Month: January 2014

The Restaurant at Bramon Wine Estate, The Crags, Plettenberg Bay, South Africa

I have been in South Africa many times and have travelled the Garden Route on three of my visits.  Prior to the second visit, I became aware of Bramon Wine Estate and booked a lunch at their restaurant.  I was drawn to the place by virtue of the gorgeous pictures on their website, the type of food they serve (sharing plates/tapas style) and the fact that they make a sparkling wine from Sauvignon Blanc grapes (or a Methode Cap Classique (MCC) as South African bubbly is called).  On our first visit, we had booked an outside table for lunch (among the vines) and hoped the weather would oblige – and we were so thankful it did.  On our second visit, we dropped by without a reservation and we got an outside table but all the tables between the vines were booked. Advertisements

A visit to Ballymaloe

Ballymaloe House has long been on my list to visit, as I imagine it is for many people.  A friend booked in to do a couple of consecutive courses at the famed Cookery School and I decided to use the opportunity to tag along, sightsee around Cork and have dinner in Ballymaloe House. We spent one night in Cork City and my friend was booked into Cookery School accommodation for the next night, being the night before her first school course.  Upon enquiring with the Cookery School, they were very accommodating to me too and I was able to avail of B & B there too for one night even though I was not attending the course.  Now I am sure it is not always possible to this, but I was grateful it was available for the night I wanted to stay.  I was very impressed with the quality of the Cookery School accommodation.  We stayed in Mrs Walsh’s cottage which is an 8-bedroomed house (all bedrooms en-suite – including two twin rooms) complete with …

10 Restaurants/Events I hope to visit in 2014

There are so many good restaurants throughout Ireland that I am hearing good things about that I failed to visit in 2013.  I also read many interesting accounts of trips to food festivals that I didn’t get to last year.  It’s not possible to get to all the places I would like to – real life gets in the way!  But, here is a list of 10 places I would like to get to in 2014. 1.  MacNean House & Restaurant, Blacklion, Co. Cavan Neven Maguire’s restaurant and cooking is legendary.  This may take some planning and some luck in securing a reservation but I definitely need to visit after hearing so many good things both online and from friends.  I am told that if you stay overnight at MacNean House that the breakfast is also an experience in itself.

Cava Bodega, Middle Street, Galway

Food lovers in Galway were very disappointed when the original Cava Tapas restaurant on Dominic Street closed its doors.  Many believed (and hoped) that Cava would re-open and thankfully it has – as Cava Bodega – in Middle Street.  I have been to the new Cava Bodega twice since it opened in September last and I love it.  I love everything about it; the gorgeous space, the menu and JP’s wonderful food, the staff and the atmosphere. I love this way of eating, sharing and sampling and being able to try out so many of the dishes.  The decor is what I would describe as “homemade” and its lovely and cosy, but yet you don’t feel as if you are on top of your neighbouring diners.  It really has been transformed into a beautiful dining space and if you are seated downstairs you will be able to observe the busy kitchen in action. The menu is laid out in many sections; Nibbles, Pinchos (Spanish Canapes), Cured Meats & Cheese, Vegetables & Pulses, Fish, Meat and …