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Sally's blog

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

The Legal Eagle takes domestic Irish dishes to new culinary heights, and showcases the brilliance of restaurateur Elaine Murphy.

Elaine Murphy is an anthropologist of childhood. Specifically, she explores the foods and tastes of our childhood.
She’s also one of Ireland’s most significant restaurateurs, of course.
In the food she offers in The Legal Eagle, Ms Murphy digs into the discoveries of childhood, unearthing, analysing, and then creating dishes that leap with the excitement of first discovery, first taste.

A Pivotal Piggy in Terenure: With The Brown Pig bringing superb butchery skills to Terenure, local resident Leslie Williams can finally stop worrying, and start shopping.

Is the traditional butcher in Dublin dying out?
Last autumn, I was beginning to worry, as three Dublin butchers that I frequented closed in the previous 12 months - Nolan’s in Rathmines (lamb breasts and shanks for c. €2.50 each) closed due to illness and enforced retirement, while both O’Tooles and Downeys in Terenure closed from what I’m guessing was a simple lack of business. So, Terenure went from having two excellent organic butchers to having zero. 

Charlotte Pike demonstrates a cool authority and a hungry sense of adventure in a pair of vital new books.

Charlotte Pike is a magician.
Pore over her two handsome books, Fermented, and Smoked, and you quickly realise that in amongst the straight-ahead advice and the culinary smarts, that there is another quest going on: the search for the ineffable, for the mercurial, for the magic. The magic of fermentation. The magic of smoke.

Irish crafts and Irish artisan foods are bedfellows.

Many years ago, a visit to Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto in Turin showed us a simple truth: food artisans throughout the world are all alike.
We were vouchsaved an equally precious insight when writing and researching Ireland The Best: Ireland’s crafts people are exactly like Ireland’s food artisans.
The wood turners, the weavers, the jewellers, the knife makers, all share a sensibilty with food artisans and, if we had to summarise it in one word, it would be: Respect.

Here’s some of the best news we discovered whilst writing Ireland The Best: beef dripping is back in favour with Ireland’s frying fraternity.

One of the best things about writing a book like Ireland The Best is that you get a chance to indulge your interest in favourite subjects – country bars, for example, or interesting shipwrecks, or really ace graveyards.

But you really know you are having a good time when you get to write about Ireland's fish and chip shops and when, in the course of research, one thing starts to become obvious: beef dripping is back.

Ireland The Best - 3 Literary Places


This is an excerpt from Ireland the Best, published 22 March 2018.

Pearse’s Cottage, Ros Muc, Co Galway +353 91 574292
Patrick Pearse, leader of the 1916 uprising, built his cottage in Ros Muc in 1909, and thatched it in the style of the local country dwellings. Today, an adjacent visitor centre provides an introduction to the Irish language and Gaeltacht culture, in addition to Pearse’s connection to Ros Muc. All day, 7 days, till 4pm winter, 6pm summer.


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