Thursday, February 22, 2024

RAQUEL WELCH. ONE IN A MILLION. Newbridge Exhibition Opens this Friday (23rd)

press release 

One Million Years B.C.



Newbridge Exhibition Opens this Friday (23rd)

The Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware, in Newbridge, Co. Kildare will open a brand-new exhibition which is dedicated to the style of Hollywood bombshell, actress, Raquel Welch.  Raquel Welch, One in A Million’ opens tomorrow, Friday, 23rd of February and runs until the 1st of April 2024. The exhibition features several garments, gowns, jewellery, and personal items which were once worn by the famous actress. It is the only European exhibition for the public to view this ‘never before seen’ collection of the Hollywood superstar’s most famous and iconic costumes, garments, and personal property prior to its auction presented by Julien’s Auctions in Los Angeles on April 12, 2024. 

Raquel Welch burst onto the movie scene in 1966 with her role as a scientist’s assistant in the Oscar-winning sci-fi film Fantastic Voyage and later that year with the release of One Million Years B.C. Her appearance as a scantily clad cavewoman in the pre-historic epic catapulted her to international stardom and made her one of the era’s biggest sex symbols, with the film’s publicity poster of a larger-than-life image of Welch wearing her iconic fur and hide bikini becoming a cultural phenomenon and one of the biggest pinup posters of all time. Although she only had three lines in the film, the scene, and the posters of her wearing the fur bikini, turned her into an international sex symbol. She went on to play many memorable characters in film, stage and television and broke the mold of the ‘Hollywood sex symbol’ while paving the way for today’s action film heroines in Hollywood. She won a Golden Globe for her role in the classic film ‘The Three Musketeers.’ At the height of her fame and box office success, Welch played the title character Myra Breckinridge in the 1970 film adaptation of Gore Vidal’s novel about a transgender woman who undergoes a sex-change operation. The film, which has since gone onto become a cult classic, was released in a storm of controversy, landing Welch on the cover of Time Magazine for her revolutionary role. On television, she produced her own variety specials, 1970’s Raquel! with guest stars Tom Jones, Bob Hope and John Wayne, 1974’s Really, Raquel, and 1980’s From Raquel With Love.

In "Myra Breckinridge"

Under her own production company, Welch produced and starred in the 1982 television film The Legend of Walks Far Woman and earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress in a Television Film. In the 1990s, she made memorable guest appearances on Evening ShadeSabrina, the Teenage WitchSeinfeld, and many of the decade’s other iconic television seriesOn Broadway, she replaced Lauren Bacall in the starring role of Tess Harding in the hit musical Woman of the Year in the early ’80s and took over for Julie Andrews in 1997’s Victor/Victoria.

Welch’s other memorable roles in film and television included the 2002 PBS series American Family: Journey of Dreams, the first drama series on broadcast television featuring a Latino cast; the 1994 classic Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult where she played herself; the 2001 hit comedy Legally Blonde opposite Reese Witherspoon; the 2001 film Tortilla Soup opposite Hector Elizondo; and her final film 2017’s How To Be A Latin Lover opposite Eugenio Derbez, Rob Lowe and Kristen Bell. In 2010, Welch published her autobiography, Beyond the Cleavage, her personal account of her life in Hollywood that offered her beauty regimen and tips for women to live their best lives with dignity and self-respect. In 2018, Vogue ranked Raquel Welch as one of “the most sensational hourglass bodies of all time.” 

Julien’s will present an exclusive collection of over 500 of Welch’s most cherished objects from her life and careerCostumes, awards, and memorabilia from her iconic films and television specials, will dazzle the auction block.  Some of these items and Raquel Welch’s most famous garments and personal property will now go on display at the Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware, offering the public a once in a lifetime chance to see them before they are sold.

Some of the key exhibition items include a suede and faux fur bikini in the style of the legendary doe skin bikini Raquel Welch wore in the prehistoric epic film, One Million Years B. C. This was the film that shot her into stardom and made her the most prominent sex symbol of her time.  The image of Welch in the bikini became a poster that was on the bedroom wall of countless teenaged boys in the late 1960s. It also made her the sex symbol of the post-Marilyn generation. 

Also on display is a replica of the costume worn by Raquel Welch in the film, Myra Breckinridge, based on the 1968 satirical novel by Gore Vidal and written in the form of a diary. In the film Welch plays the part of a transgender woman.  The swimsuit, complete with gloves and still bearing evidence of Welch’s stage makeup, was worn by Welch during her 1970’s live stage show and on her 1974 television special Really, Raquel.

Raquel Welch’s 1974 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical for her role in The Three Musketeers is also in the exhibition. In the film, Raquel is probably looser and more accessible than she’d ever been on screen and her acting is generally regarded as the highlight of her film career.  This award was validation for Raquel and her talent after spending so many years as a punchline due to her physical attributes. The award is displayed with her nomination certificate, a framed still from the movie that Raquel had in her house, and her own personal copy of the movie on DVD.


One of the elegant and delicate garments in the exhibition is the ‘Flapper Dress’ worn by Raquel Welch in the James Ivory directed comedy drama, The Wild Party 1975. This costume is very beautiful and was created by costume designer Ron Talsky, who Raquel was also dating at the time and who had made her costumes for The Three Musketeers. She probably never looked more beautiful than wearing the costumes in this movie, which was inspired by the Fatty Arbuckle scandal in the 1920s. The gown was designed by Ron Talsky, who created all of Welch's costumes for the film.


William Doyle, CEO of Newbridge Silverware said, “Raquel Welch was one of the biggest icons in movie history. The image of her on the poster for the film ‘One Million Years BC’ was legendary and even made an appearance in the movie ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ when the character in the film had a poster of the movie pin up in his prison cell.  We are delighted to have the chance to showcase this piece of Hollywood history and are grateful to Julien’s Auction’s for bringing the property to us here at Newbridge Silverware.”

The exhibition, Raquel Welch, One In A Million opens on Friday 23rd of February and runs until the 1st of April 2024. Entry is free and the exhibition is open 7 days a week. For more see


Julien’s Auctions in LA will auction the Raquel Welch property on the 12th of April. For more information on the auction see


Glass Curtain Kitchen Team in Sparkling Form. "Cooked with grá" A little flame also!

Glass Curtain Kitchen Team in Sparkling Form At The Weekend

 "Cooked with grá".  And a little flame!

Red mullet, cuttlefish, broth.

"Both the name and the large photo on the back wall pay homage to this building’s former life as the iconic Thompson’s Bakery; now a compact brasserie. Monochrome décor, exposed pipework and a charming team set the scene. Modern dishes have a personal touch and are cooked with grá (Gaelic for ‘love’)." 

That is the verdict delivered by the Michelin Guide when they awarded Cork's Glass Curtain with a Michelin Bib.

It is indeed, as you'd expect, an accurate description of the busy venue where Chef Brian Murray has been setting a very high standard since he opened here in MacCurtain Street in the autumn of 2020. Brian's travels around the world have given him a finely tuned international experience yet in this lively spot, it is the flavour of local ingredients that star on the menus, both A La Carte and Tasting.

Beef is one hundred per cent Irish and local producers supported include the likes of Cais na Tire and Hegarty's cheese, Skeaghanmore Duck, and Ballymakenny potatoes. 


No shortage of drink choices. There's a tempting Cocktail List that includes three non-alcoholic options. Quite a wine offering here.  You can taste your way through different styles, countries and grape varieties through white, red and the increasingly popular orange (check out that Ageno from the lovely Elena Pantaleoni of Italy's La Stoppa). 

Local producers like the Cotton Ball and 9 White Deer Breweries get a chance to shine in the drinks section as does the Stonewell Cidery from Novohal. As you'd expect, there are many Irish spirits available or why not enjoy the very special ice wine from Killarhora Orchards in Glounthaune, one of my favourite ways to finish a meal.


The tasting menu costs €75.00 per person and a wine option will add another €45 to that. With an early 5.00pm* start, we decided against the wine option and instead picked the Dirk Niepoort, Vinho Verde, Portugal 2021 Alvarinho. This aromatic and well-balanced Alvarinho (Albarino in Spain) by the famous port company worked out well for us even if it had to be parked when the lamb came around!

 * That 5.00pm start was all that was available when we booked two weeks in advance. It is a busy place so make your reservations early!


Tasting Menu

Crudo, Cashew, Blood Orange, Puffed Barley, Shiso, with Prawn heads. 

“Jambon”, Dill pickle, Lardo

 Aged rump of beef tartare, pear and endive

A bit unusual to see Prawn Heads in one of the three snacks but we were assured they were edible and got stuck in and enjoyed the "careful" crunch. Actually, that particular snack was very flavoursome in any case. We enjoyed it and the other two as well.


Glazed beets, House ricotta hazelnut brown butter 

Focaccia, Roast Onion Butter

On to this pair then, served together. An unexpected highlight here was the Roast Onion Butter and the Focaccia. In fairness, the other "starter" was also excellent.


Grilled Red Mullet, Cuttlefish, Turbot roe taramasalata, fish broth, 

The fish course starred the Red Mullet and the broth. Not overly keen on the cuttlefish (who belong to a class that includes squid and octopus) and hadn't expected too much from it in any case. But that Mullet was something else and such a pity we don't see it on that many menus in Ireland.


Rack of Lamb, crushed artichoke, pistachio, glazed lamb belly and celeriac.

This was the piece de resistance. Lamb came two ways, the fat and flavoursome rack was a delight to dispatch while the belly (it came in a separate dish with celeriac) was also quite a treat.


Time then to cleanse the palate and the Rhubarb Sorbet, Almond, and Rose Jelly did it well.  The dessert of Orange Polenta Cake, Ricotta ice cream, sheep yoghurt, rhubarb wasn't at all bad but I had been expecting a bit more from it. Still time for another sweet bit as the petit fours arrived to send two happy customers off into the night.

Lamb, two ways.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024


press releases Spring24



·      Overnight stay with a hand-crafted Easter Egg awaiting your arrival

·      Special Afternoon Tea service aboard the iconic Pullman Restaurant

·      Breakfast before departure in the River Room Restaurant

From €216 per adult sharing

The magical 5* Glenlo Abbey Hotel & Estate, Galway is offering a unique  overnight experience for adults looking for a decadent 24-hour escape during the Easter holidays.

This Easter, the iconic Pullman Restaurant, with its impressive history and passion for culinary excellence will be serving a rather special Afternoon Tea experience.  Once you step aboard you will be swept away to a different era, when these famous Orient Express carriages took first class passengers throughout Europe to Istanbul.  The history of The Pullman is all-consuming so guests can spend time reading about other elite passengers including Laurence Olivier and its part in the funeral cortege for Winston Churchill. For those wanting a tastier experience, then the Easter inspired Afternoon Tea service will certainly hit the culinary spot.  Here, Afternoon Tea menu offers an array of seasonal finger sandwiches, made with home cooked breads and locally sourced, cheeses and meats, along with delicious warm buttermilk scones, clotted cream and preserves, and Easter inspired cakes and pastries, accompanied by a selection of teas or coffee.

Classic King Room

Return to the comfort of the hotel after your Afternoon Tea delights and relax by the log fires or head to the Abbey Movie Theatre where a selection of classic movies is on shown daily in the intimate vintage inspired screening room. For those looking to shake-off the Easter excess you can take a roam or bike ride through the 138-acre estate routes and Victorian Garden.  Return to the privacy of your bedroom and enjoy your hand-crafted Easter egg and the following morning savour a cooked to order a la carte breakfast in the picturesque River Room Restaurant where you can watch the sun rise over the shores of Lough Corrib.  The overnight package costs from € 216 per person sharing including overnight accommodation, Afternoon Tea aboard The Pullman, hand crafted Easter egg and cooked to order breakfast.

Glenlo Abbey’s Team will be delighted to assist you with any queries by telephone on: Tel: Intl +353 (0) 91 519600. Or Email:

Alternatively visit for more information or to purchase gift vouchers online.   



New charter commits to reducing food waste by 20% and to reducing carbon footprint by supporting local producers 

Group Executive Chef at Trigon Hotels Alex Petit and his team are aiming
 to reduce food waste by 20%.  Picture: Brian Lougheed

Trigon Hotels has launched an initiative aimed at reducing food waste by 20% at its two properties in Cork - The Metropole Hotel and the Cork International Hotel.

Food waste is a significant contributor to climate change and the team at Trigon Hotels want to embrace new ways of doing things so they can work towards a sustainable food system.

The hotel group has created a 2024 Food Charter which outlines 10 key commitments that will help them to achieve their goal of becoming a greener hospitality partner.

Among the commitments is a reduction of food waste by 20%.  They will do this by monitoring closely all waste and its source and using every element of a product where suitable.  They also plan to introduce no-waste dishes by creating specific meals which do not generate organic or non organic by-product waste.

The team is committed to supporting local suppliers and using seasonality when designing the menus.  Trigon Hotels work with 25 local growers and producers and are always looking for new partners.  The menus at the two hotels include a map highlighting the local producers used such as McCarthy Meats in Cork City, Ardsallagh Goats Cheese in Carrigtwohill, Glenmar seafood in West Cork and the Chicken Inn in the English market.

Trigon Hotels is also aiming to increase engagement with local charity partners such as Cope Foundation which supplies fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs from the local garden.

The team plans to eliminate single use plastic and to reduce energy consumption in the kitchen by up to 20%.  The food charter states that they will reduce energy use by adhering to a strict equipment timetable and replacing defective equipment with new energy efficient equipment.

Alex Petit, Group Executive Chef at Trigon Hotels, said; "At Trigon Hotels, we understand the pivotal role the hospitality industry plays in shaping a sustainable future. The 2024 Food Charter is a testament to our dedication to reducing our environmental footprint and embracing innovative approaches to culinary operations. By implementing these commitments, we aim to lead the way towards a greener and more responsible future."

Carmel Lonergan, Director of Operations at Trigon Hotels, added; "Our 2024 Food Charter is not just a set of commitments, it is a reflection of our responsibility towards the environment and the communities we operate in.  By adopting these measures, we hope to inspire positive change within the hospitality industry and beyond.  Our teams will be meeting monthly to discuss and monitor our green actions.  Meanwhile, employee diversity and equal opportunities is at the heart of what we do and we are acting as one team on our path of positive environmental changes.” 



Evelyn lining up a shot

The fabulous, four-star Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney (Co. Kerry) has just announced a very interesting and creative package that is sure to inspire all amateur photographers.  The ‘Cahernane Captured Photography Retreat’ takes place from Tuesday the 19th of March through to Thursday the 21st of March. 

This interactive and fun package is perfect for those who want to learn more about how to get to make the most of their photographs with top tips on working with natural light and capturing a moment in time.  Guests will enjoy a full day of expert guidance and tuition with photographers Keith and Evelyn Woodard, a two-night stay with full Irish breakfast each morning and dinner on both evenings as well as welcome drinks with the photographers on arrival (rates from €346 per person sharing).


Participants on the photography retreat will go into nature with Keith and Evelyn and stop off at the adjacent Killarney National Park and beyond to capture some of the remarkable scenery in the area and immortalise those picture-perfect memories. 

The hands-on tuition day commences at the original entrance to Muckross House Estate where guests will be presented with the magnificent beauty and architecture of Muckross House and Killarney National Park.  The tour concludes with the breathtaking Torc Waterfall which is one of the most stunning natural attractions in the area all the while being shown how to capture some great images with top tips and tricks.

The talented duo firmly believe in taking a slower approach to photography and encourage people to take the time to look for inspiration. “Beauty can be found in all kinds of places if we just take the time to look,” said Evelyn, “the nature that surrounds us can be forever remembered and cherished as a beautiful photograph in our own homes. Sometimes too an urban scene can be just as interesting and beautiful.  We just need to take our time and really look.”

Both Evelyn and Keith are high profile photographers and at one point were the most in demand wedding photographers in Ireland having snapped Michael Flatley and Niamh O’Brien’s wedding.  These days, the duo are busy capturing landscapes and seascapes, for their own collection ‘The Woodard Collection’. Their photographs in the collection are now very much in demand pieces of art and are very popular with some of the world’s leading interior designers.

Bridge over River Flesk

The west coast of Ireland is known for its amazing natural light and throughout the walk, we will explain how to work with this light in the Irish landscape which will change throughout the day,” said Keith. “No photography experience is necessary, and you can even use your camera phone.”


Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney, Co. Kerry is the perfect place to get away from it all this spring. Removed from the main throughfare of Killarney and set on its own private grounds on the edge of Killarney National Park, the house presents plenty of opportunities for guests to enjoy a relaxing and creative getaway. The Muckross Road, where Cahernane House is located is often referred to as ‘The gateway to the Ring of Kerry’, renowned for its spectacular scenery and ancient history.


Built in 1877, Cahernane House Hotel has been extensively renovated by the owners, PREM Group who have spent over €7.8 million on an ambitious renewal programme. There are 12 grand bedrooms in the original Manor House, 28 in the Garden Wing and the Coach House, once home to the horses and carriages of the Herbert family who built the house is now the setting for 8 new luxurious bedrooms. The Coach House Bedrooms have all been decorated in vibrant colours and the soft furnishings and wallpapers have been inspired by the flora of Kerry and its famous wildflowers.

Cahernane House Hotel is well known for its fantastic food which is created by the Executive Chef Cormac Vesey and his team. The Cellar Bar serves casual food daily while fine dining is offered in Herbert’s. For more information on Cahernane House Hotel or to book see or call   +353 (0) 64 663 1895.

Glen River Park. 19.02.2024

Glen River Park


Ducks. Pond. Arrowheads.



River. Footbridges.

Blarney Castle Gardens. 15.02.2024

Blarney Castle Gardens


February colour


Three trees (for reference)

Trees. Donkeys. Horse.

Beech corner (concealing car-parking)

Badgers Cave (escape route when Cromwell threatened).

Laurent Miquel “Kinsale” Faugères (AOP). "The Irish would say it was just lovely. And we'd have to agree."

Laurent Miquel “Kinsale” Faugères (AOP) 2021, 13.5% ABV 

€13.20 at Dunnes Stores.

"The Irish would say it was just lovely. And we'd have to agree."

The Laurent Miquel wines at Dunnes Stores are very good value at their regular prices. But offers, such as those available during last Autumn’s French Wine sale, give you the chance to get even more value for your Euro. I bought this vegan-friendly blend of Syrah and Grenache for €10.56. It wasn’t the only Miquel wine that I bought!

Neasa Corish Miquel tells us all about this wine. “Our Kinsale Faugères celebrates the rugged slate-dominated beauty of Faugères in the South of France, and Kinsale, the wine capital of Ireland. Ireland, my homeland, has been associated with the story of French wines over many centuries- as a French Irish couple, we are writing a new chapter. Slate terroir in Faugères stores the solar heat and imparts warm, luscious baked fruit character to this red. Serve with traditional wild boar stew or lightly grilled black pudding.  It will do well with red meats and with big-tasting fish eg tuna and salmon.

Kinsale, like quite a few South Coast ports, has a long history in wine for sure but did you know that wine is produced here? Since the 1980s, Thomas Walk has been making his unique sustainable wines, now all from the Rondo vine. Most of the wine is sold in Germany. See more, including an online ordering facility, on their bilingual website here.

Back to Miquel’s Kinsale with its aromas of ripe red fruits with herbs and spices

“The Irish would say it was just lovely. And we'd have to agree. It has lots of depth, almost like it could tell you a story or two. Plums, black cherry, black currents, with a kick. Just lovely.”

Very Highly Recommended.

You cannot miss the garrigue in this area. “The word 'garrigue' refers to the heady scent of the mix of herbs and shrubs found everywhere in the arid, wild scrublands of the Languedoc. …In our part of Southern France, the garrigue is mostly made up of wild herbs like lavender, thyme, sage and rosemary and the aromas scent the air, especially during the summer months. So can garrigue impart a taste into the red wines, and, if so, how?”The quote is from the vineyard blog (by Neasa) of Laurent Miquel. More here. 


Cazal Viel is where it all started. And long before the Miquels arrived. Right back to 1202 in fact. When the monks of Abbaye de Fontcaude made their wine here. The Miquel have been here for a while too. Since 1789. That's eight generations and counting. Cazal Viel is about a 30-minute drive from Bezier and within easy reach of the autoroutes in the Languedoc area.


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

KOTO is marching on in the Carey's Lane building that has long been in the family

KOTO goes marching on in the Carey's Lane building that has long been in the family

Hake Sambal

KOTO, a very good Asian restaurant, has clocked up over six years in Carey's Lane in the centre of Cork City. We confirmed its well-being last Friday over an excellent lunch in a building where the Hamidi family has a long tradition and is now led by Jeff, son of the owner of Gambieni's, the name when we visited many years ago before this area of narrow streets was collectively named the Huguenot Quarter

While sitting there last Friday, we remembered those occasions in the building,. We were regulars here for their Italian cuisine, counting Pollo ala Piccata (light tangy lemon sauce) and Pollo alla Romano (a tomato-based sauce) among our favourites.

Plenty of chicken here now also but under a different cuisine. Jeff opened Koto as an Asian restaurant in 2017 and now has a solid 6 years behind him.  Gambieni’s itself had been temporarily replaced by the popular Aroi, also Asian cuisine, but an unfortunate fire was one factor in halting Aroi’s Cork stay. Up to eight diners and 10 staff had to be evacuated from the building on a dramatic day in September 2015.

A huge range of choices here nowadays, also so much variety, and that includes catering for mainstream diners, vegetarians, vegans, allergen and gluten-free (just ask). 

You are probably familiar with the hot pepper rating that KOTO and others use as an indicator of heat in the dish, going up to as far as three. In fairness, if you order something really spicy, the staff here will advise you (just in case you haven't spotted the multiple peppers) and can have your dish adjusted to your preference.

They have curries, stir-fries, noodle dishes and more, all with choices of different meats or none and there is also a very attractive lunch deal.

Curries are popular here (KOTO pic).

Cocktails galore
KOTO pic
Last Friday looked like a very busy day for restaurants and cafes in the city centre and there were quite a few queues and Quinlan's Fish even had an early waiting list.

I had a call to make in Waterstones and so KOTO, just a few steps away, came to mind and we were glad to get a table here, just had to wait a minute for it to be set.

   I was, at that point, looking for something big rather than small and so I picked the Eight Hour Brisket (21.40), a superb dish of 

Slow-cooked beef brisket, spicy chilli jam (this toned down on request) and oyster sauce, mixed veg, plus Jasmine Rice.  Other rice options include Healthy Brown or Egg Fried. An amazingly satisfactory dish, full of aromas, flavours and textures, moist and delicious, with the last bite as good as the first.

And there was no shortage of oohs and aahs from the other side of the table where CL was over the moon as she tucked into Sambal Hake (22.50). This beauty consisted of Roast wild hake marinated in chilli jam and turmeric, baby potatoes, vegetables, coriander, and lime. She may well order the same the next time we call and you can take it there will be a next time.

Very Highly Recommended.