Enjoying Life's Little Pleasures

The Ariel House Blog

Ariel House – January Favourites

January has been a gusty month here in Dublin! We have had storms Gertrude, Henry and Imogen in quick succession all visiting and a few more due to visit in February. Spring seems very far away but I have spotted a few green shoots in our city garden and some daffodils already in bloom as I walked through Dublin which means that longer, brighter and sunnier days are en route.

The following are a couple of highlights that we shared with you during January!

Black Pudding is a Superfood! 

Black pudding is packed with protein, iron, calcium & zinc and has been named as a superfood of 2016! We always serve the finest Clonakilty black pudding with our Irish breakfast and we can now indulge guilt free!

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3384724/2016-s-new-superfood-Black-pudding-Breakfast-staple-loaded-protein-iron-potassium-set-fly-shelves.html

Feeling Spring like on Pinterest! 

We are helping ourselves through this cold snap by focusing on the next season! Lots of gorgeous Spring flowers and arrangements over on our Ariel House Pinterest page. Happy pinning!

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http://pin.it/BnfEOeL

Winter Sun!

We love the way the winter sun hits the piano in the late afternoon in our drawing room!

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Lovin Dublin!

Absolutely delighted to be included in Lovin Dublin’s Top Afternoon Tea spots…. We’re in really good company here! Thanks for the mention guys and another “Well Done” to our Afternoon Tea Team!

http://lovindublin.com/lifestyle/weddings/7-of-the-best-places-in-dublin-for-a-cracking-afternoon-tea-hen-party

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Irish Ancestry Search

This is really interesting. Type in your surname to see where your ancestors mainly lived in the late 1800’s!

http://www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/

We hope you have enjoyed our January round up. We are looking forward to February, Valentines’s Day and sharing some more recipes with you!

Till the next time!

 

 

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Ariel House: Good news and a healthy treat!

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A lot of our guests this week are trying to reduce their sugar intake and adapt a healthier way of living. We believe in “a little of what you fancy’ here in Ariel House and try to stick to the 80:20 rule. These tasty little mini muffins are perfect to have with a coffee or even to put in a lunchbox for school. With just four ingredients you can whip them up in minutes and have something sweet to enjoy.
To make 20 mini muffins you will need:
3 ripe bananas, mashed
200g of porridge oats
40g of flaked almonds
40g of dark chocolate, chopped

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Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
Line a mini muffin tin with paper cases.
Mix the mashed bananas thoroughly with the porridge oats before adding the almonds and chopped chocolate. Mix again.
Spoon the mixture evenly into the paper cases.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Allow to cool fully before eating.
Enjoy!

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We are absolutely delighted to have been placed in the Top 25 Hotels in Ireland in the 2016 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards; an award which we have received for the last four consecutive years. A sincere “Thank You” to our loyal guests for their continued support.

 
Ariel House is also included in the Top 25 Hotels in Ireland for Service; an accolade for which we thank our wonderful Team, for their hard work, professionalism and dedication.

https://www.tripadvisor.ie/TravelersChoice-Hotels

Till the next time!

 

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A New Year at Ariel House!

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Welcome back to the Ariel House blog! We reopened our doors on Saturday after carrying out some essential maintenance works over the festive period and we are delighted to be back meeting our guests and spoiling them with treats from our kitchen.

This tray bake is always so popular with our guests, delicious with a hot cup of coffee served with a splash of cream. It is a very simple recipe and one which you could easily make in your kitchen to share with friends or family. Enjoy!

Coffee & Walnut Tray Bake

Ingredients

• 225g Irish creamery butter

• 225g soft brown sugar

• 285g self-raising flour

• 2 tsp baking powder

• 4 eggs

• 2 tbsp milk

For the icing:

• 85g Irish creamery butter

• 225g icing sugar, sifted

• 1 tsp milk

• 2 tsp coffee essence (or strong instant coffee)

Walnut halves to decorate.

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4

Grease and base-line a 30x23cm roasting tin with greaseproof paper.

Place all the sponge ingredients into a large mixing bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes until well mixed.

Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the cake is firm to touch but springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips.

Leave to cool in the tin.

To make the coffee icing; cream together the butter with the icing sugar, milk, coffee essence until nice and smooth. Spread evenly over the cake using a palette knife, then decorate with the walnut halves and dust with a little icing sugar.

The cake can be cut into small squares of equal size, with one walnut half decorating each square.

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We are looking forward to sharing more recipes, things to do in Dublin, good news and events which we attend during 2016 with you here on the blog. Thanks, as always, for reading!

Till the next time!

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An Ariel House Christmas!

Mince Pies

Christmas in Ariel House is a very special time of year. We meet lots of families returning to spend time with their loved ones, we make dozens of delicious mince pies to share with our guests, we decorate our tree and remember what a wonderful year we have had, all washed down with a glass of mulled wine!

Mulled Wine Glass

We came across this delicious recipe for a Mince Pie Cake a couple of years ago and have found it to be very popular with our guests. It is an alternative use for any jars of mincemeat you may have in your kitchen and is delicious served with hot custard or some softly whipped cream.

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Makes one 20cm cake

Ingredients

175g butter

100g light muscovado sugar

3 eggs

225g self raising flour

300g homemade mincemeat

a pinch of ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

icing sugar to dust

Method

Line a 20cm cake tin and preheat oven to 190 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.

Beat in the eggs gently, one by one.

Mix through the mincemeat.

Fold in the flour and spices.

Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 45 minutes or until a cake skewer is removed cleanly from the centre.

Turn out of the tin and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving!

This is a new tradition for us to bake each year in Ariel House. What baking traditions do you have in your home during the festive season?

Till the next time!

 

 

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Ariel House – November Favourites

Ariel House – November Favourites

We are really beginning to feel festive here in Ariel House. The Christmas tree is up, the fireplaces are decorated, the mince pies are being baked in the kitchen and there is a lovely festive atmosphere as you walk through town!

I have compiled a few highlights of November in Ariel House, once again it has been a busy month! The round up includes local and Irish businesses that we support, we have not been asked to include them!

The Old Spot, Bath Avenue, Dublin 4.

Guests often ask us to recommend a local eatery where they can enjoy a nice atmosphere and delicious food. We thoroughly enjoyed a meal here recently so have no qualms whatsoever about recommending it to our guests. The Old Spot is a gastro pub with a fantastic and varied menu. Check out the specials board which changes daily and is sure to tickle anyone’s fancy. Be sure to try out the scallops which were cooked to perfection and served alongside perfectly crisp pork belly, the stuff dreams are made of!

10313467_813935201991848_5842140887895772974_nTrivago Top Hotel Awards 2015

We were thrilled to be named as one of the top hotels in Leinster by trivago.ie! Makes it all the sweeter that the award was review based and our lovely guests took the time to go online and write such lovely things about us. Thank you.

Top Hotel LEINSTER

Rose’s Mince Pies

Rose our lovely chef has been busy in the kitchen preparing all things festive. These mince pies are delectable and are going down a treat with our guests. We shared our recipe so that you can try them at home for yourself!

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Avokadoandco.com

We adore the Christmas range from this County Clare based company Avokado & Co. Beautiful and quirky Irish gifts, with something for everyone! Check out their website for some fun gift ideas. We love these gift tags…..

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Adonis Flowers

We absolutely adore Kat’s work in Adonis Flowers. We ordered two fireplace garlands and as always we are thrilled with them. Dried clementines, cinnamon sticks and shiny holly berries stand out amongst the beautiful greenery. So festive!

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McKennas’ Guides 2016

Delighted that once again we have received a McKennas’ Guides plaque for 2016. Always such a honour to receive such a well respected award. Thank you John & Sally for your continued support and to our team here at Ariel House for your continued hard work.

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As we head into December we are looking forward to sharing with you some delicious festive recipes and we also have a very special guest arriving to stay for the festive season! Stay tuned!

Till the next time!

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Trivago Top Hotel Awards 2015

Top Hotel LEINSTER

We were thrilled to recently hear that we had been named as one of the top hotels in Leinster by trivago.ie! This is a review based award so we would like to thank all of our lovely guests for taking the time to go online and tell everyone how much they have enjoyed their stay with us! We strive every day to make everyone feel welcome and do our upmost to ensure that all our guests are well looked after, have a comfortable stay and an enjoyable breakfast.

Ariel House dublin guesthouseTrivago is the world’s largest hotel search engine and more than 80 million customers use the site every month. That is a phenomenal figure and we are more than thrilled to be in the top 20 in Leinster amongst some amazing hotels. We have a fabulous team of people here in Ariel House and without them this would not be possible. They are extremely dedicated, loyal and strive for excellence in everything that they do and we believe this shows in some of the lovely reviews that you will find online.

http://www.trivago.ie/?iGeoDistanceItem=46115&sSlideOutType=rating

If you are looking for a comfortable place to stay, a warm welcome and delicious food look no further than Ariel House! Proud as punch to be regarded so highly by our loyal customers. No one is a stranger when they come through the front door in Ariel House!

Till the next time!

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An Ariel House Welcome – Truffles!

Chocolate truffles

We like to ensure that every guest that comes through the door in Ariel House receives a ‘Cead Mile Failte’ which literally means ‘a hundred thousand welcomes’! Whether you have travelled thousands of miles or just popped down the road we like to make sure that you know we are so pleased to have you with us and thanks for choosing to stay or dine with us. We encourage our guests to pop into our drawing room and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, a treat from our kitchen and a read of the daily papers. We have even had a guest or two treat us to a melody on our piano although it may be in need of some tuning! Often our guests will sit and chat with each other and recommend places to eat or things that are a must see or do, it is always lovely to see people from all over the world sit and chat over a hot cup of tea.

These truffles are a regular feature in the drawing room, they are incredibly luscious and guests often ask where can they buy them! As always though these are from our kitchen and brought to you by our very talented chefs.

Chocolate truffle

Ingredients (makes 36)

150g dark chocolate, at least 70%

30g of soft, unsalted butter

100ml of double cream

50ml of Baileys

Cocoa powder (to decorate)

Instructions

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl.

Heat the butter and the cream in a saucepan on a low heat until the mixture starts to bubble.

Pour the hot mixture onto the chocolate and mix well, making sure it is blended and the chocolate is fully melted.

Add the Baileys before mixing again.

Allow the mixture to sit in the fridge overnight.

Take teaspoons of the mixture and roll into balls, dusting in cocoa powder to finish.

Delicious!

We hope to welcome you some day soon in Ariel House!

Till the next time!

 

 

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Sweet Afternoon Tea Scones at Ariel House

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An afternoon tea is simply not complete without a traditional afternoon tea scone, preferably served with jam and a good dollop of whipped cream. It is the one thing that we make daily in our kitchen without fail and we are very proud of their lightness and delicious taste! They are very easy to make at home and we thought you would enjoy to have the recipe!

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Ingredients (makes 18 scones)

900g plain white flour

175g butter

3 free range eggs, whisked lightly

Pinch of salt

50g caster sugar

3 heaped teaspoons of baking powder

450ml of milk

Egg wash

Granulated sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Sieve all the dry ingredients into a bowl.

Cut the butter into cubes and rub into the flour mixture.

Make a well in the centre and add the whisked eggs and milk to form a dough.

Turn onto a floured board before shaping into a round approximately 1 inch thick.

Stamp out into scones using a small glass or cutter.

Place on a baking sheet before brushing with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden.

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Cool on a wire rack or enjoy warm.

Don’t forget the jam and cream.

Till the next time!

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Ariel House – October Favourites

afternoon-tea-collageIt has been a busy month here in Ariel House! We have hosted many afternoon teas, welcomed guests from all over the world, have felt both immense joy & sorrow following our wonderful Irish rugby team in the World Cup and we were thrilled to feature as the best value afternoon tea in the Sunday Independent!

We have picked a few highlights of things we have come across, loved and shared over the last month! Hope you will enjoy our October favourites!

Dublin: A Breath of Fresh Air

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsK8O2yvEPg

This is a fabulous video capturing the heart and soul of Dublin!

Camerino Bakery

If you haven’t yet managed to visit or at least followed their instagram account you are missing out! Delicious challah sandwiches, home baked treats and the most amazing doughnuts from the Dublin Doughnut Company. Not to be missed! http://www.camerino.ie

IMG_0066Ariel House Brown Bread

Our brown bread recipe featured on our blog and lots of you were delighted to add the recipe to your repetoires!

IMG_1037Halloween!

October wouldn’t be complete without sharing our recipe for barmbrack! Perfect with a steaming pot of tea and slatherings of real Irish butter!

http://www.ariel-house.net/blog/halloween-tea-brack/

ariel-barn-breakIn November we are looking forward to sharing lots more with you on our blog! We will be looking forward to the festive season and all that entails! These chocolate ganache & chantilly cream eclairs were a huge hit on both our Facebook page and our cake stand so we will be blogging the recipe for your enjoyment!

12046752_973121556088426_8807690073730984698_nAs always thanks for reading!

Till the next time!

 

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National Bread Week! Ariel House Favourite, Brown Bread!

Love Your Loaf with National Bread Week is a week long celebration of Irish Bread! We have a fantastic bread heritage here in Ireland which we are extremely proud of. Here in our kitchen at Ariel House we make fresh bread daily and it is always popular with our guests!

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We love it with lashings of real butter and delicious tangy marmalade, with traditionally smoked salmon, a crack of black pepper and soft scrambled eggs or if we are feeling indulgent, fried in a little bit of butter to serve with a traditional Irish fried breakfast.

Mothers Da

This is the recipe we have been using in our kitchen and it is so easy to make there are no excuses as to why you can’t have the smell and taste of fresh bread in your home kitchen!

Ingredients:

• 185g self-raising white flour

• 85g wholemeal flour

• 30g porridge oats

• 1/2 tsp sugar

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

• 1 tsp bread soda

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

• 280ml milk

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly.
Add the lightly beaten egg.
Add the milk.
This makes quite a wet mixture, pour into a greased loaf tin.
Bake for 35-45 min until base sounds hollow when tapped.

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We sometimes add a handful of dried cranberries and walnuts to the mix before baking to add a festive twist! Is it too soon to mention Christmas……….

Till the next time!

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