Só Sligo – so much fun!!! – Part One

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Lydia from Connacht Gold, Brid from Osta/So Sligo, Prannie Rhatigan – seaweed expert

I’ve had a brilliant time at the Sligo Food and Cultural Festival and I was going to just do one post but I have too much to say and too many photos to share so I’m going to break it into a few posts. I was delighted to be part of the bloggers’ event which meant I got to meet Dee from Greenside Up, Lisa from ISLE magazine, Susan from Vibrant Island and Zack from the Irish Food Guide and Oonagh from Oonagh Eats.

Yeats ExperienceThe first event we attended was a Yeats Experience. We went to Broc House, the home of Damien Brennan and his lovely wife Paula Gilvarry.  There were around 27 of us in total, some people I already knew, most I’d never met before. The door says it all really:

Yeats Door

Broc House is a beautiful home and features a 40 foot floor to ceiling window, overlooking the beautiful Lough Gill. I was tempted to stay in the house forever, it was mesmerising looking out of the window and watching the light changing over the lake.

The view from Broc HouseDamien and Paula are excellent hosts. Paula makes the cooking look so effortless, if it was me I’d have been running around like a headless chicken, I’ll never forget the time I’d welded parsnips to the baking tray (not on purpose) went to throw the smoking tray out of the back door and just missed our dinner guests who had arrived at that very moment…whoops. Anyway I digress, back to the evening.

Yeats mealTo start we had hummus on crackers and also fresh Lough Gill salmon pate on crackers (in the middle of the photo above), this was followed by Clonakilty Black and White Terrine with a rhubarb chutney and organic green salad from the Broc House Poly Tunnel (bottom left). Raspberry and Rose Wine Sorbet (bottom right) came next which was delicious. The main course was Roast Loin of Irish Pork with a celery and apple stuffing and a cider cream sauce, this was served with buttered carrots, Dan’s spinach bar and gratin potato (this is top left of the photo). We were offered second helpings although we were all so full. There was still a little bit of room for the white chocolate and strawberry fool (top right) which was amazing. It was a really lovely meal with great company. There was tea and coffee with Irish tea brack to end the meal, but I couldn’t manage the brack even though it looked delicious.

Damien BrennanDamien kept us entertained between courses telling us all about WB Yeats and his family – I found out so many things I didn’t know. We also found out a lot about Sligo, it was all really interesting. Damien recited poems by William Butler and to listen to him whilst looking out on Lough Gill was just a magical experience. I’d recommend the Yeats Experience to anyone, Damien and Paula cater for groups of ten or more, you are guaranteed wonderful food, a beautiful setting and entertaining hosts.

Happy diners

Huge thanks to Só Sligo for organising this evening for us and to Connacht Gold for the lovely butter and for sponsoring the event. Part two of my Só Sligo experience will follow soon.

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