Ireland's Hidden Gemsby Susan Byron
- Green trails and massive variety characterize Ireland's walking vacations
- Lough Bawn House a hidden gem beautifully catered in mystical Westmeath
- King John's Castle, Limerick City, revamped and ready for action
- Irish jewelry designer creates a contemporary Ring of Kerry
- Barron's Bakery, a family-run, Waterford staple baking the best bread in Ireland for over 125 years
A good Irish coffee should look like a pint of Guinness? No seriously, there should be a cold, thick, firm, creamy head on top of the dark, clear, scalding hot, coffee and whiskey mixture. It definitely should not have mixed or curdled, if it has, send it back and insist on a proper one. Half the pleasure is sipping the hot coffee through a layer of cold cream.
Invented by chef Joe Sheridan in the bar of the Foynes Flyingboat Terminal in the 1940's to warm up damp cold passengers en route to the USA, it still does the trick on a wet miserable afternoon or as an after-dinner soother. Irish coffee recipe, fill a glass with strong black hot coffee, add sugar and Irish whiskey to taste, stir and let settle, drop in a good dollop of freshly whipped cream, the thicker the better and then it will not sink. Sip slowly in front of a blazing log fire with your feet up....
Baileys coffee is a modern variation, substitute Baileys for Whiskey as per the recipe above or for the quick and extremely popular version, just lash plenty of Baileys into your coffee when ever the opportunity arises....Slainte !
Well, let's face it, we have had it up to here with politics and as for religion? we are not even going to go there… Apparently there is a big freeze on its way (in more ways than one) to Ireland, which could result in us having a premature 'White Christmas' yippee...... Just what we need a bit of festive cheer, an excuse to hole up with friends and loved ones and forget about all that’s going on.
We are obsessed with the weather here in Ireland, we talk about it all the time, its woven its way into our language and shaped us and environment over the millennia. And while we never stop going on about it, we are in fact blessed in that we never get extremes of weather in Ireland. ie it never gets too hot or too cold. We don’t get hurricanes, whirlwinds, terrible droughts or floods and all the nasty stuff that goes with them like bugs, flooding and erosion. Okay, we do get occasional flooding but that’s more to do with global warming and our own mis-management (nothing new there) like building on natural flood plains or releasing water from hydro-electric dams…..
But when we are not whingeing about it we realise this how lucky we are especially on what we call a ‘pet day’. This is an unseasonably, perfectly still, warm and sunny day that we get once in a while in the middle of winter, where all is well with us, our neighbours and the world.... Compared to the other extreme which is ‘a day for the high stool’ when the weather is so cold, wet and miserable you have no choice but to head for the pub.
Terminal 2 Dublin Airport, yet another huge joke at the Irish taxpayers expense? Or maybe not? the Dublin Airport Authority are insisting that the entire cost of the project, some €600 million plus, will be recouped in airport charges and passengers taxes? Dream on....
Did you know? we are one of the few countries in the world, dependent on tourism that actually imposes a €10 passenger tax on people coming into the country. Crazy isn't it? when we are fast running out of options for generating revenue and saving our economy, tourism having been one of the most enduring, is now possibly the last and what do we do?
Ireland's reputation as a tourist destination has never been an issue, it can stand proudly on its own two humble feet. We didn't need a horrendously expensive, shiny, expanse of glass & steel to make that point. We already have two perfectly good International airports at Knock and Shannon, which are practically idle? what were they thinking of?
Read more: Surfers discover new wave off the west coast of Ireland
News this week of a new 'killer' wave off the west coast of Ireland, had surfers here bristling with excitement. All the more so, as the exact location was being kept secret?. We have our suspicions though, Mullaghmore or Easkey perhaps?
It’s a minefield out there and while Ireland is truly a wonderful country to visit for any or all of the reasons and places mentioned in Irelands Hidden Gems.com we have our share of rotten apples. I take my hat off to those of you who are doing just that, judging by the amount of enquiries I get daily about where to go and what to do and while I am happy to help if I can, I would be the first to admit I certainly don’t know it all.....
The people that do, are Authentic Ireland.com. they have been putting packages together for people travelling to Ireland for over ten years, so they have handled just about every enquiry you can imagine. And if the thought of tailor made packages being expensive frightens you think again.....
Did you know that if there are nine or more of you in a group, they can have you chauffeur driven for the same price as carhire, now you are talking , how's that for peace of mind, someone who knows the road systems and all the best places to go, watering holes included. But that is only one perk?
The Burren Smokehouse in Lisdoonvarna, is the original and best producer of smoked salmon in Ireland and well worth visiting either in person or online. Tasty morsels are left out to be sampled, above the counters stocked with many new and exciting variations of the original oak smoked recipe including an awarding winning organic smoked salmon, farmed off Clare Island which has an extremely low fat content and is understandably a best seller.
All of their products are locally sourced and certified organic and kosher. The fresh farmed salmon from the Atlantic, rainbow trout from Irish lakes and wild mackerel which cannot be farmed, are first filleted and then salted before being smoked over oak shavings. The owners Brigitta from Sweden, and Peter from Lisdoonvarna, have introduced new recipes and ingredients such as honey,lemon, fennel and pepper to enhance the flavors and increase the number of varieties available since they first started smoking in the Burren 21 years ago.
A tempting array, of locally produced cheeses, some of which are smoked by the Burren Smokehouse, such as Kilshanney Gouda are the perfect accompaniments to an al-fresco picnic. Nor will you be able to resist the St Tolas or Bluebell Falls goat cheeses in their delightful almost too-handy packaging which are delicious (try the honey or black pepper) and that’s before you even begin to peruse the shelves piled high to the ceiling with goodies from the best slow food producers in Ireland.