Só Sligo – so much fun (Part 2)

So Sligo bloggers day

Following on from our evening at the Yeats Experience which you can read about here, the next day we were up bright and early and headed for Streedagh Beach, we were blessed with the weather as it was such a beautiful day. The bloggers had enjoyed their night, some of them stayed at the Glasshouse Hotel, the others at Markree Castle. As I’m a local I stayed at home (it’s a hard life 😉 ).

Prannie Rhatigan

We met Prannie Rhatigan, who launched her new guide to edible seaweed that day, which is a companion to her Irish Seaweed Kitchen book.  We had a picnic on the rocks with some wonderful buttery cheese and sea spaghetti straws, seaweed smoothies and delicious seaweed truffles.

Seaweed harvesting

Prannie took us for a walk down to the sea and explained all the different types of seaweed to us and what it’s good for. We even tried some seaweed straight from the rocks, it actually tasted really nice and not at all like I expected it to. It was very interesting hearing all about the seaweed and spending time in Streedagh.

At Eithna's by the sea After our lovely visit with Prannie we headed to Eithna’s by the Sea in Mullaghmore. This is a wonderful restaurant specialising in seafood, it has such a  friendly atmosphere and it’s a pleasure to eat here. I say it every time I come here but the food is like a work of art.

Seafood platterThis was a seafood tasting platter, there was salmon, crab, squid, mackerel, mussels and much more. We also had seaweed bread with seaweed pesto. Even the desserts contained seaweed and you’d never have guessed it. Lucy was very impressed by the waiters. She said she’d go for the food and stay for the waiters! 😉

Desserts from Eithna's by the seaI’m drooling at these looking at them now, they were fantastic. The one on the left was a lemon and carrigeen mousse, the middle is a chocolate (and seaweed) brownie, on the right is a meringue (with seaweed). After a lovely leisurely lunch it was time for Zack, Lisa, Susan and Dee to go off with Seatrails on a trek along the beach with Island View Stables. Lucy, Oonagh and I headed to Solas Spa at the Radisson Blu Hotel for some much-needed pampering.

Solas SpaI had a mini facial which was so lovely and relaxing I almost fell asleep! I’m just sorry that we were short of time as I’d have loved to have spent longer in the thermal suite (above).

The Wine Buff

We all met up again in Sligo town and headed to The Wine Buff for some gorgeous wine, cheese, bread, crackers and olives. Joe who runs The Wine Buff is a really nice man and very knowledgable about his products, I will feature him on the blog soon.

sosligophone1

It was soon time for us to go on the Food trail. The food trail is a brilliant idea with various pubs, restaurants and cafes throughout the town offering tapas sized dishes for €5 during the food festival. I think it would be great for this to be run all through the year, it’s a great way for people to try the various places without breaking the bank. My group headed to Donaghys where we had chicken wings and a selection of desserts, which we all really enjoyed. After that it was off to Osta for their food trail special which was a trio of croquettes….and if you thought we hadn’t eaten enough we went to The Glasshouse Hotel for more food!! There was also a brilliant flash mob….I was tempted to join in but couldn’t move after all the food!

DancersIt was a fabulous day, but the food festival didn’t end there. There was a trip to Coney Island with Prannie and Tra Bhan cooked mussels on the beach. There was the great family cook off at St. Angela’s College, pizza making with Rugatino and Sligo CTC, the food market and so much more. You can see all my photos from the festival here.

On the walk to Coney IslandMy thanks again to all involved in the festival (and apologies to Berenice for chasing her around the beach with a dead crab!) Also thanks to Connacht Gold for sponsoring a lovely day.

 

 

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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.

Só Sligo Food and Culture Festival 2011

This weekend is a busy one in Sligo with the So Sligo festival. This is the second year that the festival has been held and there is a great buzz and atmosphere around the town.

I took Jono in to have a look around this afternoon. First of all we met Senator David Norris in the Yeats Memorial Building. He’s a really nice man, very friendly.

There was a market held in the town with various stalls including food, crafts, herbs etc. There was even kangaroo meat for sale (which we didn’t try). Alaska from Eagles Flying in Ballymote was there as well. She’s a beautiful bird and Jono got a photo with her on his head!

O’Connell Street was closed to traffic for the weekend and there was plenty going on there including Irish dancing.

There was also live music. If I wasn’t so tired after the trip to Dublin yesterday we would have stayed longer.

I took some bits of video which is on Youtube. The rest of the photo’s are here.

August in Sligo

 

We had no electricity today. It was fun and games trying to make toast over the gas hob. It was a dark old day so we decided in the end to go into town.

I had a voucher for The Tobergal Cafe that I won in a photo competition for the SO Sligo food festival. So we all went and had lunch, it was lovely. Andy had lobster risotto, Lucy had pancakes, Jono had soup and a cheese platter and I had a roasted vegetable and sheep cheese tartlet. I’ll put some photo’s below for you to drool over.

The weather got worse after lunch and we ended up getting drenched. Luckily by the time we got home the electric was back on.

I heard from Look West today. I didn’t win the Capture a Sligo Summer moment competition but I get to pick up the prints of my photos so that’s good 🙂

Beautiful Ireland



Beautiful Ireland, originally uploaded by magnum_lady.

Well it’s been a quiet week so I haven’t bothered blogging.

The weather has been lovely. It’s so much nicer doing the school run when the sun in shining.

You might remember that I won a photo competition as past of the SO Sligo festival, well I got a 50 euro voucher for Tobergal Lane through the post 🙂 Looking forward to using that.

The above photo was taken today. I went for a walk in Glen Wood and this is the view from there. It’s of Ballisodare Bay.

I took Jono into town this afternoon for a drama group. He thought he’d give it a try but he probably won’t go again. Lucy had just finished school and was starving so she went to get a pizza. We saw the guy serving wipe his nose, touch the bin, handle money…..and he didn’t wash his hands once….yuck.

Then when Jono had finished both kids wanted an ice cream….again the woman serving wiped her nose and didn’t wash her hands.

On a brighter note, have a look at this video…..what a cool cat:

SÓ Sligo Festival

Well it was a very busy weekend in Sligo with the SÓ Sligo Food and Cultural Festival. We really enjoyed looking around the market. There was a great buzz about the place with the Samboeire band playing and the youth circus doing acrobatics.

There were lots of activities for the kids including Krispy bun making, face painting and a Mad Hatters Tea party to name a few.

The only downside for me I heard others complaining too was that cars were driving down Rockwood Parade (it’s a no through road), but it seemed that people from out of the area didn’t realise and were then trying to turn around and go back out. There were a few near misses with all the people walking around.

It was also a shame about the Sligo Concert Band trying to play on the O’Connell Street pavement. They looked very cramped. Maybe O’Connell Street should have been closed for traffic for the afternoon.

Anyway apart from all that it was a lovely weekend and great to see so many people enjoying themselves in Sligo. Well done to all involved.

As always I took photos which are on flickr.