October 02, 2014

October's Food Festivals & Events

Ok so autumn is officially here - me having to defrost my car for the first time in months must mean it is so! I have to say I love the cold (I will probably be shunned for that!) but there is something lovely about getting all the winter clothes out and getting all snuggled up. Now if it rains that's a different matter but fingers crossed it just stays clear and cold - perfect weather for getting out and about. Have a fantastic October.

September 18, 2014

Taste of Monaghan, Monaghan Town, 3rd – 5th October

Now in its fifth year, Taste of Monaghan celebrates the best of local produce in Monaghan and its surrounding areas.  Our 60+ exhibitors will be in attendance including artisan food businesses, food business start ups and major international players such as Monaghan Mushrooms, Silver Hill Farm and Mallon's Foods.

The Festival will be hosted by Brian McDermott of No Salt Chef fame who will present the audience with cookery demonstrations from a host of acclaimed chefs and personalities such as Jenny Bristow, Clodagh McKenna, Derval O'Rourke, Calso Cooks, Jenny Eustace and Scottish TV Chef, Peter McKenna. 

September 17, 2014

Afternoon Tea at the Morrison Hotel, Dublin

Regular readers of the blog will know that I adore afternoon tea. There is nothing nicer than spending a lazy Saturday having the chats with mates over lots and lots of tea and cake. So when a friend said she had seen a voucher for afternoon tea with prosecco in the Morrison Hotel we were on it faster than you could say BAKE!

I have good memories of The Morrison as it is where my family and I went to celebrate my college graduation years ago! It has been totally renovated and the interior is beautifully chic with tones of purple, white and grey running through the hotel. We were welcomed into the hotel by very friendly staff and placed at a lovely table for two that overlooked the quays and the Liffey where we could see the world go by.


September 09, 2014

Boyne Valley Food Series - September Events

The Boyne Valley Food Series is nearing its end and while I am sad to see summer go the prospect of autumn fills me with joy. The countryside will look more beautiful than ever and autumn is such a wonderful time to celebrate what the land provides us with. The closing events of the Boyne Valley Food Series reflect this.

September 02, 2014

September's Food Festivals & Events

The schools are back and the sun is gone but there are still a million reasons to love September. Long autumn walks, hearty stews and big chunky cardigans are just three off the top of my head! September also means there are loads more food events and festivals happening all around the country. Harvest time is here - Enjoy.

August 29, 2014

Breakfast at ORSO, Cork

A good brunch is one of the requirements of a girlie night away. The others are dancing, cocktails and lots of gossip - not necessarily in that order! To cure the night before after our day of eating and drinking at the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail and Arthur Maynes, we were gagging for something substantial to tide us over till a late lunch. We were tempted to head back to Arthur Maynes but felt like a change of scene after spending hooours there the day before! We even had a look at the menu but were then enticed into Orso Kitchen and Bar which is right next door. 

We had just missed the 11:30 cutoff for breakfast but the staff happily made an exception for us and let us order of their amazing sounding menu. Orso have a very creative and interesting breakfast menu. Now tell me if I'm wrong but how wonderful does feta, spinach and raisin breakfast pie or warm flatbread with banana, cinnamon and toasted almonds sound! Now we were all craving bacon and eggs so two of us went for the Breakfast Manoushi while the other two went for the Breakfast Moglai.

Breakfast Manoushi

August 27, 2014

The Blog Awards Ireland & Starting that blog you have been thinking about!

It was a lovely surprise to wake up yesterday morning and discover that The Purple Page had been shortlisted for Best Food/Drink Blog in the Blog Awards Ireland. It’s a case of third time lucky for the blog as I was nominated in 2012 and 2013 but didn’t make it to the next round. There is some tough competition in there and I am up against some of my own favourite blogs too (check out Fiona’s Japanese Cooking, The Dublin Diary and The Beer Nut for starters!) so it is an honour to be included in the list. 

August 22, 2014

Foraging for Lunch on Girley Bog with Meath Eco Tours

Foraging is something I don't know a lot about. Yes I can identify blackberries, elderflowers and wild garlic but that is about it. I'm lucky enough to have the first two in my garden so I'm not even sure you can call that foraging!! So when Kate from Meath Eco Tours invited me along to Girley Bog for a morning of foraging as part of Boyne Valley Food Series I jumped at the chance to learn more.

August 14, 2014

Arthur Mayne's, Cork City

A few weekends ago, a few of the girls and I made a one night roadtrip to Cork especially for the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail. It was a great afternoon which turned into a great night! We ended up going back to Arthur Mayne's as we were told it had a lovely outdoor area and was open late. In fact it is open till about 2 in the morning and that was on a Sunday night. 

Arthur Mayne's is a 20-year-old chemist turned wine bar. Apart from display cabinets filled with wonderful old merchandise, it also boasts a wine system which allows you to sample 24 different varieties of wines. We decided to keep that though for another trip! Arthur Mayne's merges with Crane Line and between them there is a great outdoor area which is long and narrow and has a good few seats. The sun was gone by the time we were there but it was still lovely and warm where we were sitting. Later on that evening they turned the heaters on and sure we didn’t move till again till about 12.30 that night. 

Photo from Arthur Mayne's Facebook Page

August 11, 2014

The National Organic Food Fair - Sunday, 14th September

The second National Organic Food Fair will take place on Sunday, 14th September in Marlay Park.  The event is open to all and entry is free! The National Organic Food Fair is a collaboration between the Organic Trust and the Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association, and is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The Fair will have lots on offer with face painters, balloon makers, and a pet farm to name just a few attractions. This organic festival will also have lots of outdoor stalls and marquees showcasing Irish organic products. Tempting food stalls will also be there with a host of food from burgers, to soups, yogurt and apple syrups and ciders, all of which are certified organic. It promises to be the largest display of Irish organic food available in a single venue yet.

Clodagh McKenna will also return this year to host a cooking demonstration using excellent organic produce, most of which has been sourced from the stall holders at the event. This is free to the public but please come early to avoid disappointment. Cooking demonstrations take place at 12.30pm and 2pm.

If you have an idea about producing an organic product, a range of selected producers and industry leaders will give practical seminars on the day. Topics such as routes to market, why organic food is important, eating organically on a budget, and also practical tips on growing organic food are all taking place at different times throughout the day. The full schedule will be announced closer to the event.

The aim of this years National Organic Food Fair is to strengthen and promote the message that organic, local and seasonal foods offer the best quality ingredients for home cooking, combined with the added advantage of supporting jobs, economic growth and local development. 

Find them on Facebook here

August 08, 2014

Campo Viejo Tapas Trail - Cork Style

Anyone who is a regular reader of the blog will know that I am a big fan of affordable, creative and interesting events that help to showcase a city. One of my favourite yearly events in Dublin is the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail which I have gone on since it started in 2010. You can read all about the fun we had at the 2014 one here. Campo Viejo also started doing a tapas trail in Cork last year and it looked great, so much so, that the girls and I said we might even think about going down especially for it. Surprisingly, we actually managed to get ourselves organised enough this year and made it down to Cork for the last Sunday trail of the season!

Now Cork is a well visited city on my holiday destination list but I had never eaten in any of the restaurants on the trail which made the event all the more exciting. Our guide for the afternoon was George who was a lively and very entertaining Cork woman – a pure born rebel as she called herself! Our first stop was Electric which has the most gorgeous art deco inspired facade. 


August 05, 2014

Boyne Valley Food Series - August Events

The Boyne Valley Food Series is a summer long series of events which aims to highlight Meath and Louth's rich selection of artisan producers, small food businesses and restaurants over five months from May till September. So far I have attended the Brú Brewery Tour, Sheridan's Food Festival, Taste of Meath, the Irish Maritime Festival and the Meath Food Safari. Sunday saw the boyfriend and I head to Girley Bog for a foraging session with Meath Eco Tours. It was pouring out of the heavens but it was a great informative morning and I can't wait to visit the bog again on a sunnier day!

August 01, 2014

August's Food Events and Festivals

August always feels like the final 'big hurrah' before summer is officially over and it's back to normality for us all. There is loads happening throughout the country, so even if the weather doesn't return to the former glory of July, there is no excuse not to get out and enjoy the long summer days before Autumn kicks in.

July 31, 2014

A Foodie's Guide to Kerry

Off on your holliers to Kerry this summer? Well to make your life easier Eva Schmid from the Ard na Sidhe Hotel has designed a fantastic infographic which highlights some of Kerry’s best food festivals, café’s and tearooms, cooking courses, farmers markets and artisan food stores. Check it out here to see it in full. 

Also check out some of my old posts to see what I thought of eating out in Killarney and Kenmare while on holidays down there a few years ago. I would adore a hake burger from Whartons right now! 

Killarney Town Centre
Kerry’s food festivals, cafes and tea rooms, cooking courses, farmers markets and food stores. - See more at: http://www.cheapeats.ie/#sthash.ROeBNJQH.dpuf
Kerry’s food festivals, cafes and tea rooms, cooking courses, farmers markets and food stores. - See more at: http://www.cheapeats.ie/#sthash.ROeBNJQH.dpuf

July 30, 2014

Boyne Valley Food Series Foraging Walk & Picnic

Herbal Delights - photo from Facebook
Join Meath Eco Tours this Saturday 2nd August for a special foraging walk and picnic at Girley Bog Natural Heritage Area, near Kells, County Meath. This guided walking tour will celebrate the edible delights to be found in this beautiful bogland area and its surrounds.

Participants will learn about edible plants and flowers, as well as discovering what plant families are safe to eat and which are best avoided. The tasty picnic, a highlight of the three-hour experience, will feature samples of foraged foods, such as Elderflower cordial with Raspberry and Meadowsweet syrup, Bilberry muffins, and Dillisk oatcakes with Wild Rocket and Basil pesto. Recipes and resources for further foraging adventures will also be provided on the day. 

This event takes place on Saturday 2nd August from 10am to 1pm and is part of the Boyne Valley Food Series. Further information and booking at www.meathecotours.com or phone Kate on 087-9712072. Cost is €20 and places are limited so get booking! The meeting point is the Girley Bog Looped Walk car park off the N52.

Meath Eco Tours
+353 (0)87-9712072

July 24, 2014

Boyne Valley Food Series: July Events

The Boyne Valley Food Series aims to highlight Meath and Louth's rich selection of artisan producers, small food businesses and restaurants over five months from May till September. The food series kicked off in May with a great array of events. In May I attended the Brú Brewery Tour and the Sheridan's Food Festival. In June I visited the first ever Taste of Meath at Oldbridge House, the Irish Maritime Festival and went on the Meath Food Safari. So far all the events have been very well organised, informative and, above all, great craic. 

July 22, 2014

Summer Tasting Menu at Copper and Spices

Discovering that I had an amazing Indian on my doorstep has to be one of the highlights of moving to Meath. I was leaving behind Ananda, Megha and the local byo, the Royal, and moving to the countryside where I thought I would never manage to find an Indian to rival my favourites.  How wrong I was!

Copper and Spices is a South East Asian restaurant on Ludlow Street in Navan, owned and run by Carmel and Nitin Gautam. It is an inviting looking restaurant, from the black and gold entrance to the cosy and well presented interior. The food they serve here is a cut above the rest and is up there, in my opinion, with some of my Dublin favourites. They do the best samosas and curries a girl could wish for. They also do the best value early bird take away I have ever come across! It’s amazing value for money. Anyway I am being sidetracked by my love for all of their food and need to talk about their wonderful Summer Tasting Menu which I recently got to sample.

July 06, 2014

The Connemara 'Surf to Turf' Self-driving Foodie Adventure

Mungo invites you to embark on a driving tour of Connemara to see and  eat your way through the two contrasting sides of Connemara.  From the rugged, austere landscape by the sea at Connemara Abalone in Rossaveal, to the lush, fertile grounds at Uncle Matt's Farm in Oughterard you will get to experience two very different landscapes.

July 04, 2014

July's Food Events & Festivals


July is my favourite month of the whole year. I swear it's not just because my birthday falls in the middle of it but that does help! It's because the days are long, autumn is still many weeks away and there is always the promise of sunshine. There are also loads of events throughout Ireland that celebrate all this too so it is a great time to get out and about. Happy July, enjoy.

June 30, 2014

A Taste of Meath at Oldbridge House

So this weekend I was fully immersed in Meath culture and society, from a massive charity barn dance in Cushinstown to my first ever visit to Oldbridge House. I have to admit it was my first time attending a barn dance and if that one is anything to go by it won’t be my last! Over 3000 people attended and there were cowboy hats galore on show. On Sunday, once we had recovered from all that dancing, we travelled up to Oldbridge House for the first ever Taste of Meath as part of the Boyne Valley Food Series.

Out and About at Oldbridge House

June 24, 2014

Cono Sur Food Blogger Competition

Cono Sur, Ireland’s premium Chilean wine brand, is launching a search to find the ultimate dish to match their Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir.

June 23, 2014

The G Counter, Galway City

Recently the boyfriend and I found ourselves at a wedding down in Athlone. It was one of those fabulous two day affairs which took place on a Friday meaning that we were halfway down the country and had a whole Sunday to spare. What to do, oh what to do, we thought. Sure the only answer was a quick nip down to Galway for the day since we were only an hour away.

We hadn’t had breakfast and were holding out for brunch in Galway. We decided on the G Counter as I had read good things about it from Warm & Snug & Fat. It was also on our route into the city and had ample parking so it was very handy. The G Counter is located beside the G Hotel but apparently they aren’t connected at all, even though the G logo is very similar. It is a bright, airy, almost industrial space and seemed a big hit with families as all the surrounding tables were packed out with the smallies. There was a decent sounding brunch menu which included all the usual suspects such as eggs benedict, waffles, pancakes and breakfast butties.

June 19, 2014

A visit to the Irish Maritime Festival 2014

Last Sunday was one of those days where we didn’t know whether we wanted to stay at home and laze about or head out into the wild. In the end the sun made a break from the clouds and our decision was made for us. So off we popped to the Irish Maritime Festival in Drogheda for a few hours where there were tall ships and water sports on display.

June 17, 2014

Campo Viejo Tapas Trail: Dublin 2014

I always feel like summer has well and truly kicked off when it is time for the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail. I have been on every single trail since it started and it is still as much fun as it was the first time around. This year we kicked off in The Market Bar which by the way does a fab early bird of 2 tapas and a glass of wine/beer for €14. It is a big cavernous space where the only noise is the sound of people enjoying catching up over good food. We started the journey with a glass of Campo Viejo Cava and bowls of patatas bravas, piri piri chicken and goats cheese crostini. I could eat those patatas bravas all day!

June 15, 2014

Taste of Dublin 2014: A Quick Recap

So I meant to write this review on Friday knowing that I would be busy over the weekend but Thursday night at Taste of Dublin got the better of me. At 31 I should know better but we had a super night! Thursday felt like the start of summer and the Iveagh Gardens were packed for the first session of Taste of Dublin. After a glass of champagne, Ms Jenkinson and I executed our plan of action which was basically to sample as many different dishes as possible!

To start off we hit Salt of the Earth and sampled their Scallop Hot Dog with Asian slaw, beetroot chips and aioli.

June 10, 2014

Dingle is crowned Ireland's Top Foodie Town

Photo from www.dingle-peninsula.ie
Dingle has been crowned Top Foodie Town of Ireland from a shortlist of ten finalists.  The winner was announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards on the 9th of June that took place in the DoubleTree by Hilton.  This first year of the annual competition was run by The Restaurants Association of Ireland in conjunction with Admailer from An Post.

The ‘Foodie Town of Ireland’ award recognised Dingle for actively promoting itself through joint activities such as food festivals, gourmet trails and farmers’ markets as well as great dining experiences. It was noted that Dingle goes above and beyond to give their tourists the best foodie experience.  They have a well-established local producer/supplier network which is utilised and promoted by local businesses. They also actively plan for future growth and investment in the food and hospitality industry at a local level.  Education, training, development and employment are key components of the ultimate foodie destination, which is  seen in abundance in Dingle.    

June 09, 2014

Food and Beer Pairing at Brú Brewery

I’ll admit it. I’m a wine drinker by nature. In my twenties I would never have chosen beer over wine. This is probably down to the fact that I found most of the beer on offer too heavy, too fizzy or just plain disgusting. Then I went to Brussels and was shown the error of my ways! On my return I started to seek out what Ireland had to offer and bang on time too since we are now in the midst of a craft beer revolution. 

So I am slowly getting to know my Irish craft beer brands and discovering how well they go with food. I also recently discovered that one brand, Brú Beers, even comes from my adopted home county of Meath! As part of the Boyne Valley Food Series the guys in Brú Brewery put on a food and beer pairing night to demonstrate how well their range of beers went with food, all of which was local too. 

June 06, 2014

Boyne Valley Food Series: June Events

The Boyne Valley Food Series aims to highlight Meath and Louth's rich selection of artisan producers, small food businesses and restaurants over five months from May till September. The food series kicked off in May with a great array of events. I attended both the Bru Brewery tour and the Sheridan's Food Festival and had a fantastic time at both. I learnt so much and got to meet the people behind all the small businesses and artisan products. 

June Food Festivals & Events

It's the weekend again already!  Short working weeks are the best! To get you in the weekend mood here is a list of events taking place over the next few weeks. June is always a great month for festivals and events so there is loads happening and hopefully something of interest for everyone.

May 28, 2014

Belfast's Pop-Up Pestaurant: Bring on the Bugs!

Rentokil will open the doors to its award-winning "Pop-Up Pestaurant" in Belfast's city centre on Wednesday 4th June. The event will take place at Writer's Square in the Cathedral Quarter, between 10 and 3, and will be serving up an array of exotic treats including spicy pigeon burgers, salt & vinegar crickets and BBQ mealworms.

The inaugural Pestaurant, which took place in London in summer 2013, attracted more than 3,000 hungry Londoners to sample the unorthodox fare on offer. Rentokil expects similar crowds to flock to Writer's Square for the first major Pestaurant event of 2014.
All the food is free and local Rentokil experts will be on hand to answer any pest related questions from the public, pass on their top tips for pest prevention and discuss the unique cuisine being served.

The event will mark Britain's participation in Global Pestaurant Day, during which Pestaurant events will be held in 12 different countries across 4 continents. The events will tempt punters across the globe to try something different for lunch, with Australia, South Africa, Denmark, France, and the USA among the nations taking part.
The events are held to raise awareness of the problems that pests can cause for homeowners and business alike. Pests are just looking for food and shelter. They are not choosy when it comes to setting-up home, and even the cleanest of properties can become a target, if they can find a way in!  Common UK pests include ants, bedbugs, flies, mice, pigeons, rats and wasps.  
All members of the public are welcome to attend. 

May 26, 2014

Bloom Fringe - Where Inspiration Grows

Bloom Fringe is the latest independent festival to hit the streets of Dublin. The festival is a spin-off of the hugely successful Bloom and will showcase Dublin’s ever growing creative capacity with fresh ideas, spontaneity and fun. The aim is to celebrate the biodiversity and sustainability of Dublin’s City Centre by bringing together communities, artists, performers, professionals, enthusiasts and free thinkers in a joyous explosion of garden-related creativity.

Bloom Fringe will literally take over the city with over 35 eclectic events staged in pop-up venues in parks, gardens, lane-ways and Dublin City Centre as well as established venues such as cafés, shops and more. The fringe will showcase works from the world of gardening, sustainability, architecture, food, fashion and much more. Innovative workshops, pop-up dinners, picnics, exhibitions, garden installations and other experiences will be hosted throughout the city on Saturday 31st May to promote sustainability, green infrastructure and community involvement.

The Bloom Fringe HQ will be at the top of Grafton Street with a green pop-up on George’s Street and other surprises sprinkled in-between. Event coordinators, Landscape Architect Esther Gerrard and Garden Designer Marion Keogh, “want to encourage anyone with artistic vision and drive to participate and present their work. This means that there’s always something to suit everyone, of all ages and tastes. Our city lends itself to a multitude of uses and we want to show it off in all its glory!”

Some of the events that are taking place include:
  • Tours/trails such as foraging with Ed Hicks
  • A Masterchef picnic with Tamarin Blackmur winner of Masterchef
  • Pop-up windows will be on display at Industry, Berlin and Courtney Lennon
  • Family Friendly Workshops such as: Hedgerow Herbalism, Composting Bootcamp and Forest School
  • Visit open community gardens
Bloom Fringe is happening this Saturday - 31st May 2014. The full programme is available on their website - www.bloomfringe.com. You will also find them on Twitter @bloomfringe #bloomfringe and on Facebook www.facebook.com/bloomfringedublin.

May 17, 2014

Let Them Eat Cake!

Yelp Dublin & 9 Crow St present 'Let Them Eat Cake', an unusual afternoon of entertainment and food curated from the newest and best of Dublin eateries, in aid of BeLongTo Dublin LGBT charity.

Fancies will be tickled with eccentric entertainment, including Dublin's greatest burlesque talent, Bella A-Go-Go, and inspirational speaker Sinead Gibney. There will be tea, cocktails, decadent gift bags, and even a chauffeur to drive all guests to the event.

Guests can Indulge themselves with a selection of delicious food, curated from the finest of Dublin eateries including; Krüst Bakery, The Birdcage, Cheesecake, Murphy's Ice Cream, Delicious Food Company, El Gringo Mexican, The Natural Bakery, Oishii Sushi, Antoinette's Bakery, The Bell & Pot, and Meat & Meet, with our Official Tea Pourer being Ireland's fav: Barrys

There are very limited tickets, so get your ladies (or gents!) together and get your tickets for this most extraordinary of afternoons. All proceeds go directly to BeLongTo Dublin.

The event is on Saturday, 24th May in the Black Door. Tickets can be purchased for €25.  Go to www.yelp.ie/events for more details.

May 13, 2014

A Marketing Masterstoke - The Secret Garden

By now I am sure that you have all heard about the Secret Garden, seen the pictures, read the reviews and talked about the big reveal. As someone who has recently completed a Diploma in Digital Marketing, I thought the whole thing was ingenious. Lidl and Dublin Pop Up managed to tap into the Irish love of food, our desire to be part of something cool and creative and our massive use of social media. In case you havent seen what all the hype was about here is a little video which sums it all up.

One of the best things about the evening was getting to eat the food prepared by chefs Harry Colley and Cuán Green. These young chefs are 24 and 21 respectively and they produced some amazing and very creative food. Sure there were ups and downs in the meal - one low being the Bloody Mary but this was cancelled out by the following delicious course of a crispy potato skin filled with slow cooked egg yolk and potato espuma. We felt quite honored to be able to eat this food and to be part of a process that allows these chefs to perfect their art. This event gave them an opportunity to shine and show what they they could do. We left the Secret Garden feeling sure that these young chefs are the future of Irish cooking and that it is in very safe hands.

Here are some photos from the event.

Mackerel Ceviche

Bloody Mary

Baked Potato

Swiss Roll

May 12, 2014

Campo Viejo Tapas Trail 2014 - A Great Summer Night Out

It's tapas trail time again! God only knows where the year went but the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail is back for it's fourth time! Without fail, it is one of the highlights of the summer for me. Throughout the months of June & July, food and wine enthusiasts can join the culinary culture of Spanish tapas and discover the true passion, vitality and vibrancy of Spain on the Tapas Trail which will run from from June 4th to 29th in Dublin and from July 2nd to 27th in Cork.
During June and July lucky participants in Dublin and Cork will get to discover ‘tapeo’, the art of enjoying tapas with friends and family at four of the very best tapas restaurants their city has to offer. At each location, you’ll get the opportunity to sample Spanish cuisine that’s simply bursting with flavour, all brought to life with a glass of Campo Viejo Reserva. Between restaurants, the guides will help you explore the streets of colour through urban art and the works of artists Okuda and Remed. In Cork you will get to visit Electric, Arthur Maynes, Oysters and The Cornstore, while in Dublin participants will visit The Market Bar, Bagot Huttons and for the first time this year, the Drury Buildings and Zaragoza.

I have gone on the Tapas Trail for the last three years and it is, without doubt, one of the best value and fun nights out there. You can read all about The Purple Page's experience from last year here

A friend summing up how we feel about the Tapas Trail!!

Tickets are 25e per person which  is an increase of a fiver on last year but it is still definitely worth the money. The trail takes place each Wednesday between 7pm and 10pm and each Sunday between 2.30pm and 5pm in participating restaurants in Dublin and Cork.  For further information and to purchase tickets log onto www.facebook.com/campoviejoireland 
or www.campoviejotapastrail.ie. The first round of tickets sold out practically as soon as they went on sale today but more dates are to be added so keep an eye out!

May 02, 2014

May Food Festivals & Events

So summer is finally here and it's a bank holiday weekend. Wohoo! So get out, enjoy the weekend and celebrate the start of summer in style.

2nd  - 8th May: 

9th - 15th May:

16th - 22nd May:

23rd - 31st May: 

If you would like to have your food event or festival added please contact Kat at thepurplepageireland (at) gmail.com. Dates are always subject to change so please check the event website before getting all geared up to go out!

April 30, 2014

The Boyne Valley Food Series kicks off this May Bank Holiday Weekend

The Boyne Valley Food Series is an innovative food adventure! Its aim is to highlight Meath and Louth's rich selection of artisan producers, small food businesses and restaurants during the summer and autumn months.  This will be done through a series of fantastic events that will take place from May right on up to September. 

The Boyne Valley Food Series kicks off this Friday in perfect time for the May bank holiday weekend. You could go on a blossom walk in Grove Orchard or get fancy with fish at the Seafood Festival in the Bective, Kells. On Monday the Electric Bike Foodie Tour is happening and it consists of a one day 25km tour by electric bike with stops at a wonderful selection of artisan producers.

Throughout the rest of the month there will be BBQ demonstrations, beer tastings, gourmet nights and a big Festival of Food. Some of the events are free, others are not, so check out the website here for more details. You can also find them on Facebook here.

Have a fabulous bank holiday weekend and let's welcome the summer in with style!

April 10, 2014

A Traditional Afternoon Tea at Ariel House

One of my missions in life is to sample as many afternoon teas in Ireland as possible. It’s a slow, sugar filled but very enjoyable activity! There are the old reliables in Dublin such as the Westin, the Westbury and the Shelbourne where generations of women meet and wile the afternoons away. Then there are places like the Clarence or Fota Island Resort that do great afternoon teas but that aren't the first to spring to mind when trying to think of a place to go. Then once in a while, a place you never knew existed, comes along and makes all your inner Downton fantasies come true and all without breaking the bank!

This place is Ariel House, a beautiful Victorian house located in the heart of Ballsbridge. I first got to experience the beauty and hospitality of Ariel House at an event way back in December. The place looked wonderful with a giant Christmas tree in the living room and roaring fires in the fireplaces. I knew then that I had to return with friends and family and share this special place with them. 

So on a bright sunny Saturday in February Mrs G and I met up for one of our usual sessions. By sessions I mean copious amounts of tea, cake and three hour long gossips! We were seated in the beautifully bright sun room with a view of the Aviva and their Victorian garden. One of the first things that just made us go ‘Aww’ were the table settings. It was beautifully laid with delicate china and our inner Cath Kidsons were screaming 'I want to bring this all home'!! 


First up were the sandwiches with delightful cucumber ones, smoked salmon, egg mayonnaise and mustard and ham all on offer. There was more than enough for the two of us and after them we were ready to get stuck into the sweet stuff of which there was an abundance. 


Plate after delicious tiered plate arrived at the table. There were vanilla melting moments, plum and frangipane tart, scones, tea brack, coffee cake, strawberry shortbreads and more. We also got an amazing chocolate dessert which I thought was a great addition. One of the lovely things about what you get served for afternoon tea is that a lot of the recipes are from Irish cookbooks such as ‘Like Mam used to Bake’ or Rachael Allen. There was a stack of cookbooks on the windowsill beside us and I have to admit we did flick though them to see if we could find our favourites of the day.


The staff in Ariel House were fantastic and we had a constant supply of tea and coffee brought to us throughout our stay. We were so well looked after that we didn’t even feel the time pass. Before we knew it we had sat there for three whole hours chatting about everything under the sun. As my friend said it was like having a wonderful visit to a friend’s house. It was one of the most relaxing afternoon teas I have ever experienced. Afternoon tea cost us €17.50 each which is one of the best priced ones around. I am a bit loathe to let this great afternoon tea secret out of the bag but it’s ok because I have already booked my next visit back with 14 friends and family in tow!

Ariel House
Address: 50 Lansdowne Rd, Dublin 4 
Phone:(01) 668 5512