Haddington House is offering a splendid Sunday afternoon tea for the duration of summer
Serving up the latest food news
Back to college for producers
The long-running UCC diploma in Speciality Food Production is seeking its next intake of students to be a blend of online and in-person, with 75% of in-person sessions taking place in Dublin at the IMI. It is a departure for UCC, and opens up the course to a hitherto less accessible cohort of small food producers in the Dublin and Leinster area, and also more northerly counties. The course is subsidised by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to the tune of 64% which means the course cost to the student is €1,000. Over 300 have participated to date and it is targeted at small, speciality food producers, wishing to grow or evolve their businesses. The fee includes full tuition, all course materials and refreshments. Closing date for application, Sept 23.
From little seeds do …
Seed saving is an integral part of any co-ordinated strategy to increasing our resilience as a food producing nation so The Menu will be especially keen to check out the latest from The Meat and Potatoes exhibition in the Crawford Art Gallery, with continues with a programme of associated events, talks and workshops, presenting Seeds are Stories (Aug 13), a seed swap/seed open mic/workshop in partnership with Irish Seed Savers’s seed curator, Deirdre Morrissey, a family-friendly seed swap and planting workshop. Picnic at the Gallery (Aug 14) will be a drop in art feast with a drawing and painting workshop for all ages.
Afternoon Tea at the Parlour
The Menu discerns an easygoing and offhand charm about Haddington House in Dún Laoghaire, four restored Victorian townhouses converted to a plushly decadent 45-bedroom independent boutique hotel and reckons their summer long Afternoon Tea at the Parlour, combining sweet and savoury with no little imagination and creativity, is as fine a way to while away a few hours as any, not least when opting for the additional bespoke cocktails, Piper-Heidsieck Brut champagne or Fritz Muller alcohol-free Muller-Thurgau. The Parlour Afternoon Tea is served every Saturday and Sunday 12.30 to 4pm, priced at €50 per person, and includes a glass of champagne.

Magic of mushrooms
The Menu is a keen mycophagist, a great lover of all things mushroom so a wild mushroom foraging course (Aug 14) courtesy of the Organic Centre is to be highly recommended for anyone wishing to learn how to access one of nature’s finest natural bounties, not least because of the inherent dangers of picking and eating the wrong type of mushroom.
It includes an introduction to mushrooms, learning how they grow, identification techniques and tips about gathering mushrooms. This will be followed by a mushroom hunt.
Spain on a plate
It is well known to one and all that The Menu is decidedly fond of all things Spanish; place, people and, of course, its food and cuisines. If a body is without the wherewithal or time to head south to Spain itself then a trip to The Food Hall at Fallon & Byrne to experience Spanish Month to bring a little Iberian sunshine to your plate. You’ll find a host of high-quality Spanish products and ingredients available throughout the month of August, including Don Gastronom tinned fish, Montellano jamon Iberico, Marinero anchovies, Olé olives and Manchego cheese. There is also 20% off retail wines from premium fincas such as Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Albariño, Rueda and Cava, and nationwide delivery is also available.
In addition, the store will be inviting specialist producers to share their expertise with Javier Hernández Hernández from the fourth generation family business Ibéricos Montellano in Salamanca doing a ham carving demonstration (Aug 23 and 24) and Ervigio Adnan from Premium Fincas in Rioja will also be on hand for tastings of their portfolio.
Stock the Pantry
The Menu is long overdue a return visit to the very wonderful Cliff at Lyons, the luxury hotel in Kildare, and while it is best known for its splendid two Michelin-starred Aimsir restaurant, The Menu is also especially keen to check out the recently relocated Pantry bakery and pâtisserie within the estate, which has reopened in the Trellis building and expanded its offering to increase the variety of its exceptional breads, pastries and lunch offerings.
Already a fan of Teresa Roche’s superb Coolfin farmhouse cheese, The Menu was extremely delighted when an epicurean emissary fetched up with a slab of her Kylemore Farmhouse Cheese at The Menu’s Grub Circus performance space at last weekend’s All Together Now music festival.
The Menu’s days at the festival were long, arduous and never let up for a moment, so he tended to only break his fast late in the evenings when the day’s work was done and, at that, he could only stomach simple fare for grazing: nuts, olives, jamon and cheese, specifically, Teresa’s thermophilic hard Alpine-style Kylemore.
Handmade on the foothills of Slieve Aughty Mountains, Co. Galway, using premium milk from their grass-fed Pedigree Dairy herd, it yields a gorgeous natural washed rind cheese which The Menu cut into rich amber slices and ate without so much as a cracker, allowing a velvety pinot noir to entangle itself on the palate with the delicious smooth textured cheese and its creamy, buttery notes of hazelnut and salty caramel.

More in this section
The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the irishexaminer.com, direct to your inbox every Friday.

Serving up top food every Saturday
The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.
© Irish Examiner Ltd, Linn Dubh, Assumption Road, Blackpool, Cork. Registered in Ireland: 523712.


Shop Sephari