Lignum’s heat-and-eat pork belly prompts squeals of delight

Like many of us these days, I carry around a dog-eared mental checklist of places to visit “when things go back to normal”. Loughrea restaurant Lignum has long been near the top of that list. Though still in his late twenties, Lignum chef-patron Danny Africano has pedigree. His Irish mother and Italian father ran Slatefort House for almost a decade. He has solid training, too, with a culinary arts degree from Dublin Institute of Technology and practical skills sharpened in kitchens around the w

‘Hug in a bowl’ Happy food for your Expat Family

Whether they’re instant or hand-rolled, rice or flour-based, Japanese or Italian, noodles are the ultimate global comfort food and a much-loved part of family dinners all around the world. They’re a great accompaniment to all sorts of dishes, from nourishing broths to rich meat sauces; you can toss a handful of ramen into a warming chicken soup or add some lo mein to fresh vegetables for a quick stir fry. If you’re keen to tackle a kitchen project, you could try making them from scratch, with fl

Want to save on garage bills? 8 car maintenance mistakes that could be costing you money

BUYING A NEW car is exciting, but the work doesn’t stop after signing on the dotted line: all too often we forget that our car needs TLC too, especially as we add miles to its clock. We asked experienced mechanics from all over Ireland about the car maintenance mistakes almost everyone makes, and they gave us their expert advice on keeping your car in tip-top shape. 1. Not servicing the car often enough For John Lynch of Dublin Diagnostics, it’s all about servicing: “The biggest problem we se

'It's retro and very cosy': A glimpse at family life in a renovated chalet bungalow in Armagh

Where? Lurgan, Co Armagh What type of house? Detached 1950s chalet bungalow How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Four bedrooms, two bathrooms When did you move in? Late 2017 Name: Séana McConville Age: 33 Occupation: Housing officer Who else lives there? My husband, Brian, and two boys, Eóghan, aged 11, and Bárra, aged 6. Plus our dog, Ringo. What made you choose this home over others? We had completed a number of renovations in the past but never one to this extent. We wanted a forever

'The entire house is unique': Life inside this striking Galway home that blends into the landscape

Where? Galway What type of house? A detached self-build, with a modernist twist How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Four bedrooms, three en-suites and a main bathroom When did you move in? December 2019 Name: Tanya Age: Still in my thirties, by the skin of my teeth! Occupation: I work in the commercial development industry Who else lives there? My husband, Noel and our two daughters, Florence and Henri What made you choose this home over others? Both myself and my husband grew up in famil

The demise of the 'starter home'? 6 house price trends to know about from 2019

AS DECEMBER DRAWS to a close, we’re taking a look back at some of the most interesting buying and price trends from the year just gone – and flagging which ones could affect buyers in 2020. If you’re a potential property buyer the new year could bode well for you, with stabilising prices and increased supply in store, although the journey might take longer than you’d anticipated. Read on for market insights from Adam Ferguson, commercial director of Daft.ie and Austin Hughes, chief economist w

Allianz Care - An expat festive feast

Christmas can be a tricky season for some expats. It’s a time of great excitement, family reunions and epic, belly-bursting feasts that go on for hours. But if you’re far from home, it can be a little bittersweet. You might be celebrating without your loved ones, or trying to recreate long-held traditions in a very different setting. There’s no right way or wrong way to celebrate the holidays - I’ve toasted Christmas with phở bò on the Mekong, mojo pork in balmy Havana and roast game on the Sou

The Journal | Waiting on the keys? 8 steps that'll make the transition to your new home easier

THE PERIOD BETWEEN going sale agreed and getting the house keys can feel agonisingly long – especially if there are delays along the way. You have the house, but you’re not living there yet. If you’re in that situation yourself right now, there are some bedding-in tasks you can start to get out of the way even before moving day arrives, says Geri O’Toole Glynn of Geri Designs. From deciding on paint colours to placing orders for furniture, there are plenty of ways to give yourself a head start

The Journal | Ditch the sambos: 6 colourful winter salads guaranteed to make your co-workers jealous

IT’S ONLY NATURAL that our tastes change as the evenings grow darker and the temperature starts to dive. We crave comforting, more indulgent dishes to fill us up in the colder months. There’s no need to pack away the salad bowl just yet, though. With the change in seasons comes a raft of new and exciting vegetables, plus more of a reason to fill your salads with hearty grains like barley or pulses like chickpeas. Below you’ll find a selection of my favourite winter salads, perfect for a colourf

The Journal | How to cook the ideal roast dinner, according to top chefs

THE CHANGE IN seasons brings some real treats, from cosy jumpers to roaring fires. One of the best parts about winter, though, is setting things up for a Sunday roast, and filling the house up with mouth-watering aromas. A good roast dinner is different in every house – much depends on traditions passed down through generations – from how you season your meat to how you roast your spuds. This week I asked some of Ireland’s favourite chefs, bloggers, food writers and producers for their top ti

The Journal | Simple life: 6 one-pot pasta combos

AS THE DAYS grow shorter and the evenings colder, there’s nothing better than snuggling up with a bowl of warming pasta. These simple dishes are all cooked in just one pot (yes, pasta included), leaving you with a hearty meal that saves you too much trouble of washing up. Most of us are used to cooking pasta and sauce in separate pots, but the joy and flavour of these recipes comes from cooking everything all in one. As the pasta cooks on a high heat, the water or other cooking liquids will red

Georgina Campbell's Ireland Guide | Adare Manor

Set in 900 acres beside the River Maigue, Adare Manor is the former home of the Earls of Dunraven and has been the most impressive manor house in the region since it was built in 1832 - and, while the Dunravens have long since departed, the estate still retains their familial warmth and elegant taste. The property was bought in 2015 by Limerick-born businessman JP McManus and, following closure for a multi-million euro refurbishment, the revitalised hotel has been elevated to an exceptional lev

Food and Wine Magazine | Review: The Café at Grow HQ, Waterford

Rachael Kealy takes a look inside The Café at Grow HQ on the outskirts of Waterford City. Situated in a nondescript industrial estate on the outskirts of Waterford City, Grow HQ doesn’t immediately reveal itself as the hub of the GIY (grow-it-yourself) movement. Then the grass-covered roof comes into view, as do the solar-panels capturing the crisp winter sun. The vegetable plot, planters and greenhouse give the game away entirely. The onsite café boasts an array of menus – all-day, brunch, de

The Independent | Threat to abolish tax relief got me focused

Everyone has advice to give about buying a house these days and boy, do they dole it out. Buy now. Don't, wait. Prices will go up. Prices will go down. Choose variable. Fix your rate. Welcome to the life of a first-time buyer. Everyone has advice to give about buying a house these days and boy, do they dole it out. Buy now. Don't, wait. Prices will go up. Prices will go down. Choose variable. Fix your rate. Welcome to the life of a first-time buyer. There is one incentive to buy however that i

Best Possible Taste Podcast / Radio Show | 7 February

Food and Wine Magazine's Rachael Kealy returns to the studio to talk about her visit to Salt in Cork city. Kwanghi Chan who was born in Hong Kong before moving to Donegal talks about Asian cuisine, the Chinese New Year and his unique range of Chan Chan sauce. Sharon catches up with Caroline Wilson, founder of the Belfast Food Tour, to find out what opportunities the 2016 NI Year of Food and Drink has generated and talks to 2 childhood friends about their journey to open the latest restaurant in

The Sunday Times | The best restaurants in France

As a poor university student in Nantes, France, I often looked longingly through the 10ft glass panels of La Cigale (4 Place Graslin, tel. 00 33 2 51 84 94 94), a magnificently tiled 19th-century brasserie. By day it is as it was over 150 years ago, a refined salon de the, and by night a captivating seafood restaurant, where one is seated in gilt antique chairs, under golden arches and painted mural walls and ceilings. Multi-lingual, impeccably polite (and reassuringly French in their haughtiness

The Irish Times | Tehran: a city of arrested development

“The mood changed as soon as we entered Iranian airspace. The crew collected alcoholic drinks, sweeping a curtain of silence across the cabin. Passengers quietly readied themselves, tucking their hair beneath headscarves, folding away magazines and whispering warnings to unruly children. Outside the airport, we bounced along in a 1989 Peugeot 405 - the hotel’s luxury transport - gripping the doors as the car swung across lanes, careered the wrong way up slip-roads and nudged the car ahead, bump
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