Sally's blog

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

Fintan O'Toole: Enough Is Enough” (Faber & Faber)

Enough is Enough by Fintan O'Toole

Jonathan Swift wrote his sublime “A Modest Proposal” back in 1729. Almost three centuries on, with Ireland in the throes of wretchedness once again, and Fintan O'Toole's new book, “Enough is Enough”, could well wear the sub-title: “A Proposal for Modesty”.

In fact, the term O'Toole uses late on in his book is not modesty, but “Austerity”. He uses it in the sense articulated by the late Tony Judt: “Austerity was not just an economic condition: it aspired to be a public ethic... an ethic of political responsibility”.

An Irish Butcher Shop by Pat Whelan (Collins Press)

An Irish Butcher Shop by Pat Whelan

Irish butchers express a curious paradox.

They have, thanks to the nature of our country and our climate, an advantage that butchers in most other countries would kill for: pasture-reared animals, bred on small farms and low hills, eating sweet grass from largely unpolluted farms, with small distances to travel to small abattoirs before slaughter. (We'll leave pork, and the big meat plant players, out of this equation for now.)

A very Woman-Made Breakfast

Staying in Mogliano in Northern Italy recently, we had an interesting experience: breakfast without any human intervention.

Juice? Push a button. Coffee? Push a button. Toast? Make it yourself. Yogurt? Lift one from the fridge. Ham or cheese? Lift some from the plate. Then put it all on a white plastic tray, and carry it yourself to the dining room, where there are no staff, even staff to clear your tray once you have finished.

Bellagio Truffle Dinner - Leslie Williams Shares a local secret

At first glance Bellagio, Terenure is your typical local Italian restaurant serving bruschetta, pizza and pasta. Neighbourhood restaurants need to be sure they can attract the conservative as well as the adventurous diner so yes there are (excellent) takeaway pizzas for under a tenner and you will find words like Carbonara and Bolognese on the menu, but this is not the whole story.  Bellagio has become my default restaurant and I think it is time I shared the reasons why with the readers of the Bridgestone Guides.


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