The good gourmet: The Happy Pear
I have been to the Happy Pear a number of times and always really enjoyed my meals there. I also remember having a little crush on the twin brothers who own and run the place, David and Stephen Flynn. I was stuck at home feeding babies and their Superfood series made morning television really worth watching.
Being entertained by two cute, charming guys with a flair and enthusiasm for healthy living made being a stay-at-home mum that much more enjoyable. They even made taking wheatgrass seem sexy, and if you don't believe me then check out their TV appearances on their website.
The Flynns are not only cute, but also very informative about healthy living and they run healthy eating and cookery courses. Did you know that one little shot of wheatgrass is the equivalent of a kilo of green vegetables? And if, as they say, it brings back the 'mojo', a bag at €9.50, which makes about eight shots, is worth every penny. The hand juicer will set you back about €45 though.
With winter continuing into spring, I feel I had better add a few more nutrients to my diet.
The twins are also huge fans of sprouts and the benefits of them. They sell fresh bags of organic sprouts for €2 in the shop. This vegetable is fantastic as it's packed full of enzymes, and each type of sprout has various health benefits. I am very fond of their radish and alfalfa mix, which is particularly good for the digestive system.
The Happy Pear itself is a lovely place to visit. The shop has a fantastic juice bar offering raw juices and the choice is endless. It stocks a good selection of organic and non-organic fruit and vegetables. A majority of the produce comes from local farmers who are as passionate about their produce as the guys.
The variety and quality is plentiful -- I got some delicious organic leeks from Marc Michel of Kilpedder and some beets, which were tasty steamed, tossed in a little olive oil, garlic, shallots, thyme and balsamic vinegar. Served on their own or alongside a good steak, they make for a excellent meal.
On the other side of the shop is a small room with a counter stocked daily with salads, two main courses and two soups.
The soups vary from day to day, but expect things like roasted red pepper and butternut squash; celeriac, potato and butterbean; carrot, orange and fennel. I had a delicious large bowl of broccoli, sweet potato and ginger soup for €4.
For main courses, I have previously eaten a tasty sweet potato and squash korma and, on my last visit, a leek, butterbean, French tomato and potato gratin. From the salad selection, I have to admit that I have become a huge fan of their beetroot, apple and baby spinach salad with roasted sunflower seeds and a parsley dressing.
The Happy Pear's café is self-service, with a comfy seated area upstairs. There's a wood-burning stove, which is really cosy in the winter months, and the place has a certain chilled-out vibe.
The tabletops have various pictures, postcards, memories and interesting bits about food and healthy living under the glass surfaces, so if you're on your own it makes for good reading.
It's a lovely place to hang out. They even have little sayings written around the place, and one that struck me was 'Live simply so that others may live'.
If you fancy living 'simply', you can hire the upstairs area for parties, or they offer home catering.
The Happy Pear, Church Road, Greystones, Co Wicklow. Tel: 01-287 3655