Enjoying Life's Little Pleasures

The Ariel House Blog

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!

breakfast_b&b_in_dublin

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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An Ariel House Favourite – Vanilla Melting Moments.

IMG_3661When we first started hosting afternoon tea here in Ariel House, these delicious little morsels were so popular we found it hard to bake them as quick as they were required in the dining room. Ever popular and oh so delicious, our cake stand is never complete without them on it.  We are often asked for the recipe and we steer our enquirers towards Rachel Allen, one of our favourite celebrity chefs. This is the recipe we use and there is nothing that we would change about it.

For the biscuits: (makes 24 single biscuits/12 sandwiches)

175 g self raising flour

125 g corn flour

50 g icing sugar

225 g butter (cut into pieces)

1 tsp vanilla essence

For the vanilla butter icing:

50 g butter (softened)

125 g icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.

Whizz the self raising flour, corn flour and icing sugar in a food processor for a second.

Add the butter and vanilla essence and mix until a dough is formed.

Roll the mixture into small balls and place on a baking tray with a little room in between.

Dip a fork in cold water and press down on each one to flatten slightly.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes.

Remove carefully and cool on a wire rack.

Mix all the icing ingredients until they come together.

When the biscuits have cooled, spread the icing onto half of them with a warm butter knife before sandwiching together.

IMG_3533The only problem you will have is stopping after one or two, so light and crumbly and melt in your mouth! If you have been to Ariel House for afternoon tea we would love to hear from you, what recipes would you like to see coming up on our blog?

Till the next time!

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The Dublin Cookbook featuring Ariel House!

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We were absolutely delighted when we were approached by Concept Marketing to get involved with a charity cookbook involving many of the top chefs and restaurants in Dublin. The proceeds are in aid of Temple Street Children’s University Hospital and this is a charity which is particularly close to our hearts here in Ariel House.

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There are over 130 recipes featured, ranging from simple starters, delicious main courses, decadent desserts and home baking. Our famous Banana & Chocolate Chip Loaf is featured which is a firm favourite with our guests and staff alike.

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We have copies of the book available at reception here in Ariel House for €15, with all proceeds going to the charity. We think this would make a lovely addition to your cookbook collection. We are looking forward to trying the ‘Vanilla Mars Bar Cheesecake’ from The Lovely Food Company , so watch out for some pictures on our Instagram account for it!

Till the next Time!

 

 

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Ariel House Recommends…….

Ariel House Recommends….

We recently had a wonderful day out through the streets broad and narrow of Dublin’s fair city! We love to experience, first hand, outings that we recommend to our guests and this is definitely high on our recommendation list. Please let me introduce you to Ketty, an award winning blogger, Ballymaloe trained chef and an extremely knowledgable and entertaining tour guide!

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We met up with Ketty and a couple more hungry souls on a sunny Saturday morning in August and started off our tour with a brief history of Irish food. Wear comfortable shoes, an elastic waistband and come with an empty stomach, as ahead of you is a few hours of gastronomic delights. I don’t want to spoil the surprise of where you may be going but will give you a few teasers through pictures. I hope you enjoy looking through them and I can verify that everything tasted as good as it looked!

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To book a tour with Ketty just follow this link……deliciousdublintours.com 

You won’t be disappointed! Stay tuned for more in the Ariel House Recommends series.

Till the next time!

 

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Could Ariel House Serve Ireland’s Best Hotel Breakfast?

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Could Ariel House Serve Ireland’s Best Hotel Breakfast?

poached eggs

breakfast

[brek-fuh st]

noun
1.
the first meal of the day; morning meal:
A hearty breakfast was served at 7 a.m.
2.
the food eaten at the first meal of the day:
a breakfast of bacon and eggs.
verb (used without object)
3.
to eat breakfast:
He breakfasted on bacon and eggs.

 

full Irish breakfast

Breakfast in Ariel House is the most important meal of the day. We try our very best at our Dublin guesthouse to get it right by using only the finest, locally produced ingredients and this, we believe, can be tasted in every single mouthful.

Mothers Da

We are delighted to once again be nominated for “Ireland’s Best Hotel Breakfast” and we would be so delighted if you could take thirty seconds of your day to vote for us. Every single vote counts, just follow the link.

http://www.hotelandcateringreview.ie/vote/

breakfast pancakes

To win this award would be such an honour for the entire team here at Ariel House. We absolutely love the amazing feedback we receive from our guests and would be thrilled to be crowned with the official title of “Ireland’s Best Hotel Breakfast”.

Mother's Day Breakfast

Our head chef Rose and her team work tirelessly in our kitchen each morning to bring you some of the tastiest breakfasts in Ireland. Without their hard work and dedication we would not be where we are now.

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Thanks so much to you all for reading and for your continued support, as always it is very much appreciated.

Best wishes,

Deirdre and all the team.

 

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Ariel House recommends a visit to The Discover Ireland Horse Show!

The Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show, 5th – 9th August 2015image002

Here in Ballsbridge The Discover Ireland Horse Show is an institution! It has been held annually in The RDS since 1881 and each year grows more in popularity. The best of Irish horses and the most talented showjumpers in the world come together to celebrate this fantastic five day event however there is much more to it than just the magnificent horses.

Nations Cup Champagne

Ireland’s finest artisan producers will be showcasing their amazing products in the halls of the RDS alongside other retailers who come back year after year with their beautiful leather goods. There are various food options available at every turn with something that everyone will enjoy. If you have a flair for fashion be sure to visit on Thursday were the best dressed lady will receive a prize fund of €10,000 and the best dressed man will receive a Louis Copeland suit. There are pony rides, magic shows and bouncy castles to keep the children entertained and not forgetting the RDS National Craft Awards Exhibition were the cream of Ireland’s craft enterprise can be found.

All in all a magnificent day out for all the family. We are looking forward to hearing our guests views on the spectacular event! Best of luck to everyone involved in the Discover Ireland Horse Show this year!

Till the next time!

Pic:Marc O'Sullivan

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An Ariel House Favourite, Zesty Lemon Posset!

11265002_931145726952676_7649851300665031333_nWe served up these delicious little lemon possets yesterday as part of our afternoon tea. Such a lovely contrast to all the sweetness to serve something that has a bite to it. We always have lots of lemons in our kitchen so we can whip these up whenever required. It is such a simple recipe and always goes down so well with our guests.

We started making it last year when our lovely friend Fiona Dillon featured it in her gorgeous book, Food from an Irish Garden and it has remained on our menu ever since. Give it a shot and see how you get on, wonderful to serve to dinner guests as well!

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Ingredients (for 10 shot glasses of lemon posset)

300mls double cream
70g caster sugar
Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Method

Put the double cream in a pot with the sugar.
Bring slowly to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the lemon juice and zest.
Pour into glasses and refrigerate until set.

So lovely served with some gorgeous Irish strawberries or raspberries and maybe even a shortbread biscuit!

We have an exciting August coming up on the blog. Join us as we visit the Dublin Horse Show, wander around the streets of Dublin and indulge in a few more tempting recipes!

Till the next time.

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Thanks to Fiona Dillon for the use of her beautiful lemon posset picture and for her lovely recipe!

 

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Gathering Lavender at Ariel House

Guesthouse in Dublin Lavender

We have an abundance of highly fragrant lavender in our garden at the moment. It is so lovely to brush against it and have the scent surround you. It is such a soothing and homely scent and I love to bring some of that aroma indoors as well.

It is so easy to dry lavender and it can then be used in a variety of ways. Line an old shoebox with newspaper and when the dew has dried on the lavender buds simply snip some of them off the stalk and place in the bottom of the shoebox. Place in a warm, dry place and every day give the box a little shake. I find the airing cupboard a great place to do this and you have the added bonus of gorgeous smelling sheets and towels. Once the buds are dry and brittle they are ready to use in a variety of different ways. The following are my favourite ways to have the scent of the garden in your home for longer.

Lavender Sachets:

Place the dried flowers into an organza bag and tie. These can then be used as drawer sachets or under your pillow. Add a spoon of epsom salts to make a bath sachet. Place under warm running water for a relaxing bath.

Lavender Oil:

Lightly crush a spoonful of dried lavender flowers. Gently warm 100ml of almond oil and add this to the crushed lavender before rebottling. Let sit for 7-10 days before straining and discarding the bits. Cap tightly. Makes a wonderful massage oil.

Lavender Sugar/Cookies:

Add the dried buds to any amount of plain, white sugar. Leave for two weeks, giving it an occasional shake. Great to add to tea or to your favourite shortcake recipe, simply by replacing instead of your usual sugar.

Lavender Water:

Add a handful of dried lavender buds to 200ml of water. Allow to infuse before spraying on sheets or curtains for a fresh, floral scent. This water can be kept in the fridge of up to a week.

What is your favourite scent from the garden and how do you prolong it? We would love to hear!

Till the next time.

 

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Picnic Food

There is something special about eating outdoors especially when it’s picnic food. Sandwiches and cups of tea served in plastic mugs always taste better than when you are sitting at your kitchen table! However, if you are looking for something a little more exciting than a ham sandwich and milky tea, look no further.

We have compiled a selection of delicious food treats that are sure to be a hit at any picnic, all we need now is the sunshine to accompany it.

Our selection of picnic food

These smoked salmon palmiers are incredibly easy to make and taste absolutely delicious! 

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/smoked-salmon-poppy-seed-palmiers

 

Asparagus and salty prosciutto are such a fabulous combination! Sure to be a winner! 

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/asparagus-prosciutto-bundles-goats-cheese-hazelnut-dip

 

Curried chicken and mango salad. A delicious low-calorie option that tastes decadent.

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2121661/curried-chicken-and-mango-salad

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A muffuletta…..now that is what I call a sandwich! 

http://www.rte.ie/lifestyle/food/recipes/2013/0507/3807-muffuletta/

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Our very own afternoon tea favourite! Queen cakes!

http://www.ariel-house.net/blog/cakes-fit-for-a-queen-delicious-queen-cake-recipe/

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Lemon curd and meringue bites! 

http://www.ariel-house.net/blog/ariel-house-mini-meringues/

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What better to wash down all these treats with than homemade lemonade! 

http://www.ariel-house.net/blog/homemade-lemonade/

Or if you are looking for something with a little more fizz……

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/bellini

We hope you enjoyed our roundup of delicious picnic food treats!

For your ease of use, we have pinned them all to our “Picnic” board on Pinterest which you can find here.

 

Till the next time!

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An American Intern Abroad in Ariel House, Dublin.

From time to time we are approached here in Ariel House to act as host for an international intern, pursuing a career in hospitality.

 

We were approached by the CEA Study Abroad programme who introduced us to Emilee Roberson. She arrived last May with 5 other interns, (new friends) from the USA. She is a 22 yr old student, majoring in Hospitality and Tourism in the Appalachian State University (ASU), of North Carolina. She eventually wants to open up her own small B&B back home in Asheville, in the same State.

Map of Asheville, Nth Carolina, USA

As Emilee is due to finish up her sojourn with us we thought it would be interesting to get her ‘take’ on her experience of life in Dublin.

 

Her first impression of Ireland was, of course, the weather. She had been warned about Irish summers so she had packed her rain jacket. Nobody, however, had prepared her for the inconsistency of the Irish climate. In her first week, she was caught in so many showers, “ with no umbrella”, that all she could think of was “where am I and what am I doing here?”

Emilee Roberson at Ariel House

 

However, she persevered in her downtown accommodation in Smithfield and contrary to her first thoughts, she now admits that she has “gotten used to the weird weather.” Which, she hastens to add, does not mean she likes it.

 

As we discussed the content of this post with Emilee, her joyful personality continued to shine through. For instance, she recounted her first ‘day at the office’, as follows.

 

“On my first day heading to work from the City centre, I asked for directions to Lansdowne Road, at the train station. A very kind lady (with an umbrella) pointed to a southbound track and suggested that I get the next train leaving for Bray.

 

Emilee at Ariel House

I did – but, unfortunately, it was a mainline train rather than the Dublin Area Rapid Transport (known locally as the DART). I ended up in Bray town, which is about 15 miles (24.5k) past my stop. What’s more – I had no phone connection and couldn’t ring Deirdre in Ariel House, to advise her of my predicament.

 

When I eventually turned up, they were more worried about me than annoyed. Eventually we all laughed and I did my tour of the guesthouse. What I learnt during my student placement here, is that everybody is treated as if they are part of the Ariel House family – guests included.”

 

Drawing room at Ariel House

“Oh yeah”, she continued, “Prior to my coming to Ireland, I’ve never actually tasted ‘real tea’ (breakfast tea) – I’ve always had herbal teas. So, you can imagine my embarrassment when serving during the renowned Ariel House Afternoon Tea one day, and was asked for some more tea.

 

I brought over the box of herbal teas to the table and received some very strange looks. The guest informed me that all I had to do was to pour a cup from the teapot on the sideboard. Just an American intern abroad”, I said red faced.

 

It hasn’t been all work for our American intern. Not only has Emilee explored Dublin, (her favourite place is Trinity College / Book of Kells) but she has also travelled around Ireland. She has visited the Giants Causeway in  Antrim N.I; Galway, the Cliffs of Moher and is actually planning to ‘pop’ over to London for a flying visit before she leaves Dublin at the end of this month.

 

Emilee finished our chat, as she had to get back to work, by outlining what she loved about her Ariel House experience. “I did not meet even one customer that had a complaint, which must be some sort of record. The staff are genuinely helpful, understanding and extremely friendly. When I think back about my time here it will always be with a smile on my face.”

 

Emilee's smile at Ariel House

“I’ve learnt loads from Deirdre and her team which will really stand to me when I return to ASU this fall. Will I come back to Ireland? You betcha, and when I do I will stay in Ariel House, and in Room 251 if it is available.”

 

Till the next time – the Ariel House 

 

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