Sally's blog

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

Charlotte Pike demonstrates a cool authority and a hungry sense of adventure in a pair of vital new books.

Charlotte Pike is a magician.
Pore over her two handsome books, Fermented, and Smoked, and you quickly realise that in amongst the straight-ahead advice and the culinary smarts, that there is another quest going on: the search for the ineffable, for the mercurial, for the magic. The magic of fermentation. The magic of smoke.

Irish crafts and Irish artisan foods are bedfellows.

Many years ago, a visit to Slow Food’s Salone del Gusto in Turin showed us a simple truth: food artisans throughout the world are all alike.
We were vouchsaved an equally precious insight when writing and researching Ireland The Best: Ireland’s crafts people are exactly like Ireland’s food artisans.
The wood turners, the weavers, the jewellers, the knife makers, all share a sensibilty with food artisans and, if we had to summarise it in one word, it would be: Respect.

Here’s some of the best news we discovered whilst writing Ireland The Best: beef dripping is back in favour with Ireland’s frying fraternity.

One of the best things about writing a book like Ireland The Best is that you get a chance to indulge your interest in favourite subjects – country bars, for example, or interesting shipwrecks, or really ace graveyards.

But you really know you are having a good time when you get to write about Ireland's fish and chip shops and when, in the course of research, one thing starts to become obvious: beef dripping is back.

Ireland The Best - 3 Literary Places


This is an excerpt from Ireland the Best, published 22 March 2018.

Pearse’s Cottage, Ros Muc, Co Galway +353 91 574292
Patrick Pearse, leader of the 1916 uprising, built his cottage in Ros Muc in 1909, and thatched it in the style of the local country dwellings. Today, an adjacent visitor centre provides an introduction to the Irish language and Gaeltacht culture, in addition to Pearse’s connection to Ros Muc. All day, 7 days, till 4pm winter, 6pm summer.

Win the Ireland The Best Hamper Prize

This hamper is filled with beautifully crafted, bespoke produce from Ireland, some of which are priceless, but if we HAD to put a price tag on this, we’d say this prize roughly comes to €800. Inside this hamper you will find your very own copy of Ireland the Best alongside a selection of artfully hand-crafted goods including:

A hand-whittled butter knife and spoon from Hewn Spoons

A one-of-a-kind Fingal Ferguson paring knife

The Bay Coast Wild Atlantic Way Festival

To celebrate Galway's designation as a European Region of Gastronomy, we will be joining The Bay Coast Wild Atlantic Way Food Festival for a week long gastronomic and cultural exploration in the wonderful location of Renvyle House and its surrounds. It is a major event in the culinary history of our country for Galway to be awarded the region of gastronomy designation, and here is a brilliant opportunity to get up close to the people and placs that have won the designation.


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