Showing posts with label Bakestone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bakestone. Show all posts

Sunday, July 17, 2016

In Praise of East Cork. Food. People. Place. Worth a Visit!

In Praise of East Cork.
Food. People. Place. Worth a Visit!
Peaceful evening in Youghal

Friendly people, great food, attractions on land and sea, both natural and man-made, make East Cork a gem of a place to visit. From the fantastic 13th century St Mary’s Collegiate Church in Youghal to high class Fota House Gardens and Arboretum, with Barryscourt Castle in between, all three free to enter, there is a treasure chest of places to visit in the area.
The Cafe at Stephen Pearce Pottery

Let me take you on a trip to see part of it. We’ll also enjoy some delicious meals as East Cork is a foodie’s paradise with top notch venues including Sage and Kevin Ahern’s 12 Mile Menu,  Barnabrow (ideal for weddings and a leisurely Sunday lunch), Midleton’s pioneering Farmers Market and the food mecca of Ballymaloe.

Coming from the city on the main Cork-Waterford road, take the Cobh exit ramp and head for breakfast or lunch, right to Bramley Lodge, or left to The Bakestone Cafe at Ballyseedy.  Now, set up for the day, go over the nearby bridge to Fota Island and its many attractions.

If you have kids, go the Wildlife Park; if not, walk through the renowned Fota Arboretum and maybe add a tour of the Georgian House. If you like it around here, you may also try the high class  Fota Island Hotel and Golf Resort.
Bramley Lodge

Moving on, go over the Belvelly Bridge and you’ll soon come to Frank Hederman’s famous smokehouse. You are now on Great Island where the cathedral town of Cobh is situated. Much to do here including the Sirius Art Gallery, walking tours (including the Titanic Trail and Spike Island), harbourside bars and restaurants and of course the Cobh Heritage Centre which tells of forced deportations and also the tales of the ill fated liners, The Titanic and the Lusitania.
Fota House and gardens

Cruise liners call here regularly during the season, with a carnival atmosphere in the town on the days they are in port. And here boats take you across to newly renovated Spike and also on harbour tours. Maybe you’d just like to walk around the town; I did so recently, taking in the Holy Ground, the Titanic Garden and the Sonia O’Sullivan statue, and you may check it out here. Perhaps you'd prefer just to sit on the decking at The Titanic Bar & Grill and watch the boats go by.


Time now to head out of the islands and head east to Midleton and a tour of the Jameson Experience. If you give the right answers here, you’ll end up with a certificate of proficiency in whiskey! No shortage of cafes and restaurants here, including the family friendly Granary now celebrating twenty years in business.
Cobh traffic jam!

There will be detours, of course. One that I like is off the Whitegate road, out of Midleton. Look out for the signs for East Ferry and enjoy a walk by the estuary and maybe reward yourself with a well cooked meal at Murph’s, a restaurant with a lovely view.
Next stop is Ballymaloe, the home of modern Irish food. You could spend a day here. Maybe an overnight stay to sample the world renowned cooking. Call to the cafe for a mid afternoon or mid morning  coffee. Be sure to take a look at the impressive Cookery School gardens, not forgetting the Shell House. And don’t forget Golden Bean coffee roaster Marc Kingston is also based here.

The Cafe at the Stephen Pearse pottery in Shanagarry also serves Golden Bean and is now gaining quite a reputation. And, of course, there is the pottery itself!

Sculpture exhibition on lawn at Ballymaloe House

In the nearby seaside village of Ballycotton, take a stroll down to the pier and see the fishermen come and go, maybe take a boat trip to the lighthouse on the nearby island. If you feel you need to stretch the legs, then there is a spectacular walk  along the cliff tops. After all that exercise, treat yourself to a gorgeous meal at Pier 26.
Cobh's Titanic Bar & Grill. Al Fresco

If you need to overnight, then the Garryvoe Hotel and its top notch Samphire Restaurant, with great views over the bay, is close at hand.
Ballycotton cliff walk

Youghal is the final town, on the Blackwater and just shy of the border with Waterford. On the way, you could stretch the legs in Killeagh’s Glenbower Woods one of many attractive walks in the East Cork area. In Youghal, take a boat trip on the Blackwater.

After all the activity, you deserve to rest up for the night. Enjoy a meal in the Old Imperial Hotel on Youghal's main street, maybe just a drink in its old Coachhouse bar, maybe both! Aherne’s, of course, is famous for its seafood and they too have rooms.
Samphire at Garryvoe Hotel

And do try and get your hands on the local craft beers, including Ireland's first organic Red Ale, made by the dedicated team in the town’s Munster Brewery; they also do tours.

And before leaving the area, don’t forget to visit Ballynatray House, a Blackwater gem.

Enjoy East Cork, the food, the place and its people!

Ballynatray House, by the Blackwater


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Specials At Bakestone

Specials At Bakestone
Chicken special

You may go to Bakestone Café for their tasty sandwiches. Maybe for one of their appetising salads (small or large). But I go to the Cobh Cross venue for their specials. And since, it is part of the Ballyseedy Garden centre, I often come home with something for the garden.

We called in during a sunny day in mid-week. We were early but the place was already busy. It is a popular spot. For many reasons, but the big draw for me is that specials board. They post three new ones every day. You’ll also see many of them on their Facebook page.

The three up when we called were:
Soy and Honey Chicken on a crunchy Asian salad, with spiced cashews and a sesame dressing (10.50);
Onion bhajis, chickpea and spinach curry, basmati rice and herb yogurt (9.95);
BLT - Irish bacon with crispy cos lettuce, juicy tomato and avocado mayo, served with triple cooked chips (9.25).

Superb curry

I must admit we did have a look at the main board, at the list of salads and so on, and at all the sandwiches, not to mention the pastries, as we queued to pay. You do pay here before you sit down although if you come for brunch at the weekend you will be served at your table (you could well have music on Sundays). So we paid for our specials and also for our Badger and Dodo coffees which were then served after the specials as agreed.

My pick was the chicken. I have to say, very glad to say, that I enjoyed every little bit of it, especially those cashews, one of the best lunch plates I’ve had in awhile. Well priced too. And CL was very much delighted with her curry, the colour and the whole range of flavours. The curry was also obviously the vegetarian option, a well-priced dish. I’m sure the BLT would have been fine too but we were very happy with our choices.

Our server then brought down our coffees and after that we strolled out to the plants and bought a very healthy looking pot of parsley that should keep us supplied for a few months.

Bakestone Café
Ballyseedy Home and Garden Centre,
Fota Retail Park
Co. Cork
(021) 438 9001
Twitter: @_Bakestone

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bakestone Cafe. Ali Honour and All Those Cakes

Bakestone Cafe

Ali Honour and the 403 Cakes

Almond and Orange Tart.
The $64,000 dollar question. How many cakes does Ali Honour bake in a year? I don't know. And I don't know where you'll get the dollars either! The question came to mind on Wednesday when I spoke to Ali after a very tasty meal in her Bakestone Cafe at Ballyseedy at Cobh Cross. Not sure Ali knows either but she does know, and fully appreciates, that Cork people have an insatiable appetite for her gorgeous creations.

First things first. I started with a big bowl of Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup. It was a terrific soup and good value at €4.50.  A slice of Bakestone’s superb seeded Brown Bread came with it and I bought a loaf of that on the way out. By the way, Bakestone have lots of Gluten Free products. Check the huge blackboard for details.
Chicken and rich tomato sauce.
 Value too at main course level. There were three specials on the board. CL picked the Chicken on a Rich Tomato Sauce, topped with Parmesan, served with toasted sourdough and dressed leaves (€10.50). A really excellent plateful, a little bit different but full of flavours and colours and a variety of textures. And much the same could be said about my Beef Quesadillas with Guacamole, sour cream, and refried beans (€10.75). Great stuff.

Various tarts and quiches are always available and the third special on Wednesday was the Salad of Roast Thyme Squash Goats Cheese, sun dried tomato, toasted hazelnuts with sourdough croutons and pesto dressing (€9.90).

Having finished the mains, there was just enough room left for the sweet stuff and a cup of that excellent Badger & Dodo Coffee. My choice was the Mixed Berry Tart while CL took the Almond and Orange Tart. Needless to say, the selection on the counter was mega!

Maybe not 40 but not too far off it! The two we had were gorgeous - I almost stole the Almond and Orange - and so it was two happy customers, two quite full costumers, that left the cafe.

Beef Quesadillas with Guacamole
Great too to have a quick chat with the busy Ali who is rightly proud of her recent venture into sourdough, quit a success by the taste of it in our dishes. There is quite a excellent crew on duty here, all helpful and very efficient as well. Very Highly Recommended. And not just for the buns and cakes!

By the way, 403=64,000. I didn’t know that!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Afternoon of food, fun and Hope

Afternoon of food, fun and Hope.

We enjoyed ourselves at Ballyseedy (Cobh Cross) yesterday as part one of the Hope Foundation's Eat4StreetKids ended on an enjoyable note. Amateur cooks of all ages brought their sugar and spice dishes - mainly sugar! - to the Bakestone Cafe where judges Lilly Higgins, Joe McNamee, Ali Honour, Gautham Iyers and Christine Girault had the tough (?) task of picking a winner.

While they were deciding, we were royally entertained by a lady originally from the southside of Chicago, Karen Underwood. Karen was delighted to help out and indeed put in a tremendous session.

Then came the judges’ decisions and there were quite a few prizes awarded. But really, all entrants were winners on the day, all willing to put in the effort, just like Karen Underwood and the judges themselves, to help out the underprivileged kids of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).

We all got a chance to sample the food and must admit that my favourite was the Donkey’s Wedding Cake! Quite an afternoon and indeed, I was a winner myself, picking up a hamper of the famous Clonakilty Black Pudding in the raffle.  I think the only thing I missed out on was the bouncy castle!

The fund-raising for the Kolkata kids goes on and the focus this month switches to participating local restaurants and their customers. There are a number of options for both. One suggests either the customer or the restaurant adding fifty cent for Hope to the bill and another suggests the customer posts a picture of a dish to Twitter or Facebook and the restaurant pays the fifty cent.

Check it all out here or contact organiser Maggie Hogan at or 021 4292990

Friday, January 31, 2014

Finger Licking Lunch at Bakestone Café

Bakestone Café and Deli
Finger Licking Lunch
Bakestone is the bright and busy Café and Deli in the Ballyseedy Home and Garden Centre at Cobh Cross. Made a visit there this week and enjoyed a lovely lunch. They also serve breakfast.

Not the biggest of menus. Three specials featured on the board and you could also choose from various quiches and other tarts. I was there at 12.30pm and picked the Meatballs Focaccia. Minutes later, it was crossed off the board.
No wonder it is popular. The full description is Toasted Focaccia bread with pork and herb meatballs, roast onion and cheese, with a chorizo and pepper tomato sauce served with mixed leaves, all for €9.95.

Loved every little bit of it. The meatballs were excellent and the sauce was a flavoursome treat and the fresh salad was much more than a few leaves tossed together. The bread was a pleasant surprise. I'm often wary where I see bread given main billing as some places use it as a filling. But not here. It was well made and, toasted, it was a tasty integral part of the dish. Recommended. Recommend you get there early also!

Ali Honour is the chef here and her declared passion is “creating tempting dishes half healthy and half naughty”. So now it was time to be bold. Gave into the temptation of her Cherry Tiffin slice (2.50) and also ordered a flat white (2.80). Both were splendid even if the cake was almost melting on the table. It was just about ten degrees outside but it must have close to thirty inside the glass, the unhindered sun making it uncomfortable. Not a bad complaint for this time of year!

I had made a late afternoon visit here a few weeks back but was disappointed to be told that the kitchens close at 3.00pm. But is was a good time to try some of those half naughty bits! Coffee, by the way, comes via the excellent, and local, Badger and Dodo.
The cafe is part of a big shop area where Meadows and Byrne (home), Farrell and Browne (knitwear), and Ballyseedy themselves (home, artisan food store and garden centre) do business.

Ballyseedy Home & Garden Centre, Fota Retail Park, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork

(021) 438 9001
Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm