Two Tips from Dublin

I apologise about lack of photos, but somehow I managed to head to Dublin without a charged battery for my camera.

However, I did have two memorable food experiences I wished to pass on:

1. Third Floor Espresso – 54 Middle Abbey Street. First and most important – THEY ARE ON THE GROUND FLOOR, NOT ON THE THIRD FLOOR! Barista Colin Harmon is far more obsessive than we will ever be – in a good way. He really, really cares about coffee, and we give him top marks for care, attention, and delivery of great smooth coffees without the burnt and bitter taste unfortunately found at so many Irish cafes. There are no over-sized latte mugs here, just good coffee in traditional Italian sizes, and his prices are astonishing – €2 for a cappuccino, €1 for an espresso. Check him out!

2. The Wild Goose Grill – Ranelagh. Although its reviews have been mixed (see here), we had a very good meal at a very reasonable price (24.95 – special for three courses). Keep it in mind if you’re hungry in D6!

The Things That Keep Us Going

 Running a business, especially in these times can be a challenge. There are always stresses and worries – what will the future bring? For us, our customers have always been the rock upon which everything is based, and they bring us so much joy (and hopefully we reciprocate!) 

Reading something like this from Imen over at Married an Irish Farmer gives us all here at Murphys such a lift. Never under estimate the power of a compliment and how good it can make everybody feel, especially on a rainy winter’s day. 

The rain will lift, the cold will pass, the days will lengthen, and I’m actually quite excited about the coming year. I can’t wait to meet up with customers again, feel the buzz again of a busy shop, and I think we’ll have some small and some big improvements and that we believe will make people even happier. 

Thanks, Imen, for a bit of light in January!

Deconstruction: A New Flavour Concept

We have been thinking a lot about flavours and what we offer in our shops, and perhaps for 2010, we will change our offerings in a fairly radical way.

Instead of offering one scoop, two scoops, etc., each portion (small, medium, large) could be made up of two flavours.

This would allow us to design flavours that go well together, and it might be a more fun and satisfying way to offer ice cream.

Each flavour might be simpler in itself, but in combination it could be complex.

So, for example, we could make salt ice cream and a strong caramel. Not too exciting, perhaps, but together they could be fantastic.

We could make honey ice cream and lavender ice cream, instead of an ice cream that is both. That way, the possibilities would be endless. Not only could people mix the two to create our classic honey lavender, but they could also have lavender and chocolate, lavender and coffee, lavender with strawberry (all of which are very tasty). They could also have honey vanilla, honey and chocolate, etc.

Naturally, if people still wanted simply a scoop of honeycomb or vanilla, they could still do so.

What do you think? Is it a good idea? Is it too complicated? Confusing?

I’d love your feedback. Please comment, or there is a poll below.

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The Beauty Around Us

The cold snap seems to have finally left us, at least for the moment, but nature really outdid itself over the last weeks. We were lucky enough not to have any flooding or burst pipes, and the roads in Dingle town remained mostly clear of snow and ice.

Reading about the disruption to the rest of the country, and looking at images on the news bore little relation to what I experienced.

We had still, beautiful days, with the water like glass. We had snowy mountains and and an extremely quiet and peaceful Dingle town. We had sunsets more beautiful than I have ever seen, and flocks of birds that descended on us, escaping the cold further North and East.

I don’t know, in the future, how this winter will be remembered. I know there are many who have suffered with the cold, with lack of water, with loss of custom, and with isolation due to closed roads. I, however, luckily protected in this little corner of Ireland and semi-idle this time of year, will remember the stillness, the wet smell of snow, and the amazing sights that came with a different face of nature.

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Road to Damascus

I keep hearing about an amazing ice cream shop in Damascus, Syria, most recently from Tommy (of the excellent photo blog Eyeblinks). He pointed me to the above video, and it really makes me want to jump on a plane. Friends of mine in Dingle went off to Syria a while back and loved the place. Ahh, the things we dream of in the cold, ice and snow!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I wish you all the best for 2010, and I hope it will be a year full of family, love, and joy.

Last night, in Dingle, it was a beautiful evening. Not only was it clear, but we had a blue moon as well an eclipse.

The wind that’s been blowing over the last days also died down, allowing the fireworks to go ahead.

Here are a few photos to ring in the new year.

If you can make it to these parts, we hope to see you soon!

Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Daoibh.