Avoca Days

I have been to TWO different Avoca's for Lunch the past two weeks, and I thought I would share with you my dining experiences of both. Avoca is one of those kitsch, adorable, kind of whimsical places that sells odd but cute things, things you can't find in other establishments. I however, go for the food.

I don't go for the busy café takeaway deli part, I go to the fancy schmancy sit down restaurant part. It was my first time on both occasions, and I was quite impressed. I had been recommended Salt Restaurant in Avoca in Monktown by my Sous Chef Paul, and when I had a day off, I had quickly decided that I wanted to nip there to eat. Unfortunately, the sat nav directed myself and my boyfriend to another Avoca, one in Kilmacanogue, and we were none the wiser, so we went in and enjoyed the experience, thinking we were about to have an award winning luncheon. The Restaurant in Kilmacanogue Avoca is called the Fern House, and is actually in Avoca HQ! However, despite landing in the wrong Avoca, the food was delicious, the portions were huge, and the staff were young, hip and friendly.We opted for starters and mains, even though the starters could have easily been deemed main course portions. We ended the afternoon by strolling around the giant food market rubbing our bellies before heading home.

We came upon the actual Salt Restaurant on a recent trip to Dun Laoghaire, which is the only Avoca location to only have food, no kitsch-y cute things, just food. It also has it's own specialist butcher, French-style Rotisserie, Cheese room and Charcuterie. The restaurant itself how I want my house to look, pale blue, fresh and clean, with greenhouse style windows, wooden tables, and vintage wooden pictures. It's adorable. We opted for main courses only this time, and received light but filling dishes, perfect to fill us up before a stroll on the pier.

Fern House | Chairs and Crockery | Feta and Falafel | Parfait and Chutney | Hake, Radish, Broad bean, Coriander | Duck Fat Chips | Lamb, pitta, Hummus, Tzatziki | Dessert Menu | Salt and Sugar | Forky Chandelier | Soaps and Clocks | Homewares and Teas | Teacups | Chalkboard | Kitchen Aid | Condiments | Fresh Bread | Cushions and Teapots | Mint Water at Salt in Monkstown | Salt and Pepper | Elderflower Pressé | Fish Pie | Picture Frames | Duck Confit Salad | Butchers Rotisserie

I hope you have all been enjoying this amazing weather we have been having, I spent Sunday on the beach with an amazing Barbecue to celebrate my birthday!

Hope you are all having a nice week :)

The Zara Collar and the Lily Bee Bun

I have two new favourite things. Zara and this lovely lady, Lily Bee, whose blog I can not stop obsessing over. I actually love this girl, and I secretly hope we can be like, best friends.

I went on a ridiculous shopping spree during the week, I mean RIDICULOUS, and this little number from Zara is one of many new garments I picked up during my spending rampage. I used to think Zara was a bit too grown  up for me, but every so often I lurch in, expecting to find nothing, and find something absolutely amazing. This shirt was one example. Obviously I made excuses for myself, as I haven't actually been shopping since I started my new job, over a month ago now, so I thought it was ok to splurge, kind of. On that note, I also bought absolutely NO makeup during this spree, which I deem to be a feat in itself, although I did purchase MAC's Strobe Cream, which I consider to be a teeny hiccup, but I  kind of just pretend that it is more to make my face look glowy and dewy rather than cover it like makeup does. This statement is arguable. However, I am satisfied enough with the progress of my makeup spending ban, go me!

I have also been getting a teeny bit fed up of my hair, and I feel that as it is short, there is only so much I can do with it. Enter the Lily Bee Bun! A close relation of the Pineapple Head, but a lot sleeker and more polished. It also gets your hair entirely out of your face and I am in love.

I am also sporting Impassioned by MAC on my lips, again, I actually can't get enough of it! I brightens up anything, and totally makes me feel 'done up' even if Im not. Another thing I have been loving is this necklace, (I am loving alot lately!), which I purchased from, wait for it.... Boots of all places! This baby cost like €4, and is such a perfect statement necklace, I wear it with everything. Bargain.

I have been out gallivanting to foodie places on my days off, surprise surprise, so more foodie posts coming soon! Although Ive been properly suffering from a horrible cold, Im in a happy dandy mood, from a lovely evening I had yesterday. My boyfriend collected me from work and took me to the beach where he presented me with a gorgeous picnic of a home cooked meal and wine! It was so lovely, and really cheered me up :)

I hope you are all having a lovely week, and hopefully enjoying the weather wherever you are :)


A Michelin Starred Affair

The week before last I treated my boyfriend to a very fancy schmancy dinner in the Michelin starred restaurant L'Ecrivain in Dublin to celebrate his birthday. Coming from a foodie background, and being a chef, I suppose I was really quite very excited to visit this lovely place, and also to sample the finest food one of Dublin's best restaurants has to offer. I have dined in Michelin star restaurants before, but have never visited L'Ecrivain, so we donned our sunday best and off we went.

We opted for the tasting menu, which offered us a set menu of 9 amazing courses, each one different and more captivating than the last. I have to say the food was amazing, and I do have some pros and cons and somewhat slight negative opinions of the meal, being the annoying critique that I am, but overall it was a lovely experience, and I'm surely glad we went. And so to the dinner!

Gladrags on | Olives and Breadsticks | Lashes and Lipstick | The Wine Cellar | Teeny Breadrolls | Table Setting | Cod Amuse Bouche | Champagne Cocktail | Cured Monkfish, Asparagus, Passionfruit | Lobster, Peat smoked Leek, Chorizo, Leek gel | Apple and Elderflower Sorbet | Foie Gras, Vanilla, Meringue, Pineapple | Rabbit and Sweetcorn Beignet | Beef, Ox Tongue, Pickled Vegetables, Celeriac Purée | Parmesan Panna Cotta, Pickled Walnuts | Assiette of Lemon | Petit Fours

Overall it was a lovely evening, topped off by more Champagne Cocktails in the Shelbourne Hotel. Although meals like this aren't for every day, they certainly make a memorable special occasion.

Giveaway Winner

Im going to make this short and sweet. Thank you all for entering my giveaway. I received over 300 entries, and it's taken a while to sort through them all! And so!

The winner is... Lola In The Lounge !!

Well done lovely, I have messaged you to confirm your lipstick choice!

Thanks again to all who entered, my follower count went up to 1000 during the giveaway, I'm shocked!!

Foodie posts coming this week! Hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend!