Stix Bar in Beaconsfield

For lunch today we went to Stix in Beaconsfield. It’s a lovely restaurant in a picturesque area outside London, with a car park right next to it.

Before I go any further, the owners are related to Matt so I could be accused of being biased. Still we had a great lunch there. I ordered a burger, the others ordered various tapas portions and Adam had chicken goujons, chips and peas and hasn’t been as relaxed in a restaurant since he was a tiny baby and slept through our excursions to a local restaurant in Blarney.

If you’re ever in Beaconsfield, make sure you visit Stix and say hi to Suzy, Steve and Dan!

Styx Bar

Styx Bar

Styx Bar

Styx Bar

Tea and Sandwiches with Donncha

Tea and Sandwiches

Anyone for tea? Here’s what I usually put into a sandwich:

  • Cucumber
  • Ham
  • Coleslaw

And all contained within lightly buttered brown sliced loaf bread. Yum.

O’Briens Chocolate Cake

Here’s the delicious chocolate cake we had in O’Briens in Blackpool Shopping Center a few days ago. Beautiful rich chocolate cake, with a layer of chunky chocolate cream through it. You don’t think I’d stop to take a photo of it before eating, do you?

Yes, there is a reason to this post. What do you eat for lunch? If it’s all sensible and boring, pig out once in a while, it’s good for you!

PS. I got nominated in a few sections of the Irish Blog Awards. Thank you to whoever nominated me. (No, it wasn’t me!)

I'll have a second helping, please!

One important element of a successful tech gathering is food. If you don’t feed the troops then your army isn’t marching. We’ve been very lucky this week with breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’ve been completely spoiled by David, the cook at the Ranch (and Diane too!)

dinner

I didn’t have a second helping today, there was a gorgeous cheese cake for dessert. Too tempting!

Lunch in the Long Valley Bar, Cork

We had lunch in the Long Valley Bar a few days ago. This is an old pub on Winthrop Street in the heart of Cork City. It’s a great place to go drinking at night, it’s full of atmosphere and lovely old decor. Unfortunately for lunch it’s only ok. Not that I can judge properly, all we ordered were toasted sandwiches but they weren’t great, and the staff member my wife dealt with was quite grumpy. Are we expecting too much of bar staff these days perhaps?

Anyway, great pub to drink in, but don’t go for the toasted sandwiches! 🙂

toasted sandwich

Here’s a more positive review of the pub, just in case someone tries to lynch me for daring to say a bad word about the dear old Long Valley Bar!

Lunch at the Blue Haven Hotel, Kinsale

Shih Tzu with ball on beach We’ve been busy calling to relatives and making our home baby proof over the last week, so we went down to Kinsale and Garrettstown this afternoon to get away from it all. Even though there was a strong cold wind blowing in off the sea Garrettstown Beach wasn’t deserted. People were out and about walking their dogs, some with kids, others with tiny babies. Oscar, our Shih Tzu, had lots of fun chasing after a tennis ball that seemingly had a mind of it’s own as it arced through the air!

Back in Kinsale we met a friend for lunch in the Blue Haven Hotel. The hotel has been there for years but recently underwent a facelift and is beautiful and luxurious inside. Despite the crush of post-Christmas punters looking for food and/or a drink staff were great and found us room for Adam and a baby seat. I ordered an open steak sandwich while Jacinta had fish and chips and Niamh ordered salmon linguini.

Service was a little slow but as the staff were run off their feet it’s understandable. Adam was fed and watered by the time we were served our food, and we made short work of it. My steak sandwich was nice, if a little on the small side. Chips were salty but tasty. The Christmas pudding I had for dessert filled me up nicely though!

So, I definitely recommend the Blue Haven Hotel for a meal. This was our second time there in the last month. The last time I had their burger. It’s a beautiful hotel, food is good, and it’s very baby friendly!

Blue Haven Kinsale Open steak sandwich

Blue Haven Receipt

Blue Haven Hotel Burger

Dinner in Aroma

Just a quick note at the end of the night. My sister took care of Adam (thank you so much Mairead!) while Jacinta and I went out for a fabulous meal in Aroma on Emmett Place in Cork. It’s a Thai/Chinese/Malaysian restaurant and I’ve never been disappointed when I eat there. In fact we’ve brought lots of visitors there, including Matt if memory serves.

The Thai fish cakes are scrumptious, and I ordered the a beef dish with a Malaysian curry sauce. The meat practically melted in my mouth and the curry was nice and spicy. It can be quite busy but we arrived early at 8pm when only a few tables were taken. Service is great with attentive staff. Compared to other restaurants in Cork, prices for an evening meal are reasonable.

We’re definitely going back!

When columnists go bad

It’s a wonder sometimes why some bloggers hold journalists to such high standards. Quite often what appears in our newspapers is ripped entirely from press releases, or is poorly researched. Case in point are the two columns by Jeremy Clarkson and India Knight in last week’s Sunday Times (I’ve been away, catching up on my blogging!)

Jeremy Clarkson may be a funny guy, but is he a little thick? In Biggles, you’re a crashing bore he says,

Then you have to spend more months learning how to use a radio. Why? I know already. You just stab away at various buttons until someone comes over the speaker. Then you tell him what you want.

Oh no you don’t. You have to talk in a stupid code, saying “over” when you’ve finished speaking for the moment and “out” when you’ve finished altogether. Why? When I ring the plumber or the local Indian restaurant, I am able to convey the nature of my request perfectly well using English. So why when I’m in a plane do I have to talk in gibberish?

“Hello, it’s Jeremy. Is it all right to land?” is a much easier way of saying, “Weston Tower, this is Charlie Victor Tango on 8453.113 requesting a westerly approach to runway 27.”

That’s not sarcastic and witty. That’s plain dumb.

On the same page India Knight states that many people suffering from allergies and food intolerances really don’t have allergies at all and are simply rude. Try telling that to me after I’ve had a cheese covered pizza.

Millions of people have imaginary allergies and food intolerances, according to a survey last week. Many of them have diagnosed themselves online; one in 50 says they only noticed their “problem” when a friend had similar symptoms; and 39% of people questioned think it is “trendy” to claim a food allergy. Twelve million people claim to suffer from allergy or intolerance, of which less than a quarter are medically diagnosed.

The mind boggles. I love cheese and milk. I would love nothing better than to drink a cool glass of milk with a spicy curry, or homemade brown bread with a thick slice of cheese on top. It’s not bloody trendy to have a stuffed up nose and phlemmy throat a few hours later. Poor Ms. Knight lives in a very black and white world.

Good to know I’m not the only one to think this way about India Knight’s article. Actually, India Knight was never good so she couldn’t go bad. At least Clarkson’s articles are mildly entertaining!

Could I resist? Could I what!

Jacob’s Elite Chocolate Tea Cakes

Jacob’s Elite Chocolate Tea Cakes, described on the packet as “mallow cake covered in thick milk chocolate”, but I’d say they’re the ultimate tease of what heaven is like, they’re that nice. Could I resist biting into the lovely chocolate covered biscuit and the creamy, melt in the mouth mallow? Not a chance. Could you?

Definitely one of my favourite biscuits. Thanks Sheila!

Strawberries in December

2006-12-24__mg_7823-hs.jpg

It’s a sign of the times. We eat fresh strawberries in the middle of winter. They may have travelled thousands of miles and be overpriced but there’s a ready market here for fresh fruit all year round.

They are lovely in porridge first thing in the morning or even with Corn Flakes. They make the milk all creamy and delicious and in the mouth the taste and texture of the fruit just melts on your tongue!

We usually buy in M&S but there we were in Super Valu, and strawberrys are on display. It’s a cruel world when food that’s good for you is so nice too!

The point of this post and my interest in winter fruits is the origin of said produce. They come from Palestine. We hear so much bad news from that part of the world so something as mundane as strawberries is a reminder that life goes on no matter what.

Happy Christmas to you, may you have a nice day tomorrow, I hope with family or friends.