If winning a case of wine and/or scoring tickets to Taste of Dublin are of interest to you, then you’ll want to stick around until (or just skip straight to) the end of this post. That’s all I’m sayin’…
Yes, we have gotten to that time of year where I think my calendar might actually burst. There are a multitude of things going on in June, each one tastier than the next.
In just a few days time, from Thursday June 2nd to Monday June 6th, the Phoenix Park in Dublin sees the return of the Bord Bia sponsored food and garden festival that is Bloom in the Park. I’ll be going along, which, if last year and the year before are anything to go by, should be a most enjoyable day out.
On Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons throughout June, the Campo Viejo Tapas Trail will bring groups to five tapas venues around Dublin including Bar Pinxto, The Port House, Salamanca Dame Street, Salamanca St Andrews Street and Havana Tapas Bar. Participants will enjoy tapas and some Campo Viejo rioja at each venue and will, no doubt be quite happy by the end of proceedings. Tickets are €20 each and you can get more details and book tickets here.
On the tapas trail: patatas bravas
I don’t know about you, but I probably ate as many childhood summer picnics sitting inside while it rained as sitting outside in the sunshine. Still, soon-to-be-soggy tomato sandwiches, tayto crisps, club orange and mikado biscuits were as much of a summer treat inside our holiday caravan as out. Eating in also meant you avoided the inevitable gobful of sand that accompanied a meal on the beach, which was a not unimportant consideration.
Fast forward an unspecified number of years and my picnics, when they happen, are more likely to consist of crusty bread, a nice block of cheese, ballymaloe relish and a more adult beverage. Throw in some potato salad, coleslaw and maybe a tossed salad or sorts and I’m more than happy. It’s simple food to which the warmth of the sun (when it’s there) always adds its own particular seasoning.
That’s not to say, however, that you can’t mix it up a little every now and then.
This month’s 5 star makeover asked us to do exactly that: take some classic picnic fare and give it a shiny new look. Armed with a stash of ingredients from my recent Lebanese travels, I thought that I would take the simple tossed salad of tomato, lettuce and onion on a journey to the Middle East. The result is a salad packed with Lebanese flavours. The preparation, though, is simple, which is a must for picnics in Ireland. Too much time spent getting ready and you might have to enjoy your picnic inside, again.
It’s been quite the week in Ireland.
The visit of President Obama here tomorrow, while noteworthy, pales in comparison to the significance of the state visit made by Queen Elizabeth to our shores just before him. It was often moving and, at times, quite sparkly.
The original QE II, pictured at this
week's state banquet in Dublin Castle.
The lady does bling like no other.
(image AP Photo, from forbes.com)