“Glamping” – a luxury we have only become accustomed to in Ireland in recent years. Camping you wouldn’t find me doing these days but glamping – hell yes! Gone are the days of trying to stuff into and poke around a two man tent that starts to leak as soon as there is a hint of rain. Not ideal for the Irish summer! Having longed to try the glamping at the renowned Dromquinna Manor for so long, we finally bit the bullet and booked a night away recently and boy, was it worth the wait.
Stuffy, pokey tents these are not – they are pure luxury when it comes to camping! Custom double-skin roofs, veranda decking area, a little basket of toiletries, hot water bottles, the most comfortable and luxurious bed and they even have a canvas wardrobe for your clothes! Possibly a most vital inclusion? (well I’ll let you be the judge of that) – a power point for mobile phone chargers. The on site facilities are excellently maintained and spotless with plenty of mirrors and hairdryers in “Her Stables” – so aptly named – and when the rain pelted, (all evening and all night – thank you Irish summer!) the tent proved its worth and thankfully, we remained bone dry.
The setting is simply stunning and tranquil overlooking the lake and glorious Kerry mountains – the perfect place to switch off and relax. There is a gorgeous on site restaurant and bar called “The Boathouse” serving up delicious food and drinks and a large gin menu if you so fancy!
Last but not least, a hamper of croissants and tea/coffee (and juice for the kids) is delivered to your tent the next morning. What better way to start the day than with a good strong coffee on the deck overlooking the lake in peace!
All in all, we had an excellent experience and I will definitely return again! 10 out of 10 and the perfect getaway for couples, friends or families!
Wishing I was on that swing with a large gin right now….
This is such an easy and nutritious dinner to make! Not only that but these fritters are also super tasty and something different to do with all that quinoa and sweet potato for a change! I picked up the recipe from the first Deliciously Ella book. This recipe would serve 6 people but I made up the whole batch, cooked some and froze the rest for later!
You will need:
1 large sweet potato
260g quinoa (1 mug)
4 tablespoons almond butter (I used peanut butter) * You can also substitute the almond/peanut butter for Tahini if you have a nut allergy *
8 tablespoons buckwheat or brown rice flour (I had gluten free white rice flour and used this)
4 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tsp ground turmeric and 2 tsp ground cumin
Salt (I used pink Himalayan) and pepper
Peel and chop the sweet potato into small pieces and steam/boil for about 20 minutes until soft.
As they cook, rinse the quinoa under cold water until the water runs clear and place in a saucepan with the juice from one of the lemons and 600ml (2 mugs) boiling water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the quinoa is fluffy.
Drain the sweet potatoes once they are soft and blend them in a food processor with the juice of the other lemon and the almond/peanut butter, tomato puree, flour, turmeric, cumin and a dash of the salt and pepper until smooth.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C.
Put the sweet potato mix into a large bowl and mix in the cooked quinoa. Grease a large baking tray with some olive oil and scoop 2 tablespoons of the mix onto the tray to make a large circle, then do the rest with the remaining fritters which should give you twelve circular fritters.
Bake for 20 minutes until they are perfectly stuck together and then if you like you can place them in a frying pan with a little olive oil to fry each side for a few minutes so they are a little crispy.
Bon Appetit! X
I recently escaped for some much needed Vitamin D and a chilled out week for a holiday to the gorgeous little fishing town of Alvor in Portugal and have been dreaming about it ever since our return. I had been to Portugal years ago and have completely fallen in love with it all over again! And being from Cork, of course it is absolutely ideal to be able to fly direct and land at your destination in just a few short hours.
We booked through Lee Travel on Princes Street, Cork. Having dealt with the lovely Maria on a few occasions she is, as all their team are, brilliant to deal with. It’s nice to have someone do all the booking and work for you sometimes! We stayed in the AMAZING 4 star Pestana Alvor South Beach hotel and I could not recommend it enough with it’s contemporary and gorgeous décor and relaxed vibe, making it an ideal getaway. I could rave about it forever (did I mention the three infinity pools?!), but I have included the link above for you to see for yourself.
The fact that it was seconds from the beach (you get that gorgeous Algarve sea-breeze tan!) was a massive plus and connected by a gorgeous boardwalk that runs the entire length of the beach. This also leads into the little town, a mere 5 minutes walk away. An absolutely perfect and ideal location.
The town itself is super quaint and was not over-run at the time we visited. However a few locals did mention to avoid in August if you are thinking of travelling here as, like all sun destinations, it is an incredibly busy time! Being a little fishing town, there was an abundance of the most delicious fresh fish everywhere you go and being a total foodie, I was so impressed with the selection of gorgeous restaurants on offer. You can imagine my absolute delight when we discovered a gorgeous mediterranean restaurant called Lusitania that served up delicious organic food that included vegetarian and vegan dishes! Needless to say, we visited this particular place a good few times during our stay.
Just a few of my favourite and best places to eat in Alvor:
The Sea Deck Bar & Restaurant – if you are staying at the Pestana South Beach, this bar and restaurant is part of the hotel but located just to the rear exterior of the hotel on the boardwalk and so is available to anyone visiting Alvor. An ideal spot for lunch if you are staying at the hotel and don’t feel like venturing too far or just for a cheeky glass of vino soaking up the rays and gazing out to sea….Take me back!!
If you have any further questions on Alvor that I can help with, please feel free to leave a comment.
In the meantime, I’m off to research my next adventure! (Now where did I leave that bag of money….) 😉
A different kinda Saturday
Last weekend, we decided to do something a little different. Different like cycling 23.5 kms!! But this was not just any cycle – you may have heard about the recent opening of the gorgeous Waterford Greenway. A whole 45km of beautiful scenery stretching from Dungarvan as far as Waterford City along old railway tracks.
What’s on Offer
You can cycle or walk the Waterford Greenway and there is plenty of bike hire on offer at various points – check our their website where you can get the full breakdown on routes and pick-up points – they also have a free app which is super handy. It really is such a great day out with gorgeous scenery, from coastline to viaducts, through the Ballyvoyle Tunnel (kids will love this) and views of the Comeragh Mountains.
We picked up our bikes from Waterford Greenway Bike Hire in Dungarvan – they cost €20 per person for an adult for the whole day, helmets included – and set off on our merry way. Honestly, we couldn’t have picked a better day to head out on the bikes, it was just perfect! The route is also perfect for a family day out as it is so safe – there is the odd crossing through some minor roads and one major roadway as would be standard if you are doing the majority of the route but overall, very safe with cute play and picnic areas dotted along the way. The majority of the route is quite flat also which helps, with the odd slight incline.
When we reached Kilmacthomas, we dropped our bikes at the visitor centre and settled down for a well deserved coffee. The depot in Kilmacthomas is a converted former Famine Workhouse and it has undergone such an amazing transformation. You will find good coffee, drinks, snacks and lunches in the gorgeous café, Coach House Coffee. A lot of families and friends tended to park up here, go for a walk or a cycle and have lunch here too with plenty of seating outside on offer with space for the kids to play!
The only one flaw I had with the day was a two hour wait for a shuttle bus in Kilmacthomas to get back to Dungarvan!! Whilst we were initially advised there would be a wait of up to 1 hour, this did materialise into two, but it is just getting up and running and they assured us they would get more shuttle buses on the Greenway going forward which I have no doubt they will given the amazing work and organization that has gone into it so far.
Of course, if you are super fit, you can do the whole route to Waterford City and get the shuttle bus from there, or cycle back to Dungarvan. The final point to note: Have a good soak in a bath of Epsom salts after the long cycle and beware of sore butts the day after!!
It wasn’t too long ago when I was last in Galway but in need of a major break away, we packed our bags, packed up the car and high tailed it back to one of my favourite cities last weekend! Quite familiar with a few of the good restaurants, bars and cafes at this stage, I just wanted somewhere somewhat familiar for the weekend and so opted to stay in the fabulous G Hotel & Spa again! We really loved the stay there the last time and it did not disappoint the second time around!
Dinner Saturday night had to be in the FAB Cava – Spanish Restaurant and Tapas Bar. I did mention it also in my last blog post on Galway but in case you missed it, the food, service and everything about the place is fantastic! A must if you are in Galway but be sure to book in advance! Another fab cosy place for lunch or dinner (or a sneaky glass of wine) is Ard Bia Nimmos located at the Spanish Arch. I loved it!
I got all glammed up and out of the boots for dinner on the Saturday night, opting for my skinny coated jeans from River Island, lace cami by Native Rose @ ASOS, tassel heels from River Island and last but not least, my latest obsession in the form of the prettiest embroidered jacket from Whitefawn Boutique (www.whitefawnboutique.ie)! All are unfortunately sold out now but I will try and source similar of each piece below and do a separate blog post for you guys! 🙂
It was such an enjoyable weekend, I did not want to leave! Planning my next trip away already 🙂