Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Beer of the Week. Wide Street Plush Pale Ale

 Beer of the Week

Wide Street Plush Pale Ale 4.3% ABV, 440 ml can Bradleys

This turned out to be quite the ambush, not at all what I was expecting. A very pleasant surprise indeed and Beer of the Week.

Pale gold is the colour of the Plush Pale Ale by

Esporão 2022 Alentejano. A taste of Alentejo sunshine at an affordable price.

Esporão 2022 Alentejano (IG), 14% ABV

€17.95 at Bradleys

A taste of Alentejo sunshine at an affordable price.

This deep ruby organic red boasts a captivating bouquet – aromas of ripe plums and cherries merge delightfully with a floral and herbal nuance. The first sip is a revelation.  Full-bodied yet surprisingly fresh, the wine offers a cascade of juicy red fruit flavours, beautifully balanced by a hint of spice and silky, well-integrated tannins. The finish is long and persistent, leaving you wanting more.

Offering a taste of the Alentejo sunshine at an

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Poderi Del Nespoli Sangiovese - a wine for every occasion

Poderi Del Nespoli Sangiovese Romagna (DOC) 2020, 

13.5% ABV, €12.00 O’Donovan’s.

This is a wine for every occasion

This easy-to-drink organic Sangiovese is a wine for every occasion, proclaim the producers.

.It has a bright red ruby with violet highlights. Aromas are rich, with cherry and plum prominent. Full-bodied, it is smooth and intense, and fresh as

Experienced Paul Ryan is the new executive chef at Cork International Hotel. The Mallow native has over 20 years experience including roles in the USA and Middle East.


Mallow native Paul Ryan has over 20 years’ experience including roles in the 

Middle East and USA

The experienced Paul Ryan is the new executive chef at Cork International Hotel and he wants to

Taste of the Week. Milk Chocolate & Marshmallow Cluster by Skellig Chocolate

Taste of the Week

Milk Chocolate & Marshmallow Clusters 

by Skellig Chocolate

Didn't make it as far as the beautiful St Finan's Bay and a view of the magnificent Skelligs during April's visit to Kerry.

I may have missed out on a

Mark Your Calendars, Foodies! And Families! Clonakilty Street Carnival Returns with a Culinary Extravaganza And celebrity chef Kevin Dundon!

 Mark Your Calendars, Foodies! And Families!

Clonakilty Street Carnival Returns with a Culinary Extravaganza

And celebrity chef Kevin Dundon!

Andrew Loane owner of Oak Fire Pizza, Diarmuid O'Sullivan & Mary T Daly of Irish Yogurts at the Irish Yogurts Clonakilty Street Carnival launch 2024. Photo by Andy Gibson

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and soak up the festive atmosphere! West Cork's beloved Clonakilty Street Carnival – sponsored by Irish Yogurts Clonakilty – is back on Saturday, June 15th, 2024, promising a jam-packed weekend unlike any other. Brace yourself for a gastronomic adventure that will leave even the most discerning foodie grinning from ear to ear.

Pearse Street Transformed 


Sunday, May 5, 2024

Harper's Island Wetlands

Harper's Island Wetlands

Saturday 04.05.2024

Crap apple blossom?

Sand Martin nesting bank

Furze and distant tree

COLUMBINE or Aquilegia (according to Google Picture Search)

Teasel (will have lots of prickly heads later in the year)

Cuckoo Flower?????

Friday, May 3, 2024

The extended Allen family are sad to announce the passing of Hazel Allen

 A statement on behalf of Ballymaloe House 

Ballymaloe House and the extended Allen family are sad to announce the passing of Hazel Allen, née Lalor, who died peacefully on 3rd May,  in the care of Marymount Hospital, surrounded by loved ones, following a long illness.

Hazel was born on October 16th, 1950, in Cullohill, Co. Laois and spent most of her working life at Ballymaloe House, arriving first in 1969 and soon becoming involved in running the country house hotel and restaurant, as well as being a founding member of the Blue Book. Over the years Hazel was integral in bringing Ballymaloe from the small business she joined to the well-known name it is today. 

Hazel will be dearly missed by her husband Rory, children Cullen, Fawn, Darren, Caragh and Roisín, her 15 grandchildren, sons and daughters in law, the Allen family, friends, staff and guests of Ballymaloe.

Funeral announcement to follow.

A red-gold rarity. This Kloster Sud from Germany is a very special beer! Drink of the Bank Holiday Weekend!

Drink of the Bank Holiday Weekend. Special…

Klosterbrauerei Weissenohe Kloster Sud 

5.4% ABV, 500ml bottle Bradleys 

A red-gold rarity

Amber to dark red is the colour of our beer from the Kloster Sud (the South monastery). Aromas of Lightly toasted malt aroma.  The expected malt sweetness is experienced on the palate. Indeed it is richly richly malty, with caramel and notes of light spice. It is straight-up refreshing, totally satisfactory right through to the lingering bitter-sweet finish. 

An amazing beer, this Kloster Sud is brewed according to the Märzenbier tradition. But don’t call it a lager or Märzen. It may be bottom-fermented like a lager but thanks to the rare so-called three-mash process and a long ageing process it has a distinctive character with a balanced malt sweetness, fruity acidity and a subtle tartness.. The brewery suggests it is suitable for strong roasts, steaks, smoked meats and even desserts.

It is full and soft and is called a Franconian Red (not to be confused with Belgian reds). This is a historical and renowned southern German style. If you like Märzen, you’ll probably like “red beer.”

Thought I might see Rothbier (German for Red Beer) on my label but the brewery, the Weisenoher Klosterbrauei, do have Spezial Bier on the neck and I can certainly agree with that.

It is a staff favourite in Bradleys and that is where I was tipped off about it. Danke Bradleys!

For One Night Only, Aniar in Galway Collaborates with Chef Meeran Manzoor of Rare at Blue Haven Kinsale

press release

For One Night Only, Aniar in Galway Collaborates with Chef Meeran Manzoor of Rare at Blue Haven Kinsale

JPMcMahon Aniar (Pic Andrew Downes)


Award-winning chef Meeran Manzoor will join JP McMahon in the newly renovated Aniar 2.0 for one night only on May 30th. 

In the latest edition of the Chef Swap at Aniar series and part of Blas Na Gaillimhe’s month of food in May (Blas na Bealtaine). Two unique styles of food will form

"A light and fruity beauty, easily drunk." Pedro Parra's ‘Vinista’ Itata, Chile.

Pedro Parra ‘Vinista’ Itata (Chile) 2019, 12% ABV

RRP €25.95. Stockists: The Cinnamon Cottage /
JJ O’Driscoll Superstore Ballinlough / Donnybrook Fair /
The Corkscrew / Avoca

"A light and fruity beauty, easily drunk." 

An attractive light red colour is a feature of this Pedro Parra ‘Vinista’. Aromas are also light and inviting with cranberries, some spice and herb as well. No shortage of that fruit on the light and vivacious palate either, all complemented by a gentle kick of acidity. Fruity and light along with featherweight tannins. String quartet rather than full orchestra, it is immediately harmonious right through to the engaging finalé. 

‘Vinista’ comprises 100% País sourced from 120-year-old vines, aged in concrete and stainless steel. Pais is a red grape variety of great historical importance. It was the first Vitis Vinifera grape variety to be exported (via the conquistadores) from the Old World to the New World in the 16th century. It is known as Criolla Chica in Argentina and as Mission in California.

Pais is pronounced as pah-ees. Don’t say no just because you’re not familiar with it. You’ll miss out on a light and fruity beauty. An easily drunk wine and Very Highly Recommended.

Pedro Parra (via Liberty Wines)

Pedro Parra is a major favourite of mine. He has spent decades working internationally but bit by bit realised he really wanted his own vineyard and winery and so he set up in Itata near the ocean, 500 kms south of Santiago, the capital of Chile. And this Vinista, the fruit sourced from 120-year-old vines planted at 300 m above sea level, is one of the results. It was my wine of the year in 2020. 

Besides wine and family, Pedro’s other great love is jazz music. His three single-vineyard Cinsault ‘Premier Cru’ wines are aptly named after legendary musicians: Freddie Hubbard, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk.

You may well spot DO Secano Interior Itata on the label. It means  Itata Interior Dryland (secano meaning 'dry land' or 'unirrigated') and is the special DO for wines made from País or Cinsault in the area of southern Chile between the Mataquito and the Bío-Bío rivers.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Cork's Stonewell win International Flavoured Cider Trophy, awarded "an esteemed accolade" at yesterday's Worldwide Brewers and Cidermakers Industry ‘Oscars’

 Worldwide Brewers and Cidermakers Taste Success at Industry ‘Oscars’

Cork's Stonewell win International Flavoured Cider Trophy and awarded "an esteemed accolade"  

Stonewell's Daniel Emerson raising his trophy! Pic by Simon Dewhurst

Of the 13 trophies awarded, six went to Europe, four awarded to Asia, two to North America, and one Australia

For the first time in the Awards’ 138-year history, two brewers were crowned trophy winners in The Smallpack Ale competition


Winners from across the globe have received

Greenes Restaurant in Cork City Reopens with an Opulent New Look and Menu

 Greenes Restaurant in Cork City Reopens

 with an Opulent New Look and Menu

Greenes Restaurant on MacCurtain Street in Cork has reopened with a brand new image, plush interiors, statement lighting and a contemporary, producer-led, traditional Irish food style menu. 

After closing its doors in February, the team at Greenes has been busy behind the scenes creating