Sunday, June 30, 2013

Limerick,Day 3: Mustard Seed Delights.

Limerick, Day 3

Mustard Seed Delights. Adare's Old Creamery. Curragh Chase Woods. The Lottery Dog.

Rabbit terrine

Back to the Mustard Seed for this evening’s dinner and that meant a return to a culinary paradise and tasty temptations in the former convent in Ballingarry, super food and service and a four course meal, fit for a Gourmet Superior, in a pleasant and unhurried ambience.

A smoked salmon Amuse Bouche was followed by a couple of terrific starters. Mine was the Rabbit Terrine (with pickled wild mushroom, tarragon puree, chicken mousseline, and Guinness gel). CL went for the Warm Strawberry with lime puree, walnut powder, beet meringues, balsamic and elderflower syrup, another winner.
Guinea fowl
Hit the jackpot also with the mains, hard not to be a winner here, such is the high standard of the produce and the team.  I choose the pan-fried Irish Hereford rib-eye of beef, served with a goat cheese and celeriac risotto, roast almond mousse, Iron Age rare breed pork profiterole.  A long way from your usual onions and fries!

Mine was excellent but I think CL’s may have been even better as the sheer quality of her Guinea Fowl was out of this world. And that quality was illustrated in a number of ways as you can see from the menu description: Pan seared breast of guinea fowl, confit leg and pressed thigh, parmesan custard, vegetable fricassee and sauce basquise. Excellent produce handled well all the way to the plate. Different class!
Butter at Mustard Seed
At the creamery!
Never heard tell of the Adare Old Creamery store until the other day. Visited it today and now feel like I should tell you all about it. It is just a few hundred yards from the County Limerick village and it quite fascinating.

Maybe you want to buy a doll’s house or furniture for it. Some beautiful scented candles perhaps. Maybe high quality china such as Ainsley or Belleek. Well, this is the place to check out – see it on Facebook.
Adare's Austinian Friary
Downstairs there is an old style sweet shop (including ice-cream) and upstairs a gorgeous tea-rooms (with the best apple pie ever!). Books and clothes and much much more in this treasure house. And later in the year it turns into an incredible Christmas store. A must visit.

Had done a fair bit of walking in Adare during the morning, calling to the Franciscan Abbey ruins on the golf course and the more intact Dominican Abbey, now part of the Adare Church (Church of Ireland), maintaining on that site a tradition of Christian worship going back seven centuries. Enjoyed a fine view of the Castle from the bridge near the entrance to the golf club.
Doll's House at the Old Creamery
Still enough "teaspai" left for another walk and so we headed to the much recommended Curragh Chase Woods and its now ruined house, once the home of 19th century poet and author Aubrey Thomas de Vere. 
Curragh Close
Ger McDonnell's tree.

Some lovely walks here in the 313 hectares of lakes, mixed woodland and parkland. But the memory I’ll take away is the tear that fell as I unexpectedly came across the tree planted by local mountaineer Ger McDonnell to mark his conquest of Everest in 2003, about five years before the dreadful events on K2 that ended his life and that of ten others.  

As we worked our way towards Ballingarry, I spotted the Croke Park pub. Walking is thirsty work so popped in and we had a great chat with our genial hostess Deirdre and the visiting dog Judy, a one-time stray that was raffled off in the pub one night and thereby found a home. Her second home though is the pub itself where she is well known to all the customers, even sitting it on card games.

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