Lifestyle

Anniversary stay at Faithlegg House

 

5* Food at the Harbour Hotel

As a birthday treat I decided to take a trip to Galway and in particular the newly refurbished Harbour Hotel. The hotel is really well located, only a stones throw from the city centre, taking about 6 minutes to walk in.  Theres also plenty of parking, which up until recently following a few stays in Dublin I never appreciated in a hotel.

First impressions are so important and the hotel did not disappoint. The lobby area is so pretty and nicely decorated. With marble top tables and cosy throws on the chairs, I would be quite happy to stay there for the night!!

 

Our room was pretty standard but the bed and pillows was so comfy that everything else didn’t matter.20170606_135508

For anyone who follows us they know that we appreciate good food, in fact when I go away anywhere restaurants is the first thing I research! We were not disappointed by the newly opened restaurant Dillisk on the Docks, there was such a tempting selection on the menu that it made even making a decision extremely difficult.

 

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I started off with Seafood Chowder, which was packed full of various types of seafood in the creamy sauce…..simply delicious.  This came with Connemara seaweed and Guinness bread, I was slightly dubious of the seaweed in it but the bread was light and tasty!

 

I followed this up with Chicken breast in a mushroom and chorizo sauce with spinach,  It was packed full of flavour and just makes my mouth water writing about it now.

At this point I was pretty full but it was my birthday and it just wouldn’t be right if I didn’t have dessert!  When it comes to desserts I like a warm homely kind of dessert so when I seen apple crumble on the menu there was no decisions to be made. It was exactly what I hoped for…..warm comfort food that reminded me of my mothers cooking! My other half was a little more adventurous and went for a plant pot, this dessert was composed of a panna cotta in a plant pot with seaweed crumb on top, he tells me it was really good (I suppose the fact he didn’t offer any says it all!!!)

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Altogether we enjoyed a really amazing meal, the food was presented beautifully and tasted even better! I must also compliment our lovely waitress, whose name I forget to get but she was most helpful and friendly.

I will be most definitely be looking for an excuse to go back!

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Sunday Lunch at Mac Nean Restaurant

As a treat we booked in to Neven Maguires Mac Nean House for Sunday Lunch about two weeks ago.

The restaurant and waiting area is really elegantly designed, I love the shades of taupe, cream and aubergine and I’ll definitely be taking some inspiration from it for when I finally get round to decorating my living room.

We’ve been for Sunday lunch there last year and noticed this time that the price had gone up to €40. Considering the high standard of food and service this is not bad however I found the selection for each course limited, with only 3 choices for each. I would have appreciated an extra choice for each course.

Although the menu is a three course set menu, there are lots of little extras such as an amuse bouche of mushroom velouté which was beautifully creamy and packed full of flavour.  I would have been extremely happy if this had been my starter course

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An assortment of freshly made breads and dipping sauces also came out before our starters, my particular favourite being the homemade brown bread.

For starter I chose Carrot and Ginger soup with Duck sausage and Pineapple, mainly because I wasn’t mad about the other options. The soup was indeed lovely and I enjoyed the theatrics of pouring the soup over the sausage at the table but I would have liked another option for my starter to choose from instead.

I could’t wait for the main course, I had ordered Dry Aged Beef Striploin with glazed pearl onion and braised feather blade cepe veloute and it did not disappoint.  I could have have had a bowl of the sauce on its own and been quite happy as it was so delicious! A selection of  honey coated vegetable and garlic potatoes accompanied the mains. The extra mashed potatoes we got deserve a particular mention for being so good, they were so creamy and full of butter that they probably cut a few years of our hearts life span!

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Dessert is one of my favourite courses and again I was a little disappointed with the selection but that probably down to my own personal taste. As it was a summer menu all desserts were cold but I have a preference for just out of the oven warm desserts.  I chose the lemon and lime panna cotta, meringue, poached summer berries, passionfruit syrup and passion sorbet.  It was really light and fresh but I did request to swap with my husband who had choose the crispy caramel and peanut mouuse, this I really liked and immediately regretted not ordering this for myself

 

All in all Sunday Lunch at Mac Nean Restaurant is a really nice treat, one that I would really recommend,  food was delicious and presented beautifully.  My only negative really was the lack of choice but that might just be that I’m a bit of a fussy eater!

http://www.nevenmaguire.com/

Ferraro Roche And Nutella Cheese Cake

Easiest cheesecake I’ve ever made. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare.
Ingredients:

Base: 

  • 300g of digestive biscuits
  • 50g butter at room temp
  • 40g chopped hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp of Nutella

Filling: 

  • 80g of milk choc (or dark if you prefer something a little bitter)
  • 380g of Nutella (spilt into two 190g portions)
  • 600g of cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
  • 5 crushed Ferraro Roche sweets

Topping:

  • Ferraro Roche ( as many as you desire!)
  • White Chocolate (grated)

Methods: 

Base: 

  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until it resembles very fine damp breadcrumbs. It should stick together. If it is too dry, add more Nutella. Some people melt the butter first, but if it’s a room temperature, I don’t.
  2. Spoon out onto a spring form tin. Press it down with the back of a spoon to make it even.

Filling: 

  1. Take 190g of Nutella and the milk chocolate a melt in microwave, stirring every 20secs.
  2. Remove from microwave and add remaining 190g of Nutella and cream cheese. Fold until it is all mixed together. Add crushed Feraro Roche.
  3. Pour onto biscuit base. Even it off with a knife or spatula.
  4. Decorate with Ferraro Roche and white chocolate.
  5. Cover in cling film and refrigerate for at least 4hrs. But longer is preferable.
  6. Serve with berries

COSMO Restaurant Liffey Valley

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Over Christmas, my sister, brother in law nephew and I, took a trip the newly opened Cosmo Restaurant in Liffey Valley.

For those of you who are not familiar with Cosmo Restaurants, they are an award winnning restaurant chain, that prides themselves on being a ‘global kitchen’. Cosmo produce over 150 different dishes from across the world, including Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican and traditional carvery. Dishes are expertly made at live cooking stations, which in itself is very  entertaining but also guarantees high quality fresh food for customers. With such a wide variety of food, everyone is catered for, no matter how fussy the eater.

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This rang true for the four of us on our dining experience in Cosmo, even our tiny one (aged 4) left with a full belly. Us adults, filled our plates with items from every station, and the little one was only delighted with his fill of pizza, pilau rice, and prawn crackers, followed by icecream (He covered three global stations with that selection!) The restaurant is very family friendly, the staff kept the little lad entertained with colouring books, markers, stamps and some balloons. The all you can eat concept was new to me, but its something I now definitely support after going for seconds (and two desserts!)

 

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For me, going in to an ‘all you can eat’ buffet was a new experience. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, I suppose I had some reservations about the ambience, decor, and freshness of food but I was blown away by the whole experience of Cosmo restaurant. The décor inside is beautiful, it definitely has a high end feel to it. Interior styling, at least for me,  is a very important part of the dining experience. I love attention to detail, colour schemes and cosiness, Cosmo ticked all the boxes, there is a certain air of luxury about the place, without the massive price tag!

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Would I recommend Cosmo? Yes, I would. It caters for everyone, young and old, health conscience and second helpers, high end and casual diners, all you can eaters and fussy eaters,  it really has a bit of something for everyone. The food is very authentic and tasty, made right in front of you, the place is spotlessly clean, who could go wrong with that? Cosmo is conveniently located near Vue cinema in Liffey Valley, outside the door from Penneys 🙂

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Price changes depending on the day and time, check out http://www.cosmo-restaurants.ie/   detailed pricing.

In collaboration with COSMO we are running a fantastic competition which includes a family day out for two adults and two children. Enjoy dinner in the fabulous COSMO restaurant followed by a family pass to Pirates Cove along with 3 activity tokens per child to be used on additional activities in Pirates Cove. To enter simply find the competition on our FB page (Two Broke Divas) follow COSMO Dublin, tag a friend, and share the post. Good luck! Winner announced next week!

Strawberry and Apple Crumble

I picked up a  450g of Keeling strawberries for €4 in Supervalu yesterday

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They are so delicious its almost a shame to put them in a crumble but I couldn’t resist this tasty treat. Its super easy to make and if you have a food processor its even easier.

Ingredients

50 plain flour20160702_183238

50 g wholemeal flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking powder

50 g oat bran

4 tbsp muscovado or dark brown sugar

1 tbsp marmalade

50g butter

70g hazelnuts

2/3 cooking apples (depending on size)

225 g strawberries

3 tbsp caster sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 180 C

Make crumble topping by putting all the ingredients into the food processor and mix until it looks like breadcrumbs.

If you don’t have a food processor, mix the flour and baking powder rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Stir in sugar, oatmeal, marmalade and nuts.

Cut up apple and strawberries into slices and put in a saucepan.20160703_143714

Add the 3 tablespoons of sugar and simmer for 5 minutes until apples are tender.

Put the fruit mixture into a dish and sprinkle the crumble on top.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top

Serve with vanilla icecream and Enjoy

(Sometimes I will make extra crumble top and freeze it, its very handy if you want to make a quick crumble another time!)

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First up.. Castlemartyr Cork

Hi Ladies,

I was lucky enough to have a week off school so myself and David tipped down to Cork for a few nights. I’ve lots of places to review, Castlemartyr being one, as well as The River Lee Hotel, The Maldron, Cornstore (food and cocktails) and Gallaghers Pub (lunch)

Ok, so the Castlemartyr Resort is about 25 minutes drive outside Cork city. It’s a five star resort, which had built up quite a reputation for itself.

It’s the little touches that make this hotel a 5 star, personalised screen greetings in bedrooms and a welcome card from management accompanied by chocolate dipped strawberries were the things that made it stand out from a good four star . image

We were in a Junior Suite (pigs-back deal) so we had a separate sitting room in addition to our our bedroom. The sitting room had a coffee maker (the real deal- very swanky!) work area, sofa, coffee table etc.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to take a picture of the bedroom, my very anti socialmedia boyfriend plonked himself on it for the evening, so that was that. (Anti social media and he is with  me, the mind boggles 😂) but here is a few snaps of other areas of our suite.

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Lights, curtains and aircon are controlled by a panel from the bedside locker, you press a button and viola, the curtains close automatically. Entertained us for a good five minutes.

Lets talk food and drink: 

We ate in ‘Knights Bar’, the food was fab, no faults there. The room itself was gorgeous too, I spent a lot of my time looking up at the all the intricate plaster (I’m sure that’s not the correct term) work and alcoving on the high roof. Cocktails are so good… But at €13.50 each they’d want to be. A pint of Guinness will set you back €5.70. Heres some more pictures… As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words

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Now… The spa.

I was so disappointed by the spa. I was expecting so much, but unfortunately it didn’t reach my expectations- at all.

First off, I didn’t get a treatment so I can’t comment on that, my favourite thing to do is just laze around in the spa chambers, steam room, jacuzzi, salt room, rainforest showers etc. I stayed a total of 5 minutes in these areas. As mentioned before I came with my boyfriend, but the men’s and ladies areas are separated, so I was literally sitting around on my own like a plonker. I need someone to chat and giggle with and I felt a bit lonely if I’m honest! When you go away with your partner, you want to do things together as a couple, like lounging in the jacuzzi talking utter rubbish, it’s no fun sitting in there on your own, well at least it wasn’t for me.

On top of that, there wasn’t anything remotely luxurious about the spa rooms, they were really basic, bright, no music playing, no nice smells, the steam room wasn’t even that steamy (bit of a ridiculous statement there, but that’s how I felt!) I seriously could of been in any spa or pool, and I’m talking 3 star here.

The treatments probably are amazing but I didn’t get one so I can only go on what I SAW and I EXPERIENCED. I really was left feeling very disappointed with the spa facilities here.

Things to do:

We tipped down to the village after our dinner, we had a few drinks in Pat Shortts bar, perfect for what we wanted. We strolled around the ground of Castlemartyr too, which are beautiful.

Overall:

I really enjoyed my time here, it definitely has that 5 star feel, the hotel itself is so clean and luxurious, the staff are so friendly and attentive, the food and drink is great but the spa… Certainly won’t feature in my top ten spa visits. If your going on a girls night away and you can all be together in the spa and don’t mind that it’s quite basic, or if you don’t mind not lounging around with your other half and being by yourself, then you will have a differing opinion to mine.

Would I return: yes but I wouldn’t go near the spa.

Would I recommend it: yes, but not for spa lovers.

Hope this was informative- and if you need to know anything else, please just pop us a comment or reach us on Instagram or Facebook.

Best friends first; blogging partners second.

 

Aoife xx

Weekend Break at the Twelve hotel

During our Easter break I spend two nights with himself at the Twelve hotel in Barna, I had been here as part of my honeymoon three years ago and they had gone out their way to make our stay special so  needless to say I was really looking forward to coming back.
Its all about the little things here, warm fruit punch upon arrival, welcome cake and card in the room, voya products in the bathroom and complimentary coffee when checking out.


Staying here should come with a warning though, the food is so amazing that you probably wont get the top button on those jeans closed by the time you leave (need to learn some self restraint) Dinner was fab but for me its all about breakfast, one of my ultimate disappointments  when I go away is self service breakfasts (the definition of a first world problem) but thats a far cry away from the Twelve. There was so many delicious options on the menu, from eggs benedict to buttermilk pancakes. I particularly liked their homemade granola, so much so that I bought some when I was leaving.
I already cant wait for my return trip, Maybe himself might book us in for the Galway Races (hint hint 😉!!)

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