Showing posts with label Bramley Lodge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bramley Lodge. 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


Monday, August 31, 2015

First Rate Lunch At Bramley Lodge

First Rate Lunch At Bramley Lodge

It was a pleasure to re-visit Bramley Lodge, by Cobh cross, last week and indulge in a super lunch.

Let us begin with my mains: Shin of Beef, honey glazed star anise carrots, celeriac and horseradish mash (12.95). This dish was a soft explosion of flavours. The beef had been cooked for 16 hours and was completely delicious, every little bit tender. And those carrots, shiny and succulent, enhanced the beef as did the mash. Not to mention that rich red wine jus!
Yes - it is a poached on top of the hake.
The other mains was Pan-fried Hake, colcannon mash, poached egg, mussel veloute (14.95).  CL, quite an expert on hake at this stage, was delighted with this one, saying it was possibly the best cooked hake she has had in quite a while. The flesh was pristine, the asparagus a class accompaniment. And the egg? Well, if you were ever there you may well have seen the combination in Scotts of London where David Devereaux, the recently installed head chef at Bramley, once worked. All this for under 15 euro. Not bad!

No shortage of choice here for your main course. We could have had Burger, Thai Green Curry, Steak Sandwich, Fish and Chips, Ham Hock, and Dover Sole (on the bone). Prices range from 12.95 to 19.95 (for the sole). They also have a sandwich menu and a special list for juniors. Good choice and good value.
 And service is excellent here. Friendly and informal, yet on the ball and helpful, humorous too with an excellent knowledge of the menu. I sipped a glass of Franciscan Well’s Red Ale as we studied the menu. For starters, we could have had soup, chowder, mussels, goats cheese, and calamari.

My pick was their award-winning Chicken Liver Paté with crostini, Cumberland sauce and salad. No surprises here - just a super starter. CL went for the Fish Cakes with Mango Salad and crispy capers, another excellent combination of flavour and texture.

And dessert. Well, we had the Strawberry Mille Feuille (above). One word: Humongus!

By the way, Bramley is open for evening meals on Fridays and Saturdays. Indeed they are open seven days a week from 8.00am, so you may have breakfast in this highly recommended restaurant as well. Check the opening times here.

And, while you’re there, be sure and check out the food store which includes lots of local and regional produce along with with some of the resturant meals, packed and ready to re-heat in your own kitchen!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Always Busy at the Bramley Lodge Café

Always Busy at the Bramley Lodge Café
 I think Bramley Lodge Café has been perpetually busy since Gillian Kearney opened the café in 2009. It is situated just off the N25 (main Cork-Waterford-Rosslare road) at Cobh Cross. Parking has been improved here, it has long opening hours and so it is a very convenient stop. And  a highly recommended one.

My latest visit came this weekend. The welcome is informal but warm, reflecting the friendliness of the staff. By the way, informal doesn't mean inefficient service, far from it. We were immediately directed to a table and soon had the menu and the list of specials and, as it turned out, we ordered mainly from the latter.

Had seen their Cajun style Salmon with a Mango Salsa and Rustic potatoes and seasonal veg (13.95) on their Facebook page earlier and went for that as my mains. It was terrific, cooked and assembled with a light touch, and thoroughly satisfying; it looked well and tasted well.

CL too was very happy with another nicely presented special: Roast Loin of sugar baked Pork with an Apple and Raisin Chutney, served with seasonal vegetables and potato (12.95). An excellent piece of meat and enhanced no end by that beautiful chutney!

 My Halloumi affair continued with my starter, this from the regular menu: Grilled Halloumi with organic leaves, char grilled melon, rustic potatoes and honey and citrus dressing (7.95). That dressing was superb and I totally enjoyed the combination of the cheese and the melon, a combination that I haven't come across in recent weeks.

Our other starter was the soup of the day: Broccoli and Courgette (5.50). Much more than the two veg went into this very flavoursome warming bowl.

The café puts much of its success down to using “the best ingredients available from our local producers”. Their website lists Ardsallagh Cheese, Ballycotton Seafood, Riverview Eggs, and Clonakilty Black Pudding among those suppliers and I also noticed Woodside mentioned on the menu.

In addition to the café, they have a food store full of their own and other producers’ good things, a huge range of lovely stuff including cakes, take-out meals, soups and chowders and salads. And, they also do outside catering!

Bramley Lodge,


Co. Cork.
t: 021 4882499

  • Opening Hours

  • Monday - Thursday 8AM- 7PM Last orders 6PM.
  • Friday - Saturday 8AM-9PM Last orders 9PM.
  • Sunday 9PM - 8PM Last orders 7PM.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bramley Lodge, Busy as Ever

Bramley Lodge, Busy as Ever
Made my first visit in about three years to Bramley Lodge  this week and great to see the restaurant and food store as busy as ever. Excellent food here and the prices are pretty good too.

Not to mention the service. We decided to share a dessert and our waitress diplomatically manoeuvred the dish to the exact centre of the table, giving rise to a laugh and a bit of banter. And why not? By all means take your food seriously but enjoy the eating side of it.

Virtually every time, I pass Bramley, just off on the Carrigtwohill and Cobh junction on the N25 (was supposed to be called the East Cork Parkway but that name never caught on), the car park and the restaurant looks full. Indeed, quite often the cars are lined up along the side of the roads. Make no mistake, it is a popular spot and is now open for evening meals on Friday and Saturday.

Rarely go out for breakfast, so I visited there for lunch. And there is a terrific choice here, a choice that changes daily. As is often the case I picked a fish main course: Oven Baked Hake with an Herb and Almond Crust served with vegetables and potatoes and a lemon butter sauce (€13.95). Well priced, well cooked and well presented.

And much the same could be said about the other main course at our table: Just like the Hake dish, the Marinated Supreme of Chicken is worth a try; this is served with Cashel Blue cheese and mushroom sauce, not forgetting the vegetables and potatoes (€12.95).

With an evening dinner already in preparation, there was some debate about the dessert, hence the decision to share the dessert: Bakewell Tart. This is a gem and indeed would be quite a dish for a single person. It is a very special one here as it won Bramley a Great Taste Gold Star in 2011. Not the only award winner in the stable as their Paté also came good in 2012.

As you enter the restaurant, you will see a small flock of hens in their run off to the right. This underlines the philosophy here, which is to make the best of local products. Ardsallagh Goats cheese, fish from Ballycotton seafood, eggs from Riverview and black pudding from Clonakilty (they do a mean black pudding burger, I’m told) are among the local producers supported. And you may also sample the excellent craft beers of the Dungarvan Brewing Company here.

Well worth a stop if you’re heading east (or west, of course) and worth a detour if you’re not.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bramley Lodge in Carrigtwohill

Bramley Lodge, a cafe cum country food store, opened about a year ago and has been attracting costumers galore since.
It is well situated, just off the main Cork-Waterford Road (N25) on the way in to Cobh, on your left just before you cross the first bridge (to Fota).
Location no doubt has something to do with it but it is also has a top class product. Called in there (about 12.30) yesterday for lunch and it was already filling up; indeed, the car park was full but there is more room on the road.
I choose the Fish Cakes, two big ones, enhanced with lime and sweet chilli. They were served with a decent salad and sweet chilli sauce. No shortage of fish in the cakes (salmon and cod). All in all, it was gorgeous and most of the other dishes on the menu also looked good and tempting.

So tempting in fact that, on teh way out,  I bought one of them from the fridge: dinner enough for two plus a bottle of wine for less than €15.00. Prices at the restaurant itself, which opens at 7.00 for breakfast, are also quite reasonable (the fish cakes came to under €12.00). Service is good, friendly and efficient, and there are two bright rooms, one a conservatory which looks out over the bridge and part of the estuary.

All in all, there is an emphasis on good quality local food and that is also seen in the shop where I also bought some goats cheese and Bramley’s own marmalade.

Bramley Lodge is proving extremely popular with visitors to the attractions on Fota (Wildlife Park, Fota House, Hotel and golf) and to Cobh (where you may enjoy the Heritage Centre, more golf, quayside walks, art galleries, Farmers Market on Friday, visiting liners and much more).

Check out my review of Bramley Lodge - I am cork - on Qype