Heritage Week events in the City Library, Grand Parade
Admission to all events is free.
Saturday 17 August
‘Barley, malt and porter: The development of Beamish and Crawford’s Cork Porter Brewery during the nineteenth century. Dr Colin Rynne, Senior lecturer, Department of Archaeology, UCC. 1 p.m.
Monday, 19 August
Viking Cork: the archaeological evidence with archaeologist Maurice Hurley . 7 p.m.
Tuesday, 20 August
The famine and the writing of Irish history, 1860-1911 by Dr Gabriel Doherty, UCC. There will also be a brief musical performance based on music relating to the famine. 11 a.m.
Wednesday, 21 August
Vintage and Lace Fashion Show @ 11.00am and A Taste of Irish lace making @ 2-4 pm presented by Traditional Lace Makers of Ireland. 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
The Gazetteer of Cork City street names ’ and the Irish Historic Town Atlas by the Royal Irish Academy presented by Maire Ní Laoí and Professor Howard Clarke. 7 p.m.
Saturday 24 August
Shaped for ships … the maritime heritage of Cork presented by Pat Ruane, Conservation Officer, Cork City Council. 1 p.m.
Further information from Eamonn Kirwan at 4924922 or Eamonn_kirwan@corkcity.ie
The Cork Butter Museum and Cork City Libraries cordially invite you to the launch of Books & Butter, a programme of half price admission to the Butter Museum for holders of Library cards.
The scheme will be launched by the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Catherine Clancy, in the Cork Butter Museum, Thursday 22nd August 7:00pm.
After reading Dianne Jacob’s post about food bloggers being pushovers (or not), I want to state clearly that even though I eat at Fenn’s Quay and Electric at least once a week, Tweet/blog about my visits there, am friends with Kate (something that happened after I wrote my TripAdvisor review) and know Ernest and Dennis, I do not receive any freebies or benefits that are not also given to other customers. Every so often, I get a free tea or hot chocolate as a random act of kindness to a group of people or customers, but this is not timed or in association with any action on my part. I have never ever been asked to write a post or review about either place. Below, I am listing what I like about each place.
FENN’S QUAY RESTAURANT
Fenn’s Quay (owner: Kate Lawlor), Sheares Street, Cork City Centre
Why the love?
1) The specials change daily and feature seasonal ingredients so it doesn’t get boring. But popular standards are always on their main menu. All at reasonable prices.
2) It is walking distance from my home, so it’s convenient.
3) The staff are friendly, helpful and knowledgable.
4) The food is delicious, using quality local ingredients.
5) The restaurant is clean with aubergine velvet banquet seating and chairs that feel elegant even though it’s a casual spot.
6) Ever since day one, my baby boy has received a warm welcome there and they make it easy to dine out with a little one. I am a sucker for a kid-friendly restaurant that isn’t geared toward children (ie, no frozen chicken fingers on the menu or plastic cups for everyone to drink from).
7) Free coffee refills.
8) Open from 8:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday. That’s three meals a day, six days a week!
9) Comfortable and warm. A very important attribute in rainy Cork.
Electric Bar (owner: Ernest Cantillon), South Mall, Cork City Centre
Why the love?
1) Simple but creative sandwiches and soups after Noon for reasonable prices.
2) It is walking distance from my home, so it’s convenient.
3) The staff are friendly and welcoming to my baby boy, LB.
4) There is a changing table in the handicapped restroom. Though it took me over six months of motherhood to discover that (I never asked).
5) It is clean with great natural light streaming in the windows.
6) They carry Australian non-alcoholic ginger beer and pitchers of water with different sliced citrus or fresh mint.
7) Welcoming to my knitting group. Knitters are the like the skateboarders of the craft world. We are too busy knitting to order lots of food and drink so not a real money-maker for wherever we meet.
8) Sometimes there is a little taster of biscotti with my hot chocolate and it’s such a treat. Not always there as it is not listed as part of the hot chocolate on the menu, so a nice surprise.
So, there you have the details on why I eat where I do. Now, there’s no need to doubt the sincerity of my posts and enthusiasm for Fenn’s Quay and Electric. I go to these places with regularity and love them without any compensation, freebies, bribery, brown envelopes or begging. Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?
Brunch may have been around for decades but Fenn’s Quay Restaurant, located on Sheares Street in Cork City Centre, is jazzing it up this Sunday from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.
Executive Chefess Kate Lawlor created a delectable brunch menu featuring local ingredients in classics, like Eggs Benedict with Rosscarbery Rashers, Eggs Florentine (available with Ardsallagh goats cheese) or Boiled Eggs and Soldiers with Marmite, and indulgent favorites, like Feirm Úr Buttermilk Pancakes with your choice of crème fraîche, homemade jam or maple syrup.
For light eaters, there are Croissants, Porridge or Fruit Scones served with Irish butter and Kate’s own house-made jam. With a variety of brunch dishes on the special menu, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Known for its family-friendly menu and staff, even the littlest brunchers will enjoy themselves. I know my little man, LB, will be having a blast. He’s in love with Kate’s Irish soda bread!
Sunday brunch on a bank holiday weekend is the perfect time to treat yourself to a relaxing meal. Make your outing a family affair or gather with friends. Fenn’s Quay will have its own playlist of Jazz favorites playing in the background so your conversation can be center stage.
Fenn’s Quay is proudly now an Eircom WiFiHub, a service that allows Eircom broadband, eMobile and Meteor customers to connect to the Internet when they are out and about. Each Twitter user receives one free mimosa when you Tweet about your brunch, mentioning @FennsQuay.
No. 5 Fenn’s Quay Restaurant offers cosy dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a welcoming, relaxed atmosphere. The menu offers fresh, simple, and creative dishes from the regions of Ireland with global inspiration. The casual dining room ambiance combines contemporary elegance with rustic traditional. Street parking available in front or in nearby North Main Street public lot. Reservations can be made by calling 021.427.9527.
No. 5 Fenns Quay announced the final event in their Chef du Jour Challenge will take place on Sunday, 29 April, 2012.
“I enjoy passing on knowledge but also learning from those who I meet & bring in to the kitchen,” said head chef Kate Lawlor. “Chef du Jour night is a must for all you foodies out there. We will be documenting the nights through photographs, Twitter & Facebook and expect all you Tweeters to be tweeting.”
No. 5 Fenns Quay Restaurant was nominated for the 2012 Irish Restaurant Awards for Best Chef, Best Restaurant, and Best “Wine Experience” in the Munster region. Fenns Quay’s focus on fresh Irish ingredients has earned praise from diners and critics. No. 5 Fenns Quay serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner six days a week. The restaurant’s web site is at www.fennsquay.com and they are @FennsQuay on Twitter.
The Chef du Jour challenge revolves around four amateur home chefs who each guest chef in Fenns Quay’s kitchen. Each challenger is selected based on the menu and leads the professional kitchen staff at Fenns Quay in the preparation and plating of their original dishes. The four challengers each took their place in the professional kitchen at No. 5 Fenns Quay over the past few months with Jeni Pim of Tramore, Co. Waterford, and Sarah O’Riordan of Athy, Co. Kildare, advancing to this Chef du Jour final. Jeni’s menu included a well-received main course of coq au vin with celeriac mash and a spinach and wild mushroom salad. Sarah’s menu offered a delectable duck confit with carrots, carrot butter, carrot mousse, with nutmeg dauphinoise. Paul Callaghan and Paul Axford also competed with impressive menus but will not compete in the final. But you certainly haven’t heard the last of these men as their menus and dishes were too noteworthy to not surface in another professional kitchen in the future.
Reservations are required to attend the Chef du Jour final on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 7:45 p.m. The price is €36 per person for an amuse bouche, a starter, a main course, and a dessert with coffee or tea. The price does not include alcohol. Spaces are limited for each evening so ring the restaurant now to reserve your place (Tel: 021 4279527).
Fenns Quay is located on Shears Street (between Courthouse Street and Anne Street) in Cork City Centre. Outside of innovative events such as Chef du Jour, their normal hours of operation are: Monday through Saturday: 8.15am – 11.30 a.m. Breakfast; 12.00 – 3.00 p.m. Lunch; 5.00pm – 10.00 p.m. Dinner.
A friend of mine wrote to say she would be visiting Cork City with her family (herself, her husband, her two lovely daughters). Yay! I’ve not seen her in years! Of course, I instantly wanted to tell her about all the great things to do and places to eat so I jotted down my favorites if I was to visit Cork for a couple days in Springtime. This is what resulted. Be forewarned, it is mostly related to places to eat. Big surprise, I know.
A great start to the day is a good breakfast. The key is to have one that nourishes you without leaving you in a food coma. Eggs are great for this because of the protein. My two favorite places in City Centre to eat eggs are Fenns Quay and Liberty Grill. Fenns Quay also is one of my favorite places for lunch and dinner.
Fenns Quay on Shears (behind and one block west of the Courthouse on Washington) is one of my favorites for food and they have a la carte breakfasts every day (except Sundays) starting at 8:30am. Nice coffee (so says my Seattle-raised hubby). I love their eggs Florentine with Ardsallagh (a local goat cheese). Their hot chocolate is yummmm! They melt real chocolate buttons in it. For lunch, their specials are always good and I adore their chicken in green salad. Their burger is bun-free and one of the most authentic American in terms of the texture of the meat. The head chef is Kate. They are child friendly without being made for kids. Their Hollandaise is Pasteurized. Off the tourist track. Good wine and beer (including 8 Degrees Brewing, I think) selection. Recently nominated for Best Restaurant, Chef and Customer Service for the upcoming RAI regional restaurant awards.
Liberty Grill has very American fare and their breakfasts include many a delicious item. Portions are ample. Queues are commonplace during peak meal times or weekends. Their Hollandaise is Pasteurized.
Telephone: +353 (0)21-4271049
Facebook: Liberty Grill
For some culture, scenery, and food on the outskirts of the City, check out Fresco Bistro & Eaterie in the Glucksman Gallery on the campus of UCC. Every weekend, there are family/child events (free) at the museum. Fresco Bistro is nice for weekday breakfasts or lunch or for brunch on Saturdays or Sundays. Their flourless chocolate cake is light and sooooo good. The place is run by Brian and Kash. For more about Fresco Bistro, read this blog post I wrote.
Fresco Bistro & Eaterie in the Glucksman Gallery on the campus of UCC, Cork City
Telephone: +353 (0)21-4901848
Facebook: Fresco Bistro UCC
Need to take a break to rest your feet, refuel your belly between meals, or to make sure you know what you’re doing next? I recommend stopping into Electric‘s downstairs cafe. They have my favorite bottled gingerbeer (aka ginger ale) as well as coffee, cappuccino, hot chocolate, tea, beer, etc… View of River Lee from back seating section. Good natural light. Nice scones and sweets. It is on South Mall near Grand Parade. Free Wifi. Ask at the bar for the password. Of course, if you want a bigger meal, their upstairs has a lovely menu.
For something more active than sitting and eating, climb the belltower of St. Anne’s of Shandon and ring the Shandon Bells.
If you’re in the mood for a picnic and the weather agrees with that idea, why not pick up a few nice sandwiches, salads, and drinks to-go. Top three sources for tasty and affordable picnic sandwiches (excluding any national chains) are:
- Long Valley, 10 Winthrop St has AMAZING corned beef sandwiches. They also have chicken and beef sandwiches and probably ham, but I only have interest in the corned beef salad sandwich. Trust me, it’s good. And less than a fiver!
- Wild Ways, 21 Princes Street, Cork City, Telephone: +353 (0)21-4272199
E-mail: feedback form, Website: http://www.wildways.net
- The English Market has all the stalls and options to create your own custom picnic. Pay a visit to On the Pig’s Back some cheeses or pate, then get some fresh apples from one of the produce stands, olives from The Olive Stall, fig preserves and goat cheese from Iago, and a loaf of bread from Alternative Bread Company.
I recommend going for your picnic in Bishop Lucey Park (by the central library between Grand Parade/North Main Street/Tuckey Street) or in the slightly farther away but more sprawling Fitzgerald Park, which is about 15 minutes walk from city centre and a great spot for a picnic on a nice day. There is a little cafe there with Cornettos and soda but not much for real food. A museum there too.
Fota Wildlife Park is great for kids of all ages. Ideal for cloudy days or sunny ones. Check out the cheetah run and stroll among the animals. The staff know so much and are always willing to share facts, tid bits and history. I particularly love hearing about their Bald Eagles.
For science buffs or rainy days, I recommend a visit to Blackrock Castle Observatory. There is even the option for a tasty meal at Castle Cafe which has really nice menu options (not too pricey). Free parking at Blackrock Castle around the corner by the water.
Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork C2, Co. Cork
Observatory Telephone: +353 (0)21-4357917
Observatory E-mail: email@example.com
Observatory Website: http://www.bco.ie/
Observatory on Twitter: @BlackrockCastle
Observatory Facebook: BCO
If you want to do a little shopping, there are all the usual shops plus my favorites for women’s apparel: Amity and Store. Those are the shops to visit if you don’t want to dress like everyone else. Also The Dressing Room but they are pricier than the other two I’ve mentioned and much more suited to a professional wardrobe. Chain stores are easily found on Patrick’s Street and Opera Lane (list of stores and hours here).
But perhaps I’ll do shopping in a separate post since you’ll have plenty to do in a weekend visit to Cork as it is. And if you’re into knitting or sewing, definitely check out some of the city’s wool and knitting shops (there’s a list here) and the Cork Button Factory.
Oh, and if you get sick and need a prescription at an odd hour when you’re in Cork there is a late-night pharmacy on Patrick’s Street and Irwin’s Late-Night Pharmacy is on Shandon near North Gate Bridge.
Tonight is the final night of four for the Chef du Jour challenge at Fenns Quay. This event gave amateur chefs the opportunity to create an original menu and execute it with professional help in a restaurant kitchen. This kind of opportunity does not often happen outside of culinary academies or reality TV shows, but Fenns Quay thought to make it more approachable. Four chefs competed in this event with the two winners of each pairing advancing on to the finals (on a Sunday in April). In November, Jeni Pimm won in her challenge with Paul Callaghan. Each ‘chef’ was carefully selected based on the menu submitted.
Sarah Riordan is chef du jour tonight. She loves cooking and eating and blogs about it on YummyNom’s Culinary Adventures. Sarah hopes to beat last week’s contender Paul Axford with her menu. Sarah’s menu is distributed when guests arrive tonight, but rumor has it pork belly will make an appearance as well as some unusual breads, risotto, duck confit, and a deconstructed chocolate dessert. Barry’s tea or coffee all, of course! It’s just €36 per person (or a discounted €144 total for a group of five), kicking off 8pm.
It may sound like a competition in the kitchen, but in the dining room of Fenns Quay, diners just get good food that was prepared expertly with local ingredients and a dash of creativity. Three judges (Billy Lyons and Margaret UmNumNum Smith and ME) rate the meal on various elements and stars are awarded, which determine who advances to the final. Meanwhile, there is great conversation, hearty laughter, and delicious bite-after-bite of good food. A great evening!
€36 per person for a carefully-crafted four-course menu plus coffee or tea (beer/wine is extra but they have a lovely wine list and stock 8 Degrees craft brew beers). Spaces are still available for tonight, so ring Fenns Quay now to reserve your place. Tel: 021 4279527 (Be sure to request a seat for Chef du Jour when you ring for your booking). Oh yes, and a special offer for the final night of Chef du Jour is that if you and your friends get a group of five or more together, Fenns Quay will give your group a 20% discount. Do the math, people, that’s €144 (plus alcohol and gratuity) for a night out for five people!! So, get organized and join us tonight at Fenns Quay’s Chef du Jour.
This is an ideal night out if you want to try something new that isn’t being served on any other menu in the city. And if you’re a foodie…well, you should definitely join us because we’d have so much to talk about between courses!!! Hope to see you there.
Other posts about Fenns Quay:
Chef du Jour 2012 at Fenns Quay with Paul Axford (Mar. 2012)
Reserve Your Seat for Chef du Jour at Fenns Quay (Feb. 2012)
Kate’s Beetroot Fudge Recipe (Jan. 2012)
Chef du Jour Returns (Jan. 2012)
Chef du Jour at Fenns Quay (Nov. 2011)
An Omelet Named After Me (Oct. 2011)
Lunch at Fenns Quay (Sept. 2008)
I have four blogs and three manage to include posts about food, which begs the question… Do I think about anything else? Um, no, not really. If someone asks me what color something is, I’ll likely answer with a food. Mention you’re visiting a certain country or city and I’ll literally be chomping at the bit to tell you my favorite dining spots there. It is rather comical how predictable I am when it comes to food but it is also somewhat handy because it drives my food photography, cooking, and travel adventures in a pleasant and delicious direction. So for those like me who start thinking about dinner as they are nibbling on the last bits of lunch, here is a list of my favorite food information, resources, and places in Ireland so you can plan your next trip.
More 40 Shades of Life posts about Irish food:
More Cooking Peas & Qs posts about Irish food:
Delicious Blogs & Websites
• Cork Food Blog (Billy, Co. Cork)
• Ballymaloe Cookery School (Darina, Co. Cork)
• Cooking Peas & Q’s (Evin, Cork City)
• 40 Shades of Life (Evin, Cork City)
• Bibliocook (Cork City)
• Good Mood Food Blog (Donal Skehan, Dublin)
• Beer Nut (Dublin)
• The Dublin Gobbler (Dublin)
• Boho Kitchen (Candi, Waterford)
• Val’s Kitchen (Val, Limerick)
• Limerick Post Food Section (Limerick)
Restaurants & Local Culinary Creators
• Alternative Bread Company
• Ardsallagh Goat Farm
• Baldwin’s Ice Cream
• Ballymaloe House
• Ballyvolane House
• Cafe Paradiso
• Cronin’s Pub
• Fishy Fishy
• Glebe Café
• Gubbeen Smokehouse
• Hayfield Manor
• Liberty Grill
• Lorge Chocolatier
• McCarthy’s Family Butchers
• Nash 19
• O’Brien Chop House
• O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages
• On the Pig’s Back
• The Poachers Inn
• Seymour’s of Cork