Having heard great things about the Cafe at Woodfield Garden Centre in Birr, I was delighted to get an opportunity to visit for lunch earlier this week. Woodfield is located on the Tullamore Road out of Birr, on the right hand side just after passing ALDI.
McCambridges is a food shopping mecca located at 38/39 Shop Street in the heart of Galway City. In 2012, McCambridges added a restaurant to the fold opening Upstairs at McCambridges so it is now an all round foodie destination. And what a destination it is! The shop is great for deli items, sauces, jams, chocolate, fresh breads, vegetables, cheeses, interesting wines and craft beers. You can also get takeaway lunches (soup, sandwiches, salads, hot items (pies, quiches etc) and coffees. The restaurant upstairs is a beautiful space. It is open for breakfast Mon – Sat from 9am to 11.30am. It serves an All Day menu from Mon – Wed from 12pm to 5.30pm (last orders 5pm) and from Thurs – Sat from 12pm to 8pm. It serves brunch on Sunday from 10.30am to 6pm (last orders 5.30pm). Tables can be reserved from 5pm onwards.
Builin Blasta (Tasty Loaf) is a gem of a cafe located in the craft center (An Ceardlann) in Spiddal, Co. Galway. The cafe is owned and run by Chef Jamie (J-Me) Peaker who hails from New Zealand. J-Me’s cv includes a stint at well known London eatery The Ivy before he opened Builin Blasta in Spiddal. The cafe is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Sunday from 11am until 5pm. Breads, pastries, tarts, sausage rolls, scones, desserts, dressings and preserves are all made on site. You can also purchase their dressings and chutneys to takeaway and they will also provide you with the recipe for their scones if you would like to try and make them yourself!
After including The Fatted Calf on my list of must visits for 2014, I was glad to get an early opportunity to visit for lunch on a blustery Saturday in early February. Glasson is easily accessible from Athlone and well worth the trip even from farther afield. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday to Sunday.
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.
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 …
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 …