Do check out these hampers: Bandon-based Urru (www.urru.ie), still glowing in the aftermath of winning food shop of the year at the National Good Food Ireland Awards; down the road in Ballinspittle, the magical Diva Boutique Bakery [url=http://www.divaboutiquebakery.com] (www.divaboutiquebakery.com) has an online pop-up Christmas food shop; Dublin-based Terroirs (www.terroirs.ie), purveyors of fine food and wines, are offering a very sumptuous Noël Noël Hamper; Goatsbridge Trout Farm hampers include their exquisite trout caviar along with very intriguing gift voucher options; in Cork, The Roughty Foodie’s Rebel Cork hamper can be purchased from the wonderful Margo Ann in the English Market; and finally, Bradley’s (www.bradleysofflicence.ie), North Main St, an annual Christmas tradition since childhood, has a Pure Cork hamper of local produce, and hampers of superb wines and fine Irish craft beer also on offer.
Gifts for the foodie in your life
Options for Christmas shopping for gifts include Ballyvolane House (ballyvolanehouse.ie) Christmas & Antiques Bazaar (Dec 7-8) with a gift range and a pop-up tearoom; The Christmas Food Emporium (Dec 4-8) at the National Crafts Fair (www.nationalcraftsfair.ie) features Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms, Goatsbridge Trout Farm, McCarthy’s Kanturk, Burren Smokehouse, Cooleeney Farmhouse Cheese and St Tola Cheese along with about 90 more stalls; The Rachel Allen Festive Food Demo and Market (8pm, Dec 5), at Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny, offers food producers, crafts and a demo from the lovely Rachel (tickets www.townoffood.com; Goldiefish (www.facebook.com/goldiefishevents) launches a Christmas Market of craft stalls and edible options (Dec 13-15, 20-22) on Emmet Place, Cork.
Nights out with a seasonal twist
If you’re looking for a social gathering, you could check out the Joycean-inspired A Christmas Dinner (Dec 5, 6 & 7), presented by Gruel Guerilla and Hunt & Gather, in the Georgian surrounds of 12, Henrietta St, in Dublin, where John Huston’s The Dead was partly filmed. More info at www.gruelguerilla.com www.huntndgather.com; Other options include the Cliff House Hotel (www.thecliffhousehotel.com), in Ardmore, Co Waterford; the Aghadoe Heights (www.aghadoeheights.com) Hotel & Spa’s Christmas Party (Dec 14) has a fantastic five-course menu; ; the Brasserie Le Pont (www.brasserielepont.ie) and sister-property No 25 Fitzwilliam Place (25fitzwilliamplace.ie) have some splendidly intimate little packages in Dublin; Cornstore Cork (www.cornstore.com) is always a terrific option for a swinging party with good grub, to boot; and a group Xmas menu at Gallo and Galetti (www.galloandgalleti) in Bishopstown, Cork, is a mere 27 bucks a head.
If The Menu wishes to transport himself back to his childhood, he instigates the slow mouth-melt of Áine ”r double velvet as creamy milk chocolate yields slowly to an even softer heart with sweet caramel notes. [url=http://www.chocolates.ie
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BEER OF THE WEEK
O’Haras Double IPA, 7.5% ABV, 50cl — €3.99
Stockists: Bradleys, Galvins, O’Donovans, McHughs, Redmonds, Next Door Raheen, O’Briens. O’Haras Double IPA was first introduced at the St Patrick’s Festival Craft Beer Village in Dublin last March.
The beer is light golden in colour with a noticeable hop-influenced grapefruit and citrus aroma. On the palate the first brief impression is sweetness from the ABV but this is immediately followed by searing and refreshing hop bitterness and hints of caramel and orange peel on the finish.
— Leslie Williams
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