Saturday 17 March 2018

Food news: Putting the experience back into dining

Bow Lane Cocktail
Bow Lane Cocktail
Dunbrody Irish Red Ale.

Aoife Carrigy

Brioche of Ranelagh will take inspiration from Lambay Island just north of Howth Head for a tasting dinner (Wednesday June 22). The event will celebrate the island's unique habitat - and specifically its inhabitants, such as grass-reared beef and sheep, and wild rabbits and deer, all of whom thrive on a year-round diet of rich with island meadows, wild flowers, gorse, heathers and salty seaweeds. Expect tender island beef, lamb, venison, rabbit and crab on the menu (€60 per person, plus matching wines for €35,

Further inland, a pair of pop-up 'Lens & Larder Village Life' dinners (Friday June 24 and Saturday June 25) launch the 'Food: From the Isle' summer calendar at Kildare Village, which is curated by yours truly. The dinners kick off with Bertha's Revenge rhubarb martinis and Harty's Dungarvan Bay oysters, followed by four more courses showcasing some of the great Irish producers featured on menus throughout the Village, including Le Pain Quotidien, l'Officina and Joe's. Dinner costs €45, including complimentary paired drinks and transport to and from Dublin, and can be booked at

Other 'Food: From the Isle' experiences include a table-styling workshop with Lens & Larder duo Imen McDonnell and Cliodhna Prendergast, and special guest Mark Grehan of The Garden, Powerscourt (6.30pm, Thursday June 23), a family friendly butter-making workshop with Imen McDonnell (12pm, Saturday 25) and a 'Meet the Maker' tasting with Gubbeen Smokehouse and Craigies Cider (12pm, Sunday 26). Check out for full details of these free events. A 'Lens & Larder Village Life' food photography exhibition continues through the summer, as does a series of tastings, workshops, themed menus, barbecues, pop-up residencies from some of Ireland's most-talented food creatives and a 'From the Isle' restaurant trail.

Speaking of food photography, if you like to document your dining experiences, you might just love The Dublin Food Porn Festival ( The June-long festival is hosted by Yelp, the online urban guide and app, and includes free events such as Pride-themed Nookie & Cookies (with The Dublin Cookie Company) and Fantasy & Food (with Platform 61 and Miss Fantasia) bookable by anyone who uploads their most delicious photos to the 'Dublin Food Porn' page on The best snappers will be invited to a climactic Food Porn Feast at Dillingers and see their photos framed in The Apothecary Bar Gallery at the end of June.


Settle in with a red

With some warm cocoa aromas more common to a porter, leading to malty flavours of caramel and dried fruit and citric hops on the finish, the Dunbrody Irish Red Ale will pair well with barbecued steaks, chops and burgers. 4.7% ABV, €3.50-€4 for 500ml.

Go Galician!

Wines of Spain is celebrating Albariño wines at No. 1 Pery Square Hotel, Limerick (30 June,, The Twelve Hotel, Galway (July 7, thetwelve and Green Man Wines, Dublin (13 July, Tickets (€25pp) include tapas like crab pintxos.

Have it all

Can't decide if you're after imaginative cocktails and bar bites, a full-blown dinner or just a quiet pint at a beautiful bar? Dublin's stylishly playful Bow Lane on Aungier Street offers it all under the one roof. Sometimes more is more.

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