Sally's blog

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

Vintage Cocktail Club

“I could stay here forever” announced my companion to no one in particular as she ordered a second signature cocktail and curled back into a big fireside armchair. We were relaxing in the dark oldsie-worldsie surroundings of the second floor of the Vintage Cocktail Club which I have frequented regularly since it opened in Dublin’s Temple Bar last October. It was a cold wet night outside and we were nicely sated after an excellent three course meal downstairs in this semi-hidden speakeasy bar which spreads over three floors of 1920's prohibition-inspired opulence.

Canteen, Limerick

Some places have the right feel to them. Take Canteen, for example. It's a shoebox of a restaurant in Limerick, run by Paul Williams, who opened it seven months ago. From the outside it looks like a shoebox. Inside, it looks like the inside of a shoebox. The design budget must have run – easy – into five figures: I would say €103.98.

Jacques Restaurant, Cork

The cooking women of Cork never lose their appetite. After more than thirty years of running one of the city's stalwart destinations, Jacques, Eithne and Jacque Barry should surely just sit back and take it easy. But they don't. Their move first to the Woodford showed them trying out a new, more informal mode of food. Now, with the opening of their new food bar, which they have created by blasting through the wall at the rere of Jacques to fashion a smart new space that opens onto Oliver Plunkett Street, they have rebirthed a Cork institution by grafting it onto a funky cousin.

Heads you win...

I blame Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo. Before they wrote and filmed the scene in The Godfather where the man who proudly owns the valuable racehorse wakes up to find that he has been sleeping alongside the head of the said horse, animal heads were respected things. Hunters mounted the heads of the animals they stalked, and everyone else just went about eating the heads of animals considered edible – Bath chaps; brawn; sliced brains with brown butter; roasted sheep's head.

Connemara Coast Hotel

After the funeral service in Oughterard of the late Gerard Galvin, a large number of family and friends drove across the peninsula from Oughterard to Spiddal, to share dinner together at the Connemara Coast Hotel, which sits hard by the road at Furbo.


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