Despite my obvious love of food, I can hereby tell you that I have rejoined Weight Watchers to try and keep a lid on the calories and have lost 8.5lb already in 5 weeks! Yay me!! Enough about me! The past month has been hectic what with the book coming out and everything. I launched the Westport Food Festival on Sept 6th, sharing the stage with none other than John McKenna, he of the Bridgestone Guides. I have to tell you, John was very really nice & friendly and give me lots of tips for when when talking about “The Book”. For example…don’t call it “The Book” or “My Book”, make sure to give it its full title! So that’s Money for Jam – the Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Small Food Business. Available on Amazon, The Book Depository from the publisher, Oaktree Press and in bookshops! Also, in McCambridges, Rua and Eithna’s by the Sea! Easons has ordered 200 copies, so get into your local bookshop and buy it…..please !! If they don’t have it in stock, ask them to get it. In the audience in Westport were some great producers and food businesses from all around Mayo. Up Mayo! So other than all the book stuff, I’ve still been checking out the best producers and place to eat. I have to mention first, that one of my favourite producers, Margaret Farrelly of Clonarn Clover appeared on The Secret Millionaire last night. We have known for ages what a wonderful woman Margaret is, and now the rest of Ireland knows too! She’s exactly as you saw her on the telly – natural, genuine, sweet. A lovely lady, with a great business! Tonight I’m in Scholars Townhouse again in Drogheda. I’m afraid I left the phone charging while I had dinner, so no photos, but can highly recommend the almost perfect Sea Bass on a bed of perfectly seasoned champ, served with samphire ( I ADORE samphire) and red cabbage, with a sundried tomato and basil cream sauce. The samphire and red cabbage were sitting on top of the fish which was on top of the champ. Perfect proportions of everything. The staff are excellent, great service (even making an appointment for me for the local nail bar!). The rooms are a little spartan though, a bit old fashioned. Could do with comfier bed covers. Small quibble. When I was walking through the town earlier this evening, I passed by the Highlanes Gallery. I get invitations to openings here for some reason, and recently noticed one about bread. Interestingly, one of the sponsors of the exhibition is McCloskey’s Bakery, a client of mine and the reason I’m in Drogheda tonight! If you haven’t tasted McCloskey’s bagels, then you haven’t tasted bagels. Seriously.
In other news…. On the way to Limerick last week I was surprised to find this gem in Bunratty. JP Clarke’s Country Pub recently awarded Clare’s Best Gastro Pub 2013 by the Restaurant Association of Ireland and Gallagher’s Seafood Restaurant was also awarded Clare’s Best Restaurant 2010. I’m on a constant search for the best chowder in Ireland, and this one came very close, though expensive at €7.95! Before…. After…! Service was excellent, with a selection of breads being offered and served by the waitress from a basket. The sinks in the toilets look a bit like a sluice room though! Better yet was the fish soup (note – not listed as chowder) I had in Eithna’s by the Sea in Mullaghmore last Sunday. Welcome back Eithna!! And…Brody Sweeney (he late of O’Brien’s Sandwich Bars) was there and bought a copy of my book! And finally, at the weekend it was the husband’s birthday, so we made the now traditional trip to the Club House for dinner on Saturday night. How lucky are we to have this on our doorstep?! That’s it for now, night all.
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