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A fine regency house set in 40 acres of immaculately maintained gardens and woodland, Marlfield House Hotel was established by Ray and Mary Bowe in 1978 and has long been a byword for luxury, genuine hospitality and fine food - a place where everything is sure to be right for that special occasion.
"Cooking, Cocktails and Comedy" is the promise at Savour Kilkenny 2016: in celebration of a decade of 'delicious dining and demos' this year's Festival of Food takes place over the October bank holiday weekend (October 28th-31st), and it's the biggest yet.
As the raw milk debate rumbles on, it is encouraging that producers have the support of so many groups dedicated to safeguarding traditional farming methods, including Euro-Toques Ireland, which lobbies tirelessly on their behalf and supports small producers in many ways, including their annual food awards.
Home to the Leslie family since 1665 and now run by Sammy Leslie (the great-great granddaughter of the man who built the present castle), Castle Leslie and its fascinating history still intrigue today’s guests - who can stay in the Castle itself, or in The Lodge at Castle Leslie Estate, an attractive mainly modern hotel just inside the castle gates.
September is synonymous with the beginning of the native oyster season in Ireland and, whether or not they are native, all Irish oysters benefit from the PR boost that the "months with an 'r' in them" bring - and all varieties are at their best in the colder months.
Traditionally known as ‘the poor man's meat' onions (allium) are perhaps an undervalued item in our shopping baskets, but indispensable in the kitchen and very nutritious. Irish onions are not seen on supermarket shelves as often as they should be, but they’re coming into season now and should be easily available in shops and markets, so pounce on them when you spot them.
At the 2016 Euro-Toques EirGrid Food Awards, held at Ballymaloe House, Co Cork, in June, it was pointed out that there are currently over 3,500 small to medium sized food businesses operating in Ireland
Ballymaloe - A Day in the Life, 24th June 2015, by Daphne Spillane; photography by Joleen Cronin and Leila Aldous (Trijar Publishing, hardback, 96pp; €25)
Following on the success of her first book, No-Bake Baking, it was only a matter of time before the impossibly talented and retro-stylish Sharon Hearne-Smith topped it with an even better one, and the time has come - enter The No-Cook Cookbook (Quercus Books, €24.99/£20.00; also available in Kindle, £13.99; Foreword by Donal Skehan).
The first new potatoes are always a joy but, long after the first earlies have had their moment, other varieties are coming on stream. Since potatoes are available all year, it's easy to forget that they all have a new season and in late summer that means the second earlies - especially Queens, in all their variations: Dublin Queens, Rush Queens or just plain Queens...they're all 'British Queens' going local.