Showing posts with label The Square Table. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Square Table. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

My North Cork Collection. Including the Old Butter Roads Food Trail

My "North Cork" Collection
Including the Old Butter Roads Food Trail
Corrin Hill, one of many walks in North Cork area.

The Old Butter Roads Food Trail, launched earlier this year, is a cooperative effort between restaurants, producers and accommodation and activity providers in the North Cork area. 


North Cork is not an administrative area but then neither is West Cork. The boundaries are a bit flexible. The Food Trail organisers often refer to the three baronies of Duhallow, Muskerry and Avondhu (again none are administrative areas (except for GAA purposes!)) as being their constituent parts.

Blarney Castle

I have been visiting various restaurants and producers in the area over the past few years as you can see from the links below. Not all the places I've visited are necessarily members of  the Old Butter Roads Food Trail. If they are, you'll see the churn symbol displayed at the entrance or in their literature. Where there's a link below, it means that I have eaten, drank, visited or slept, maybe all four, at that place.

Glamping option at Ballyvolane House

So okay, just suppose you've landed in Blarney. Where to eat? Easy. Head to the The Square Table, Blarney in the evening. Just a few miles outside the village, you will find the boys of  Blairs Inn who'll feed you all day long (great place too for craft beer!). 
If you keep heading west, you may well end up in Macroom. Why not dine and stay the night in the Castle Hotel
Rainbow in Macroom

But perhaps you decide to head to the northeast. Lucky you will have much to choose from. Perhaps a day-time call to the Thatch and Thyme Café in Kildorrery. In the evening, visit the white deer at Mallow Castle and then call to the lovely and popular Peppers, Mallow for dinner. There are two cafes in Doneraile and, of course, the 166 hectare park with long and short walks that take you by the Awbeg River and herds of deer.

Deer in Doneraile Park

Lots of quality accommodation in the general area. Each of the three big houses below have an added attraction! Ballyvolane House near Castlelyons is the home of the renowned Bertha's Revenge gin. At Longueville House, enjoy the food and their very own cider, and don't forget their award winning Apple Brandy (as good as any from Normandy!).

Dinner is on. Longueville House

There's always a big welcome at Ballinwillin House & Farm and a tour of the farm where you'll see their Wild Boar and Deer. And the drink here is the wine, Chateau Mulcahy, from their very own vineyard in Hungary and the tasting is in a Hungarian style room. Cheers!

Wild Boar at Ballinwillin

And if you're a beer lover, then head west to the 9 White Deer micro-brewery in Ballyvourney.

He can talk and he can sing: Jack of McCarthy Butchers in Kanturk.

Looking for world class black-pudding and more? Then put McCarthy Butchers Kanturk on your list. You'll enjoy the produce and the chat. Close by, in Newtownshandrum you find the lovely Bluebell Falls Goats Cheese




Bluebell goat

Over in the Mallow direction, you'll come across Old Millbank Smoked Salmon. In the Blarney area, Hydro Farm Allotments and Blarney Chocolate are worth a check.
Toons Bridge

For great cheese and all things cheese related, Toons Bridge Dairy near Macroom is a must stop. Here too they have a café with lovely snacks and lunches, wine, even their own pizza oven.


View from Griffin's at lunch-time. Water-skier not guaranteed!
 A great place to sample what the area has to offer is the Killavullen Farmers Market. Lots of people like the garden centre and café double and you can score a good one at Griffin's Dripsey. Garden Centre & Restaurant.
Killavullen Farmers Market

If you venture into the Shandon area of the city, you'll find the place where all these old butter roads ended. While there, why not visit the Butter Museum (you might even see them making butter) and then ring the bells at St Anne's. Blarney Castle, right in the village, draws tourists from all over the world.

View of Firkin Crane from St Anne's Shandon

If you don't fancy sitting down, eating and drinking all day and need to stretch those legs then check out Blarney based Activity Days, with lots of choice for kids and adults. If you just have enough time for a short walk, there are a couple in Blarney, including the Blarney to Waterloo Loop. You'll enjoy your dinner, and the rest, that night!

Peppers in Mallow

Some other Butter Roads Food Trail members:

Annabelle Farm;
Follain, Baile Bhuirne;
Hegarty’s Cheese, Whitechurch;
O'Brien’s Free Range Eggs, Whitechurch;
Osbourne’s Butchers, Blarney;
Real Meat Co-op, Boherbue, Mallow;;
Twomey’s Buchers, Macroom;
Castle Hotel, Blarney;
Nibbles Cafe, Milstreet;
O Callaghan’s Delicatessen & Restau- rant, Mitchelstown;
Old Post Office Cafe, Blarney;
Praline Pastry Shop, Mitchelstown;
THe Farm Grenagh;
Old Post Office Cafe, Blarney






Monday, April 10, 2017

Old Butter Roads Food Trail Festival. Launch April 29-30 in Blarney

Media release
Old Butter Roads Food Trail Festival
Launch April 29-30 in Blarney


A Food Festival to launch the Old Butter Roads Food Trails will take place in Blarney from 29/4 to 1/5 2017. The initiative is being developed by the producers, eateries and visitor attractions to celebrate the range of foods grown and produced in the Muskerry, Duhallow and Avondhu areas of County Cork. The idea started in Blarney through which the Old Butter Road used to bring produce from Kerry via Millstreet into the Butter Market in Shandon to serve the great maritime trade.  

The Old Butter Roads Food Trail escorts visitors through the fertile valleys—the breadbasket of Co Cork—where the rich pasture lands provide the most wholesome and delicious dairy, meats, grains, fruit and vegetables in the country.

The Festival will start on Saturday 29/4 with butter making demonstrations at 12pm and 2pm at the Butter Museum. In Blarney there will be talks between 2pm of 4pm at the Hydro Farm Allotments near Tower on the importance of growing food. A pony and trap will leave the Hydro Farm Allotments to deliver milk churns, the symbols of the Old Butter Roads, to businesses involved in Blarney on the Saturday afternoon about 4pm and be displayed by businesses involved in the Food Trail throughout the year.
Butter and Iron-age bread (by Declan Ryan)

Michael Creed the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine will formally launch the Food Trail at the Church of Ireland, Blarney at 6pm on the Saturday, followed by food tasting from the producers and eateries of the trail.

On Sunday 30/4 there will be a ‘walk & talk’ with Tom O’Byrne at 2pm at the Clogheen Milken on the importance of the ecology. The Gab storytelling competition will take place at 3.30 in the Church of Ireland, followed by Smokin’ Good Time event at 6pm at the Old Blarney Post Office Café showcasing smoked produce of the area. Guest speakers include Tim McCarthy of Kanturk, Patrick Mulcahy of Ballinwillin House and Longueville Cider makers.     

The Square Table restaurant Blarney will be hosting a food event at 8pm. It is a tasting menu which will showcase all the producers on the Old Butter Road Food Trail.  The Farm in Grenagh is holding an open weekend with butter making demonstrations on Monday 1/5 – International Butter Day.
Local food
The Old Butter Roads Food Trail will host events in Kanturk, Macroom, Mallow and Mitchelstown in the following few months to celebrate the food and drink produce of the area.


For Further information Contact      OldButterRoads@gmail.com

Maire ni Mhurchu      Tricia Cronin Rupert Atkinson     
Chairperson Secretary                     Mallow    
Activity Days                             The Square Table                    Longueville House Beverages

Tim McCarthy             Patrick Mulcahy                     Lenka Forrest
Kanturk            Mitchelstown                         Treasurer  
McCarthy’s Butchers  Ballinwillin House           The Old Blarney Post Office Cafe

Sat 29/4
12.00 & 2.30pm



2- 4pm     



5pm

6pm



                              8pm   



Butter Making demonstration at Butter Museum, 1 O Connell Square Cork (beside Shandon Bells)at 12am and 2.30 pm (€4 entry)

Talks on growing foods at Hydro Allotments Blarney

Pony & Trap deliver butter churns to Blarney businesses, start at the Hydro Allotments and arrive in Blarney

Cobh Animations Ladies in the Square 5-7pm

Michael Creed the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine will formally launch the Food Trail at the Church of Ireland, Blarney at 6pm on the Saturday, followed by food tasting from the trail.

Film The Old Butter Roads by Jasper Wynn in garden of Old Post Office & food from members ( or Church of Ireland if raining)











Sun 30/4
all day

2pm   



3.30




6-9pm







8-10pm
Farm Grenagh Open day

Walk at Clogheen Milken Fenn with Tom o Byrne Ecologist on the importance of Balance of the Environment

Gab storytelling competition final on topic of ‘Old Butter Roads’ at the Church of Ireland Blarney organized by Toasmasters and the Gab. Free Event/donations

Smokin’ Good Time an event at the Old Blarney Post Office Café showcasing smoked produce from the Food Trail Area. Guest speakers amongst others include Tim McCasthy of Kanturk and master of the art of butchery and Patrick Mulcahy of Ballinwillin House. Delicious  Longueville Cider will keep all refreshed.     
Taste of the Old Butter Roads at the Square Table, Blarney  (tasting menu showcasing all producers from the trail; pre booked  €55)

Mon 1/5
all Day


Butter Day - Demonstration of Butter making at The Farm Grenagh all day

Week 1 May

Blarney Library - display of books on Cookery, Farming, Dairy Science and  Old Ireland and Cookery Meeting to discuss cookery books on Wednesday am.

Thurs 4th Historical Society   Magic, Faries and Stories at Secondary School












Thursday, December 15, 2016

Game Time at the Square Table. Cronin Sisters in Top Form

Game Time at the Square Table
Cronin Sisters in Top Form
Visited Blarney’s Square Table during the week and delighted to see venison on the menu - it is that time of year! And it would be hard to get a better dish than that served up by Chef Martina Cronin. 

The full description was Roast Loin of Venison (braised venison, parsnip purée, chestnut, smoked bacon, Brussels sprouts). The meat was tender and delicious and the vegetables and jus were also brilliant. Not to mention the sides, especially that creamy puréed turnip. Cost €26.95.
Sisters, Chef Martina (left) and Tricia

It is a small restaurant but one with a big heart and they manage to pack so many good things into a short menu list. We were warmly greeted by Tricia, Martina's sister, and she soon had us seated and studying the menus. And she also took us through the specials which was where the venison popped up.

CL started with a special. The sisters support local producers and the salad special was based on leaves from Annabella’s Farm: the leaves came with roasted and pickled carrots,  artichoke, chervil root, butternut squash, pickled Ballyhoura mushrooms, Crozier Blue cheese and Velvet Cloud yogurt (8.95). Quite a combination and a delicious one.

Crispy egg, Ballyhoura mushroom, smoked bacon and Hollandaise sauce (€8.95) all featured in my excellent starter. 

On then to my venison while CL picked the fish dish: Pan-fried fresh Hake, Jerusalem artichoke and mussel velouté, Gubbeen Chorizo (22.50). The fish was perfect and the chorizo added an extra and very tasty dimension. Superb.

They have quite a good, if shortish, list of wines here, ranging from €22.95 for the house wines to over 40 in the whites and reds. Some tempting Albarinos and Rieslings along with an organic Tempranillo and a Croze Hermitage caught the eye. 

But, with another call to be made later on, we confined ourselves to a glass each of the house. I very much enjoyed my Domaine de Bosquet (France) blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc while CL was more than content with the Valle Andino Chardonnay from Chile. 

If you want to get an excellent idea of the top class food on offer here, why not try their Early Bird menu where you can get two courses for €24.95, three for €28.95.

* The Cronins support local and number Annabella Farm, Ballyhoura Mushrooms, Tom Durcan, Old Millbank, O'Connell's Fish, Ardsallagh Goats, The English Market, Gubbeen, Michael Twomey Butchers, East Ferry Free Range, Carrigcleena Poultry Farm, Hegarty's Cheddar, McCarthy's of Kanturk, Coolea Cheese, Macroom Mills, and more, among their suppliers.

The Square Table
5 The Square
Blarney
County Cork
Tel: (021) 438 2825
Twitter: @TheSquareTable5
Hours
Wed & Thurs: 6.00-9.00pm
Fri & Sat: 6.00-10.00pm
Sun: 12.30-4.30pm


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New Life For Old Butter Road. Putting North Cork on the Food Map

New Life For Old Butter Road
Putting North Cork on the Food Map
Carrigcleena Farm Poultry duck with Annabella Farm carrot puree, pickled carrots on crispy quinoa
An old butter road is set to become the centre of a new North Cork food venture. For a year or so now, a small group of people, with support from Taste Cork, have been working on the plan to bring producers and providers from the area together and showcase the result under the Old Butter Road Food Trail. 

It will cover a large area, from Macroom to Blarney, from Coolea to Mallow, from Kanturk to Castlelyons. You should be able to get your first taste of the new trail on the May Bank Holiday weekend 2017.
Mc Carthy's of Kanturk black pudding wrapped in puff pastry and served with house piccalilli

Chairperson of the Old Butter Road Food Trail Maire ní Mhurchu welcomed us to a networking meeting at The Square Table in Blarney earlier this week. “This has been in gestation for the past 12 months. Many have come onboard including producers, butchers, growers, hotels, and restaurants.” 

Longueville House, Macroom’s Castle Hotel, Ballyvolane House, McCarthy’s of Kanturk, and Blairs Inn are among those “onboard”. Eventually each participant will be entitled to display a churn at his or her entrance.
Michael Twomey Butchers Wagyu beef burgers 
with Whitechurch (Hegarty’s) cheddar, 
house tomato chutney made from Annabella Farm tomatoes

The Cronin sisters, Trish and Martina, who own the Square Table, are enthusiastic members of the steering committee. “We can't do good food without producers…there is great produce in North Cork and we are trying to put it on the map. It will be a slow-burner to start with but the knock-on will boost the local profile. And we hope that other restaurants will source local, even in part.”

Maire, who runs the Blarney based Activity Days company, pointed out that there are farmers markets in Mallow, Fermoy and Macroom but they are not so well known.  She and the other members of the steering group, including the Blair brothers from Blairs Inn, are determined to put the region firmly on the map.
Ardsallagh goat cheese
with house beetroot chutney on parmesan shortbread

And when you've eaten, you’ll have no shortage of attractions to choose from in the area. The list, from the lovely Lee to the majestic Blackwater and beyond, includes Blarney Castle, Doneraile Park, Millstreet Country Park, Mallow Castle, and The Gearagh in Macroom.

From the late 18th century, for many decades, Cork was the centre of the world butter trade. Supplies came to the Butter Exchange in Shandon in the city by a network of butter roads. 
Liscannor crab with Annabella Farm carrots, pickled ginger, avocado Vietnamese rollsOld Mill Bank Smoked Salmon blended with Velvet Cloud sheep's yogurt and avocado on home made brown bread made with Macroom wholemeal flour

Perhaps the most famous is that from Castleisland in North Kerry to Cork, via Millstreet. East of Millstreet and west of Rylane, in a small place called Aubane, you’ll find a couple of roadside plaques (right) remembering the heyday of the road.

And here too you’ll see the Kerryman’s Table, a large slab of rock, where the travellers stopped for refreshment and no doubt to exchange gossip. 

And possibly to check their pocket-watches! When a supplier reached Shandon, he would ‘bring home the time' by adjusting his pocket watch at the clock tower.


Did he not know that the clock, with its four faces, one on each wall of the tower, was and is known as the four-faced liar? Read the full article on the butter road, by Jo Kerrigan, here

The old road was busy then, a hive of activity. And the meeting in Blarney gave every indication of making it, and the surrounding roads, every bit as busy again, feeding all the hungry travellers. Maybe, come May, there’ll be a bite or two out on the Kerryman’s Table! And if you don’t know the time, just check your mobile!
Carrigcleena Farm Poultry duck on crostini with Annabella Farm kale and house beetroot chutney

Before the meeting, the Cronins illustrated just what they were taking about with an amazing spread of tasty bites (more than enough to cover the Kerryman’s Table), all made from local produce. 

We had Old Mill Bank Smoked Salmon blended with Velvet Cloud sheep's yogurt and avocado on home made brown bread made with Macroom wholemeal flour; Ardsallagh goat cheese with house beetroot chutney on parmesan shortbread; Liscannor crab with Annabella Farm carrots, pickled ginger, avocado Vietnamese rolls; Carrigcleena Farm Poultry duck with Annabella Farm carrot puree, pickled carrots on crispy quinoa; Michael Twomey Butchers Wagyu beef burgers with Whitechurch (Hegarty’s) cheddar, house tomato chutney made from Annabella Farm tomatoes; Mc Carthy's of Kanturk black pudding wrapped in puff pastry and served with house piccalilli; Carrigcleena Farm Poultry duck on crostini with Annabella Farm kale and house beetroot chutney.