Posted in photography

piano cat

Gorgeous lil face. I want a cat again. I miss my cat!

(James’s cat. photo by James)

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Posted in food, Uncategorized

Going for good coffee in Dublin

In memory of my Great Aunt, who passed, and my Gran – her Sister – who were ladies versed in the fine Art of High Tea.

Café Leon
There are two on wicklow street. Firstly there’s a little one with only 12 tables or so. The seats are a little old and lumpy and the coffee grinder can be a little loud in such a small place but the coffee is good, the staff are nice and it’s got a small dark intitmate vibe (at this point I have been merrily tapping away in a corner for about an hour without being bothered which is good in my book).
The larger one, further down the street from grafton street, is a little fancier. The back area serves lunches and dinner. It’s very parisian and the Chocolate Opera cake is richly decadent.

The Cake café
Nestled behind the Daintree paper shop on camden street is a little treasure of sweet treats and savouries. Good coffee, good tea, friendly staff and an ecologically sound building ethos. This is where I encountered ‘hugs and kisses’, which are X and O shaped shortcake biscuits with cinnamon cream. Nom.

Airfield house café
All the way out in dundrum this café is the lunch rooms of large house and grounds. The coffe and tea should be enjoyed on the veranda whilst looking out at the gradens. (I feel the ladies would most certainly have approved of this one). Airfield house and grounds features a finely cultivated garden, some pens of chickens, goats, pigs and a field of cows, sheep and miniature horses. There are also allotment style mini gardens for children to plant vegetables and learn about growing foods and insect life. There are day talks and, my favourite bit, a garage of old cars from the 1920s (i think, could be wrong about the year). It’s a small grounds but definatly worth a visit.

Avoca Café
It seemed that the ladies would take the view of ‘Expensive plus Exclusive equals Good’ with regard to certain things. So for that reason I include Avoca café. There is one on suffolk street on the top floor of the Avoca shop. The coffee was good and came with the foam expertly swirled into the face of a girl. What some of these barristas can do with just the flick of a jug is quite impressive.
There is also one on the grounds of the Mount Usher Gardens in Ashford and the grounds are sizable making this worth a visit in good blooming seasons.

CHQ dock IFSC
I need to double check this is still there but.. It would simply not be an appropriate ‘in memory of’ if it did not feature a tea house. Half way through the CHQ mall is a small tea shop with seats at the door. It has teas from all over the world and the owner can recommend a blend for any occasion. At the time of visiting you could get a High Tea of a pot of tea and a three tiered platter of treats (slice of sandwich, scone with jam and slice of cake). I find the CHQ mall a little souless but there was no denying the quality of the tea here.

And of course: Queen of Tarts
I am unsure whether the ladies would have preferred the large one on Cows Lane where you can watch people of so many diversaties eat some of the finest tarts in dublin and on a saturday experience a sea of colours in the Cow lane art market.. Or the small and cosy one on dame street which has very little room but almost feels like you must have a concentrated atmosphere to create the richly concentrated flavour of the sweet foods. Given the favoured fare of the ladies when I was out with them was tea and scones with jam I think they would have been quite happy with the pastries here 🙂

some of the fresh produce used in Queen of Tarts for their savoury treats

Posted in Uncategorized

when september comes

what a day! and it’s only half twelve as I write this.. at least things are looking up now 🙂

start from the start: This morning I had to upload some files and there was no bandwidth to be had anywhere in the apt. Grrr. So off I traipsed to rathmines. cyber cafe closed. GrrRRRrr. no reception in regular cafe. GrrrGnashGnash. Raced into town. Found friendly tech in cyber cafe in town. hooked up and uploaded. HALLLaluieh!! the sun came out the clouds parted all was well with the world (wide web).

done. skipped to the shops. ran into a friend. bounced to a cafe. Munched through tasty breakie. relocated to a book shop and relaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaax.

I know it doesn’t sound like a manic day but in between every event was running down streets and up and down stairs and allsorts of madnesses.

Also discovered this morning I had missed Jasons BTW meetup last night. dangnamit. That was to be my ‘well done you’ve been packing all week’ treat. poop. such a pity because nothing lifts my spirits faster than meeting groups of smiley friendly people and sharing stories and telling (usually bad) jokes.

anyway. back to the pack.

The new place vs the old place
location: not far apart, though the old place closer to two usefull bus routes not just one.
size: old place 1 bed with MASSive balcony. new place duplex 2 bed with lil balcony (which means friends can stay over again. Yay!).
price: old place dearer than new place. although it is set to come down it’s still not as competitive.
quality: both places are to a high standard. old place very solid concrete. tastefully tiled and kited out kitchen. New place newley carpeted and well dressed.
winning feature: old place only gets daylight until 10.30 am. very dark in winter. new place gets long evening light in the whole back end of the building. sitting room and back bedroom positively glow with sunlight. think i’ll make the back room the spare room/study. we shall see.

In other news
the electric picnic is on this wkend. feeling sorry to miss it actually. Roxy is bubbling over with glee at going. Bet she’ll have a great time!

the Touch Film Festival competition closes Sept 6th. so get filming and uploading now! www.touchfilmfestival.ie

the ultimate room mate housewarming party is on in S’s next weekend. see y’all there 🙂

there’s an open call for artists for comic art/sequential art in a gallery in dublin (more details to follow)

the 24 hour comic day is coming up. Fair play to Cliodhna she organises it every year and looks like she’s done herself proud this year.

I’ve been off the interwebs all week so I’ve missed what’s been happening over on beloved www.culch.ie I believe it’s beatles mania this week. Uncle’s an avid fan, wonder if he has anything that’ll be of interest.

tonight I’m thinking District 9 sounds like a good idea. I entered the comp on www.movies.ie for a t-shirt. loving the alien icon they’ve made for the film. a bit like the head of a horned cartoon badguy from Toystory on lightning bolt legs.