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Showing posts from July, 2010

Sur la Table: Pub Grub and Asian Fusion Cuisine

Sea bass on a bed of vegetables with curry sauce and steamed rice
One late Sunday evening in Ennis, a small town about 30 minutes from Shannon Airport, I was looking for a place to eat and happened to read the menu on the window of a "take away" place. I was famished after an exploratory walk all over town and on my way back to the hotel. After much indecision, I settled for the prawns with sweet and sour sauce and steamed rice. All for 10 euros. While waiting I noticed a steady stream of people coming in to order their dinner. When my order was ready, I received it in a plastic box. No worries about spilling.

I counted at least four Asian restaurants in the center of Ennis which I thought was surprising in such a small community. But further explorations in other cities revealed the proliferation of Asian fusion restaurants. This says a lot about the culinary preferences of the locals. Here are some restaurants and a pub where I had a pleasurable dining experience.

Tamarin…

Adare, Ireland's Prettiest Village

Thatched-roof cottages
Twenty minutes south of Limerick City on the River Maigue is Ireland's prettiest village, Adare. It's a small town, pleasantly quiet even in mid July, at the height of the tourist season. There was a celebrity classic golf tournament going on at the exclusive Adare Manor Golf Course during my visit. But thankfully, this did not bring in the crowds.

Augustinian Priory
It's an easy stroll from the Augustinian Priory to Bill Chawke's Lounge Bar on the opposite end of town.  Centuries old thatched roof cottages, medieval monasteries, vine covered townhouses, the Adare Town Park and the quintessential Irish pubs line Main Street. There's no need to rush. All these places invite visitors to linger and savor the moment.

At Bill Chawke's the kegs are full and ready to be served. But before saying your first "sláinte!" (to your health), consider walking the extra mile or so to the ruins of Desmond Castle, north of Adare Manor. It dates bac…

New UNESCO World Heritage Sites for Ireland

Poulnabrone dolmen in The Burren
Gadling reports that Ireland has recently proposed seven sites to be included in the Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage nomination. Among these are The Burren and Western Stone Forts which I just visited last week (an article appears below). The other five sites are the Historic Center of Dublin, the Céide Fields and North West Mayo Boglands, The Monastic City of Clonmacnoise and its Cultural Landscape, Early Medieval Monastic Sites, and the Royal Sites of Ireland including Cashel and Tara Complex.

I'm happy to read this report as Ireland is one beautiful country with supernatural scenery and rich history.  The inclusion of its seven sites in the Tentative List would be well deserved.

For more on this story follow this link: http://tinyurl.com/348cacb

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Image by Charie

The Burren Region, Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher
On my first trip to Ireland, I knew exactly what I wanted to see; the Cliffs of Moher and The Burren.  So on my first full day in County Clare, I set out to discover this region of contrasts - from green, pastoral countryside to the limestone terrain of The Burren to the blue waters of Galway Bay crashing against the coast on its journey to the Atlantic.  Over time the frigid waters of the ocean carved the stunning walls of the eight kilometer long Cliffs of Moher.
Leamenagh Castle
We passed by the ruins of Leamenagh Castle on our way to The Burren. This was once the home of Conor and Maire Rua O'Brien of the mighty O'Brien clan. Lord Conor died after he was mortally wounded by Cromwell's army in 1651. It is said that his wife Maire refused his dead body until she realized he was still breathing and she cared for him till the next day when he passed away.  Fiery Mary Rua (the redhead) feared the loss of her castle so she offered to marry a willing Cromwell…

Happy 4th of July

Buy one get one free from this fireworks stall but please be very careful as it is dry out and sparks can fly. Remember SAFETY is first and foremost!

Have a fun and safe Independence Day weekend.

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Image by Charie