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Restaurant review: Paolo Tullio at Zaks, Waterford – Food & Drink, Lifestyle – Independent.ie

October 21, 2012 Leave a comment

It was yet another food festival that got me to Waterford, where the Harvest Festival took place. It was a week- long festival of all things food and drink, with a bewildering variety of events every day. I was there specifically to talk about wine and I shared the talk with Eamonn McEneaney, an expert on the history of Waterford.

I learned some surprising facts from Eamonn, not least that Waterford had, and held on to, a monopoly on the Irish wine trade for over 500 years.

We were in the recently renovated and restored Choristers’ Hall, which has one of Ireland’s oldest wine vaults — so, apart from being a very attractive venue, it was also perfect for a talk on wine.

The hall is part of Waterford’s Medieval Museum, which is really worth a visit.

After our talk was over, I went with a few of the festival organisers across the river to the Hotel Athenaeum for dinner in their restaurant, Zaks.

Part of the hotel’s official address is ‘Christendom‘, which I rather liked, but the oddest piece of topographical trivia I can tell you is that the main house of The Athenaeum is in Co Kilkenny, while the driveway and the gardens are in Co Waterford.

via Restaurant review: Paolo Tullio at Zaks, Waterford – Food & Drink, Lifestyle – Independent.ie.

John Lennon’s Island Goes on Sale as Irish Unpick Property Boom – Bloomberg

September 13, 2012 1 comment

It could have been where John Lennon and Yoko Ono spent their retirement, yet Dorinish Island became home only to grazing sheep and seabirds.

Now, the land the size of a dozen soccer fields off Ireland’s west coast is being offered as a retreat to a potential new owner for 300,000 euros ($384,000), 45 years after the Beatles songwriter bought it. Just before he was shot dead in New York in 1980, Lennon revived plans to build a home on the island before Ono sold it to local farmers in 1984.

“About a year before he was murdered his London solicitor inquired about reviving the planning permission which he had obtained shortly after the purchase,” said Michael Browne, 73, a local who took Lennon to visit Dorinish. “He was constantly panning a cine-camera to get a panoramic of the bay.”

The history of Dorinish, in Clew Bay in Mayo, marks it out from the slew of Irish islands for sale in the wake of the country’s real-estate market collapse.

The farmers are selling the 21-acre island because it’s getting harder for them to keep animals there as they get older, according to Andrew Crowley of Sherry FitzGerald Crowley, the agent in charge of the sale. He said he couldn’t specify how much they paid for the island originally, while Browne said Lennon paid about 1,700 pounds ($2,700) in 1967.

“The island isn’t being used as much as it should be, and they were never going to build on it,” Crowley said yesterday. “The owners are getting on in years and maintaining their livestock at such a distance isn’t practicable anymore.”

via John Lennon’s Island Goes on Sale as Irish Unpick Property Boom – Bloomberg.

Video, Independent Woman – Independent.ie

February 26, 2012 Leave a comment

New whisky simply liquid gold for Adelaide’s Southern Coast Distillers | News.com.au

January 2, 2012 1 comment

TUCKED away in a suburban Adelaide warehouse is a whisky distillery that is winning international accolades.

Whisky doyen Jim Murray has listed one of its drops in the 2012 edition of The Whisky Bible as “one of the most astonishing whiskies it has been my honour to taste. Frankly I am on my knees”.

This is high praise for Southern Coast Distillers in Welland. The distiller began selling its whisky only this year, online and at the Rob Roy Hotel and East End Cellars in the city.

“Our first customer was an Adelaide plastic surgeon who bought a bottle at a charity auction and paid $500 for it in February this year,” co-owner Ian Schmidt said.

The surgeon has been back to buy more, and the single malt batch 002, lauded as liquid gold by Mr Murray, has sold out at $110 a pop.

The company established a website this year and is receiving increasing numbers of purchases online. Most hits are from Australia, followed by the US and Ireland. It also has won medals through the Malt Whisky Society of Australia.

via New whisky simply liquid gold for Adelaide’s Southern Coast Distillers | News.com.au.

Strange Random Whisky Quote:

“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.” – W. C. Fields (American Comic and Actor, 1880-1946)

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RTÉ Travel: Autumn Events in Ireland

September 14, 2011 Leave a comment
Dublin Contemporary 2011 - Iveagh Gardens In D...

Image by infomatique via Flickr

The summer is officially over – did it ever start? Well, maybe an Indian summer will kick in to help us through the last few weeks of bright evenings. Whatever the weather, there is still lots going on throughout the country, so here’s a look at some of what’s on offer.

September

Dublin Festival Season (throughout September)

September is officially Dublin Festival month, with a jam-packed schedule in progress. Dublin Contemporary 2011 has turned the city into a gallery for large scale art installations in landmark buildings, established museums and offbeat spaces. Absolut Fringe runs for two weeks, bringing new talent, eccentric ideas and an eclectic mix of performances throughout 40 venues around Dublin. Dublin Culture Night on September 23 sees galleries, museums and cathedrals open their doors for free, while the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival (September 29 to October 16) is hosting an amazing array of incredible Irish and international theatre, readings, rehearsals and panel discussions. www.dublinfestivalseason.com

Arthur’s Day (September 22)

Returning for its third year and now likely to become an annual event in September, Arthur’s Day is an unashamed marketing event for a certain popular Irish stout, but with it comes an impressive range of concerts and intimate gigs all over the country, along with a couple of pints of the black stuff no doubt. This year’s festival includes Stereophonics, Paloma Faith, Calvin Harris, Ed Sheeran, Aloe Blacc and the Scissor Sisters. www.guinness.ie

via RTÉ Travel: Autumn Events in Ireland.

Strange Random Ireland Quote:

“The Irish do not want anyone to wish them well; they want everyone to wish their enemies ill.” – Harold Nicolson

 

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Saint Patrick’s Day 2011

March 17, 2011 1 comment

Finally, something for the Irish to celebrate …

The Discover Ireland website offers a thorough guide to enjoying the festivities inside or out of the country, with music, video, packs for your own party and a special app for iPhone and Android.

Also worth a look is their virtual community called Ireland Town at Facebook, where you can set up your own virtual business and earn credits that allow you to “visit” more places in the country.

 

Strange Random Ireland Quote:

In Ireland the inevitable never happens and the unexpected constantly occurs. – Sir John Pentland Mahaffy

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Halloween Traditions in Ireland – Halloweek, part 3!

October 27, 2010 2 comments
Jack-o-lantern

Image via Wikipedia

Last year about this time we posted a list of sites where you can find out about the origins of Halloween, stemming from the Irish festival of Samhain, or the Feast of the Dead. So we thought it would be  an interesting idea to find an explanation for some of the traditions from an Irish perspective – Ireland Information.Com has a special page dedicated to Halloween, including information about Colcannon, Barnbrack Cake and the ever-popular Jack O’Lantern:

The Pumpkin: Carving Pumpkins dates back to the eighteenth century and to an Irish blacksmith named Jack who colluded with the Devil and was denied entry to Heaven. He was condemned to wander the earth but asked the Devil for some light. He was given a burning coal ember which he placed inside a turnip that he had gouged out.

The tradition of Jack O’Lanterns was born – the bearer being the wandering blacksmith – a damned soul. Villagers in Ireland hoped that the lantern in their window would keep the wanderer away. When the Irish emigrated in millions to America there was not a great supply of turnips so pumpkins were used instead.

And if you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be a pumpkin (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t?), then you’ll like this short film, The Life and Death of a Pumpkin, winner of Best Short Film and Best Concept at the 2006 Chicago Horror Film Festival.

Strange Random Pumpkin Quote:

“Men are like pumpkins. It seems like all the good ones are either taken or they’ve had everything scraped out of their heads with a spoon.” – Unknown

 

 

 

amhain, ‘All Hallowtide’
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