Showing posts with label Bastion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bastion. Show all posts

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Delicious Food and No Plastic at Kinsale Street Feast

Kinsale Street Feast

The All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off will take pride of place in Kinsale today (2.00pm) but yesterday it was the turn of the Street Feast. Lots of good food and fun and a big "NO!" to  plastic. I got down there early but not early enough to get one of the 150 lobster rolls that Bastion sold out in an hour! But there were plenty of other excellent offerings to taste and enjoy.

Best in show. This superb bowl of Chorizo and Bean Stew was my favourite on the day, served up by Chef Daniel Horgan from Man Friday. It was full of flavour and helped lessen the chill from the wind and good value too at €4.00. Also enjoyed the Fish Crumble from Fishy Fishy, the Mussels with Thai style sauce from Finns' Table, and the Moroccan Lamb Stew from Max. Most restaurants had at least two dishes on offer.
Julie Finn (right) serving.

"Not too much of that street food down here!"

The Barrett burgers were popular!
High Tide

Claire O'Brien (Gan Gluten) greets an old friend

Fishy Fishy's Fish Crumble

Gubbeen chorizo and cheese from Black Pig Wine Bar.

Street corner musicians
Bastion Sold out their lobster rolls in double quick time. But they did have Prosecco on tap!

Gourmet Pantry


Choices!




Monday, October 8, 2018

My West Cork Package


Sandycove, near Kinsale
My West Cork Package
Summer 2018

I'm often asked where I've been for the holidays and I often get sympathetic looks when I answer Ireland (can't bring myself to say staycation!). But I'm not in need of that the kind of sympathy! Far from it. 

Didn’t realise I spent so much time (not to mention money) in West Cork this marvellous summer of 2018. But I did and I enjoyed it, every minute. So I’ve put it all together in this “package” and am hoping it will give you a few pointers if you are heading in that direction in 2019. 

Bastion

Restaurants:
Pilgrims Rosscarbery
Richy’s Clonakilty
Fish Kitchen Bantry
Supper Club Kinsale
Monk’s Lane Timoleague
Lifeboat Inn Courtmacsherry
Jim Edwards Kinsale
Cru Kinsale
Bastion Kinsale
Manning's

Lunch:
Richy’s Clonakilty
De Barra's Pub in Clon

Pubs:
Scannell’s Clonakilty
De Barra’s Clonakilty
Eccles. Window view

Stay:
Fruit at De Barra Lodge
De Barra Lodge
You'll find it hard to get a B&B breakfast better than that served up by Sinéad at their lovely house near Rosscarbery. Here you'll see the cows grazing, the rabbits sunning themselves and the hens (who provide the eggs for your breakfast) in their run by the house. The dining-room is brilliantly lit by a series of Velux windows. It, and indeed, the bedrooms are comfortable and spacious. And Sinéad and her husband will themselves drive you to the village if you have your evening meal booked there.

Glendine House
Mick and Mari are the owners of Glendine House on the edge of Clon. Both are "blow-ins" but each is well involved in the life of the town and contribute much of their time. They too have their own hens and the produce for the breakfast is more or less all local including that of the Clonakilty Black Pudding Company. The house is about an eight minute walk downhill to the town centre (a bit further on the return!). You get a terrific welcome here and plenty of help and advice on what to do in the area. It is comfortable and well equipped (loved the shower-unit here!).

Inchydoney Lodge
Courtmacsherry

Maritime
I usually stay about once a year in Bantry's Maritime. It it so central with an underground car park just across the way and a very warm welcome. Well equipped too and spacious, with a lovely dining room where you may enjoy your breakfast. The bedrooms have all you want and all have great views out over the magnificent bay. Lots of music in the bar during the season. Would love to see some local craft beer on tap here but they do carry some good ones in bottle.

Ballydehob

Visit:
Garinish Island
Gougane Barra


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Bastion. Playing in the Irish Top Rank.


Bastion. Playing in the Irish Top Rank.
Salmon

The summer was back as we headed towards Bastion in Kinsale on Wednesday last. Late in the season, but the town was still busy, tourists walking around and checking the menus. With the water sparkling and the colourful marina packed, it could have been the Med. What we ate in the Bastion could sit easily on Europe’s top tables. And that puts it in the top rank here.

We even have a window table (good light for the pics!) so the signs are good from the start. And it continues that way with the two breads, a hard to match sourdough and a matchless Brioche. Hard to decide then between the Treacle Butter and the Olive Oil with Balsamic. But no decision necessary - enough to share!

There is a mega wine-list here. Take the reds for example. You may start with a €27.00 bottle, a very nice Vina Albergada for example, and go right up to the famous Penfold’s Grange. The Grange will set you back nine hundred euro or €180.50 per glass. They use the Coravin here so you can indeed sample some of the more expensive wines by the glass.

They have Prosecco on tap and some very interesting Prosecco based cocktails. The Kir Royale (cassis and prosecco) is a superb example of its kind while I was absolutely delighted with my Pisco (elderflower, orange bitters and Prosecco).

By now, the first of our five courses, from the Early Bird Tasting Menu, had arrived. A local oyster, from Oysterhaven; served with apple yogurt, purée and jelly and pickled fennel, this bracing delight of the sea had the taste buds standing up.

The Celeriac Velouté was next, an unctuous sauce in its own container, and, on a little dish, pickled giroles, apple, celeriac mousse and hazelnut oil. Now those taste buds were on full alert.

And their reward was a gorgeous Smoked and Cured Organic Salmon dish. That salmon was superb but the accompaniments, especially the soft goats cheese and the salt-baked beetroot, were also outstanding and the candy walnuts got into this tasty act as well.

The main event was now at hand: Lamb rump, with peas, turnip and preserved lemon. The peas were good but the turnip was something else and there were some pickled rounds of it also. Needless to say, the lamb from the Kerry hills, in its two manifestations (roast and slow-cooked), was spot on.

Desserts, occasionally, don’t match the rest of the meal. Not the case here! Our White Chocolate Panna Cotta, with Pistachio Sponge, cherry sorbet and cherry granola, was a delightful finalé, served in an eye-catching fine china cup.

This superb restaurant, which has gone from strength to strength over the past three years under Helen (front of house) and Paul (Head Chef), supports local producers. In this menu alone, suppliers include Horizon Farm, Padraig O’Donovan fish, while the cheese, the beef and the lamb are all Irish. 

It holds the only Michelin bib in Cork city and county and everything you eat here, from the bread to the sweet treat with your coffee, is made in-house. While Bastion faces the same challenges as most other restaurants and cafes in staff recruitment, their service is friendly and attentive (without ever being in your face).

As we walked earlier in the warming September sun towards town centre Bastion, we spotted, in the backwater under Man Friday, a quartet of herons in different trees, all on the alert. There were fish jumping, seemingly without a care in the world. On our return, there were no fish jumping. And the herons looked well satisfied. Like us, they had enjoyed a very good meal!


Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Rising Tide on a High. Winners of Kinsale Chowder Cook-Off

The Rising Tide on a High
Winners of Kinsale Chowder Cook-Off

Winners: Sandra and Craig of the Rising Tide
It was the first chowder that we tasted and we knew it was a good one. The Rising Tide's Sandra Murphy, with Head Chef Craig Guiney alongside, greeted us with a big smile and that smile got even bigger later on when the Rising Tide were declared the winners of the ‘Cork Heat’ of the All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off.  

This hugely popular competition, sponsored by Clóna,was the opening event of the Kinsale Gourmet Festival, and was hosted by the Kinsale Good Food Circle at Acton’s Hotel last Friday.

Quite a few strong contenders emerged as we made our way around the room. Quinlan’s Seafood Bar were making their debut here and confidence was high as they been crowned Supreme Champions for their fresh crab-meat at the recent Blas na hEireann Awards in Dingle.
Cornstore (left) was busy as was Clon's Richy
The White Horse Bar, from Ballincollig, was one of our first calls - we had arranged a “date’ on twitter. Cockles were in the mix here and it was gluten free. Indeed, I’m told the popular restaurant takes good care of people looking for gluten free. So there’s a tip for you.

The Electric Fish Bar featured mussels in their chowder and that too tasted as if it would be a contender as did Ricky's from Clonakilty, also offering mussel in their bowl. Ballycotton Pier 26 had one of the more colourful offerings, smoked fish in the mix, while the Pink Elephant had prawns.

The Poacher’s Inn had another good one with Star Anise among the flavours while runners up Bastion featured Saffron (which went down very well with CL). Ballydehob’s Budds emerged as a place to watch. Their regular chowder was good and they also had a vegan one on hand. They make great use of seaweed and their seaweed butter was a very tasty example indeed.
A warming chowder from the White Horse crew
Graeme Campbell, executive head chef at the Celtic Ross, had recruited the formidable Sally Barnes and they had another excellent chowder, accompanied by some of Sally’s smoked mackerel paté.

Actually, quite a few of the accompaniments were tasty. Didn't taste all the brown bread available but I thought the one from Nine Market Street in Kinsale was outstanding. Perhaps the top “side” was the drink offered by Cornstore, a Jameson Black Barrel, basil and rosemary infused whiskey sour. Thanks to local brewer Sam Black for the heads up!

Cornstore were the holders and they made a terrific effort to make it two in a row with an excellent chowder containing smoked haddock, mussel chowder, bacon and dry sherry and a vegetable mirepoix.
Budd's of Ballydehob and their vegan chowder (smaller pot)
The line-up in the Kinsale Suite at Actons featured:  Cornstore Restaurant, Budds Restaurant, Ballydehob, The Rising Tide, Glounthaune, The Fish Bar at Electric, Cork City, Bastion of Kinsale, The Pink Elephant, Kilbrittain, The White Horse, Ballincollig,  Richy’s Restaurant, Clonakilty, Poachers Inn, Bandon, Pier 26 Restaurant, Ballycotton, Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, Quinlans Seafood Bar, Cork City, Nine Market St, Kinsale and The Speckled Door, Old Head.

The winner will represent Cork at the All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off in Kinsale next April, and subsequently travel to Newport, Rhode Island to be part of the Great Chowder Cook-off in June, 2017.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Twenty Four Hours in Kinsale

Twenty Four Hours in Kinsale
Forts, Food, Craft Beer!
It was Friday the 13th but we weren't staying at home. We were on the road to Kinsale for an overnight stay.


First call was to Charlesfort, this time, not to visit the early 17th century fort but to take the harbourside walk that begins with a stroll down the left hand side of the sprawling complex.  There are good views of Charlesfort and the town as you start off and later the Old Head comes into view.
Charlesfort (above) and James Fort
The path, with the waters of the harbour on your right, is not the smoothest and, at one point, you have to make a short walk across a stony beach. You pass through a boatyard on your way to Lower Cove. This was where we turned back. The way forward is not clear but apparently you can reach the point with views across to the Old Head and out to sea where the Sovereign Islands lie.

We had a date with Sam and Maudeline Black at their brewery in Farm Lane. They were working their way through a busy afternoon but found time to give us a tour and tasting. After that, we checked into our hotel, the Old Bank. Though this is right smack bang in the middle of the town, I must admit I'd never heard of it.

Kinsale evening
It is part of the Blue Haven holdings here and it proved a very good base indeed. It has no parking but the public car park is quite close. We got a warm welcome and indeed spent a pleasant night here and the breakfast was very good indeed. They had some decent choices and the toast was cut from a proper loaf (Cuthbert’s), not your usual sliced pan. Good value too.

Time now for a walk down the Pier Road as the sun began to set. Got a few photos in before heading back to the hotel. Our next port of call was the relatively new restaurant, Bastion (they have Prosecco on tap!), where we enjoyed an excellent meal.
Evening in Kinsale
 Afterwards, just a few yards away, I sampled some craft beers, Black’s (of course) and Metalman, in the Malt Lane. They had quite a selection here and an even bigger selection of whiskeys.

Old Bank

We visited another fort in the morning. This is James Fort, across the water from Charlesfort which it pre-dates. Nowadays, it is stoutly defended by the OPW (no interior access) but there are fine views and also some excellent walks in the surrounding fields.


Back down to the car then and away to Garretstown where we expected to find the surfers. But they were outnumbered by canoeists from a city club who were getting some much needed practice in. Needless to say, the camera was out of the bag again.

Stayed with the coast roads until we came to another beach, this Harbour View near Kilbrittain. This looks safer, certainly calmer, than Garretstown but not as well equipped with parking facilities. Still, a lovely place to stroll around in the sun and we weren't the only ones taking advantage of the beach and the dunes.
Harbour View
 We had a late lunch pencilled in at another relatively new restaurant, this the Monk’s Lane in the middle of the village of Timoleague, famous for its ruined abbey. But before all that the camera, with fast lens attached, was put into action again in an attempt to get a few shots of cars taking part on the West Cork Rally. They were driving (though not racing at this point) along the road by the abbey.

 The meal in Monk’s Lane was superb and great to see local craft beer on sale there as well. The rally cars had vanished at that stage and we headed up towards Bandon on the way home after a lovely twenty four hours, well maybe 26, in the area.


See also: My Kinsale Guide



Part of a walk-on circle of plaques depicting local people and
connections in the grounds of Timoleague church