Sally's blog

Archive - all the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

The Foyle Hotel and your essential Donegal Detours

Brian and Brenda McDermott’s Foyle Hotel, on the square in little Moville on the edge of Lough Foyle in Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula, offers a masterclass in contemporary savoury Irish cooking.
Dishes that you might think of as domestic staples - lamb pie; pumpkin soup; chicken breast with champ; mussels with cider - are rendered here with such professional elan that they emerge newly birthed.

Solas is shining brightly in delightful Dingle

Solas has risen out of the box to shine a light in Ireland’s food culture: this Dingle newbie is one of the few Irish restaurant that gets small plates food service exactly right.

The key element of what they get right is the simple excellence of the plates because the Solas food offer is red-hot-good: the prawns with chickpeas; the stunning chowder croquette; pork belly with an apple and lime tartare that is worth the trip to Dingle all on its own.

Alex Green is squeezing out sparks in Michael Deane's Eipic

Back in the day, there was never a tradition of fine dining in Northern Ireland. Taking drink at any business meeting – or rather buying drink for a client, was considered somewhat unethical. If people did go out, it was for high tea, and a number of smart locations in the city offered this meal, often served mid-afternoon.

Whilst Dublin had restaurants like Whites on the Green or The Mirabeau, Belfast had its high tea destinations. It was, back then, a quite different culture.



Nothing that has been created before in Ireland reconciles and extends the component elements of Irish hospitality quite like the experience you encounter in Breac.House.

William Barry talks to Jp McMahon about what not to miss at this weekend’s Food On The Edge

McKenna’s Guides Editor William Barry caught up with JP McMahon, organiser of Food on the Edge, ahead of the 2018 edition of the Symposium which takes place in Galway on October 22nd and 23rd.

WB: For those not familiar what is Food on the Edge?

JPMcM:  FOTE is a two day symposium which brings together some of the worlds celebrated, best known and also unknown chefs to inspire Irish food to get a little better. 

Food Culture - William Barry selects some of the food related events going on around the country as part of tonight's Culture Night.

Culture Night is going from strength to strength with venues and public spaces across the island of Ireland as they open their doors to host a programme of free late-night entertainment, as part of an all-island celebration of arts, heritage and culture. Now in its thirteenth year, Culture Night returns tonight Fri Sep 21st 2018. Here are my pick of the best food and drink related events happening tonight around the country. It’s always best to book ahead where possible and check the venues websites and social media for the most up to date details.


Off The Beaten Track - Wexford: Killiane Castle

Killiane Castle is a pure treat, an unpretentious, warm family home. Paul Mernagh and his family have created a cocoon of comfort in this fine house – and castle tower – and of special note is some scrummy cooking, both at dinner and breakfast. The stars of our recent dinner were impeccable potatoes from Carne, and beetroot and carrots from Paul’s garden, but everything was super-delicious.

Off The Beaten Track - Galway: Armorica

If you love the French concept of the restaurant-with-rooms, then you will love Natasha and Nicolas’s Armorica, on the main street of little Oranmore. It’s an easy detour from the N18, the rooms are simple and charming, and the cooking brings French provincial richness to superlative West Coast ingredients – Friendly Farmer chicken with petits pois a la Francaise; hake with burned aubergine; a stunning chocolate moelleux. Make sure to order omelette for breakfast; you won’t find a better rolled omelette anywhere in Ireland.


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