Ballymaloe Café & ShopPleasant Interlude in Shanagarry
|Plum tart. And left, Bacon (top), smoked Mackerel|
Gortnamona, Cashel Blue, Rosscarbery Bacon, Frank Hederman, Tim O’s. All these local names appeared on the board in the Ballymaloe Cafe Wednesday at lunchtime. It instils confidence in customers (including me) and underlines Ballymaloe’s ongoing support for Irish producers. It also makes for an excellent lunch as we would soon find out.
Our first call here though was to the shop, packed with foodstuffs, kitchen and dining kit, clothes, books, and craft. Here again, there is great local content, including spices by Green Saffron. Look out too for Jerpoint Glass and pottery by Nicholas Mosse.
We replaced a few items, including a battered biscuit tin and some jaded egg cups. Our eggs will now be served in miniature buckets, with handles if you please. The book selection is very local indeed, much of it by members of the Allen family but also including the new Fresh Spice by Arun of Green Saffron along with Giana Ferguson’s Gubbeen.
But the one we got this time was Rory O’Connell’s Master It. Quite a large book but with very few big words. I have been reading the opening pages and am struck by the simplicity of the language and instructions, all as clear as day. Maybe there’s hope for me yet in the kitchen. One of the advantage of having so many local authors on the shelf here is that most of the books are signed.
Bags filled and then it was time for lunch. The cafe is conveniently situated at the back of the shop. Studied that board and we each went for a sandwich. CL picked the Hederman’s Smoked Mackerel while my choice was the Rosscarbery Home Cured Bacon, each €10.50 and each accompanied by Ballymaloe’s own brown bread, salad and condiments.
We were very happy customers at this point, couldn't have asked for more. But we did! I dare you resist the line-up of cakes and pastries on the counter. We didn't and each of us picked the Plum, Blueberries and Almond Tart. Haven't come across this too often but this was superb. All in all a lovely meal, served with no fuss but with smiles and chat. A lovely interlude.