Showing posts with label Youghal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Youghal. 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.
Barnabrow

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.

Sonia

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.
Sage
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


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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Youghal’s Munster Brewery. Ireland's First Organic Red Ale

Youghal’s Munster Brewery
Ireland's First Organic Red Ale
“The space is great,” said Padraig Hyde of Youghal’s Munster Brewery as he showed me around their new unit in an industrial estate above the town. “Now we have room to grow!” We are Padraig and Adrian his identical twin.

Padraig showed us the two tanks they started with, both 1,500 litres and both clad. Well, they really started with home-brewing! Currently, they make three beers, two lagers and a red ale, but, now that they have the space, expect more, maybe even a seasonal in time for Christmas. Their unit includes a brewery, a bar and a tasting room and they do tours here.
Ingredients

The Youghal twins are passionate about using local ingredients. And, to that end, have been growing their own hops. Weather may not have been ideal but the first harvest was fantastic and last year’s was excellent also. But the planting is very small scale and Padraig would love to see a local farmer grow the crop, promising that he would buy it. The two hops they’ve grown so far are Nugget (a bittering hop) and the well known Cascade.

Their 12 Towers red ale has just been certified organic, the first in Ireland, and the organic version should be in the shops by the end of this week. And those shops include SuperValu, No 21s, local pubs and speciality off licences. See the full list of outlets here.
At the Cork Kerry Food Forum
The lads are fussy! And that works to the advantage of the customer. They don't use chemicals, “hate them”. They don't contract out the bottling, “we want to keep full control”. No shortcuts here. “Our lager beers can be conditioned for around three months.”


That evening I tried out my three beers, all good. But, first a word about their names. You probably all know that Blackguard means “troublemaker” and /or “messer”. The Fir Bolg (Men Belly - wonder if they had a brew or two) were the ancient inhabitants of Ireland while the 12 Towers was named (via a competition) after the towers of the town's medieval walls.




Munster Brewery Blackguard Lager, 4.2%, 500ml bottle
Lovely golden colour, cloudy, with fountain of bubbles. And in the mouth, it is crisp and refreshing, very approachable thirst quencher with more than enough flavour to easily distinguish it from mass-produced beers.

It is the only one of the three to come in a long-necked bottle. Water, malted barley, wheat, hops and yeast are the ingredients they work with. Enjoy this chilled. You might notice some sediment and cloudiness. Don't worry, all natural. Padraig’s and Adrian’s beers are all bottle conditioned.



Munster Brewery Fir Bolg Lager, 4.2%, 500ml bottle

Colour here is a deep amber. Flavours are somewhat stronger, “malt heavy and hop strong” they say, but nothing off the scale, very approachable indeed. Again this has been slow-lagered and aged. Flavoursome, mellow and refreshing with a bit more heft than the Blackguard. But both are well recommended. Lots of ales for sale in craft beer but not too many lagers and fewer still as good as this pair.

Again the Fir Bolg is bottle conditioned and the ingredients are the same. By the way, you’ll read on the label that yeast is an allergen.

Munster Brewery 12 Towers Irish Red Ale, 4.2%, 500ml bottle


This beer, with its earthy aromas, is well worth a try. It is billed as a hearty Irish ale and the mix of carefully selected hops and Irish barley (malted in Togher in Cork City) gives it muscle. It comes in a dark amber robe with fruity flavours and a toasty finish. Excellent on its own and should be great with food.


Did you know that quite a bit of Youghal’s medieval walls are still standing and that you can walk along them? Another highlight of Youghal is the 13th century St Mary’s Collegiate Church, still intact, still in use, and well worth a visit. After a trek around the old church and the walls, treat yourself to a pint of this superb Red Ale. Indeed, all three beers are excellent and went down well during the final of Euro16.

Munster Brewery
Parkmountain, Youghal
County Cork
Tel: 087 9878171
Email: info@munsterbrewery.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/munsterbrewery
Twitter: @Munsterbrewery
Web: www.munsterbrewery.com


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Old Imperial Hotel Youghal. Dining in the Coachouse Bistro

The Old Imperial Hotel Youghal
Dining in the Coachouse Bistro
Beef

Heading to the seaside for the day? A walk on the boardwalk in Youghal is one way of working up an appetite and a call to the Coachouse Bistro in the Old Imperial Hotel, now under new ownership, is one way of satisfying it.

I started a recent meal there with a gorgeous chowder. The Coachouse Seafood Chowder consists of salmon, cod, hake, smoked haddock, Albarino cream, brunoise of vegetables. There were a few prawns in mine as well and that cream is a delicious delight, all for €7.95.

CL meanwhile, was staying quite, enjoying her well presented Chicken Liver Pate, with date jam and toasted sourdough croûte (6.95). Other choices included a Bread and Dips Share Plate; Homemade Soup of the Day; Classic Caesar Salad; Mushrooms on Toast; and Crispy Chicken Wings (in various styles and portions).


Drive under arch to car-park

On to the mains then and something that little bit different for CL: A large Mexican Chicken Salad (with mango chutney), pommes noisettes and salad (14.95). The spices were mild, the potatoes delicious, the salad well-dressed. Large, but all went down well. Lots of choice too for mains and do check the specials board - the staff will probably tell you. By the way, the same menu is available in the bar.

I hit the jackpot with my mains: Twelve Hour braised Featherblade of Beef in Brownstone Ale served with turnip, creamy mash, and a delicious pan jus (16.95). Think that Brownstone should be Roundstone, at least that’s what was printed on my pint glass (4.20, 2.30 for the half). They have the beer on draught on the bar. It also says Triple Hop but you'd hardly notice any hops at all in this pleasantly mild drink. In any case, the feather-blade was fantastic as was the jus.


Starters

Enjoyed the meal and the service, some very friendly folk at work here. They tried their best to get us to move to dessert but we were pretty full at the point and had to reluctantly withdraw, resisting the charms of  the Warm Homemade Apple Pie vanilla ice cream and chantilly cream; Selection of Baldwin's Ice creams, Tuille Basket; Chocolate Fudge Cake, warm chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream; Peanut-butter and Salted Caramel Cheesecake chantilly cream, mango coulis; Raspberry Frangipane Bakewell Tart traditional custard; Jamaican Mess, crushed meringue, banana, butterscotch sauce, custard, cream, vanilla ice cream; and the Cheese Board, selection of Irish farmhouse cheeses, date jam, crackers, fruit.


Mexican

They have a dedicated kids menu and have recently introduced this offer: Kids now eat free, Monday - Thursday, 4pm - 6pm! One free kid's meal with every adult main purchased.

The Old Imperial is one of the best kept buildings in Youghal, one of  oldest too; as well as the bistro and its very popular Coachouse Bar, it is a 18 room family friendly boutique hotel. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, coffee and drinks.

Old Imperial Hotel
27 North Main Street
Youghal
Co. Cork.
Tel: (024) 92435
Twitter: @ImperialYoughal


Monday, July 14, 2014

Into the East: Yawl Bay Fish - Greenbarn Italian - Ardmore Cuppa

Into the East: Yawl Bay Fish - Green Barn Italian - Ardmore Cuppa


Award winner!

Great to meet up with David Browne at Yawl Bay Seafoods  in Youghal last Friday. It was a busy afternoon for David who now runs the company that his father started in 1986. It is well known for its smoked salmon, much of which is exported.

“....it is rich, succulent, not too smokey, it is just right. It reflects true craftsmanship and respect for tradition and flavour....” Not my words, but a quote on the site from Martijn Kajuiter, Head Executive Chef of the Cliff House Hotel.

I first met David a few weeks back at the Cork Kerry Food Forum and Fair in the City Hall and here too there was good news for the company as its Cooked Crab Claws won a Food Sensory Experience Award sponsored by Sensory Research Ltd (SRL), who tested products incorporating all five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.


Italian Red

As the crabs indicate, there is more to Yawl Bay now than the smoked salmon. On the fresh fish counter, they stock a mix of cod, haddock, sole, hake, oysters and mussels and “whatever else is good on the day”. The fish comes from near and far (sometimes a trip to Union Hall is needed to stock up on particular items). It is very tempting display so if you're passing - the premises is between the town proper and the bridge to Waterford - it is well worth a call.

Back home on Saturday, we had an all fish dinner, lots of crab and hake. Smoked salmon to come and also some smoked haddock for a fish pie! David, as I mentioned, was busy on the Friday collecting new supplies and making and arranging deliveries but still had time to fill us in on the business and make us very welcome indeed.

This spontaneous “tour” had started with an invitation to visit Dungarvan Brewry and our first stop was for a terrific lunch at Green Barn Restuarant  between Killeagh and Youghal. The crew from Capri Bay in Youghal (now closed) has taken over here and are in top form.

Risotto

My starter was a Wild Mushroom Risotto with Saffron, perhaps the best risotto I've ever had. The other starter was also very good: Goats Cheese Bruschetta with caramelised onions (great touch!) and roasted red peppers.

Both of us were also delighted with the mains. The Ravioli Granceola with crab meat in a generous fresh peccadillo tomato sauce was brilliant. No shortage of crab meat either and the sauce was incredible.

My Saltimbocca (Veal medallions, parma ham and sage, cooked in a butter white wine sauce finished with fresh parsley) was perfect, great flavours and textures and aromas, the sauce scooped up with the bread. I hope they didn't think I licked the plate! Great stuff.

This place is open all day, breakfast through to dinner. Well worth a visit. 
Saltimbocca

After the stop in Youghal, we headed to Ardmore for a walk on the beach. There was a great relaxed feeling in the town. Families playing together in the water and on the sand and people strolling up and down the street and stopping now and then for a chat or a snack or both.

The United Beach Mission and the Fortune Teller’s Caravan caught the eye. So too did the tearooms at the Ardmore Gallery and Studio and that is where we ended up. They do sandwiches and salads and pastries but, after the satisfying lunch, we settled for a big pot of tea and very nice it was too. We sipped away and took in the varied artwork on the walls. They have seating indoors and outdoors in the terraced back garden. Lovely spot.

After that it was time to hit the road to Dungarvan and keep our appointment with Claire and Cormac and you may read a short account of that visit here.



Friday, April 4, 2014

In Praise of East Cork. Well Worth a Visit!

In Praise of East Cork. 
Well Worth a Visit!

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 free to enter, there is a treasure chest of places to visit in the area.
Cliff walk (and lighthouse in distance) at Ballycotton

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



Ballymaloe

Coming from the city on the main Cork-Waterford road, take the Cobh exit ramp and head for breakfast at Bramley Lodge.  Now, set up for the morning, 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.


Sailing ship at Cobh, exactly where the liners dock in summer.
Moving on, go over the Belvelly Bridge and you find yourself 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. Cruise liners now call here regularly during the season, with a carnival atmosphere in the town on the days they are in port.

Time now to head out of the islands, maybe call to the Bakestone Cafe at Ballyseedy (Cobh Cross) for a tasty bite to eat before heading east for 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!
Roche's Point, worth a detour.
You may have lunch at the distillery cafe here. Quite a few others to choose from but I have a particular in Kevin Ahern's Sage and his amazing 12-mile menu.

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 though is Ballymaloe, the home of modern Irish food. You could spend a day here. Maybe an overnight stay to sample the world renowned cooking. Be sure to take a look at the impressive Cookery School gardens and call to the cafe for a mid afternoon or mid morning  coffee. The cafe at the Stephen Pearse pottery in Shanagarry is now gaining quite a reputation.
Youghal has many miles of beaches. Many more all along the East Cork coast.
In the nearby seaside village of Ballycotton, take a stroll down to the pier and see the fishermen come and go. 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.
Time now for dinner. If heading back towards the city and make a stop at the estuary village of Glounthaune and the Rising Tide Bar Bistro. Enjoy your meal here, as Lady Gaga did, and take time for a deserved pint in the bar afterwards. If heading east, then you’ll find a lovely cafe called Sage or a fine seafood meal at Aherne’s, both in Youghal. Maybe you'd like to rest up for the night and have a meal in the Old Imperial Hotel on the main street, maybe just a drink in its old Coachhouse bar.
Fresh fish at Ballycotton's Pier 26