Enjoying Life's Little Pleasures

The Ariel House Blog

Ariel House – Junior Breakfast Menu!

Freddy with yogurtWe are fast approaching our busiest season of the year and are looking forward to welcoming lots of families in the coming months! Ariel House is a fantastic starting point for any holiday in the city and is the gateway to amazing day trips around Dublin and it’s surrounds. What better way to start of your day than to have a hearty breakfast and here at Ariel House that is our speciality! In conjunction with our friend Freddy Buttons we have designed a special junior breakfast menu for our younger guests. There is a picture on the back to colour in and each month we pick a winner who will receive a free set of Freddy Buttons books, what a lovely prize!

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Our Junior Guests Breakfast Menu

From The Breakfast Buffet

Selection of Fruits & Cereals, Glenisk Natural Yoghurt, Homemade Granola

Today’s Home Baking

From the Kitchen (For Starters….)

Fresh Fruit Kebabs – Melon, Pineapple and Grape, Drizzled with Natural Yoghurt and Irish Honey

Porridge – Simple Creamy Porridge with Soft Brown Sugar or Sliced Banana

Very Berry Smoothie – Banana, Berries, Natural Yoghurt, Fresh Orange Juice & Honey

Freshly Cooked to Order……..

The “Half Irish” Breakfast – Grilled Bacon & Sausage with a Fried Egg

Veggie Breakfast – Fried Egg, Mushrooms, Potato Cake, Baked Beans & Vine Tomato

Poached Eggs and Crispy Bacon On Toasted Brown Bread with our Homemade Tomato Chutney

Beans on Toast – Baked Beans served on your choice of Homemade Brown or White Toast

Herby Scrambled Eggs with Crispy Bacon, Grilled Sausages or Baked Beans

Pancake Stack – Topped with Nutella and Banana Or Bacon and Maple Syrup

Eggy Bread – French Toast served with Mixed Berries and Crème Fraiche

Boiled Egg With Soldiers

Beverages

Cadburys Hot Chocolate – Low Fat and Soya milk available

Your choice of Fruit Juices

Filtered Fruity Water

Cold Milk

(Our kitchen environment contains nuts, gluten, eggs& dairy produce; hence there may be traces of these allergens on our Breakfast Buffet and our cooked breakfast)

When you have coloured in the picture on the back of the menu and eaten your breakfast simply drop the sheet into the reception area and a winner will be picked each month! We are really looking forward to greeting you soon here at Ariel House!

Till the next time!

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An Ariel House Favourite, Decadent Chocolate Brownies!

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We posted the above picture to our Facebook account this week and it received such a positive reaction that we decided it would only be fair to share the recipe with you all! This is one of those recipes that we adapt to suit the seasons, we sometimes add nuts, chopped pears, sour cherries, dulce de leche or peanut butter amongst other things! We top them with fresh cream, buttercream, a swirl of caramel with a teeny sprinkle of salt, ice cream and sometimes even custard. They are fabulous to round off a relaxed dinner party and delicious to serve as part of an afternoon tea.

Ariel House Decadent Chocolate Brownies
175g sugar
175g soft butter
150g self-raising flour
125g drinking chocolate
4 eggs
100g dark chocolate, in pieces

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line/grease a brownie tin with parchment paper.
Mix together the sugar, butter, flour, drinking chocolate and the eggs until you have a runny mixture.
Fold in the chocolate pieces.
Pour into the brownie tin and level the top with a palette knife.
Bake for 45 mins or until there is a slight wobble in the middle.
Cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning upside down onto a wire rack and peeling off the parchment paper.
Turn onto a bread board once cooled and cut into 16/24 squares, depending on what size brownie you would like.

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We hope you enjoy the recipe and would love to hear from you if you decide to make them. We have a Pinterest board dedicated to brownies for those of you who are pinners and you will find it here! Those blackberry cheesecake brownies look absolutely amazing!!

Till the next time!

 

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Ariel House Mixed Berry Traybake

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A warm welcome, a cup of tea and some home baking such as this delicious traybake helps us to set the mood for our guests upon their arrival. We like to encourage our guests to take a seat in our drawing room, relax awhile and make themselves feel at home. Our home baking helps us to show our guests that we are delighted they are staying with us and we would like them to be as comfortable as possible whilst they are here.

A traybake is such a versatile treat and once you have mastered the basic recipe you can make variations according to the season. Cranberries and white chocolate, plums and almonds, cherries and dark chocolate are all popular choices but with summer berry season approaching we thought this would be a nice variation!

Ingredients

225g self raising flour

175g softened butter

175g light brown sugar

1 tsp of baking powder

3 large eggs

2 tbsp of water

100g of a selection of berries

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a baking or a roasting tin then line the base with baking parchment.

Measure all the cake ingredients (except for the berries) into a large bowl and beat until well blended. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.

Press the berries into the top of the mixture and press down lightly.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 35 – 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin before slicing into squares.

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Enjoy!

Till the next time!

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Ariel House Strawberry Shortbreads

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The very first Irish berries of 2016 appeared in our kitchen this week and we had no choice but to make our delicious strawberry shortbreads for our afternoon tea guests! The little shortbread biscuits are delicious served plain but with a dollop of cream and some fresh strawberries they are a knockout!

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Strawberries are such a popular fruit and we find we use them a lot during breakfast and afternoon tea. We like to top our porridge with them, use as part of a fruit kebab, adorn the top of a pavlova and sandwich between shortbread for the ultimate sweet sandwich.

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Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients

50g sugar
100g butter
150g plain flour

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c and grease a baking sheet with butter.
Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the sugar and bring the mixture together to form a very stiff dough.
Roll out the dough onto a lightly dusted surface until the mixture is 1/4 inch thick.
Use a love heart shaped cutter or whatever cutter you have to hand to cut. Lift carefully onto the greased baking sheet.
Bake for approximately 8 minutes or until the cookies are golden.
Allow to cool fully on a wire rack before sandwiching together with whipped cream and strawberries or simply eat them as is!

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We have been using our fresh raspberries to top layers of granola, chopped fruit, greek yoghurt and a drizzle of honey this week as part of our breakfast menu. Always popular around this time of year.

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We also have been using raspberries to top a delicious sponge tray bake. Always a popular afternoon tea treat!

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We like to ensure that our guests are getting their full five portions of fruit a day!

Till the next time!

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Ariel House March Favourites

Spring in Dublin

What a busy March we have had in Ariel House! We are delighted to announce that Spring has arrived in Dublin city centre bringing with it lots of sunshine and long & bright evenings!

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McKenna’s Guides

Absolutely delighted to be included in The McKenna’s Guides 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland 2016, which was launched this month. Their new App STAY 2016 is now available from the App Store. A big Well Done and Thank You to the Ariel House Team on this wonderful achievement.

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Guest Book Quotes

We have a new recruit for Ariel House! Alfie, age 8 is looking for a job here!

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Dublin Cookbook

We were thrilled to hear that The Dublin Cookbook has been nominated for a “Best in the World” Gourmand book award in the not for profit category. Only three European cookbooks are nominated so it is a huge achievement. We were delighted to have been part of this wonderful project and wish it every continued success.
http://www.cookbookfair.com/…/cookbooks-and-food-culture-sh…

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St Patrick’s Day

We had a wonderful St Patrick’s Day here in Ariel House. Lots of guests were here to enjoy the festivities of the weekend and everyone was in great spirits with the good weather and the fantastic buzz around the city.

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Centenary Commemorations

It has been a thought provoking couple of days in Dublin as we commemorate the 1916 Rising and the lives that were lost during it. It has been a wonderful opportunity to hear stories from the past and how events that passed during that time have helped shape our wonderful little country. RTE did a splendid job of honouring all of those involved and the highlight of the weekend for me was the Centenary concert. Amazing to watch and see Ireland celebrated through words, song and dance. It is available to watch for the next 28 days on the above link, highly recommend!

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That rounds up March in Ariel House! We are looking forward to a busy April and sharing more of what is going on with you!

Till the next time!

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Easter Lemon Cupcakes

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Another busy month is almost drawing to a close but we have one last occasion to celebrate. Easter Sunday is almost here and we have been busy practising our decorating skills on some delicious lemon cupcakes. We love Rachel Allen’s recipes and this simple recipe is always a winner for us. A delicious lemon flavour and a soft sponge is the perfect combination to accompany an afternoon cup of tea.

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

125g of softened butter

125g of caster sugar

Finely grated zest of 1/2 a lemon

2 eggs, lightly beaten

150g of plain flour

1/4 tsp of baking powder

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Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Line a 12 hole muffin tin with 12 cases.

Cream the butter in a bowl until soft.

Add the sugar and grated lemon zest and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Gradually add the beaten eggs, then sift in the flour and baking powder and fold into the mixture.

Divide the mixture between the cases and bake for approximately 10 minutes until golden.

Place on a wire rack to cool before decorating.

IMG_4332We decorated our cupcakes with buttercream, two chocolate chips as eyes and some orange fondant icing shaped into a beak, feet and wings! There are so many fantastic ideas online for decorating for Easter, this is a wonderful link with lots of ideas;

https://www.facebook.com/CreativeIdeass/posts/877625902360063

or check out our delightful Easter board on Pinterest which you can find here!

I would like to wish you all a very Happy Easter from all the team at Ariel House, thank you so much for reading and your continued support.

Till the next time!

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St Patrick’s Festival 2016

Ariel House Dublin Guesthouse

There is great excitement around Dublin city this week with a host of activities and events planned to help celebrate the St Patrick’s Festival 2016.  This years theme is “Imagine If” and marks the final instalment of an exciting trilogy; the past, the present and the future. The theme will bring Dublin streets to life on March 17th with fantastic pageantry and performance.

The youngest ever Grand Marshal, Joanne O’Riordan will lead out the parade. Recently Joanne appeared on RTÉ Television in an independent documentary titled No Limbs No Limits which was directed and produced by her brother Steven. The film explores Joanne’s personal relationships with her family and those she meets on a daily basis and is seen as an education on how the human spirit can triumph over adversity.

Joanne, a 2nd-year criminology student at UCC and from Millstreet Co. Cork is one of seven people in the world living with Total Amelia, a syndrome in which individuals are born without limbs. Both Joanne and her family have never allowed her condition to hold her back. Using technology to enhance her abilities in both her educational pursuits and the wider social environment has led to Joanne conquering major challenges at home, in school and around her local community. Joanne lives life with a no limits mentality and her outlook on life has served as an example both nationally and internationally to all able-bodied and disabled bodies to live very happy, independent and fulfilled lives. We are looking forward to cheering her on as she follows in the path of Nicky Byrne, Katie Taylor and most recently Brendan O’Carroll who have all led the Dublin parade in recent years.

One of our favourite parts of the St Patrick’s Festival is the Greening of the Buildings which will take place on Thursday evening at 6pm. All of the following buildings are taking part and will be lit up green!

Trinity College Dublin
Mansion House                                                                                                 GPO
The Convention Centre Dublin
National Museum of Ireland-Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, Benburb St, Dublin 7
The Olympia
Heuston Station
Connolly Station
National Museum of Ireland–Archaeology, Kildare St, Dublin 2
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
City Hall
Civic Offices
IFSC House
CHQ Building
Christ Church Cathedral
National Museum of Ireland-Natural History, Merrion St, Dublin 2
Iveagh House 79/80 St Stephens Green
National Museum of Ireland-Country Life, Castlebar, Mayo
Iveagh House 79/80 St Stephens Green
Dublinia
The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street
St. Stephens Green Shopping Centre
St. Patricks Cathedral
The Dawson Hotel
Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square
Odeon Bar, Harcourt Street
Raddison Blu Hotel, Dublin Airport
The Church
The CCD
The Temple Bar Pub
Brown Thomas
The Twelve Hotel
Uppercross House Hotel, Mother Reilly’s Bar & Restaurant
Clyde Court Hotel
Diceys
Doorway Gallery
Double Tree/Hilton
Doyles Hotels – Croke Park Hotel
Dublin Bus Head Office
Generator Hostel
Cafe en Seine
Castleknock Hotel
Claredon Properties
Clontarf Castle Hotel
Grafton Lounge
Grand Canal Hotel
Gromley’s Fine Art
Hibernian Club
Hugh Lane Gallery
IFSC House
Kilkenny Shop
Shelbourne Hotel
J. W. Sweetmans
The Grand Canal House
Wynn’s Hotel

There is a fantastic website which you will find at http://www.stpatricksfestival.ie which lists all the events that are happening around the city. Lots to do between 17th and 20th of March for all the family!

Happy St Patrick’s Day from all the team in Ariel House!

 

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Ariel House – February Favourites

30 days has September,

April, June and November.

All the rest have 31, 

Except February, it’s the one,

Which only has 28 days clear,

And 29 in each Leap Year.

February Favourites

We had a busy February here in Ariel House. Lots of visitors coming to stay and visiting for afternoon tea.  Here are just some of the highlights of our month, all 29 days of it! 

Queen Cakes

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We shared a recipe for a good old fashioned queen cake which proved very popular on our social media accounts.

Back when we were younger, an Irish tea table was not considered complete without a plate of freshly made Queen Cakes upon it. In other houses, they were called fairy buns or butterfly buns, but in our house, they were always called Queen Cakes. The whole act of creaming the butter and sugar together, takes me back to my mother’s kitchen and I can almost hear the scrape of the wooden spoon working through the mixture. Queen Cakes are some of the simplest buns that you can make, perfect for beginner bakers or little hands to help with. Even better, these delicious treats take just a half an hour to conjure from start to finish. Such a pretty addition to any afternoon tea table!
Ingredients for 12 buns:
175g self raising flour
125g caster sugar
125g softened butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons of milk
Suggested Topping Ingredients:
100ml of raspberry jam
100ml of soft whipped cream
Icing sugar

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Line a 12 hole bun tray with bun cases.
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
Gradually add the beaten eggs, if mixture starts to curdle, drop in a tablespoon of flour.
Add in the remaining flour and the milk.
Use an ice cream scoop to fill the paper cases and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
Cool on a wire tray.
Once cooled, carefully cut a small slice from the top of each bun, cut this slice in half to resemble butterfly wings.
Pipe some cream and some jam on top before replacing the wings on the bun at a slight angle. Dust with icing sugar and voila, a memory of childhood awaits you!

Pancake Tuesday

We celebrated Pancake Tuesday with a variety of different toppings. Lemon and sugar was the most popular followed by streaky bacon and maple syrup!

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Things to do in Dublin!

We shared this lovely article of ten amazing things to do in Dublin!

http://www.cntraveller.com/recommended/cities/dublin-cool-things-to-do/

Welcome!

We welcomed Ted Rubin to Ariel House and he shared this wonderful collage from his stay. Ted was in town for the Social Media Summit which looked to have been a fantastic event!

 

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Farewell!

We bid farewell to one of our colleagues who has left to pursue her career in Art & History. We shared some delicious treats from the Camerino Bakery with her and enjoyed every single crumb.

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Love was in the air!

Love was in the air as we celebrated Valentine’s Day and treated our guests to some delicious Victoria sponges!

“The most important things to do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and somebody to love you”

Brendan Behan

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That rounds up our highlights from February! We have a very busy March ahead, Mother’s Day, St Patrick’s Day and Easter are all coming up! Stay tuned for lots more recipes and things to do in Dublin over the St Patrick’s Festival!

Till the next time!

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Shortbread Cookies at Ariel House!

These shortbread cookies are a staple here in Ariel House. They are fantastic to sandwich strawberries and cream together, delicious dipped in melted chocolate or simply dunked into a cup of hot tea! With just three ingredients required, they could not be any simpler.

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Ingredients

50g sugar

100g butter

150g plain flour

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c and grease a baking sheet with butter.

Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar and bring the mixture together to form a very stiff dough.

Roll out the dough onto a lightly dusted surface until the mixture is 1/4 inch thick.

Use a love heart shaped cutter or whatever cutter you have to hand to cut. Lift carefully onto the greased baking sheet.

Bake for approximately 8 minutes or until the cookies are golden.

Allow to cool fully on a wire rack before decorating or simply eat them!

Thanks for all your lovely comments during February. We are looking forward to sharing our monthly highlights with you.

Till the next time!

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Afternoon Tea Pavlova at Ariel House.

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It’s a miserable and wet afternoon in Dublin but we are looking forward to a busy weekend here in Ariel House! We have guests staying from all over the world and have two busy days of afternoon teas ahead. This pavlova is always a hit with our guests and we are always guaranteed to have no leftovers. Crunchy meringue with a chewy interior, softly whipped cream, retro tinned pears and a chopped mars bar, what’s not to love!

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Ingredients:

4 egg whites
225g caster sugar
1tsp cornflour
1tsp white wine vinegar

Toppings:

Tin of pears (in juice, drained)
1 large mars bar, chopped
300ml of cream
1 vanilla pod

Instructions:
Heat the oven to 180°C. Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment.
Whisk the egg whites with electric beaters until they can hold stiff peaks.
Gradually add the sugar, a couple of tablespoons at a time and whisk really well between each addition. When all of the sugar is used up, continue whisking for 3-4 minutes or until the meringue is glossy and stands up in peaks.
Whisk in the cornflour and vinegar.
Spoon the mixture onto the baking parchment and use a palette knife to make a circle about 20cm in diameter. Put in the oven, turn the temperature down to 120 degrees and cook for for 1 ½ hours. allow to cool. Carefully peel off the baking parchment and put the pavlova on a serving dish.

Scrape the vanilla seeds into a mixing bowl, add the cream and softly whip, then spoon onto the pavlova. Arrange the halved pears on top and sprinkle over the chopped mars bar.

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Slice and devour!

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