Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fab food, fun adventure- try these in Ireland!

Time to explore new things!

Whale watching
 Eating Irish artisan foods
 A ladies' learn-to-surf weekend
 4x4 track driving
 Learn how to felt

 These are some of the more unusual things you can do in Ireland-- and things my readers suggested I do for my #13for2013 challenge.

Each month in 2013 I'll do something new-- that's the 12 taken care of-- whilst the 13th is trying a new Irish food product each month.
  What? Eat?-- awful idea ;-) 

 So here it is the beginning of March, and I better let you know about the first 2 months' activities; I reckon you'll want try some yourself!

January in Ireland is rather relaxed- many places are closed the first week due to the extended Christmas holidays we have here. (I certainly don't miss having a 1 day holiday like I did in the States.) To extend that holiday feeling, the Irish foodie thing I did was go to the award winning Campagne restaurant, which extensively uses products from local Kilkenny producers. 
Campagne, Kilkenny, Ireland. Stone archway nearby, our menu, & DESSERTS TO DIE FOR!

You can see at the top of our menu the local food producers used on the day. (We went for the early bird - menu shown- just do be aware the menu does change.) 

For years I'd been hearing praises being sung about Campagne, chef Garrett Byrne, and the wine selection, but had never gone myself.
Well-- all the good things I heard are true! 

My photos of the meal are not great, so I'll spare you the rest of them, but here is the wine we choose- Tinpot Hut Malborough Sav Blanc. Mmmm gorgeous! If you enjoy full and flavorsome white wines you may want to try it.

The desserts you see in my photos are the Pear with vanilla ice cream, & Chocolate with peanut butter ice cream. Both were heaven.
 If I could only give you 1 tip-- other than to go eat at Campagne-- it would be:
leave room for dessert! 

If I could give you two tips the 2nd would be: don't follow Campagne on twitter unless you want to be tempted-- they tweet their food porn pics :-)

 January's non-edible  #13for2013 was be a tourist in Dublin. Although I used to live in Dublin, that was several years ago & I hadn't gone and been touristy since then. So, I booked a night at the new Generator Hostel in Smithfield, went down on the train and had an action packed 24 hours. I've some tips on enjoying Dublin on a budget here.

An exciting month: I tweeted for @Ireland,
and went on a whale watching with Off the Hook in county Wexford.

 I highly recommend doing a whale watching trip, & February is a perfect month to see whales in Ireland. Plus, the half day trip out on the water was very good value. Yes, we saw whales-- LOTS!
You can read more about it, see some photos, & get the practical info here. 

I also did something that has been a lifelong dream-- see the Northern Lights in their full glory. I must admit we did it in Norway, not Ireland. Here you can see the photos and my tips on seeing the aurora yourself.

Irish food wise, I got to try Derrycamma Irish rapeseed oil. It is delicious! We had it as a dip with balsamic vinegar for crusty rustic bread when we ate lunch at Bodega Waterford. Derrycamma oil has a beautifully nutty, fresh flavor, and I'm now a fan of using it as a  bread dip instead of naughty butter. Gas thing is, a day or 2 later Derrycamma sent me a sample bottle to try :-) I'll get my hubby Terry (he's the chef!) to use it a few different ways and I'll report back to you in a post in March. Rapeseed oil is very good for you, so I won't need to feel guilty about sampling dishes with it ;-)
Derrycamma Irish rapeseed oil

There's still plenty of 2013 in store, and this month-- March-- as well reporting back on the Derrycamma Oil I'll be telling you what we think of Pizza De Piero Irish Artisan Pizza bases, and also what we think of county Roscommon as a destination.

We're booked in for a Taste Of The West weekend at Gleeson's Townhouse, and will be exploring the Celtic royal site of Rathcrogan in county Roscommon..

 If you've a Roscommon tip for us (or any tips/comments,) please do comment in the comment section below! Thanks!

So you know: The Derrycamma oil posted to me (not the one at Bodega,) and the sample Pieros pizza bases were given to me by those producers to try for free.
Our stay at Gleeson's Townhouse is not for free, but we are being given a room upgrade. 

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