I finally got out of the house on Saturday, which was a good thing as cabin fever was starting to set in. I had to go up to Lismore in Co Waterford, to do some interviews at the Immrama festival.
Got the interviews out of the way in the morning and having wound up the second one about quarter to one, I suddenly felt very hungry indeed.I knew I would be in Lismore all day – I was going to the sessions of the writers I’d interviewed – so I figured I’d have dinner later in the newly refurbished Lismore House Hotel.
No point in eating there twice I thought so I wandered down the street and went into the first pub I came to – Eamonn’s. Eamonn was behind the counter. I always take it as a good sign to find the person whose name is over the door is also the person dishing out the drinks, whatever about the grub.
Eamonn’s is a proper pub, not very big, kind of old-fashioned but without bicycles hanging on the wall and what I can only describe as all that shite you sometimes get in both rural Irish pubs and mockeeyah Oirish pubs.
“Have you any sandwiches?” I asked Eamonn. He regarded me dolefully. I half-expected him to say “No”. I smiled encouragingly at him. “We have soup and sandwiches,” he said before taking a deep breath and rattling off the full menu.
“We have soup homemade mushroom soup sandwiches toasted sandwiches cold plates you know cold plates with chicken and home-cooked ham or smoked salmon cold plates tea coffee and sweets.”
I don’t know when I last heard anyone refer to dessert as “sweets”. It was rather endearing. I opted for a chicken and ham cold plate and took a seat in the corner.
Maybe it was my copy of The Guardian, my too-trendy glasses or the overall cut of me but Eamonn had his doubts. He came over with cutlery.
Finally, as promised, a run-through of our two-star Michelin experience in France. As I mentioned, we had lunch in L’Oasis in La Napoule near Cannes while on our holliers a few weeks back.
Given that the set lunch menu is €72 a head, I did hmm and haw about booking a table. This was lunch, after all. After a phone call from my brother, in which he howled at the thought that we might not sample Michelin-starred food when it was so nearby, and a conversation with the husband, in which he reasonably pointed out that we had already (a few days earlier) spent €130 on a round of golf for him plus €60 for lunch in the clubhouse afterwards, I booked the table.
Brief pause for a commercial break…
…Well, not quite but I would like to give a plug to Aisling and William from Longueville House, who are now selling lots of goodies at the Mahon Point Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 10am to 2pm. These include preserves & chutney, honey from their own bees, house smoked salmon, wild game terrines, lamb sausage, olive savoury cake, herb infused vinaigrettes, pesto, fruit liqueurs, chocolates & jellies. Yum, yum and more yum.
Plus William is happy to dole out tips on preparation and cooking to anyone visiting the stand and that has to be worth the price of some chutney. He’s a hell of a chef – am salivating at the memory of wood pigeon I had there over 18 months ago.
So pay the stand a visit if you’re in the area or, better again, go to Longueville. It’s one of those died-and-went-to-heaven places that is so worth going to.
Just posting to say, yes, I’m still here and, yes, I’m still eating, although so busy I’m not really cooking. (Dinner tonight was a toasted sandwich with hummus, tomato and chorizo – a raiding-the-fridge job – a natural yogurt and, how gluttonous am I, a whole 100g Green & Blacks milk chocolate bar.)
Have loads to report as was in France for 10 days and ate like a queen (cake and everything else besides). We even made it to a two-star Michelin restaurant! Once I get some time and figure out how to upload photos from the new camera, I will report in full. Short report: Fab. Delicious. Verging on the orgasmically good.
Have even more to report as then embarked on a complete health kick when I got home (minor slip-up there earlier on the chocolate front) so have lots of healthy recipes to post too.
So call me anal but I was bothered this morning by the specials board at a nearby café. Among the offerings today are:
- Brocoli and cauliflower soup
- Gujons with tarter sauce
When I noticed this litany of errors, it rather put me off my scone and cappuccino. If they don’t care enough to spell things properly, why should I think they care enough to prepare my food properly? Misspelled menus are one of my great bugbears when it comes to eating out. And yes, I know I should probably calm down and get a life but it’s just so ANNOYING.
Amicus is something of a favourite with Cork people. I had never been to its original home on French Church St but, looking for somewhere to get a quick lunch, I thought I would try the new incarnation of Amicus on Paul St. How I wish I didn’t.
The lack of posts here in the last few weeks tells its own tale. I’ve been far too busy being festive to write, or cook, anything much. Of all the eating and drinking I’ve been doing, the highlight was probably a trip to Guilbaud’s, courtesy of some high-flying financial types.
We ate in the private dining-room, which was lovely, although I would have preferred to be in the main room, soaking up the atmosphere, that is, if lots of rich, middle-aged people chowing down at lunchtime create much of an atmosphere.