Showing posts with label Crawford Art Gallery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Crawford Art Gallery. Show all posts

Monday, September 23, 2019

Have you been to Doneraile Court and Park? A Very Popular Visit.

Have you been to Doneraile Court and Park? 

A very popular visit now that the house itself, the Court, is open to the public.  You may make the visit as long or as short as you wish. Perhaps just walk the park. Maybe call to the café for a snack. Visit the recently reopened house.
You'll find the café here - see the rustic seats. Water for the dogs on the left!

On arrival, why not take a cuppa in the park's café. It has an outdoor area for when the sun shines. But do take a look at the dining room itself as it is set in the original kitchen area of the big house and is complete with a row of bells used to summon the servants.
The restored Parterre with the gardeners' cottages at the end.

After your cuppa, take a walk around the park which has no less than 166 hectares! Much of the park was landscaped in the heyday of Doneraile Court when the St Legers (who built the house in the 1720s) were in their pomp and is not as natural as it may appear. Keep an eye out for the "haha". More easily seen are the groups of deer that are kept in the park.
The Battle of the Birds.

After your walk, return to the house for your guided tour, or vice versa. You will need to book in advance during the season. The tour covers the ground floor, going through the various rooms complete with furnishings and decorations, antique carpets, paintings, and sculpture, many of which come from other big houses and quite a few via Cork's City's Crawford Gallery (including the large scale Battle of the Birds in the Dining room).
Dining room
At this point, you may like to visit the café again for lunch. If you prefer a more expansive menu and a bit more comfort, why not visit the Townhouse Café on the main street. You'll soon spot it as it always looks so well - lots of flowers outside. Sink into those soft seats and sink your teeth into their sumptuous pastries, well into one of them anyhow! While you're on the main street why not take a look at the memorial, outside the church, to Canon Sheehan, another of Doneraile's famous writers.

One of the oldest items on display in the house. It was called a court as the St Leger
at the time had the right to hold a court there twice a year.

The Awbeg river, a branch of the Blackwater, flows smoothly into the park where it is then "guided" to create a small cascade and pool.
Chicken wrap in the sun from the café in the park itself.
Tasty stuff, even if service was a bit on the slow side. Fairly priced, just over 20 euro for 2 wraps, 2 teas.
They have full breakfast and lunch menus.


The name lives on

Excellent café on the main street. 

Canon Sheehan, a local writer, is remembered here

Many students were visiting - with a project in hand - on the day we called.

One of the rooms. Do you know the guy with the long legs in the lower middle?
No one can put a name on him. The full length portrait, we were told, came from the
Elizabeth Arden (yes, the cosmetic guru) collection

Not too much beauty here. This is Oliver Cromwell.
Not too sure why he hangs here. But I suppose he did deserve to hang somewhere.

This typewriter, pictured through its glass case, belonged to Elizabeth Bowen, the local Anglo-Irish writer who lived in
nearby Bowen's Court and published ten novels and many short stories. A room here is dedicated to her and there are
quite a few photos of Elizabeth, mostly with a cigarette in hand. One of the later St Legers was also fond of the
smoking habit and usually threw the butt to her pet goat who was allowed graze on the lawn. The cattle couldn't get that far, not because of intrusive fencing (there wasn't any), but because they couldn't negotiate the Haha. Wikipedia defines it as a recessed landscape design element that creates a vertical barrier while preserving an uninterrupted view of the landscape beyond. The design includes a turfed incline that slopes downward to a sharply vertical face. It still exists.
This pic is from an earlier visit.
Check the OPW site on Doneraile here
For a very informative article on the family, the house, and its restoration, read this Irish Times piece here

Thursday, January 10, 2019

CorkBilly’s Drinks Digest. Wines, Spirits and Beers Events


CorkBilly’s Drinks Digest
Wines, Spirits and Beers Events

Wine Course at L'Atitude
The Wine Fundamentals Level 1 Course starts Saturday 19th January at 3.30pm and will run over 4 weeks, finishing on February 9th. 

Each class lasts 2 hours and the programme will cover the following: 

- Week 1: Basic Tasting Techniques, Introduction to Winemaking and the Main Wine Regions
- Week 2: Major Grapes of The World
- Week 3: Influence of Winemaking Techniques, Climate and Regionality on Wine Style
- Week 4: Sparkling Wines & Food & Wine Matching

Each class costs €40, or €160 for the full course (€150 with discount if you sign up or all 4 classes). 

You can enrol by ringing L’Atitude 51 on 021 2390219 or coming directly to the bar or send us an email to let us know you'd like to attend - info@latitude51.ie

Prosecco for two features in Greene’s offer
Happy New year from all at Greenes Restaurant.
We have a very special new years offer for all our customers.
You can enjoy a 40% discount on our Weekend 5 Course Lunch Tasting Menu with Prosecco from now until the end of March. Valid Thursday to Sunday
OR
A 40% discount on our midweek 6 course evening tasting menu until the end of March. Valid Sunday to Thursday.
View these offers on our website here.

AFTER DARK AT THE CRAWFORD
5-7pm Sunday 20 January

“So bring a friend or date, grab a complimentary drink, take a pop-up tour with our inspiring guides, and enjoy a night at the gallery as we celebrate the Eve of St Agnes!

At length burst in the argent revelry,
With plume, tiara, and all rich array...

Join us after dark on Sunday 20 January for our special celebration of the Eve of St Agnes in partnership with Irish Distillers.

For centuries, this medieval tradition has inspired lovers, poets, and artists alike, including John Keats and Harry Clarke. This year, it is the central theme of our new exhibition Dreaming in Blue: Harry Clarke Watercolours, in which star-cross'd lovers Madeline and Porphyro elope on St Agnes' Eve!”


This event runs as part of Dreaming in Blue: Harry Clarke Watercolours (until 14 February). Free event but book your place here.  

Consumer Tasting for Australian Wine


O'Brien's Monthly Sale
A Louis Jadot Fleurie is one of the wines featured in O'Brien's monthly sale. Jadot's reputation as one of the grand old houses of Burgundy is well established and justifiably so, classic wines from Grand Cru to Cru Beaujolais. Fleurie is one of the 10 Cru's of Beaujolais situated between Villefranche sur Saone and Macon. And Louis Jadot Fleurie is currently at €16.95 instead of €22.95. Another worth checking is the d'Arenberg d'Arrys Shiraz/Grenache also at €16.95 (from 21.95).
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Lucky Irish
I’ve often thought that Irish wine drinkers are blessed because of the huge choice available to us, bottles from all over the world. And that opinion was reinforced when I read this paragraph from a newsletter I get from a winelover in the Languedoc.

“And just for fun I opened a trio of Gimblett Gravels from New Zealand’s Hawke’s Bay, all variations on a bordelais theme, with a very New World taste.    it is virtually impossible to find any New Zealand wines in the Hérault, so our languedocien friends enjoyed being taken out of their comfort zone!”

The Growing Thirst for Exotic Wine
Bored with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc? Discover some new grapes with Wine-Searcher’s Kathleen Willcox who reports that the heirloom tomato effect is at work in the wine world. The biggest driver of the trend is Millennials, who are seeking not only something pleasing to their palate, but wines that will horrify their parents with their unpronounceability and esoteric country of origin. Read more here


Richy’s BYO Offer
Clonakilty restaurant Richy’s are offering a helping hand when dining out. “Feeling the crunch after Christmas? Why not save some dosh by bringing your own wine to Richy’s! T&C's apply. Available 14th Jan - 28th Feb 2019. Corkage €5.”

Cask Ales and Strange Brew Fest
Our favourite festival of the year....The Cask Ales and Extraordinary Brew Festival running from Jan 31st to Feb 2nd. 
Featuring a range of special brews using curious and interesting ingredients, the festival will showcase the growing experimentation of Irish brewers and their ability to challenge the norms of brewing.

Yellow Belly, Rising Suns, Metalman and West Cork Brewing are just some of the brewers at the festival and will compete in the Beoir Cask Competition to see who can come up with the most extraordinary beer under categories: Best lager, best "pale', best stout and best specialty. Judged by The national Beer enthusiasts club, winners will be announced on the Saturday of the festival. 

Live music, performances & Pompeii pizza! Admission is free

  


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Mathews & McCan Take A Walk on the Wine Side


Mathews & McCan Take A Walk on the Wine Side
Mary and Kevin Parsons with Café Paradiso's Ger O'Toole (right)

Colm McCan talked the talk and walked the walk as he guided a group of Munster Wine & Dine members around the wine history of Cork City last Saturday. The meeting point was St Peter’s Church in the ancient heart of the city and as we sipped the first of our wines, the Elgin Ridge 282 Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa, Colm filled us in on the huge appetite for wine that our ancestors, especially our mayors, including one called Richard Wine (1273), had for wine. Don't think though that they'd have enjoyed the delicious Ardsallagh Ash Pyramid Goats Cheese that we sampled with the first wine.

Marian Smith, from Ballyjamesduff, is co-owner of Elgin Ridge and all the wines that we’d taste at the various stops would have an Irish connection, the Irish loosely interpreted in some cases! 
Did we lose someone?

Hugh Lawton
Next stop was almost next door at Bradley’s where Michael proudly showed us the amazing gate (really a map in metal of the old city) that his brother mounted on one of many old lanes off North Main Street. Many of the lanes are gone or are blocked up but their names can be seen on plaques built into the pavement. Woodford Bourne is a name linked with the wine trade so it was appropriate that we'd make a stop there.

Then it was on to the Crawford Art Gallery. The older part of this building was once the Custom House and ships, often with wine onboard, would dock here in Emmet Place, now a busy square, and the captains would go in to pay their duty.

In the gallery itself, we stopped in front of the large portrait of Hugh Lawton, mayor of Cork in 1776 and a direct ancestor of Pierre Lawton, the influential Bordeaux based negociant. In a cabinet we saw Penrose glassware. Cork glass pre-dated Waterford crystal and was made from 1783 onwards. 
HM are the missing letters!

The city also produced some of the earliest wine writers, including the famous Maurice Healy. As we moved to our next stop, we passed the GPO which stands on what once was Lawton’s Quay. You can guess what cargoes came in here!

Kevin Parsons has spent a lifetime in wine and he (and his wife Mary) was a guest on the walk and came up with some good stories. In Jacques, as we warmed up with a delicious tagine and a wine (Zouina’s Volubilia Rouge, made in Morocco by a French company with an Irish connection), Kevin told us about famous winemakers he had done business with, including the Mahoneys of the Napa Valley, John Horgan of Western Australia, even the then nascent Nyetimber of England. He is well known for his posters of the Wine Geese and used one of a few mounted in Jacques to illustrate. You may check those posters whenever you’re in the Oliver Plunket Street venue.

Kevin and the rest of us were looking forward to our next arranged halt, at the Old Bond. We did get into the area. Lots of keys available but those to the old vaults couldn’t be found and we had to make do with looking at the exterior, perhaps for the final time, as there are plans afoot to develop this point of land, the final point at the eastern end of the island city. Kevin had been a daily visitor here for decades.
Jules (pic Colm McCan)

So back to the warmth of the top wine venue in Cork, L’Atitude 51. Beverley had been with us all day, helping Colm with the commentaries, and now she was our host, greeting us with a glass of 1701 Franciacorta. The Irish connection here is Rhona Cullinane, a Clonakilty lady who works with this family owned vineyard between Lake Garda and Verona.

Wexford man Pat Neville was described as one of “modern day wine geese” as we sipped his Domaine Aonghusa Bentouly 2014. All the while, there were contributions of mainly Irish interest coming from Colm, Beverley and Kevin.

And then it was time for the finalé: Le Cèdre Malbec vintage 2012. And very nice too, its sweetness a lovely match with the chocolate covered figs from the L’Atitude kitchen. 
And who better to tell us about the wine than Jules, the son of the vignerons, who just happens to be doing work experience at L’Atitude. “It is a Vin doux naturel, raised by organic methods, with an abv of 16%.” When it comes to wine, Mathews and McCan always find an Irish connection! Salut. Cheers. Slainte. 

The old (1724) custom house, now part of the Crawford Gallery







Monday, January 1, 2018

Crawford Gallery Café. Christmas Cheer and Happy New Year

Crawford Gallery Café 

Christmas Cheer and Happy New Year.



Cork, December 28th. The month and the year 2017 is running out. Fast. It is cold in the city. Not even a smoker to brave the cold in the outdoors section of the Crawford Gallery Café where the seats provide some colour in the grey day. Veering towards zero degrees, veering towards a white day as snow appears and threatens to stay.

So I hurry past the outer railings, through the gallery doors, past the nude Greek and Roman sculpture casts (brrrr). Then I go deeper into the building (once the city’s Custom House) where there is a hot spot, the Gallery Café. 

It is warm for sure and close to full, a lovely rounded buzz of conversation, no sharp tones here, must be the acoustics, more likely a soft chorus of Christmassy contentment! It was the first time that the café has opened in the period between Christmas and the New Year - don't think it will be the last time. 

A smile and a nod and I'm directed to a table. Another smile as head chef Sinead Doran waves from the counter. Warming up already.

The menu, it changes daily (Sinead has, as usual, been out to the nearby English Market), arrives just as my raincoat comes off. The glasses go on and I see it is full of choice, full of good things. Still chasing warmth, I  immediately decide on the Thai Spiced Tomato Soup. It is comfortingly warm and the heat of the spice is not in any way extreme, no shock but rather an pleasant aid to the recovering system.

Lots of warm stuff throughout the seasonal menu. Breslin’s Beef and Red Wine Stew tempts as does the tart of Warm Sweet Onion and Crozier Blue (my favourite cheese ever!). 

The Devilled Kidneys tempted me sorely and would have been CL’s choice but I had given her the day off to bond with (mind!) our latest grandchild. The Roast Marrow Bone made a recent visiting critic drool. And the same Marrow Bone makes an appearance in the Steak and Chips.


I will have chips but with the hake, green mayonnaise lemon and organic leaves too. Presentation is neat and tidy but there is quite a pyramid of food on the plate as Sinead arrives. A gasp of surprise from me. Think she's heard a few like that before; she is confident of a clean plate finish. This particular deep-water fish can grow to a max of 140cm; don't think that record-breaker was on the plate though, packed and all as it was.

So, ignoring the two guys (a pair of sculptured heads) peering through the Christmas greenery on the window sill alongside, I concentrate, mainly on the gorgeous fish, its pearl white flesh easily found once the veneer of batter is disturbed. And then it is easily pleasurably eaten, especially with a dab of the mayo. And on I went, bite by bite, superb sweet fish and superb potato, all the way to an empty plate!
"Nice bit of hake he has there."

The main event may have passed but there were still some Christmas items on the dessert section of the menu.  I gave the sweet bits a skip this time; I had eaten well of the sustaining and sustainable hake and said goodbye to Sinead and her crew and made my way through the packed restaurant out to the cold, no snow though (the earlier threat to stay was not maintained), to resume spending the vouchers. 

Happy New Year!

The Crawford Gallery Café
Emmet Place
Cork
021 4274415
Open: Mon to Sat 8.30am to 4.00pm