Showing posts with label breakfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breakfast. Show all posts

Monday, June 5, 2017

Calm, comfortable and courteous place. Carrig House Stay

Calm, Comfortable and Courteous Place

Carrig House Stay

It is breakfast time. Outside, there are blue skies and the lake water is blue as well. Caragh Lake is a big and beautiful body of water and I’m staying in Carrig House on the shore. Carrig, by the way, serves one of the best breakfasts in Ireland, so all in all it is rather a perfect morning. And would still be a very good one even if, as sometimes happens, the sun doesn't shine!


With breakfast behind us, we are well placed to take in the local sights of this part of south west Kerry, known as the Iveragh Peninsula. It is the largest peninsula in southwestern Ireland. The Macgillycuddy's Reeks, with Carrauntuohill the highest point, lies in the centre of the peninsula. And not too far away is Killorglin, Cahersiveen, Valentia Island, the Skelligs, the Skellig Ring, Ballinskelligs, Waterville and many other places worth a visit.
Good morning. What would you like for breakfast?
We were here for three nights. Carrig, with its 17 guest rooms, doesn't come cheap but a gift of a Blue Book Voucher eases the hit on the wallet as does everything else here: the comfort, the welcome, the gardens, the courtesy, the chat, the private pier onto the lake, and the food.


Fish of course is a regular on the menu and we concentrated on it for one of our dinners. Roasted West Coast Cod Fillet topped with fresh Dingle Bay crab and prawns, fresh tagliatelle, morel mushroom velouté was my choice and it was delicious all the way. Our other mains was the Steamed Atlantic Stone-bass with asparagus three ways (seared, marinated, and crumb-coated), vinaigrette on a Cooleeny crème swish, balsamic pearls.


After a lovely amuse bouche by the fire in one of the drawing rooms, we had each started with Warm Spice Infused Quail, Beluga lentil Mung Bean jus and pickled onions. Not the easiest meat to pick off the small bones but it came with a big flavour, enhanced no end by the lentils and the onions. 

My dessert was another Carrig House gem, Rich Vanilla Crème Brûlée, cherry and hazelnut financier, and fruit tuile while CL indulged in the Passionfruit Marshmallow with roasted pineapple chiboust, pineapple parcels, and liquorice caramel.
Not always blue here.
The rooms are superb here, spacious and ultra comfortable. Ours had a view of the gardens but you can also get some with lake views. Wi-Fi is pretty good but the network service for mobiles is not. 

And don’t be put off if you see a brown tint in the water - the reservoir is in bogland - and the water is perfectly safe for washing yourself. And they do provide bottled water in the rooms. The bathroom, at least in our case, was spacious and well equipped with toiletries and towels (best bring your own face cloths, a general rule) and you do have a full sized bath as well as the shower.

The decor is beautiful all through the house. Newspapers are in good supply too if you want to sit by the fire and take it easy until that shower passes. Then again, if the sun is out, you’ll find it hard to resist taking a stroll around the colourful gardens, maybe an amble down to the lake.

Amuse Bouche in the cosy drawing room
Then, when you (don’t mind those fishermen who headed off early) are good and ready, you can head out for the day. The coast? The mountains? The choice is yours. And remember you'll have a stunning dinner to come back to!


Carrig House was built originally about 1850 as a hunting lodge. Frank and Mary Slattery, the current owners, purchased Carrig in 1996. They are the first Irish owners since it was originally built and have renovated  and meticulously restored the Victorian residence to its former glory. The atmosphere, they say, is friendly, warm and one of total relaxation. It certainly is!
Cod

See also: Visiting Valentia Island

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Afternoon in the Idaho Cafe

Afternoon in the Idaho Cafe


Surprised to see so many customers in the Idaho Cafe at 3.00pm on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon. Just goes to illustrate that this Caroline Street venue is as popular as ever and that goes to the credit of Richard and Mairead Jacob and the way they have been running it for eleven years.

Their way is really a philosophy, a combination of simple things: local ingredients, well cooked, and served with a smile and a chat and, oh yes, a large dollop of hard work behind it all. Simple but superb. And obviously appreciated by their many regulars.

I think their Facebook Page sums it up very well: “We are a small, but perfectly formed Cafe, serving breakfast, lunch, coffees and drinks to an eclectic and much loved group of customers.
Our menu brings you great breakfasty treats such as Waffles with Bacon, Porridge, Bacon and Cheddar Croissants and our famous Bacon and Sausage Baps.

Lunch revolves around more great Irish ingredients served with simplicity and style. Shepherdess's Pie, Smoked Fish Pie, and hot toasted Baps are complemented by regularly changing Salads.

We are striving to source ALL our core ingredients from a 100km radius of Idaho Cafe, Bacon, Sausages and Black puddings come from Limerick, Our cheeses are from west Cork, Our apple juice is from Cappoquinn, Breads from Cork City..... I think you get the message !!!!”

We were treated to Afternoon Tea. This is not a regular on the agenda but is available on request. We had a great chat with the proprietors as they took little breaks in their turn. Dubliner Richard is the front of house while Corkonian Mairead is the chef. She is always trying something else and we got a chance to sample her delicious Sweet Geranium Syrup that is going down well with some of the breakfast regulars who take it with the porridge. 


We had started with a local product, Frank Hedderman’s gorgeous salmon on brown bread. Again local, simple and simply delicious! Perhaps the highlight though was Mairead’s Gooseberry Crumble. This was made from their own home grown red gooseberries and was simply outstanding.

Impossible to top that but the final treat came close! These were the macarons made by John and Sylvie McCormick. They look much the same as any other colourful macaron but the fillings are something else. If you don’t believe me, why not try them out at Mahon Point Farmers Market.

And, one more thing, why not try out Idaho Cafe itself?  A place to relax and replenish your resources, just a few yards from Patrick Street.