3 weeks ago

10 Dining Out (And In) Ideas For This Weekend

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Devotees of Electric Picnic, normally the last hurrah of summer, will be familiar with “The Saba-Dilla” – the Saba food truck which has been a staple in Stradbally for ten years. While there is no festival this year, Saba To Go promises to bring the party vibes to your door. The Saba team will organise the food, it’s up to you to pitch the tent and sort the playlist in your own garden. Its “Festival Vibes Meal For Two” for €39.95 includes two Saba saketini cocktails, spring rolls and prawn crackers, and a choice of Thai Spice box, Massaman curry, Chiang Rai noodles or sweet and sour chicken, with Morelli ice cream as the finale. There’s also the chance to win a Festival Vibe Party Pack for six worth €500. This includes cocktails, prosecco, meal deal, a bluetooth speaker, a Golden Discs €150 voucher, mini projector, a two-man tent, deck chairs, sleeping bags, backpacks, ponchos, and much more. For details on this and the meal deals, available until September 8 visit www.sabatogo.com

It’s officially the start of the oyster season and one of the best places to sample them is at The Shelbourne, where, unbelievably, over 35,000 oysters are served annually. There are three oyster experiences during September available daily in the recently refurbished No 27 Shelbourne Bar. Choose from a coastal oyster with a mini Guinness for €6, one of Dungarvan’s finest oysters with a mini Bloody Mary for €8, or a Carlingford oyster and a glass of Laurent Perrier for €20. For a special treat there is a complimentary half dozen oysters with every bottle of Laurent Perrier ordered during September; www.TheShelbourne.com.

Chic Balfes at The Westbury Dublin has introduced its new brunch menu, which offers a tempting array of mid-morning delicacies and brasserie classics. From smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or smashed avocado with poached eggs to buttermilk pancakes served two ways, there’s also the popular BodyByrne superfood salads. There’s also a new cocktail menu – all signature cocktails are €14 each –  U Ok Hun? is a pretty pink concoction made with pink gin, suze, Rinomato aperitivo, Belsazar White, grapefruit cordial, citrus and tonka syrup served in a coupe glass. Spring Skye and White Label are other new additions to Balfes’ extensive list of expertly-mixed favourites, making it the perfect venue to begin an evening out; www.balfes.ie.

For a no-fuss catch up with friends and family who want to keep food light, Kinara Kitchen, Ranelagh has created a new Tandoori Khas (meaning special) sharing plate. Available from 4pm – 6.30pm Wednesday to Saturday and from 1pm – 6.30pm on Sundays, Tandoori Khas is a selection of chicken, lamb, jumbo prawns and Kinara Kitchen’s famous aloo tikki all cooked in sizzling tandoori style. Kinara Kitchen is offering a sharing platter of Tandoori Khas and two cocktails for €36; www.kinarakitchen.ie.

“The core ethos of Baker Boys [23 Finisklin Road, Finisklin, Sligo] is to delight, with a fresh modern style of interiors and food as well as offering a social, fun and inviting space to take a break from the daily working grind. With the grab-and-go type of diner in mind, Baker Boys deli offers awesome barista-prepared coffee, fresh salads, home roast–on-a-roll and a lot more besides,” says owners Jane and Myles. They bake five different types of bread each morning, while customer favourites include fluffy French toast, sourdough crumpets with pork and leek sausage, Swedish meatballs, and seafood chowder. Baker Boys is currently offering a takeaway “Treat Box” of cookies, brownies and power balls, perfect for elevenses, while its catering menu comprises everything from sandwiches and pastry platters to salads, canapés and hot buffet entrees; www.bakerboys.ie.

Going for a weekend drive in Wicklow to enjoy the changing autumnal colours, then why not pre-book Afternoon Tea at Powerscourt Hotel Resort Spa where it is served in the scenic Sugar Loaf Lounge. Available daily from 1pm – 5pm (with 90 minute booking slots), the panoramic views are complemented by the freshly made feast of sandwiches, scones and pastries accompanied by tea or coffee. Afternoon Tea is €45 per person, add a glass of champagne for €55 per person; www.powerscourthotel.com.

There’s a new dinner menu and ambiance for diners at the light-filled Seasons Restaurant, InterContinental Dublin. Overlooking the lush garden terrace executive chef Alberto Rossi and his team have created a moreish menu to complement the elegant, newly-refurbished restaurant. Starters included seared scallops with confit pork belly, beef carpaccio, fresh crab cakes with lemongrass butter sauce, Caesar salad, or refreshing tomato gazpacho. Main courses comprise fillet of beef, pan fried cod, seared duck breast and vegetarian options, while desserts are divine and decadent (try the milk chocolate espresso mousse). Priced at €40 per person for two courses or €45 per person for three courses; www.intercontinentalublin.ie.

If you like to work up an appetite before lunch, Brooks Hotel are offering a “See Dublin By Bike” package, which includes a two-night stay with plenty of culinary treats. Checking into a classic room guests will receive a welcome cocktail, before taking delivery of their bicycle (and helmet). A homemade picnic and two-course dinner is also included as well as full Irish breakfast and a late checkout the following day. From €195 per person; www.brookshotel.ie.

A celebration of seafood is on the menu during an overnight stay at Knockranny House Hotel, Co Mayo on September 11 – 12. Check in on Friday evening and enjoy the relaxed luxury of this family-owned hotel and its surroundings. On Saturday a boat trip around Killary Fjord awaits when guests will learn more seafood from Simon of Killary Fjord Shellfish, who has been growing mussels in the fjord since 1989. This will be followed by a light seafood lunch cooked on the shore of the harbour. In the evening, a seafood dinner designed to complement the spectacular scenery guests have experienced during the day will be created by head chef Seamus Commons in La Fougère. This two-night “Seafood Celebration” experience is from €245 per person sharing; www.knockrannyhousehotel.ie.

Have you been fantasising about posh picnics rather than tatty Tupperware experiences? Why not indulge in a five-star version courtesy of Adare Manor, Co Limerick, which is offering three bespoke picnics, which can be booked and collected for guests at the resort. The “Wyndham Quinn Picnic” to go costs €30 per person and includes baked Limerick ham with Cooleeney Camembert, egg mayonnaise and summer truffle or Duncannon smoked salmon on treacle soda bread sandwiches, decadent brownies, a surprise chef’s cake of the day, fresh fruit and mineral water or soft drinks. The “Lord of Dunraven Picnic Basket“ is a traditional wicker picnic basket full of the best of Irish produce for €50 per person. Think St Tola’s goats cheese with crackers and homemade chutney, Connemara air dried beef and lamb, Gubbeen chorizo with olives, pickles and organic sourdough and a selection of sweets including plain and fruit scones with clotted cream and jam, all served with a flask of tea or coffee. The “Beyond Everything Picnic”, €300 per person, comes with its own Picnic Butler who will set up a table for two anywhere on the grounds of the resort. A flute of crisp Taittinger champagne and caviar served with blinis and accompaniments begins the luxurious experience which includes cheese, charcuteries, oysters and mini puddings as well as chocolates from the chocolate room at Adare Manor with tea, coffee and soft drinks; www.adaremanor.com.

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