Tuesday 12 December 2017

The Pleasure List: Green fingers foodie heaven

Pleasure on the terrace: Woolen Mills
Pleasure on the terrace: Woolen Mills
Steak at the Woolen Mills

The third annual Garden fete at Ballymaloe is what the organisers are calling an "inside-out" event, meaning that the two-day programme -including talks, tours and demonstrations - will take place outside, but inside the walls of the beautiful Ballymaloe Walled Garden.

These harmonious surrounds, updated last year as part of the 50th anniversary of Ballymaloe, will be transformed into an outdoor classroom, stage for the sharing and teachings of a host of fascinating experts, including June Blake, Alys Fowler, and Fiann O Nuallain. Talks and walks on a variety of topics will begin every hour on the hour from 10am until 4pm, and will "emphasise the Ballymaloe ethos of sourcing the best seasonal home-grown ingredients," according to head gardener Susan Turner, who adds, "beauty, food and function flourish together in the garden, with flowers attracting beneficial insects and providing ingredients for cocktails, cordials, and cut flowers." Meanwhile, the Ballymaloe Grainstore and The Big Shed will be packed with food from local market heroes, and drink including Irish craft beers and ciders, along with stalls selling plants, seeds, tools and machinery.


Reel fashion worn in Irish movies goes on display

Do you remember Gerry Conlon's spectacular leopard-print briefs, as worn by Daniel Day-Lewis in Jim Sheridan's In The Name Of The Father? Or the glorious sequinned dress Jaye Davidson captivated Stephen Rae in, in Neil Jordan's The Crying Game? If so, the latest exhibition at The Little Museum of Dublin is for you. Ireland at the Movies: Costume in Irish Cinema 1987 - 2015 is at the Ireland Funds Gallery at the Little Museum. Curated by much-lauded costume designer Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh and costume historian Veerle Dehaene, the exhibition explores costume design in Irish cinema, from the iconic My Left Foot to more contemporary productions such as Michael Collins, and features work by Oscar-winning designer Sandy Powell and Joan Bergin amongst others. From the functional to the fabulous, this is a chance to relive some of our favourite cinematic moments.


Paint the town any colour you like, as long as it's homemade

For those with young kids who would enjoy the hands-on process of making paint, or, indeed, who never got over their own early love of mixing and matching potions and ingredients, The Ark have a great programme - Colour - running until August 23. Find out how to make your own colour paint, using ordinary things commonly found in home kitchens. Running alongside this is an interactive exhibition that brings to life the fascinating stories of colour in all its forms, and a workshop to create your own piece of art. Colour has been created for children aged two and older, curated by artist Jole Bortoli, who has plenty of experience working with kids and families. Through his clever programme, children will become 'The Master's Apprentice,' grinding and binding pigments, using natural binders like egg yolks, oil or honey, then using them to create paintings.


Savour the sunshine on  the terrace 

No, it hasn't been a great summer, but there have been enough moments of sunshine between showers and general greyness, that knowing the best terraces for outdoor dining is a worthwhile undertaking; somewhere to speed to when the odd hour of warmth and light appears. If you are north of the Liffey, look no further than the Woollen Mills, with delightful views of the Ha'Penny bridge where you can try a range of delicious, unusual dishes, including roasted giant couscous with Datterino tomatoes, globe artichokes, pickled fennel, Toonsbridge bocconcini mozzarella, rocket, lemon and rapeseed oil, or char-grilled 10oz dry aged Irish rib-eye (pictured above)with green beans, Cafe de Paris butter, black    pudding and potato wedges, on the first-floor terrace overlooking the busy quays but well protected from the elements. Match with a vodka rhubarb sunrise or a more restrained but delicious glass of blackberry and sage lemonade, and forget the gloomy forecasts for a while.


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