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Sally's blog

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



Nothing that has been created before in Ireland reconciles and extends the component elements of Irish hospitality quite like the experience you encounter in Breac.House.

William Barry talks to Jp McMahon about what not to miss at this weekend’s Food On The Edge

McKenna’s Guides Editor William Barry caught up with JP McMahon, organiser of Food on the Edge, ahead of the 2018 edition of the Symposium which takes place in Galway on October 22nd and 23rd.

WB: For those not familiar what is Food on the Edge?

JPMcM:  FOTE is a two day symposium which brings together some of the worlds celebrated, best known and also unknown chefs to inspire Irish food to get a little better. 

Food Culture - William Barry selects some of the food related events going on around the country as part of tonight's Culture Night.

Culture Night is going from strength to strength with venues and public spaces across the island of Ireland as they open their doors to host a programme of free late-night entertainment, as part of an all-island celebration of arts, heritage and culture. Now in its thirteenth year, Culture Night returns tonight Fri Sep 21st 2018. Here are my pick of the best food and drink related events happening tonight around the country. It’s always best to book ahead where possible and check the venues websites and social media for the most up to date details.


Off The Beaten Track - Wexford: Killiane Castle

Killiane Castle is a pure treat, an unpretentious, warm family home. Paul Mernagh and his family have created a cocoon of comfort in this fine house – and castle tower – and of special note is some scrummy cooking, both at dinner and breakfast. The stars of our recent dinner were impeccable potatoes from Carne, and beetroot and carrots from Paul’s garden, but everything was super-delicious.

Off The Beaten Track - Galway: Armorica

If you love the French concept of the restaurant-with-rooms, then you will love Natasha and Nicolas’s Armorica, on the main street of little Oranmore. It’s an easy detour from the N18, the rooms are simple and charming, and the cooking brings French provincial richness to superlative West Coast ingredients – Friendly Farmer chicken with petits pois a la Francaise; hake with burned aubergine; a stunning chocolate moelleux. Make sure to order omelette for breakfast; you won’t find a better rolled omelette anywhere in Ireland.

Off The Beaten Track - Donegal & Antrim: The Foyle Hotel & Bothy Coffee

The Foyle Hotel, Moville, Co Donegal
Brian McDermott is a legendary figure in County Donegal, and he is back in the kitchen in the hip new Foyle Hotel, right in the centre of the village. Mr McDermott’s food is calm, classic and polished: Mulroy Bay mussels with cider, barley and parsley; salt water-cured cod fillet; Malin head crab linguini. Comfy rooms upstairs, and how marvellous to see this fine old hotel restored to its glory.

Off The Beaten Track - Dublin: Farmhouse Cafe

If it wasn’t enough that the Farmhouse Cafe is serving their own farm pork, veg and salad leaves and making soups and casseroles from scratch in a corner of a Safety Superstore on the Longmile Road, Susan O’Sullivan’s cafe has expanded and now includes a bakery, with weekly sourdough, daily batch loaves and honestly, just about the best sandwiches in Dublin. For not only is the superb bread made on the premises, but the chicken is roasted, the ham boiled, the gammon slow cooked, the Emmental cut, and Dexter Beef roasted.

Off The Beaten Track - Mayo: Butler & Byrne, Cong, Co Mayo

Aisling and Jonathan put Cong on the map with their delectable cooking in The Hungry Monk – the chocolate roulade; the baked Irish ham and cheddar sandwich; the fresh, sweet scones with jam – and with a beautiful new space called Butler & Byrne they have even more goodies to tempt you right to the centre of pretty Cong village: do not miss the Mayo magic this pair put on every plate.


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