Saturday, May 28, 2011


Fontanario de Pegoes Palmela DO Reserva 2007 (Portugal), 14%, €16.99 stockists

Three grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon and local Tourigan Nacional, and mainly Castelao are used to produce this full bodied smooth red from the Palmela region of Portugal. It spends 12 months in French and American oak barrels, followed by 2 years in bottle before release.

I reckon it is well worth the wait. Colour is dark ruby with black berry fruits on the nose. On the palate, it is soft and velvety. Berries, plums and spice and more combining here to give a lovely mouthfeel and a very pleasant finish. Yet another well balanced wine -it has rich tannins- that underlines the quality and value now coming out of this Portuguese winery, under the direction of Jamie Quendarao.

Jamie Goode says that Pegoes is “possible Portugal’s best Co-op.”  And the reputation is underlined by some 140 international wine awards! Not bad or, perhaps, given my current location, I should say pas mal! Maurice O’Mahony of Wine Alliance confirmed it is selling well already: “Lovely wine, we feel.” No hardship  to agree. Worth a try. Let me know if you do!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


César Saldaña (centre) with, l to r: Darren, Maurice (Wine Alliance), Mary and Mike (Curious Wines)

César Saldaña, Consejo Regulador, Sherry, the great ambassador for the drink, gave a smashing talk to about 100 people at last evening’s delightful tasting  in the Grain Store at Ballymaloe.

After a hearty welcome from Ballymaloe’s wine expert Colm McCann, César got down to business with a smile and a talk cum screen show on the area and how the different styles of sherry are produced.

Then he enthusiastically took us through six different tastings ranging from very dry to rather sweet, from Fino to Dulce Viejo. Even showed us how to read the label. Take Lustau Papirusa Manzanilla for instance. Lustau is the house, Papirusa the brand and Manzanilla the style.

He explained the way Sherry is made, most of it via a system called “criaderas y solero”, basically stacks of casks. The  row on the floor contains the oldest wine and is called the solero, the rows above (the top one contains the youngest wine) are called criaderas. Also fascinating insights into how the temperatures within the high buildings are controlled.

And then he had a tip. When drinking sherry with your meal you should always have a glass of water at hand. When you want to “wash” down the food use the water and then take “a few drops” of the sherry as it goes a long way!

Many people are surprised that you can use sherry throughout your meal and César gave a few food matches in his talk.  My favourite from the first three was the Lustau Gran Reserva Oloroso Emparatriz (Mitchells). This has an ample palate and I was not surprised to hear him suggest Manchego cheese but was surprised when he also suggested meat (oxtail) and game dishes. So now you know!

I also enjoyed the Valdespino Amontillado Tio Diego (Classic Dinks) which again is ample on the plate with “a very clean dry finish”.  César:” ..this is a true amontillado. They drink this in Jerez. They like it there.” If it’s good enough for Jerez, then it is good enough for me.

César kept giving out great information as the tasting went on and touched on topics such as how long to keep your sherry after opening the bottle (keep Fino in fridge and use within days), the kind of wood used, the importance of the Flor, the 1st Yeme, serving temperatures, biological and oxidative ageing and so on.

If you want to dig a little deeper into this fascinating subject then check out this site
as it contains a massive amount of information on the Sherry region (and why the wine is called Sherry), the diversity of sherry, its history and the Consejo Regulador itself.

 There will be another great sherry event in Ballymaloe this evening but you’ll have to hurry:
Thursday 26th May, 8.00pm – Sherry Dinner at Ballymaloe House
Sherry Dinner with César Saldaña in association with The Irish Times Readers Evening, and John Wilson, wine writer, The Irish Times, and also in association with Wines of Spain. A specially selected menu will be matched to specially selected Sherry at each course.
Please note that booking for this Sherry Dinner, on Thursday 26th May, at Ballymaloe House, will have to be made directly through The Irish Times Readers Evening office.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011



Details have been announced of TasteFest - Cork’s latest Festival of food, drink and culture - taking place over four days in Fitzgerald Park, Cork from 23rd-26th June.......

This is a unique event, bringing together the very best in food, wine, beverage and Irish culture. The Festival will provide Cork foodies and visitors with an opportunity to experience the wide diversity that is on offer from indigenous suppliers combined with the best of both Irish and International Cuisine.

The launch reception, at Electric,  was attended by guests of honour The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Michael O’Connell and his wife Catherine

According to Ernest Cantillon of Electric Restaurant & Bar, one of the main organisers of the festival and hosts of this evening’s reception, “There has been a lot of talk around Cork over the past couple of years about establishing a high quality, reasonably priced food event in the City, to encourage people to eat out more often and to provide an enjoyable social gathering for those who enjoy quality food and wine”.

TasteFest gives over 15 of Cork’s top quality restaurants a unique opportunity to expand their client base in the most effective way possible; by allowing new customers to sample their signature dishes in a convivial atmosphere.”

TasteFest Cork will also provide a rare opportunity for food and wine establishments, suppliers of food and beverages as well as retail brands, cookery schools, artists and entertainers to promote their products to a captive audience.

There will also be a number of cookery demonstrations from leading celebrity chefs such as Rachel Allen, Conrad Gallagher and Andrew Rudd, as well as chefs from many of the leading Cork restaurants participating.

The event takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Fitzgerald Park, where a selection of musicians and performers will make a visit to TasteFest a memorable occasion.

TasteFest is supported by Fáilte Ireland and Bord Bia and by the Irish Examiner and Cork’s 96FM as media partners. Fáilte Ireland is promoting its ‘Place on a Plate’ program which gives visitors a sense of where they are through the food they eat.
Cork people love their food and are proud of the rich and diverse number of excellent restaurants and local producers from throughout the county. Supported by Cork City Council, The Restaurants Association of Ireland and the Vintners’ Association, TasteFest Cork has already signed up some leading Cork restaurants, to include Amicus, Augustines, Boardwalk Bar & Grill, Electric Bar & Restaurant, Hayfield Manor Hotel, Isaac’s, The Ivory Tower, Liberty Grill, Rising Tide, Sage, Springfort Hall Country House, the Club Brasserie and The Cornstore.

Barry & Fitzwilliam Ltd and Heineken Ireland have also committed to TasteFest, along with a number of top-class exhibitors including Ballymaloe Country Relish, Clonakilty Black Pudding, Cooleeney Cheese Company, Cully and Sully and Kerry Spring Water. More details will follow in the coming weeks.

Tickets for TasteFest are available from as little as €10 for advance bookings on

Totally Tipperary

Totally Tipperary, an innovative and exciting food event will be held within the historic grounds of Cloughjordan House on the 25th June 2011.

Totally Tipperary is open to everyone. Food Producers, Food writers, Food bloggers and Food lovers are converging to taste the best of what Tipperary has to offer. As well as eating and drinking, there will also be an opportunity to learn about food and where it comes from. Growing, cooking and making food will all feature prominently at this very innovative food festival.
Tastings, talks, tours, cookery, production demonstrations and a host of delectable food stalls are to be savoured at Totally Tipperary. There will also be children’s and evening entertainment which will engage both the mind and body at Totally Tipperary. All manner of tents, yurts and marquees will fill the open garden spaces within this historic old house.
Kindly supported by Bosch, FBD, Bord Bia and the Sarah Baker Cookery School, Totally Tipperary will draw on the combined expertise of the following to provide a foodie event of epic proportions. The Tipperary Food Producers, a passionate and visionary group of some of Tipperary’s finest artisan food producers; GIY (who empower people to ‘Grow it Yourself’); Greenworks, who run reskilling courses in the green economy, including food, the Cloughjordan Festival itself and Cultivate, through their Convergence event.
RTE’s Ella McSweeney (Ear to the Ground; Homegrown) and Bobby Kerr (Dragon’s Den) will be on hand to facilitate debate and demonstrations, while the Seomra Blog Bia will add a globally interactive and innovative dimension.
Seomra Blog Bia will feature cookery demonstrations from both worldwide food bloggers and chefs as they engage the visitor on how to use the best of local, seasonal, sustainable and fresh foods. This will include Kristin of Dinner du Jour (one of the founders of the #inishfood phenomenon ); David of Kitchen 72; Joanna of Smörgåsblog and Yvonne of Hey Pesto.
With the very generous help of Bord Bia, a number of French Michelin Star chefs, including Maurice Alexis, chef from the Elysee Palace in Paris, will attend as part of a nationwide tour. This will add enormously to the international flavor of the event and provide visitors with a unique view of Tipperary produce being used as the main ingredients in the creation of stunning dishes by some of the world’s most eminent chefs.
The festival will

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Excellent Rosé for €9.99. Bring on Summer!

Beso de Vino Garnacha Rosé 2010, 13%, stockists   

Antonio, the little bull from Cariñena, has been offering kisses and wine since Christmas. And it is hard to turn the persistent little fella down as the wines are pretty high quality and excellent value. This latest offering, the Rosé, completed the set for me and kept up the previous standard.

It is an inviting lively scarlet colour and the nose too is inviting, strawberries for me, red cherries for a fellow taster. The fruits are also evident as this medium bodied wine hit the palate. It really is a fairly substantial mouthfeel, a bit more heft than in many roses. Hints of spice in a really refreshing drink. Bring on summer.

Not Antonio!

Speaking of summer days and the barbecues ahead, it wouldn't do any harm to prepare. Have you got your charcoal ready, lighter fuel and all? While you are replenishing, it would also be a good idea to stock up on these Beso de Vinos. Six red, six white and six rose and you’re ready for anything. After all, you never know when the sun will shine.

Check the white here: and the 4.5 star red here. Each of the three costs €9.99 a bottle. Excellent value.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Nine Lives Barossa Valley Shiraz 2008, 14.5%, stockists (€16.99 rrp) 

Full ,spicy and dark red, this Barossa has a nose of inviting dark berry. There is a terrific mix of fruit and spice on the palate and the long finish of this lively full bodied wine is along the same pleasant lines. Not surprised that the producer, Rosedale Wines, won a silver medal for this at the 2010 New World Wine Awards.

Probably didn't win any medal though for the originality of the back label which has a string of cat puns. Still they draw a smile or two and I did have a laugh at the final line: drink in moderation – then have a catnap.

Bord Bia played a leading role during the queen’s visit and plays quite a role at all times in Irish food. Picked up a pork leaflet from them about a year back and adjusted one of the recipes for this wine.

The recipe is Pork Fillet with Prunes  and the only real change was to substitute red wine for the white. Must also mention that the pork was top class, a beautiful piece bought recently from Gubbeen   at the Mahon Point Farmers Market . 

Served with a puree of parsnip and potato, I’m glad to say (and this will earn me brownie points) that the dish was marvellous and was enhanced by the Shiraz which is imported by Wine Alliance and available at these stockists.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

ANNIE’S: Innovation and imagination


Innovation and imagination, two of the elements employed at Annie’s restaurant in Sunday’s Well to titillate the taste buds of their many customers. And they do it well. Tried it again on Friday night and came away happy after a meal that lacked neither quality nor quantity, served up with a smile (and chat) from Emma and her team.

Just take a look at the starters on their blackboard, eleven in all. We picked two but could have picked any of the others. Just means we’ll have to go back.

I really enjoyed my Poached Duck Egg salad served with Black pudding and caramelised apple (€8.00) and herself was very happy with the Pan fried smoked mackerel served with caramelised onion, cherry tomato and baby gem (€7.00).

My main course was Moroccan Lamb shank Tagine served with toasted almonds, sesame seeds, parsley, spicy chickpea and organic beetroot (€19.00). This was a big chunk of meat, so well cooked, falling off the bone. The chickpea came in a separate dish.

The other main course was Pan Roast Hake served with courgette, aubergine, peppers, basil oil and pepper coulis (€18.00). Both were spot-on, really delightful well balanced dishes. A side dish of vegetables was of the same high standard, cooked to perfection, neither too hard nor too soft.

There are about ten main dishes on offer and also quite a few desserts. We didn't think we’d manage the third course but couldn’t resist the Chai Crème Brule and Strawberry Tiramisu. The idea for the latter came from an Italian employee of Annie’s who borrowed the recipe from her grandmother. Gorgeous.

Wines are also on the blackboard (though little detail). We enjoyed a good Camparron Tempranillo (5.50) and an excellent Attis Albarino (7.50 per glass).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chateau Miraval and some name-dropping

Chateau Miraval Terre Blanche, Côtes de Provence, 2009, 15%, Curious Wines (€22.00)

Glad to say I was really pleased with this purchase, bought solely to further my knowledge of the wines of Provence!

Colour is a clean looking pale honey and the nose is aromatic and pleasant. In the mouth, it is rich, round, creamy, complex and very long, exotic flavours are released in little “waves”,  hints of vanilla, even sweetness from time to time but this lovely wine is very close to dry. Close to perfection also.

Its story is rather unusual. You’ll have noticed the highish ABV but the bottle doesn't tell you that this made from one hundred per cent Rolle. It also has an Ecocert, meaning that it is an organic wine.

Miraval is home to one of the most fantastic recording studios in the world and several major artists have recorded there including The Cure, Sting and Pink Floyd. Hence their wine named 'Pink Floyd', in honour of Pink Floyd who recorded part of their album "The Wall" at Studio Miraval. Could be confusing if they call one after the Cranberries!

And I could go on. Could mention Brad and Angie...but will leave that pleasure to you. Just click here 

Putting this straight into my list of top 2011 wines.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Vertical Tasting of Chateau Magnol at
Sweeneys off Licence, Glasnevin,
Saturday 21st May 2011
3pm – 7pm

This Saturday, 21st May, Sweeney's off licence in Glasnevin is hosting a special, complimentary, Château Magnol tasting with a difference.

Renowned worldwide, Château Magnol, a Barton & Guestier vineyard located close to Bordeaux, plays host to the company’s headquarters, covering 25 hectares of Vines in the Haut-Médoc Appellation.

At this very special wine tasting, hosted by Jean de Castelnau, Brand Manager at Barton & Guestier wines in Ireland, customers will have the opportunity to taste Château Magnol Cru Bourgeois vintages from 2000 to 2007, truly allowing customers to experience the wine.

Having grown up in Burgundy where his father was a winemaker, Jean is an expert on all things wine, having learned a thing or two about wine making while working in the winery and the vineyards.

If you are a true wine lover, pop along to Sweeneys this Saturday and taste these outstanding wines – they are sure to tantalise taste buds and leave a lasting impression! For location details please see

  • In a vertical tasting, different vintages of the same wine type from the same vineyard are tasted. 
  • In a horizontal tasting, the wines are all from the same vintage but are from different wineries. 


Chalk this down

Kimmeridgien Chardonnay Bourgogne 2007, 12%, Karwig Wines €15.85

Clean and bright in the unusual shaped bottle with green lime hints on the nose. It tastes fresh, clean and fruity, “younger” than the year suggests (I must pay more attention to age when buying!), with flavours of rounded citrus (that lime again), dry but kilometres away from jaw-locking!

Kimmeridgian refers to the soil type: alternate layers of dense chalk and softer clay encrusted with marine fossils. In the geologic timescale, the Kimmeridgian is an age or stage in the Late or Upper Jurassic epoch or series.
The wine is one of a series of three named after a period in the geologic history of the earth. Brocard also makes a Jurassique and a Portlandien (see photo).  If you want to go deeper, you can dig for yourself at

And while you’re digging why not have a glass or two of the Kimmeridgian, a really well made Chardonnay from its home pays.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


THE COMPETITION HAS JUST CLOSED. Congrats to the winner Denis Byrne


Star Anise  is a lovely French/Mediterranean restaurant in Bridge Street, just over Patrick’s Bridge.

You will be spoiled as I was recently as you can read here. That was for lunch. I’ve also been there for dinner and loved it.

Monday, May 16, 2011


BRADLEY'S of North Main Street

Bradley's of North Main Street  started life in 1850, as a dairy. A big treat for the ladies at the time was a glass of fresh cream.

Now the shop is well known both as a specialist off-licence and convenience/grocery store. The business may have changed but the treats go on, the latest coming from a group of artisans, most if not all members of Good Food Ireland.

Here today, you can still find a tub of cream and other mouth-watering temptations on the shelves include the ice cream handmade by Baldwins of Waterford  and the well known Seymour Biscuits of Bandon

You might start the day with a choice of granola, either that by Paddy's O'Granola or Wexford’s Staple Diet Breakfast Granola. A cup of coffee? Take home a carton by Fermoy’s Badger and Dodo

Beside, you can spice up your life with Relish and Chutneys by Janet's Country Fayre, G’s Homemade Jams and Relishes , Rebel Chilli Sauces and the famous Ballymaloe Relish . No problem then finding something to go with the Carrigaline Farmhouse Cheeses.

 Bradley’s carry the most extensive range of wines, beers, spirits and liqueurs available in Cork.  “That’s right," says the store's ever present Michael Creedon. “Apart from the brands you expect to find in a quality off-licence, we also carry those you just can’t find anywhere else!   Furthermore, if we don’t stock what you are looking for, we also specialise in sourcing your requests.”

“Maybe you are looking for a wine for your wedding, or that special bottle for a big occasion.  Possibly a chocolate stout is more to your taste, or an after dinner Limoncello.  Whatever it might be, look no further! Next time you are in Cork, please feel free to visit us and browse our shelves.  And if you can’t carry it home, nationwide delivery can be arranged.”

Sunday, May 15, 2011



If you have taken your first steps in wine and want to go a little, just a little, deeper, then you may interested in one (maybe two) of the pair I picked up at a bargain price in Eason’s of Patrick Street yesterday.

As if I didn't have enough weight on me already, having called to Bradley’s in North Main Street earlier to stock up on drinks. Now, I had the books to go with them.

First is the World Encyclopaedia of Wine, over 250 pages for €2.99, and this edition was published in 2010 so is pretty much up to date. It takes you on a well illustrated tour of the world’s wine regions, fills you in on the top 12 varieties. Loads of practical advice and the photographs are excellent.

Some marvellous photos, plus maps, in the other book, the 240 page Wine Basics. That too covers the main wine-producing areas as well as individual vineyards and grape varieties and was published in 2009. Like the other book, it cost just 2.99 and its original UK price was £12.99.

It has some very practical advice. One for instance refers to Viognier and says this wine should always be drunk young. I know that and knew it when I bought an older one the other day. I was looking for a Viognier and once I saw the variety I didn't pay enough attention to the rest of the info on the bottle.

Mistake. The colour was a darkish (should have been light) yellow, too dark and lacking the clean shine of youth. The nose was aromatic enough and it didn’t wear well on the palate. Flattering a little to deceive but unable to disguise that it was past its drink-by date. Disappointing: Domaine Montrose Viognier Vin de Pays d'Oc 2006, 12.5%, €10.94.

You won’t be rushing out to buy that Viognier but you may have to hurry if you want the books as there weren’t many copies on the shelf.

Saturday, May 14, 2011



I walked confidently into Augustine’s last evening, confident in the knowledge that I was going to get an excellent meal. Standards are constantly high here, never a let-down for this customer.

It is a treat to call here: friendly welcome and then, once the coats and jackets are put away, an informative little session at the table where the different dishes are outlined and explained (if needed).

You need a little advice? No problem. Last evening, I had to curtail my wine-drinking as I were going out again later on. That meant I didn't (but I will next time) take up the offer of three specially selected wines to accompany the €25.00 Tasting Menu. I was wondering about a compromise rosé on the list and then our advisor offered me a glass of their newly arrived Rosé Frizzante from Piedmont.

There are six courses on the 2011 Tasting Menu here. Got off to lively start with a little Gooseberry Cordial and that was followed by a most delightfully cooked Sea Bass, with root veg and peanut vinaigrette.

On then to the Cauliflower Potage which is brought to the table and poured over praline, deep fried Thyme and a little Truffle Oil. Dish number four was Pork Belly on Puy lentils and served with Potato Gratin, again beautifully done and presented.

Then onto the Milleens Cheese and caramelised plum, yet another perfect match. Finished off with a Surprise Dessert that turned out to be Mixed Berry Jelly with raspberry sorbet and coulis. Melt in the mouth finale leaving one happy punter about to settle up and promise to anyone who’d listen that he’d be back, a promise meant to be kept.

Early on, I had some breads from the selection offered. Enjoyed very much the Walnut and Raisin and also the Parmesan. And that Italian Rosé? Very tasty indeed, lovely red berry fruit, nice acidity and a very pleasant Frizz! Summer in a bottle even it was somewhat less than summery on Lapps Quay.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Wine Event at Ballymaloe
Sherry Talk and Tasting 
with César Saldaña, Consejo Regulador, Sherry
For a world class presentation & tasting of different styles of Sherry,
on his first ever visit to this part of Ireland,
in association with Wines of Spain.
The Grain Store at Ballymaloe,
Wednesday 25th May, 7pm,  €10
César Saldaña is a passionate and expert speaker on Sherry – its wines, food, culture and history. He is the Director of Sherry – the Consejo Regulador, and is without doubt the worlds best speaker on Sherry - a world renowned Sherry ‘Ambassador’, on what is becoming a very fashionable drink once again – Sherry. A great opportunity to learn more about the unique special wine that is Sherry, and taste its many different styles, including Manzanilla, Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, Pedro Ximenez.  An evening not to be missed. All welcome.
The Grain Store at Ballymaloe,
Ballymaloe House, Shanagarry, Co. Cork,
Mob: 083 3631468.    Tel: 021 4652531

Thursday 26th May, 8.00pm – Sherry Dinner at Ballymaloe House
Sherry Dinner with César Saldaña in association with The Irish Times Readers Evening, and John Wilson, wine writer, The Irish Times, and also in association with Wines of Spain. A specially selected menu will be matched to specially selected Sherry at each course.
Please note that booking for this Sherry Dinner, on Thursday 26th May, at Ballymaloe House, will have to be made directly through The Irish Times Readers Evening office.



Saturday next sees the first of a series of tempting tastings at the Carrigaline warehouse of Parsons Wines .

Kevin Parsons tells me that he expects Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc to be one of the main attractions this Saturday when the series kicks off with a firm focus on Dog Point Wines from New Zealand. These wines are made by James Healy, formerly of Cloudy Bay.

On Saturday May 21st, the wines of the Loire, ideal for summer drinking , take the spotlight and one to watch out for here is another Sauvignon Blanc, this the Domaine Octavia from Touraine. “This is a star, a summer quaffer,” according to Katherine Donnelly (Irish independent on Sunday) as quoted in the current James Nicholson Wines catalogue.
Parsons remain in France for the third and final tasting on May 28th. The theme here is Wines of Alsace. No shortage of good ones here but Kevin tells me the Domaine Zind Hambrecht Riesling Close Hauserer 2008 is “special”.

This was one of the wines I tasted during an all too brief visit to Kevin today and it is indeed something special, with a great nose and so well balanced. Another very pleasant wine from the area was the Bott Geyl Riesling Les Elements 2006 which has excellent acidity and no shortage of fruit.

Also sampled one from the Loire: la Grille Classic Chenin Blanc, quite dry yet fruity enough and should go well with a salad in the back garden this summer.

Staying in France, we moved to the south and to the red of le Page de Vignelaure, a Vin de Pays, Coteaux du Verdun. This Provençale wine, 90% Cab Sauv, 10% Merlot, is full bodied with no shortage of tannins and loads of black fruit, quite a red for the price.

Out of Europe then and across the Med to Lebanon from where Kevin produced a gem: the Massaya Silver Selection Red 2005. This blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Cab Sauv and Mourverde is something different. “Fruity and good enough to drink now,” according to Kevin, “but with sufficient tannins to ensure it will age well.”

He is not alone in his high praise of this gem. Jancis Robinson has written that it is rich and explosive. “A sort of cross between Ch Musar and St-Emilion.”

So keep an eye out for those tastings and while there why not have a browse among the collection of wine books that Kevin sells. Oh, and don't forget to take a look at the large collection of national (and other) flags that adorn the warehouse.

The tastings times each Saturday are 11.00am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 5.00pm. More details here


Great to walk through Mahon Point Farmers Market yesterday (any Thursday really) and enjoy buying the bits and pieces and the chatter along the way.

If you want a bit of patter with your paté, then call to Barrie Tyner (right). And let him talk while you sample the patés. They are the creamiest and most gorgeous. Irresistible.

If you can't get down to see Barry, his produce, and that of many of the best food producers is available on the  Explore the producer directory, read their stories and buy gorgeous good food and beverages.

At Mahon itself, you can fill a couple of bags in no time. Take Flynn’s Kitchen for instance. Iain has a selection of prepared meals, he has magnificent soups, tasty crab cakes, even some really lovely jams. Always worth a call.

You always need bread and one of my particular favourites is the sourdough produced by Arbutus Breads right here in Mayfield.

Gubbeen is a treasure trove of top notch food: chorizo, salami, cheese, pork products. Speaking of pork, well just a few yards away you’ll find Martin from Woodside Farm  He has a range of tempting products from his Old Spot pigs and my current favourites are the pork and apple burgers..

And the market really has fresh produce. That was underlined yesterday by the absence of O'Driscoll’s Fish, always a popular stall. Overnight, the winds at sea were very high so they had no fish, thus no stall, just a notice up with the bad news.

Still in the mood for a chat? Then call to the amazing Green Saffron   stall. Here Arun (left) or one of the very helpful people there will explain to you all about Indian food. And for those few minutes, even if there is a queue behind you, you will have his full attention, you are his only customer. That is why you go back and go back.

And if you miss Green Saffron or Woodside or Arbutus at Mahon, they and many others will be in Midleton tomorrow (and every Saturday). Go get thee to a market and get thee yapping and chatting. Enjoy.
For a full list of stall-holders in Mahon please click here