Showing posts with label breakfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breakfast. Show all posts

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Nox Hotel’s "Pay for Dinner Stay for Free Offer"

Nox Hotel’s "Pay for Dinner Stay for Free" Offer
Great Location For Business and Pleasure
Fish of the Day

Hard to beat the modern Nox Hotel in Galway for its marvellous location. More or less at the junction of the M6/N6 (now the main road in from Dublin, Sligo, Limerick, and Cork) and the  N84 (to Mayo), it is situated within a few kilometres of most of the city business parks, is within minutes of the city centre and, if you want to go west to the heart of Connemara, skip the city traffic by taking the N6 over the Quincentenary Bridge, pick up the nearby N59 and soon you’ll be in Clifden.

I paid my first visit to the hotel this week and it looked quite small on the outside. So it was with some surprise that I found out they have over 100 bedrooms. Lovely spacious well-equipped rooms too with all you, as a holiday-maker or as a business traveller, will need, including top class WiFi. The duvets are warm, very warm, and the mattresses are deep and comfortable and rooms have individual thermostat control. No bath in our room but a very efficient and easy to use shower-unit.

The hotel is neat and tidy throughout and all the main services are clustered together on the ground floor. A superb comfortable lounge area is on your right as you enter and more armchairs and nooks and crannies by the reception. To the right of the reception, you’ll find the Fork Restaurant where they serve evening meals and breakfast.

And the other thing you’ll soon notice is the warmth of the welcome. As we were waiting for check-in, one employee was on her way home. She noticed the receptionist was tied up on the phone, so removed her overcoat and booked us in. And that quality of care and courtesy continued throughout the evening meal and the breakfast.
Prawns starter

Actually, I'll start with the breakfast as I think its delivery sums up the hotel, friendly, neat and tidy and efficient. The breakfast is served  every morning from 7.30am-10.30am; it is all buffet so you’ll help yourself from their Georgina Campbell Award Winning continental and cooked Breakfasts. Staff are on hand to help and they keep a regular eye on the well-organised buffet so all the cooked stuff is just so and there’s no shortage of anything, right down to their specialty Nespresso coffee or the wide selection of herbal teas.

We were soon seated and had no bother helping ourselves to the juices. CL enjoyed picking from a great selection of fruit while I went for Granola Topped Yogurt. Lots of other choices too, including cereals. The hot buffet was excellent and one of the good things about buffets is that you may take just as much or as little as you like. You make your own tea (and coffee) here and that can be a good thing as in some hotels, the tea is on the table stewing before you even start!

Lots of hotels and restaurants are going on about the VAT hike and the slack period after the Christmas and New Year. Others do something about it. And Nox have a very attractive plan for you: come and dine with us and pay for it and then stay for free! How cool is that? 

General Manager of Nox Hotel Galway, Victor O Brien, encourages people to avail of this exciting not to be missed offer: “January is often a month where people don’t have a lot to look forward to, so this year we decided to do something about that! For just €79, two people can enjoy a delicious three-course meal and overnight stay in one of our contemporary and comfortable duo rooms. I can’t wait to personally welcome both new and returning customers during January. With food as good as ours we don’t believe in New Year’s diets, and after visiting neither will you!”

Delicious sauce with the chicken!

Read more about COME FOR DINNER, STAY FOR FREE! here.  By the way, breakfast is not included.

We were there specifically to check out the menu for the offer and, even if it’s not quite as expansive as the usual A la Carte, we found plenty to choose from; it was well cooked, tidily presented and served and we enjoyed it very much indeed.

Apple crumble
You’ll have a choice of four starters, including soup and a Goats Cheese Pannacotta. I picked the Seafood Chowder, a big creamy bowlful packed with salmon, mussels, prawns and vegetables and served with a very tasty brown bread. CL enjoyed her Tempura Tiger Prawns that came with Oriental Salad an Chilli oil.

And the good mood continued with the mains. Hers was the Fish of the day: Pan-fried fillet of Hake with Samphire, mussels, pea purée (and lots of peas!) and some very acceptable crispy potatoes (I had a few of those).

I went for the humble chicken but with a very interesting sauce indeed. The Grilled Fillet of good quality chicken came with Mashed potato, spiced carrot purée, kale and that lovely chorizo and black lentil jus. Happy out!

Other main courses available included Confit Duck Leg, Roasted Mediterranean Pasta, and 6 ounce Striploin steak. Dessert choices were more limited but we both enjoyed the Nox version of Apple Crumble, made with excellent real apple!

The bar is part of the restaurant so no shortage of drinks but there were no local craft beers (they are available during the season) but we enjoyed a glass of wine (6.50) each. There’s a decent gin list there including Dingle and Gunpowder. Maybe the local Micil will be added soon! 

No shortage of cocktails either. Perhaps you’d like to try the vodka based Ballsy Cherry Bomb or the Corpse Reviver (another vodka based one). Think my favourite might be the Good Fellas (Tullamore DEW, Amaretto, Fresh Lemon, Sugar Syrup, Egg White and Bitters). Cheers from Nox!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

My Breakfast Roll

My Breakfast Roll
Pancakes at the Crawford Café

I don’t often go out for breakfast but had a few opportunities recently, including one top hotel, one well established café and two new cafés: Hayfield Manor, Crawford Gallery Café, Old Bank Café and the Good Day Deli. Quite a variety of food, everything from the Full Irish to a Veggie Benny.

Pancakes, American style, are very popular. And very good also. Take those in the Crawford, for example: American style buttermilk pancakes, with delicious bacon, yogurt, blueberries and bananas and Maple syrup of course. Amazing flavours and textures. Simply irresistible! 
Full Irish at The Hayfield

Over at Good Day Deli, in the gardens of the Nano Nagle Place, they do superb Poached Pear Pancakes with coconut mascarpone and a drizzle of Irish honey. Another morning winner from this sustainable foods champion. And, while there, do try a glass of the delicious Mealagulla Apple Juice.

Mayfield newcomer, the Old Bank, were just bringing their pancakes on to the menu so I didn't get to give them a proper test but they looked promising and, with their excellent Lemon Curd, could well be a very satisfying combination.

Orchids, at the Hayfield, has an outstanding selection of fruit and also some interesting breads. Hotels, as you might expect, will always have the Full Irish and the Hayfield’s is excellent, the bacon and black-pudding (by Rosscarbery Recipes) a tasty feature. Then there’s cheeses and salamis, their own granola; croissants, muffins and more from their bakery and an eye-catching full size honeycomb.
Veggie Benny at Good Day Deli

Along with pancakes, various “editions” of Eggs Benedict are to be found in all menus. The Crawford’s Eggs Royale, poached eggs and Frank Hederman smoked salmon on sourdough toast with Hollandaise sauce, is very delicious too.

Over at the new Good Day Deli, the Veggie Benny is a must-try: two organic poached eggs with hollandaise sauce on sourdough, with organic kale, and tomato, topped with nut dukkah. I’m sure their Salmon Benny, also with Hederman’s smoked salmon, is excellent too.
The House Dish, well loved at the Old Bank
In Mayfield’s Old Bank, their Eggs Benedict has proven so popular that it is on all day.  The Old Bank Café style sees poached eggs come on sourdough toast with hollandaise or with salsa verde and is further enhanced by a choice of slow roast tomatoes, sauté spinach and roast button mushrooms or home cured bacon and slow roasted tomatoes. 

And another breakfast dish, simply called the House Dish, has also gone all-day. This includes crispy home-made potato hash, smoked ham hock, smokey baked beans, poached egg and salsa verde or hollandaise. That hash, the potato is done rosti style, is excellent and lots of flavour come through from the other ingredients.

So there you, just four calls and lots of good stuff available. Do you have a favourite breakfast venue? A favourite breakfast dish?

* Fish rarely appears on breakfast menus. When it does, I usually go for it. Ballycotton Bay is noted for its plaice and it is a real treat to enjoy the view and the plaice at the Samphire Restaurant in the Garryvoe Hotel.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Calm, comfortable and courteous place. Carrig House Stay

Calm, Comfortable and Courteous Place

Carrig House Stay

It is breakfast time. Outside, there are blue skies and the lake water is blue as well. Caragh Lake is a big and beautiful body of water and I’m staying in Carrig House on the shore. Carrig, by the way, serves one of the best breakfasts in Ireland, so all in all it is rather a perfect morning. And would still be a very good one even if, as sometimes happens, the sun doesn't shine!

With breakfast behind us, we are well placed to take in the local sights of this part of south west Kerry, known as the Iveragh Peninsula. It is the largest peninsula in southwestern Ireland. The Macgillycuddy's Reeks, with Carrauntuohill the highest point, lies in the centre of the peninsula. And not too far away is Killorglin, Cahersiveen, Valentia Island, the Skelligs, the Skellig Ring, Ballinskelligs, Waterville and many other places worth a visit.
Good morning. What would you like for breakfast?
We were here for three nights. Carrig, with its 17 guest rooms, doesn't come cheap but a gift of a Blue Book Voucher eases the hit on the wallet as does everything else here: the comfort, the welcome, the gardens, the courtesy, the chat, the private pier onto the lake, and the food.

Fish of course is a regular on the menu and we concentrated on it for one of our dinners. Roasted West Coast Cod Fillet topped with fresh Dingle Bay crab and prawns, fresh tagliatelle, morel mushroom velouté was my choice and it was delicious all the way. Our other mains was the Steamed Atlantic Stone-bass with asparagus three ways (seared, marinated, and crumb-coated), vinaigrette on a Cooleeny crème swish, balsamic pearls.

After a lovely amuse bouche by the fire in one of the drawing rooms, we had each started with Warm Spice Infused Quail, Beluga lentil Mung Bean jus and pickled onions. Not the easiest meat to pick off the small bones but it came with a big flavour, enhanced no end by the lentils and the onions. 

My dessert was another Carrig House gem, Rich Vanilla Crème Brûlée, cherry and hazelnut financier, and fruit tuile while CL indulged in the Passionfruit Marshmallow with roasted pineapple chiboust, pineapple parcels, and liquorice caramel.
Not always blue here.
The rooms are superb here, spacious and ultra comfortable. Ours had a view of the gardens but you can also get some with lake views. Wi-Fi is pretty good but the network service for mobiles is not. 

And don’t be put off if you see a brown tint in the water - the reservoir is in bogland - and the water is perfectly safe for washing yourself. And they do provide bottled water in the rooms. The bathroom, at least in our case, was spacious and well equipped with toiletries and towels (best bring your own face cloths, a general rule) and you do have a full sized bath as well as the shower.

The decor is beautiful all through the house. Newspapers are in good supply too if you want to sit by the fire and take it easy until that shower passes. Then again, if the sun is out, you’ll find it hard to resist taking a stroll around the colourful gardens, maybe an amble down to the lake.

Amuse Bouche in the cosy drawing room
Then, when you (don’t mind those fishermen who headed off early) are good and ready, you can head out for the day. The coast? The mountains? The choice is yours. And remember you'll have a stunning dinner to come back to!

Carrig House was built originally about 1850 as a hunting lodge. Frank and Mary Slattery, the current owners, purchased Carrig in 1996. They are the first Irish owners since it was originally built and have renovated  and meticulously restored the Victorian residence to its former glory. The atmosphere, they say, is friendly, warm and one of total relaxation. It certainly is!

See also: Visiting Valentia Island

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Afternoon in the Idaho Cafe

Afternoon in the Idaho Cafe

Surprised to see so many customers in the Idaho Cafe at 3.00pm on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon. Just goes to illustrate that this Caroline Street venue is as popular as ever and that goes to the credit of Richard and Mairead Jacob and the way they have been running it for eleven years.

Their way is really a philosophy, a combination of simple things: local ingredients, well cooked, and served with a smile and a chat and, oh yes, a large dollop of hard work behind it all. Simple but superb. And obviously appreciated by their many regulars.

I think their Facebook Page sums it up very well: “We are a small, but perfectly formed Cafe, serving breakfast, lunch, coffees and drinks to an eclectic and much loved group of customers.
Our menu brings you great breakfasty treats such as Waffles with Bacon, Porridge, Bacon and Cheddar Croissants and our famous Bacon and Sausage Baps.

Lunch revolves around more great Irish ingredients served with simplicity and style. Shepherdess's Pie, Smoked Fish Pie, and hot toasted Baps are complemented by regularly changing Salads.

We are striving to source ALL our core ingredients from a 100km radius of Idaho Cafe, Bacon, Sausages and Black puddings come from Limerick, Our cheeses are from west Cork, Our apple juice is from Cappoquinn, Breads from Cork City..... I think you get the message !!!!”

We were treated to Afternoon Tea. This is not a regular on the agenda but is available on request. We had a great chat with the proprietors as they took little breaks in their turn. Dubliner Richard is the front of house while Corkonian Mairead is the chef. She is always trying something else and we got a chance to sample her delicious Sweet Geranium Syrup that is going down well with some of the breakfast regulars who take it with the porridge. 

We had started with a local product, Frank Hedderman’s gorgeous salmon on brown bread. Again local, simple and simply delicious! Perhaps the highlight though was Mairead’s Gooseberry Crumble. This was made from their own home grown red gooseberries and was simply outstanding.

Impossible to top that but the final treat came close! These were the macarons made by John and Sylvie McCormick. They look much the same as any other colourful macaron but the fillings are something else. If you don’t believe me, why not try them out at Mahon Point Farmers Market.

And, one more thing, why not try out Idaho Cafe itself?  A place to relax and replenish your resources, just a few yards from Patrick Street.