Showing posts with label Kingsley Hotel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kingsley Hotel. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

What To Drink When You’re Not Drinking.


What To Drink When You’re Not Drinking.
Taste Better Than Previous Efforts. Look Better Too!
NA Cocktail at Hotel Europe

While settling up after a recent lunch at Kingdom 1795 in Killorglin, we began talking to Suzi about non alcoholic drinks. She and chef Damien, who have put so much into this lovely new restaurant, carry a selection including Stonewell NA Cider, Seedlip and Heineken Zero.

Bradley's include
a NA Cava
I first came across Seedlip a couple of weeks back at lunch in the Whale’s Tale Bistro in Clonakilty. This was the Garden version, the company do two others: Spice 94 and Grove 42. 

So where did the name come from? Seedlip: Over three hundred years ago, it was common for physicians to distil herbal remedies using copper stills, harnessing the power of nature & alchemy to solve medical maladies. In 1651, one such physician, John French, published The Art of Distillation documenting these non-alcoholic recipes. At that same time, a family in Lincolnshire had started farming, hand sowing seeds using baskets called ‘seedlips’.

Seedlip in Clon
Today, you can find Seedlip in quite a few places and it does indeed give you a choice. The Whale’s Tail version was a substitute for gin and served in the big fashionable gin glass. I tasted it like that and it did seem a bit “vegetable” - there were a few slices of cucumber in there too. But once the Fever-Tree Elderflower was added, the magic happened and the combination was just excellent, very acceptable indeed.

In Kingdom 1795, I tasted the Spice version neat, very aromatic and you could easily see how it would be the basis for an excellent drink. Again, Suzi suggested the Fever-Tree as an ideal companion. No wonder the Seedlip company reckon they have the solution to the question “what to drink when you’re not drinking” #wtdwynd
Killorglin's Kingdom, well worth a visit

There is a Seedlip rival on the market also, marketed as a non-alcoholic gin and called Ceders. I was talking to Michael Creedon of Bradley’s (North Main Street, Cork), about things non-alcoholic and he says there is a a definite trend in that direction. He has non-alcoholic wines in stock and also the Ceders.


When we departed Kingdom 1795, we went for a superb walk in the sun on the stunning Bray Head (Valentia Island). On the way back, we called to the Glenbeigh Hotel, again looking for a non alcoholic drink. And right in front of us, on the counter of the old bar, there was a card full of suggestions (Coca Cola suggestions, I think). The driver tried one, the South African “Appletiser”, a sparkling fruit drink with carbonated water, and it went down well. We also saw the non alcoholic Cronin’s Cider (bottled in Wexford) but too late!

NA Cocktail at Cask
based on Ceders spirit
We went upmarket later on that night. In the bar of the Europe Hotel - probably the best hotel bar in the country - we checked out the offerings. They have a terrific cocktail list - I can recommend the Brandy Alexander and the Negroni - that includes a choice of non alcoholic offerings including a long and delicious apple based one with ginger and lemongrass (the name escapes me). And we were also offering a zero alcohol wine.

They also carry the Erdinger NA beer, quite a good one too. I also find the Paulaner a handy substitute from time to time. And yes they support local here with normal strength beer on draught from Killarney Brewery and bottles of the NA Cider by Kerry based Cronins.

We also tasted that cider at lunch in Dingle’s Boatyard the following day. It is refreshing, somewhat drier than their regular 4.5% offering, and not bad at all. It does come for some reason in the smaller 330 bottle.
A selection of O'Brien's zero alcohol wines

Back in town, after the Kerry break, we called to O’Brien’s in Douglas. They carry the Seedlip drinks and indeed say the non-alcoholic drinks in general are flying, so much that they have to work hard to keep on. They have quite a few non-alcoholic wines including some from Torres and three that they bring in themselves.
At The Kingsley

Just the other night, we were going through the drinks list in the Springboard Restaurant in the Kingsley Hotel and spotted a trio of non-alcoholic cocktails (not too many places are using “mocktail” these days). They have the Shirley Temple and the Fishers and the Nojito, the latter an amalgam of mint, fresh lime juice, sugar and soda water. 

So there you are. Just a sample of the many alcoholic options out there now. Now you know #wtdwynd. Enjoy.

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This Summer's Dessert Destinations. The Sweetest Things.

 This Summer's Dessert Destinations 
The Sweetest Things.
Pier 26 Ballycotton: This flower enhanced Pavlova with fresh strawberries, blackberries, poached apricots and Chantilly Cream (and a bit of rhubarb too) was a beauty, just the ticket to finish off an excellent meal.

The finalé at Killarney's Malarkey. Toffee Apple crumble with smoked treacle ice-cream.
Might not be the best photo but a cracking dessert.
A classic at Crackpots Encore in Kinsale: Poached Pears in mulled red wine. And it was a terrific version.
 Apple and Berry Crumble wasn’t the bravest of picks but it turned out to be a gem, beautifully made and presented - apparently Tramore's Copper Hen have a bit of a reputation on this one. If you do get the chance, do order one. One each!
Friendly Henry's in Ennis served us this lovely Pear Tart with caramelised walnuts and ice-cream. 
Jammy Dodger (coconut and raspberry compote) by Bobo at The Glucksman, UCC. You don't see these too often nowadays.
 Mocha Choca Indulgent Cake at the Garden Café Truck by the Ballymaloe Cookery School.
You could say they know how to bake around here. Quality guaranteed.

From The Oar Restaurant in Doolin: Passionfruit Soufflé with a Passionfruit sorbet.

 From the Springboard Restaurant in Cork's Kingsley Hotel comes this delicious Lemon meringue éclair (choux pastry éclair, lemon curd filling, Italian meringue, mango sorbet)

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Springboard into Summer at the Kingsley Hotel


Springboard into Summer at the Kingsley Hotel
Pork Belly

Springboard, the relaxed bistro in the Kingsley Hotel, the one with the large windows that look out at the River Lee, has quite a lovely summertime menu as I enjoyably discovered last week. 

We arrived just as the only shower of the day finished up; three courses later we were singing the praises of the restaurant, named for a prominent part of the old Lee Baths that once stood here, the only downside being the fact that the sun never re-appeared to enhance the view of the river, the strollers, the runners and the kayakers.
View. Wine. Prosciutto & Ricotta starter

And it wasn’t just the food that was good. So too was the comfort here and, more importantly, the service: smooth, friendly, helpful, without ever being overly attentive. The menu is quite extensive, takes a bit of reading! Starters include everything from Olives to Chowder to a grilled mojo chicken Cobb salad, about a dozen items in all.  The mains is even more expansive, featuring beef, chicken, and pork dishes, a Thai curry, vegetarian options, even a Pizza list.

No shortage of desserts either and there’s also an Irish Farmhouse Cheeseboard. Plenty of wines to choose from as well; our pick was the aromatic and crisp Markus Huber Grüner Veltliner. And, of course, there are lots of whiskies and gins and other spirits and, if you’re driving, they can offer you a choice of non-alcoholic cocktails. Good to see the local Cotton Ball beers also well represented on the list.
Fish Cakes special

So, with the wine sorted and the breads enjoyed, we made a start, an excellent one. Lots of local produce here and CL’s salad included Toonsbridge Ricotta, with Prosciutto, fig and honey crostini and baby leaves. She enjoyed that. My soya glazed pork belly with black pudding bon bon, cos leaves, mango relish was another beauty. Both, by the way, were quite substantial yet two empty plates went back.

You don’t get trout out that often so I was delighted to try the Pan-seared fillet of sea-trout with smoked haddock, pea and saffron risotto, pine nut pesto, delighted that I did as it was a superb combination, appetising on the plate and totally pleasing on the palate.

CL had spotted the special and, with some encouragement from our server, choose the Pan-fried Fish Cakes with dressed summer salad, sweet potato fries, garlic and saffron aioli, lemon mayo. All the salads here by the way were well dressed. Again the dish was superb, full of flavour and textures. Another clean plate, another vote of confidence in the kitchen team.
Trout
The dessert menu was laced with temptation and we were pointed in the direction of the Glazed chocolate and caramel dome. But, after two excellent courses, space was limited and we opted for the lighter Lemon meringue éclair (choux pastry éclair, lemon curd filling, Italian meringue, mango sorbet) to share. It was served in the “neutral territory” on the table and provided a very pleasant end to a very pleasant evening as guests of the restaurant. 
Dessert

Check out the full Springboard menu here

The Springboard details   
OPENING TIMES
  • Monday - Friday 17.00 - 21.00
  • Saturday & Sunday 12.30 - 21.00 (Sunday lunch from 12.30 - 17.00)
CONTACT INFORMATION

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Gilbeys with Bibendum Showcase Their New Wine Offering At Irish Venues.


Gilbeys with Bibendum Showcase Their New Wine Offering At Irish Venues.
Michele, proud of the Perusini wines


Gilbeys and Bibendum introduced their new partnership to existing and potential Munster customers at a major tasting in the Kingsley Hotel last Tuesday. This week’s other tastings saw them in Galway (yesterday) and, today Thursday, they'll be in Dublin's Merrion Hotel. As part of the C&C Group’s ownership, the partnership will combine the best of Bibendum’s premium and artisanal wines with the established Gilbeys wine brands popular in the Irish market.


In a press release from Bibendum, Gilbeys Sales Director Duncan Millar said the partnership is about opening new doors. “Bibendum’s portfolio offers a huge variety of countries of origin that you don’t really find in Ireland. Access to these wines gives us the opportunity to expand conversations with luxury hotels, Michelin-star restaurants and premium, wine-led venues.”

“Through partnership with Bibendum, we’re hoping to increase the business we do on the island of Ireland – doubling the wine business over the next three years.”
Michel, keeping the French end up!

And they have certainly acquired some excellent wines, many of them on show at the Kingsley, a showing that was well attended. First up were the bubbles, from France, Spain and Italy. I said to myself: Why not England? 

The prompt had come from seeing some Nyetimber bottles on the first stand and an invitation to sample. Nyetimber, where accomplished Limerick winemaker Dermot Sugrue got his first job, are one of the pioneers of English sparkling wine, one of the first to use the classic Champagne grapes of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

And these three featured in their Classic Cuvée with its fine bubbles. complex aromas (more than three years on lees)  and an intense palate with a long finish. Superb! As was the Rosé which was every bit as charming. Let us hope that Brexit doesn’t throw up any thorns.

The French are never far from the English and I started the still wines there with a 100% Chardonnay, not from Burgundy but from Languedoc. The Jeff Carrel Morillon Blanc Pays D’Aude has a surprisingly good structure, a little hint of the wood, very dry and recommended for the likes of scallops and foie gras.

The Bago Amarelo Albarino was very approachable, fresh, clean and fruity, more or less at the good standard we’ve come to expect from Rias Baixas. More surprising was the Terras do Cigarrron Godello Monterrei, intense on the nose and palate and with a long persistent finish, this one certainly took my fancy. “People just need to get to know the grape”, said my enthusiastic server.

Some impressively fresh tasting wines from Germany and Austria also, with Slovenia, Croatia, Turkey and Hungary, getting a look in at the same table. The pair I enjoyed were the Peth Wetz Crauer Burgunder Rheinhessen and the Singing Gruner Veltliner. The GV is produced by  Laurenz V a firm dedicated exclusively to the production of world-class wines from the famous Austrian grape.
Winter in New Zealand

I found another super white in the Americas table, with Des King in charge. This was the Norman Hardie Chardonnay from Ontario. The vineyard is close to Niagara and the wine, unfiltered, is really beautiful with a caressing mouthfeel. Norm is a vinous celebrity the world over, and his wines are served at top restaurants in every major city in Canada, America and across the world.

Not easy being a wine-maker here. The vineyards are located in Prince Edward County and they employ unusual methods of protecting vines during the freezing winter months, when temperatures can plummet to -20C. This process involves surrounding the vines with a small trellis, which is then covered with earth, burying the vines so that they can survive the worst of the cold.
Tanunda

And more excellent whites from down under, two featuring Viognier. I loved the uncomplicated Millton Riverpoint from Gisbourne (New Zealand). This organic gem is nice, soft, delicate - very good company indeed.

Over then to Chateau Tanunda in Australia’s Barossa for a sunny blend of Marsanne, Roussane and Viognier. Nicely scented and, after 11 months on lees, almost creamy. A harmonious wine and another to take home! I should also mention another shy one, soft and smooth too, and that is the Prophet’s Rock Pinot Gris, very nice!

The Hunter’s Chardonnay, from Marlborough, is excellent, very well balanced and mellow, 15% per cent raised in new oak. Finished the whites here with the top notch Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc, a Marlborough classic. Unoaked, hard to beat.
Some of the Italian wines at the Kingsley

Time then for a trip through the reds and, I’ll tip you off that most were Pinot Noir. There was no Pinot Noir at the Italian table but there was no getting past Michele either. He plied me two of his reds. The first was a Perusini Merlot from Friuli-Venezia. Using their own clone, they produce a fruit packed juice. The second, their Rosso di Postiglione (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot), is more restrained, fresher, more acidic.
Concentration!

There was a terrific trio of Pinot Noirs in the down under corner, beginning with the Prophet’s Rock Home Vineyard, fruity with a smashing body, really excellent.

Expected good things from the Craggy Range PN from Martinborough and they arrived in force in this unoaked gem, lighter of colour and more fruit forward than the Prophet, pretty perfect.
Pinot Noir in Yering

And the high standard continued with the switch to Oz where I encountered the Little Yering Pinot Noir, very impressive and close to matching the Craggy Range. Love to try the three of them in a longer session.

I finished this mini-Pinot tour in France, not in Burgundy but in Languedoc-Roussillon, with a now busy Michel pouring from the Jeff Carrel Pinot Noir en Coteaux bottle, fresh, fragrant and juicy. By the way, Jeff Carrell is noted for offering great value in both red and white.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Afternoon Tea at the Kingsley Hotel

Afternoon Tea at the Kingsley Hotel
The Sweet Top
We arrive at the K Lounge in the Kingsley Hotel just as a busy lunch service is starting to wind down. But we are far from the first arrivals for their “classic Afternoon Tea”.

A little bit of luck has brought us here. Back at the Cork Summer Show, we bought a lovely snack at the Kingsley stand and filled up a coupon and that very coupon was the lucky one, earning the two of us this gorgeous and rather well balanced treat.

We started off with the savoury pieces, off the bottom of three tiered plates. These included Egg and Mayonnaise sandwiches, a  very tasty Cheese, Ham, and Relish sandwich, a Tuna wrap and Smoked Salmon on brown bread.
Had begun with tea and continued with it as we moved to the middle plate. Here we had superb Scones, a delicious Carrot Cake and their own sweet Tea Cake. Lovely stuff and time now for a pause in the very comfortable chairs as we switched from tea to coffee for the final part of the treat and took in the view of the river flowing by outside. Indeed, we might well have been outside had the weather been as hot as it had been a few days earlier.

So now, so sweet! I started with the Lemon Meringue and finished with the chocolate mousse. In between, the pleasure was uninterrupted as I introduced my palate to Shortbread biscuit, Orange Macaroon and Coffee Cake (perhaps my favorite).

 All Afternoon Teas here are served with home-made jam, Kerry butter and whipped cream.

And the menu changes and might include some scrumptious raspberry tartlets and coffee and chocolate opera cakes; a selection of freshly baked plain and fruit scones; smoked salmon and capers mille-feuille and goat cheese and sun blush tomato tartlet. And there is also a Gluten Free Afternoon Tea option available.

Much as we enjoyed our visit, I wouldn't be taking Afternoon Tea every day. Indeed, next time, I could well go for the lunch as that menu continues to be available until 5.00pm. Some tempting items listed, among them Crispy Skeaghanore Duck Breast Salad and a very impressive list of Munster Farmhouse cheeses featuring favourites such as Cashel Blue, Gubbeen Smoked, Milleens, Coolea and Cooleeny. The K Lounge, by the way, is just one of a number of dining options here.


Favourite

The Kingsley Hotel
Victoria Cross
Cork
+353 21 480 0555

Twitter: @KingsleyHotel

Saturday, July 28, 2007

GROUP NIGHT OUT




Celebrating with a group? Where to go?

Got a celebration coming up? An anniversary, a birthday, a modest Lotto win? Where do you take forty or fifty people in Cork? Here are three suggestions.

Curran’s in Adelaide Street is one. I was there late last year for a 60th with about 30 people. We were accommodated in an upstairs area, which we had to ourselves. You can have a set menu (with a certain amount of choice) or you can go a la carte. The service and the food are excellent and the restaurant also has a good choice of wine and beer (some of which is on draught).

Most recently I was in the extremely comfortable and spacious Kingsley Hotel on the Carrigrohane Road. The celebration here was in the Arc suite. The bar is just outside the room but there is ample table service for drinks. This was a full three-course meal, plus tea or coffee and it was a great night. The only disappointment was that the rack of lamb was mostly underdone and had a high amount of fat.

The barbecue at the Silversprings Hotel is also worth considering. They have a grass area with garden furniture, overlooked by a patio, all backed up by a spacious room indoors. Just as well the room was available on our visit: the weather broke at just the wrong time and we all had to move in for the food.

It was typical barbecue fare: chops, kebabs, hot dogs and salads. It was top class and, with the very reasonable €15.00 a head tariff, very good value indeed. There was no bar in the room but the main bar is very close and they will carry your drinks to your table.

Morans have re-furbished this hotel in recent years but I remember working with PJ Hegarty Ltd in the foundations in 1962 . I had special permission from the ITGWU (thanks to Gerry Cronin in Connolly Hall on the Lower Glanmire Road) and was paid four shillings and ten pence an hour, two pence more than the general worker. I operated a steel-bending machine and helped the steel fixers. This as regarded as semi-skilled work and that was why I got the extra few pence. It was good money for a teenager on his summer holidays.