I love Bank Holidays

I love my long weekends – the thought of getting to finish early on a Friday, filling up the weekend with fun stuff, spending Monday recovering and catching up on TV and then only a 4-day week before the next weekend – what could be better? How about kicking off the weekend with a party? Every Good Friday, that’s exactly what I do and it’s become a fun tradition to kick off the spring/summer season. It can take a fair amount of planning and preparation in the weeks beforehand! Seeing as this is another bank holiday weekend, here’s a few ideas from my last few parties: Jello shots – that very US frat house tradition is super easy to make and quickly impresses. Try using up the ends of your alcohol cabinet and pair that with a complementary flavour of jelly. In the past we had strawberry jelly and peach … There’s more

Sweary’s Electric Picnic

In the first of our Electric Picnic Round-Ups, Sweary gives us her pros and cons of EP10, in her usual entertaining style. – Darren If someone were to ask me what ditties dominated my soundtrack to Electric Picnic 2010, I would have to mention the theme to The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly. Not because my weekend was filled with great artists, lesser artists, and mud-encrusted crusties, though that would work on one lazy plane or another, but because while I walked through the village of Stradbally, a small tradesman sized me up whilst Ennio Morricone’s iconic score reverberated ominously in my quivering ears. A sign in the window of his siopa advertised a phone number for natives bothered by the influx of festival heads. He leaned against his door, shifting half a wishbone from one side of his gob to the other, while I skittered past carrying half … There’s more

Culchie’s Event of the Week #1

We’re trying something new here at Culch. We have a terrible habit of tweeting about things as they’re happening and writing reviews when they’re over. It might be all fun and games for us but we could stand to shape up and let the readers know when and where good times will be afoot so y’all can go along too. You can look out for Event of the Week on a Monday for our pick of events happening in the next seven days. First up is The Portrait of Dorian Gray, kicking off tomorrow (Tuesday September 7th) and running until Saturday September 25th at the James Joyce Tea Rooms in Bewley’s, Grafton Street. Performed as dinner theatre, Dorian runs at 7.30pm with dinner, dessert and coffee served as part of your ticket price (€37.50 – €40.00 from Tickets.ie for dinner and show). If you haven’t read the book or seen … There’s more

Competition Closed: A Mug’s Game?

**Competition Closed** Congrats Lottie and Davin. Irish Grub In A Mug, a gift book hot off the presses at Gill & MacMillan in the last few weeks, made it’s way into Team Culch’s hands recently. It’s a dinky wee thing that doubles as a fridge magnet with ten recipes for Irish dishes that can be cooked in a mug in the microwave and  in our eyes  it had the word ‘challenge’ written all over it. Five Culchies have tried out five recipes from the book, so have a read about what they have to say about microwaved mug meals and stick around to enter the competition  if you’re brave enough – we have two copies to give away.

Competition: Are You 7Up For It?

*** Competition Closed *** *** Congratulations to Dermot, Lorraine, Btown, Fergal and Peter *** *** I will email the winners shortly and thank you to everyone who entered *** Look, the awful pun is not my doing. Blame 7Up Free. Would you be interested in an exclusive gig next Saturday night, where you can see the brilliant Ash, supported by the Republic of Loose? Well, pay attention and keep reading then. 7Up Free’s latest campaign was pretty awesome. They launched the ‘Bring them back for the craic’ competition to offer a group of 7 friends the ultimate Irish reunion this St Patrick’s Day. One lucky group would have the chance to come home from anywhere in the world to celebrate Paddy’s Day; whether they were in Tokyo, Sydney, Singapore or London, 7up Free offered to fly them ‘back for the craic’ on the 17th March. Last Monday, 7up Free announce … There’s more

Competition: RectoVerso #3 Christmas Buys

Yes alright, we can start calling it IrregularRectoVerso (apologies for my shambolicness, but there’ll be freebies at the end of the post to make up for it…keep readin’) It’s sometimes difficult to review non-fiction, but I like to read a lot of it, and Christmas is the perfect time of year for gift books to come into play. RectoVerso has hap’ly received a number of interesting things through the post box in the past few weeks and without further ado here’s a top three best of Irish covering comedy, food and beauty that should cater for one or two people on your Christmas list (is it a co-incidence that they’re all written by bloggers or tweeters? Well, no…).

Farewell to north inner city Dublin – Part 3: The Coffee shops

For part 3 of my (long) farewell to the north inner city, I’m focusing on the coffee shops. And trying to avoid the franchise ones. In Cahoots is found a couple of doors away from the wonderful Chapters book store on Parnell street. It opens until around 8 o’clock most days, and has a friendly atmosphere. The good bits: Dirt cheap. Friendly staff. Fast service. Close to Henry street, the Ilac centre and  Chapters book store. Killer deserts, to do some extra damage to all your problem areas. The bad bits: Sometimes gets noisy if you’re trying to read a book. Coffee isn’t great, it can taste a little scorched.

Temple Bar Chocolate Festival and ticket giveaways

Stop eating chocolate now folks and save your chocolate cravings, for this is the ultimate experience in chocolate tasting, learning, sampling and hogging…the Temple Bar Chocolate Festival is happening in Dublin on the Halloween weekend. A whole three days of chocolate fun, I can’t wait! The festival includes some interesting workshops, demonstrations, talks, family events and, most important of all, tastings and a chance to buy lots of lovely chocolate. The schedule looks like this: Friday 30th Octooober Truffle Making workshop with Gillian Walsh at 10.30am and 12.00pm for one hour in The Gallery of Photography. Here you can learn how to roll your own chocolate truffles, box them up and take them home. Or eat them right there, whatever takes your fancy Tickets for this are €10, concessions €8. Chocolate Tasting Workshops with ChocONeill at 1.30pm and 2.45pm in The Clarence for 45 minutes. This will be a brief … There’s more

Farewell to north inner city Dublin – Part 2: The Restaurants

For part 2 of my farewell to the north inner city, I’m going to focus on the restaurants (Part 3 will be the coffee shops). As with part one, I’ll only be focusing on on places I actually visited, so you won’t see a review of Chapter One here, as I’m not a multi millionaire (OK, the prices aren’t that bad, but the waiting list for a table is longer than a Tolkien novel).

Farewell to north inner city Dublin – Part 1, The Pubs

I’ve recently moved from north inner city Dublin after living there for 3 years, and since it’s an area which I think receives an unfair amount of bad press (no, I don’t have any bullet holes); I thought I’d share with you some of the places I’ve enjoyed there over the last few years. Please bear in mind, this is just a simple list of places I’ve enjoyed and it’s not meant to be a complete review of everything north inner city Dublin has to offer. For part one I’ll focus on The Pubs:

The Restaurant

Do you know your chilli from your cayenne? Would you like to dine in RTÉ’s The Restaurant? The Restaurant tv show are inviting applications from any interested “foodies” to apply to be a diner on their upcoming series. The Restaurant in now in its seventh series on RTÉ, with a ‘celebrity’ head chef taking charge of the kitchen in each episode to produce a top class three course meal for diners-at least that is the hope

Dining in Dublin? There’s no better time than Dine in Dublin week.

Dublin can be an expensive place to go out for a meal. Trust me on this. Due to work commitments I eat out a lot. Therefore I’m delighted to see that the Dine in Dublin week is coming back. From Monday next, October 12 to the 18, there’ll be 50 city centre restaurants taking part in the initiative offering people special rates of €25 or €30 per person for their three course dinner menus after 7pm. Yum! The list of restaurants reads like any foodie’s dream. A lot in there are on my “would love to if I could afford it list” including Alex at The Conrad, Balzac, Bang Cafe, Café Novo, Chatham Brasserie, Ely CHQ, Ely Wine Bar, Fallon & Byrne, FXB, Gallaghers Boxty House, Hugos, Jaipur, Koh, Monty’s of Kathmandu and Tiger Becs. For the first time too there’ll be a 10% discount off the lowest quoted accommodation … There’s more

SeptemberFest in the Phoenix Park

Last September, when the weather was sunny and the days were long, we took a long walk to SeptemberFest 2008 in Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park. There we were greeted with a large beer tent, lots of food stalls and some outdoor musical entertainment. SeptemberFest is on again this year on 12 and 13 September, 11.30am to 6.30pm in Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park. The festival, although mainly for beer and other alcoholic beverages, is also a food event with a range of food stalls selling their tasty wares as well as the regular Farmleigh food market around the grounds of the house. There is free entertainment both days as well, catering to kids and adults alike. In fact last year there were several very young kids getting on down to some of the trad music being played by one of the acts A host of independent Irish micro breweries … There’s more

no longer makin’ bacon?

Ah swine flu. the irony of the website title  is almost as delicious as the bacon dish that has, for the past few days, made me go on a quest for the ultimate piggy goodness http://www.holytaco.com/if-i-die-bacon-related-death-id-it-be-because. Sod it. the research should not go to waste. Those who are about to dine on swine – we salute you! Mount st, dublin 2 : OCB sandwich/salad bar  ’Roast in a Roll’  This is a dang fine bacon sandwich. every ingredient used in the shop is sourced from reliable farmers, free range and organic where-ever possible. for just over a fiver you get a very solid sandwich of roast pork and a choice of 3 salads/sauces.  Georges arcade, Georges st, dublin: Honest to Goodness cafe  ’Honest toastie’ the menu claims to be honest good food, so I expected a basic white bread toasted bacon sandwich when I ordered this. what arrived was square bread … There’s more

Saturday nights – sorted!

No longer do you have to worry about having enough notes to pay for the rip-off pitta bread full of grease and some form of meat that has been hanging there rotating on an axis all day, and could possibly have all manners of… stuff on it. No longer must it mean venturing out down to the local magical restaurant/chippie, or even having to pick up the phone. All you need is a kettle, some basic motor skills and the patience to wait four minutes I must go out and buy crates of the wonder that is the Doner Kebab flavour Pot Noodle!   Although I am more of a big fan of the original curry, or the chicken satay. Or maybe some beef and tomato…