Monday 16 September 2019

Katy McGuinness

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Grow your own: Jack and Theo Kirwan on their Kildare Farm

'It's the right thing to do' - Why the brothers behind millenial favourite Sprout & Co took over a 30-acre farm 

Jack and Theo Kirwan are the brothers behind Sprout, which they set up three and a half years ago. Their first branch on Dawson Street in Dublin, a favourite with Trinity students, closed earlier this year as the premises had been earmarked for re-development, but there are five other branches in Dublin and one in Meath, and plans to open another in the capital before the end of the year.

Trevor and Marian McVeagh in their favourite room at Lauriston on Park Drive, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Photos: Frank McGrath

Edwardian 'party house' in Dublin 6 drops in price by €255,000 

A vigorous wisteria in full bloom climbs up the front façade of Lauriston, Trevor and Marian McVeagh's gorgeous Ranelagh home, a turreted semi-detached house on this sleepy residential street in the heart of Ranelagh's lawyer/banker/ consultant land. The climber ends up wrapped around the first-floor verandah-style balcony off the main bedroom, the spot to which Marian says she has retreated over the years whenever she has felt in need of some peace and quiet.

14 Langrishe Place, Dublin 1

Bags of character in this old city retreat 

Recent changes in the rules pertaining to Airbnb rentals in Dublin are having a knock-on effect in terms of an influx of properties on to the market. Landlords who have been happily reaping the rewards of the opportunities offered by the 'home-sharing' platform are in retreat now that they will no longer be able to rent out their properties for more than 90 days per year without planning permission, which is unlikely to be granted in areas where there is a shortage of rental accommodation.

Little Italy: There is no drama or pretension about the food at Grano. Photo: Mark Condren

Review: 'Simple food, quality ingredients, reasonable prices - bravo!' 

Many years ago, I took a cookery course with Paolo Tullio in the kitchen of his home in Annamoe, Co Wicklow. For a couple of months, I drove down there once a week and, in the company of half a dozen other women, one of whom went on to become a close friend, learned how to make fresh pasta, prosciutto, pizza and a selection of classic Italian dishes. I still have the sheaf of recipes that Paolo handed out, but I must confess that I never did get into the routine of making pasta from scratch. Truth be told there was a lot of chatting and story-telling, followed by a good lunch and...

Seafront gem: Oliveto

Review: 'A new chef is fusing the best of Irish and Italian cuisine at this Dublin sea-front gem' 

Back in 2009, Oliveto started out as a pizza restaurant by the seafront in Dún Laoghaire. It looked as if a lot of money had been ploughed into the venture - a snazzy pizza oven and a slick interior fit-out - but the timing was off. Oliveto re-emerged after a couple of years at what was once the Kingston Hotel, now renamed Haddington House. This used to be rather down at heel, but is now well on...

Bowls restaurant, Marlborough Street, Dublin. Photo: Damien Eagers

Review: 'Bad timing meant the talented chef behind Bowls was on a day off when we visited, much to our dining disappointment' 

Jonathan Gold, the much-loved restaurant critic of the LA Times who died last year, was the first person who came to mind after my visit to Bowls by Kwanghi Chan last week. Gold was the first restaurant critic to win a Pulitzer; his column Counter Intelligence focused on "hole-in-the-wall joints, street food, mom-and-pop shops and ethnic restaurants" and he was famous for visiting places as...

Gertrude Café on Pearse Street, Grand Canal Dock in Dublin. Photo: Frank McGrath

Restaurant review: 'Interesting dishes with an even more interesting wine list makes Gertrude’s one to watch' 

Regular readers will know that it's the policy of this review not to visit new restaurants immediately after they open. The thrill of the new may be crack for professional journalists, and for eager beaver punters, yet the review that comes after a new restaurant has had a chance to bed down and iron out any teething problems is likely to be more measured, and perhaps fairer to both...

Cookbook author Ella Risbridger. Photo: Gavin Day

How cooking helped blogger Ella Risbridger's through anxiety, depression and heartbreaking bereavement 

Most 'cookbooks' written by 26-year-olds are not like Ella Risbridger's Midnight Chicken. But then most 26-year-olds are not like Ella Risbridger, who says that she was "born very old". Ella has also had considerably more life experience than most of her contemporaries. The title recipe, for instance (which is absolutely delicious and I recommend highly), came about after Ella spent hours lying...

No35 Restaurant, Kenmare, County Kerry.Photo: Don MacMonagle

Review: 35 Main Street... Death row dining - premium champion pork hits the right note on a cold winter's day 

We are at Sheen Falls in Kenmare for a winter Wine Academy weekend led by the hotel's Quentin Caraux and Anthony Tindal of Tindal Wines. The weather is miserable, as wet as can be, the Sheen river in full spate. It's so bad - blissfully bad - that really it would be reckless to spend any time outside in the elements, and so we resign ourselves to lounging around by log fires. We make a...

House Café at the Cork Opera House, Emmet Place, Cork. Picture: Cillian Kelly

Review: House Café at Cork Opera House - Music to my ears 

I know that sometimes I'm in danger of sounding like a broken record, whinging on about the lack of provenance information on the menus of some of the restaurants that I visit. I'm aware that it can be perceived as elitist, this middle-class food writer tendency to parse over where our food comes from, and how it is processed, when food poverty is a real and current phenomenon in Ireland. So I stop mentioning it for a few weeks, so as not to bore you all rigid.