High Tea in Killarney

 One of the best things to open in Killarney in a long time is Miss Courtney’s Tearooms on College Street. It’s a great addition to the town, I wish her the best of luck, and I would highly recommend to all my readers that they check it out.

I’ve just come from an encounter with their cream tea. With a steaming pot, warmed scones and clotted cream, it naturally reminded me of a trip I took to Devon, as would the decor of the shop with its frills and lace.

A good range of teas, china cups and pots, and even silver tongs for the sugar ensures a refined experience. Plates of cakes on the counter tempt, and a pretty little garden in the back completes the experience. 

The service was professional, and the prices what would one expect for an upscale place in Killarney.

Miss Courtney also has the beginnings of a blog (here), so we might be seeing the beginning of an Irish tea blogger. Fingers crossed.

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Long Night at the Roses

 I’m just back in Dingle after a long night at the Rose of Tralee. Congrats to all the Roses and especially Aoife Kelly, the Tipperary Rose, who was the bookie’s favourite and was indeed crowned the Rose on the night.

We were there selling ice cream, with proceeds going to the festival, and I have to say my favourite roses were our own three (photo below), who moved a mountain of ice cream with smiles and good cheer. And just look at their classy headgear!

Anyway, it was good fun, and we did have a captive audience as we were the only food (or drink) to be had in the dome. Now, I’m off to bed!

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Go Puddle Jump!

A customer just informed me that Brian O’Connell picked up on my blog post about rainy Olympics and lists my top ten rainy events in his “On the Move” travel blog round-up in Go Magazine (today’s Irish Times). It’s a sign of a busy day that I haven’t managed to open the paper yet!

The Sunny Side of Life

Sea Gulls on Slea Head Drive
Sea Gulls on Slea Head Drive

It’s funny how easily we’re pleased on this side of the world. Although it’s raining again today, the last two days were beautiful, and for that brief time, all the sogginess of the summer was forgotten. I happened to be entertaining an Italian visitor and had a day off, so we headed out Slea Head for a drive.

Famine Cottage, Slea Head
Famine Cottage, Slea Head

The great thing about having visitors is that it gives the perfect excuse to be a tourist oneself and to look afresh at one’s surroundings.

I have to say, even with all the complaining I’ve done about this wet summer, to drive out past such astonishingly beautiful landscape on a nice warm day makes me feel nothing but lucky.

Blasket Islands

We did it all – beehive huts, famine cottage, cliff strolls, photo-taking, feeding the birds, gawking at goats and donkeys, and to see the beauty through the eyes of the Italian made it even more wonderful.

Now, rain or not, it’s back to scooping ice cream, but I feel much better for the jaunt!

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A Rose is a Rosé

Here’s a bit of news: We’re going to be in the Dome with the Roses in Tralee (for the fashion show and selection nights), selling ice cream – with proceeds going to support the event. In fact, we’re the only company who has been invited in!

We’ll see if the Roses like the pink champagne sorbet, which should keep spirits high! If I can smuggle in the camera, I’ll try to get some good glamourous ice cream shots!

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Thank God No Olympics In Ireland

In this summer that is not a summer – when we have floods, road closures, train derailments and mudslides, when we have a bad June and July and then the entire average rainfall of August drops from the sky in a single day, when August has passed the record for rain with half of the month still to go (and it doesn’t look like it will improve), when everyone is talking about little else and everyone from the postman to novelists are reciting mournful soliloquies on the subject, then I’m just grateful that Ireland is not hosting the Olympics and is unlikely to ever do so.

Imagine the embarrassment we would feel when marathons would have to be cancelled, when sailors would be blown to France in a gale, when hurdlers would slip on the soggy track or when javelin throwers would have to hunt for their spears in the fog. In fact, we’d probably have to come up with our own events, simply to make sure at least some of the games could continue. If there was indeed an Irish Olympics, here would be my suggestions for events that would not be cancelled due to bad weather (and we might even increase our chances for a medal):

Ireland’s Top Ten Rainy Olympics Events:

  1. Puddle Jumping
  2. Main Street Canoe Race
  3. Mud Wrestling
  4. Sand Bag Piling
  5. Rain Dancing
  6. Bucket Emptying
  7. Wet T-Shirt Contest
  8. Climbing the Walls
  9. Water Polo
  10. Ark Building

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Dingle Food Festival 2008

The schedule is starting to come together for the 2008 Dingle Peninsula Food and Wine Festival. It looks like it should be even more packed and interesting than last year.

Besides the cookery demonstrations in St. James’ Church, wine seminars, and taste trails (oysters and Guinness at John Benny’s, seared scallops at Strand House, etc), there will be a whiskey tasting and a coffee tutorial. There are even representatives from a Tasmanian wine company (with wine) flying in for the event!

I’m still not sure what we’ll do for it, but it will be hard to beat the 16 shades of chocolate we presented last year!

For those of you who want to come to the festival, it’s on the 3rd-5th October, and it would be really, really wise to book ahead both for meals and for lodgings, especially now that the National Irish Food Awards will be happening in Dingle at the same time…

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