahir Climatologist, domestic economics, apple thinning, apples and aspirin, and gave a short history of Gregor Mendel and his Laws of Heredity, as applied to your earlobes.

Everyone's doing it, Part 2

 best discs of 2008.

We will be posting our blog of the Men & Women of the Year on New Year's Day, but we thought, given that everyone else is doing it, that you might like our pick of the best discs of 2008.
And, have you noticed how, at the end of the year, there is nowadays little or no consensus on what music, movies or books were “the best”. A very healthy sign of diversity.

Martin Hayes & Denis Cahill: Welcome Here Again (Green Linnet)

Holly and the chickens

www.irishchickencoops.com

One of these animals doesn't belong in Dermot Byrne's smart chicken coop: can you guess which one?
Yes, that is none other than Holly, our one-year-old pup, a Scottie-Shiatzu cross, trying to steal some chicken food, as one-year-olds will.
Mr Byrne's coops are portable, beautifully made products, and very ingenious: a small trap door lowers inside the main frame to allow the birds to climb the stairs at night and keep well away from Mr Fox. Being able to move the house means you can keep the birds on fresh grass, thus giving you lushly orange yolks in your eggs.

Everyone's doing it, so why can't we?

Ah, the annual rash of critic's lists!
A chance to snort with amiable derision at the choices of people you admire – Michael Dwyer and Donald Clarke both choose Paul Thomas Anderson's awful “There Will Be Blood” as the year's best movie! Are they nuts!
Well, just to prove that we are as nutty as all the other hacks, here are our faves from the year almost ended...

I'm Not There, dir. Todd Haynes

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