The International Airport Hotel  was the venue this week for a lunch, hosted by hotel manager Aaron Mansworth, in honour of recently elected FAI vice president Tony Fitzgerald. The Munster team were leaving as we were arriving and there were good luck hand-shakes all round for their game away to London Irish.

The hotel staff were obviously busy but that didn't stop them putting on an immaculate reception and lunch for Fitzgerald and friends from the world of football and the media. Really impressed with the soup (celeriac) and the main course (beef or salmon) as I have been with the grub here at various functions in the past.

Also made a coffee call during the week to the Farmgate Cafe. I was meeting up with Italian food journalist Vittorio Castellani. He was delighted with the choice of sweet things available and was more than pleased with the lemon tart slice (served with a large dollop of cream). I also went for that and the friendly staff served it up with a smile. I’ve rarely eaten cream at that hour of the morning and didn't over-indulge here but must say, in agreement with expert Vittorio, that the lemon tart was done to perfection.

Nash 19 was another venue that impressed the Italian as I knew it would! I was back there later in the week looking for something to eat on Friday night (staying in for the match!). Had a nice short chat with a busy MairĂ©ad before deciding on the Fish Pie.

Sounds ordinary enough, doesn't it.  But give Chef Pamela fresh fish, potatoes, leek, cream, butter, flour, seasoning, fish sauce and herbs and you end up with a high quality meal for two for just €10.95. A week or two earlier, we had tried the Lamb Tagine and that too was a five star product.