Enjoying Life's Little Pleasures

The Ariel House Blog

An Award-Winning Breakfast by Our Ariel House Chef’s

Over the years, we have built up a reputation as being one of the best B&B’s in Dublin and although we pride ourselves on the charming elegance and Victorian features of our bedrooms, B&B stands for more than just beds – it’s about the breakfast too!

Our Breakfast Chef, Rose, recently celebrated her 12 year anniversary working as part of the Ariel House team. It got us thinking about all of the scrumptious food and delicious recipes that Rose and her team, Manu and Ulisses, have made for our guests over the years. We thought it was the perfect opportunity to shine the light on the fruits of all the labour our chefs go through every morning to give our guests a truly award-winning breakfast.

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Rose, the Breakfast Chef, at our B&B in Dublin.

We believe that guests come to our B&B in Dublin to treat themselves and that they expect that little bit extra from their breakfast; that’s why Rose and the team believe in using seasonal ingredients and sourcing the best in local Irish produce.

We are proud to use only free range, Irish eggs as well as button mushrooms which are grown right here in Co. Dublin. Our bacon and sausages are sourced from Wexford producer, Pat O’Neill. Both our black and white pudding come from the renowned, Clonakilty Pudding. The chutney on our breakfast tables is homemade using Rachel Allen’s recipe. Most of our breads and pastries are home baked with the exception of the sourdough and Cinnamon Rolls which are made by Master Baker Vlad at his wonderful Arun Bakery in Dublin 7. Our great fruit jams and marmalades come from the Kilmurray Farm in Co. Wicklow, with some of our jams and the amarena cherries, marinated in honey and poitin, that we use in our porridge coming from the lovely Irish Bee Sensations in Co. Cork.

breakfast_b&b_in_dublin

When you look for a B&B in Dublin, you can search through all of the images and photographs you want but sometimes you can just never truly capture the taste of crispy streaky bacon or the smell of freshly baked bread in the morning. At Ariel House, presentation has always been key. We believe in making our food look just as good as it tastes.

b&b_in_dublin_breakfasts

It will come as no surprise that Ariel House was awarded the “Best Guesthouse Breakfast” award at the Irish Breakfast Awards in 2012. Our Victorian guesthouse has also been commended for our breakfasts by The Daily Telegraph newspaper, Lucinda O’Sullivan’s Great Places to Stay Guide and The John and Sally McKenna Guide. Rose and the team’s hard work and dedication over the years has been well recognised and it’s safe to say we are not the only ones who love Rose’s delicious food; it looks like everyone else does too!

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Kidding Around in Dublin – Keeping Children of All Ages Entertained During Easter

things-to-do-in-dublin

 

As the Easter break approaches, many of our guests and indeed many of you, will be contemplating how to keep their children entertained. This blog post details 5 of our top recommended places to visit in Dublin to keep your children entertained.

Natural History Museum

Most children have a fascination for animals and insects and there is no better place to satisfy their curiosity (and yours) then at the Natural History Museum. With over 2 million specimens this museum is fondly known as the “Dead Zoo”, there is a tremendous charm to the place and you can see amazing examples of many types of mammals, birds and insects on display in glass cases. The museum is centrally located on Merrion Street in Dublin 2, for more information and opening hours visit their website – http://www.museum.ie/en/intro/natural-history.aspx

The National Wax Museum

Since most of us will never meet any major celebrities in our lifetime. The National Wax Museum is a unique experience to bring children up close and personal to some famous people from throughout history.  Like many other wax museums this features some world renowned figures, however, it has an added Irish twist to it bringing Irish history to life through exhibits such as The Writers Room,  Hall of Irish Legends and Time Vaults of Irish History.  Visit their website for more information – http://www.waxmuseumplus.ie/index.asp

Dublin Zoo

In Phoenix Park you’ll find Dublin’s top family attraction, Dublin Zoo.  The zoo opened in 1831 and is one of the world’s oldest zoos. It is home to over 400 animals ranging from gorillas and giraffes to a plethora of flamingo’s and monkeys plus the ever comical meerkats.  This is a true family day out so pack a picnic and plan to walk and through the 28 hectares and see their amazing collection of animals up close and personal.  For admission prices, visiting hours and more – got to their website – http://www.dublinzoo.ie 

Imaginosity:

For younger children, Imaginosity, a Dublin Children’s Museum located in the Beacon South Quarter, provides plenty of creative play. The list of activities are endless and include activities like Story Corner, Wobbler & Toddlers and Endangered Species. There are about 4 different daily activities.

Do be sure to book ahead, especially during the holidays. Directions, hours and a full listing of activities can be found on their website. http://imaginosity.ie/

Leprechaun Museum

The legends of Leprechauns lie deep in Irish culture and the Leprechaun Museum, located on Jervis Street in Dublin 1, is just the place to learn more about Irish folklore and mythology. For more – http://www.leprechaunmuseum.ie/

There are loads more activities for children in Dublin to choose from of course. These are merely five options which come highly recommended from both ourselves here at Ariel House, and our guests.

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Mother’s Day Pavlova – Afternoon Tea / Dessert Recipe

afternoon tea pavlova

Afternoon Tea Dessert – Orange & Dark Chocolate Pavlova

Mothers’ Day takes place in Ireland this Sunday, the 30th of March.  It is always celebrated earlier in Ireland than most other countries. It is nonetheless usually a big celebration where we celebrate our wonderful mother’s and even our grandmother’s. The occasion is usually highlighted by a special meal or afternoon tea either at home or out in a favourite local restaurant.

Our afternoon tea here at Ariel House is always a big hit among mother’s and indeed among women in general. One of the delicious desserts that we offer is our Carmelised Orange and Dark Chocolate Pavlova. It is a simple recipe but the addition of chocolate and orange makes it a bit more special for the day.  So for those of you making your meal at home or hosting an afternoon tea for your mother on Sunday, why not make our pavlova recipe to finish it off perfectly?

This recipe is one of the ten recipes featured in our new recipe booklet which is available on our website to download for free. You can pick up a physical version of the recipe booklet in person when you visit Ariel House either.

 

Caramelised Orange & Dark Chocolate Pavlova

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 225 cater sugar
  • 1tsp cornflour
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar

 

Toppings:

  • 2 oranges, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 125ml water
  • 300ml of cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod

 

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Cover a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  2. Whisk the egg whites with electric beaters until they just for stiff and shiny peaks.
  3. 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 still and glossy and stands up in peaks.
  4. Whisk in the cornflour and vinegar.
  5. 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. Carefully peel off the baking parchment and put the pavlova on a serving dish.
  6. Put the sugar and water into a large saucepan and swirl under the mixture turns amber. Take off the heat and tip in the orange slices. Quickly coat them and remove to a piece of parchment paper, allow to cool.
  7. Scrape the vanilla seeds into a mixing bowl, add the cream and softly whip, then spoon onto the pavlova.
  8. Place the orange slices on top and grate over the dark chocolate.

 

If you do attempt to create this wonderful afternoon tea recipe on Sunday, let us know how you get on our Facebook or Twitter page.

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Art in Dublin | Museum & Gallery Recommendations

Art in Dublin

Dublin offers a wonderful variety of galleries and museums for visitors keen on viewing art. Whether your preference is ancient manuscripts or modern photography – the art in Dublin  suit all tastes. We have put together a selection of some of the museums and galleries that we recommend to guests of our Dublin guesthouse, but it is by no means a complete list.

 

Located at Dublin Castle (in Dublin 2) the Chester Beatty Library has been described by the Lonely Planet as “not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe.” The current temporary exhibition, Costumes Parisiens, Fashion plates from 1912-1914, runs until the 30th of March 2014. Plus, the permanent collection has one of the finest collections of books and manuscripts made by a collector in the 20th century.  There are also many events happening at the library throughout the week from talks to tours and workshops.

It has free admission and you can find out more about upcoming exhibitions and their permanent collection on their website: www.cbl.ie

 

Also in Dublin 2, the Royal Hibernian Academy, Gallagher Gallery, 15 Ely Place – has ongoing exhibitions of Irish artists. The Dorothy Cross exhibit, Connemara, goes live on the 13th March until the 27 April. Another fantastic exhibit with the works of James Hanly will also be on display during the same period.

Coppa Café in the museum has soups, sandwiches and salads along with excellent coffee. For more go to their website: www.rhagallery.ie

 

The National Gallery is located on Merrion Square West, (Dublin 2) and this year is celebrating 150 Years since it opened.  Having opened in 1854, it houses over 15, 000 works of art. It also has free admission and it is open 361 days a year.  While it has an amazing collection including works by Goya, Caravaggio, Breton and Canova it is also is the home of “Ireland’s Favourite Painting” – Hellelil and Hildebrand, The Meeting on  the Turret Stairs- Frederic William Burton (1816-1900). One of our colleagues Ewa is an Honours Degree Student of Art History and volunteers for the National Gallery as a guide. She is a wealth of knowledge about the Gallery and its exhibitions, which is a great asset to us here. Our Dublin Guesthouse is within walking distance of The National Gallery and so it is a very popular tourist attraction for our guests.

For more information on their collections and exhibits, go to their website:  www.nationalgallery.ie .

 

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Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (Dublin 1) has a collection of over 2000 works of contemporary art including pieces by Manet, Monet, Renoir and Degas among others.  However, the most impressive thing at this gallery is Francis Bacon’s London studio which was re-located to the museum and meticulously re-created. Never before has an artist’s studio been so thoroughly catalogued and re-constructed. We thoroughly recommend a visit to the Dublin City Gallery to all patrons of our Dublin guesthouse.

Visit www.hughlane.ie for more about the exhibitions and their collection.

The Irish Museum of Modern Art, located at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham (Dublin 8) has several exhibitions on right now – most importantly the work of Patrick Scott: Image Space Light. Scott passed away days s before the exhibit opened and he was a key contemporary Irish artist. This exhibit is up until the 18th of May, admission €5. It is also on at VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art in Carlow during the same period, admission free. For more information on this exhibit and others, visit www.imma.ie

 

Following a busy day visiting the Galleries of Dublin, our Afternoon Tea awaits in the Drawing Room of our Dublin Guesthouse!

Enjoy!
The Ariel House Team
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St. Patrick’s Day Festivities in Dublin

St. Patrick’s Day Festivities in Dublin

We are so looking forward to welcoming visitors to our guesthouse in Dublin for what will undoubtedly be a fantastic few days. Dublin will come alive this weekend with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Of course, this is not just centered on Dublin but all around Ireland and in fact, the world.  Everyone seems to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

As St. Patrick’s Day is on Monday this year – the festivities kick off this Friday the 14th for a long weekend of activities.  At  11am on the 14th take In the Footsteps of St. Patrick’s Walking Tour or at 4.30pm, get ready for an outdoor Festival Céilí with plenty of traditional music and dancing. Then, at 6pm, Dublin’s iconic buildings turn green to mark the day.

 

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On Saturday and Sunday throughout Dublin, there is a plethora of activities for the whole family. Young children may enjoy Dabbledoo Music at the Little Museum of Dublin on Saturday. There is a celebration of Irish Craft Brewing, Irish Whiskey and Irish Artisan Food inside the CHQ building on the Docklands at the IFSC (International Financial Services Centre). There’s a 5K Road Race, comedy, music and street performances. At the City Assembly House, The Dublin Painting and Sketching Club has put together a unique exhibit Dublin ‘Then and Now’ with works of art that celebrate the city of Dublin over the last 250 years.

Of course Monday the 17th is St. Patrick’s Day! We will be ensuring that any visitors to our guesthouse in Dublin enjoy an extravagant breakfast (including a Full Irish of course!) before heading off to enjoy the day’s festivities.  The parade kicks off at 12 noon, beginning on Parnell Square and continuing onto O’Connell Street over O’Connell Bridge (for the parade route or to download a map, click here).  The theme for the parade this year is “Let’s Make History” and it promises to be as colourful and exuberant as previous years.

Throughout the city, there will be plenty of restaurants serving up the traditional bacon and cabbage – if you want to cook your own – check out the Bord Bia website for a recipe – Bacon and Cabbage.

For a full listing of all the St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations – go to the St. Patrick’s Festival site. For anyone visiting our guesthouse in Dublin this weekend, simply enquire at reception for event and activity recommendations.

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Now You Can Make Ariel House Recipes at Home

Ariel House Guest Brochure

 

We are already a few months into the New Year and despite a recent bout of bad weather, it looks like there are some promises of spring on the horizon. We look forward to welcoming you back to Ariel House this year and meeting new guests who have discovered us over the course of the last year.

In December, we published our new brochure which not only highlights our accommodation and food but also gives you ten recipes from the kitchen here at Ariel House.  Recipes include our popular Crunchy Granola which we serve at breakfast along with our Pancake recipe, Tea scones and our Dark Chocolate Truffles. Guesthouse owner Jennie McKeown completed the Ballymaloe Cookery Course in 2011 so our kitchen and ovens are always serving up scrumptious homemade goodies for breakfast and afternoon teas.

Our brochure was photographed by Paula Ryan who has a wonderful blog, Paula’s Kitchen Table. In addition to being a photographer, Paula is a stylist.  She’s become a good friend of us here at Ariel House so we encourage you to take a look at her blog for some foodie inspiration in 2014.

You can view the new Ariel House brochure here on our website or pick up a hard copy when you come and visit.

Again, wishing you all the very best for 2014.

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Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo at the RDS

Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo

This Sunday, the 19th of January,  Showcase – Ireland’s Creative Expo – opens at the RDS. Located just minutes from Ariel House, the RDS is a convention and Exhibition Centre steeped  in History and character.

Showcase is a trade show and while not open to the public, it is an important show for all types of craft companies throughout Ireland to exhibit their products to retailers both here in Ireland and internationally.

Image courtesy of Showcase.

Image courtesy of Showcase.

There are over 400 Irish exhibitors at this show and it is a key show for retailers worldwide to see what new products are on the market.  This year, they also have a dedicated food section at the show with food exhibitors ranging from confectionary and chocolates to Irish salmon, crisps, chutneys and jams and much more. Fashion has become an even bigger section in this show and now they are even having fashion shows highlighting Irish design. Jewelry companies are growing as well and buyers can expect to see a lot more products on offer this year.  A large portion of the show highlights home and gift items from pottery and glassware to textiles and stationery.

What does this mean to you the consumer? It means that in a short time – a few weeks to a few months (depending on how long it takes the companies to get the new ranges to market) – you’ll see these great Irish products rolling out in a retailer near you.  Many of them sell throughout the island of Ireland but you’ll also find many of them finding their way to retailers throughout Europe and the United States.

Nicholas Mosse Pottery (www.nicholasmosse.com) is one of the companies that will be exhibiting at Showcase and as you’ve heard us mention before, and those of us who have stayed with us know, that their products adorn our breakfast buffet t able. We use not only their Old Rose pattern but also a newer pattern called Clover that we find also has mass appeal.

Nicholas Mosse. Image courtesy of Showcase/Craft Council of Ireland.

Nicholas Mosse. Image courtesy of Showcase/Craft Council of Ireland.

Many of the exhibitors at the show stay with us at Ariel House for the exhibition and we have become a real home from home for them over the years and because we are so conveniently located to the RDS.

To find out more about the show – please visit - http://www.showcaseireland.com/about/people.  Even if you cannot attend you might be interested to see the range of Irish products available in their exhibitor list.

If you are visiting Dublin in January and would like to visit some retailers that stock a wide range of Irish products we recommend The  Kilkenny Shop on Nassau Street (across from Trinity College) – http://www.kilkennyshop.com  and Arnott’s Department Store,  also has a dedicated Irish Crafts area – http://www.arnotts.ie

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Stay A Night In Dublin And Enjoy The Christmas Attractions

Things to do in Dublin At ChristmasChristmas in Dublin is a great time to visit.  There is so much to see and do and it’s well worth staying a night in Dublin during the last big run up to the big day – we thought we put together a few ideas for places to visit and relish in the holiday season. From Christmas markets to ice skating venues – there’s lots to do when you are out and about in our fair city.

Docklands Christmas Market

Nothing captures the essence of Christmas like a market and the market on the Dublin Docklands will be open daily until the 23 of December. There’s a Victorian carnival, an artisan food & craft market and of course Santa’s grotto. For opening hour s and directions to get there – visit their website.

Dundrum on Ice

If you are shopping over in Dundrum Town Centre – the annual Dundrum on Ice is all set up again this year. Take a break and get out on the ice for a bit of winter fun. It’s also open into January – for more go to Dundrum on Ice.

Dublin Port Winterfest at the Point Village

The Dublin Port Winterfest also has an ice rink along with a fun fair, Christmas market and a visiting Santa.  There are plenty of craft and gift stalls along with a good mix of food stalls to keep you from getting hungry and you enjoy your day out. For hours and directions – Dublin Port  Winterfest.

Meet Rudolph’s Relatives

Take a break from the crowds and get out in nature and visit some of Rudolph’s relatives in Phoenix Park. A herd a fallow deer, which have been living here since the 17th century, call Phoenix Park home. The park has over 1700 acres and you can learn more about its history and wildlife in the visitor centre – Dublin Zoo is also located within the park. For more visit the Discover Ireland website or Dublin Zoo.

Wishing you all the very best during this holiday season and thank you again for your loyal custom. We look forward to seeing all of you again in 2014.

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Buying Irish Craft

Buying Irish C raft

We have a bit of a thing for Irish craft here at Ariel House – not only do we  use the Nicholas Mosse Pottery in our breakfast room but we also have lots of crafts people stay with us.  Many of them are here for the  RDS this week for the National Craft Fair which opens on this Wednesday but they also come for  Showcase Ireland in January. This Christmas we’ll be buying Irish craft products– the selection out there is quite amazing and we’ve rounded up a few of our favourites to highlight for you.

Nicholas Mosse Pottery

Nicholas Mosse Pottery is based in Bennettsbridge, Co. Kilkenny.  The shop and factory are located in a renovated mill on the banks of the River Nore in an idyllic setting. We use many of their bowls here at Ariel  House to serve up granola and yoghurt on our breakfast buffet. Over the years we’ve mostly used their Old Rose pattern which has been in the range for over 25 years; however, we recently added some pieces from their new Clover pattern that was introduced earlier this year.  You can watch their pieces being throw and decorated in viewing rooms, shop from the entire range plus their “seconds” area or even have lunch in their café where you can watch the swans and maybe even an otter swimming by. See more on their website – www.nicholasmosse.com

Nicholas Mosse Apple pattern used at breakfast

Nicholas Mosse Apple pattern used at breakfast

Bog Standard

Based outside of Belfast, Bog Standard was started in 2001 and had a range of scented products that include candles, soaps, sachets, fresheners, hand cream and hand wash. We love their fresh contemporary packaging and scents such as Irish Field, Irish Linen and perfect for the holiday season -Irish Winter. Their latest range called Forget-Me-Not is tinned candles with a wonderful vintage appeal.  See the range on their website – http://www.bogstandard.ie/

Hilary Hale

Hilary Hale is a woodturner who lives in Kinsale, County Cork.  Little did she know, over twenty years ago, when she turned a lamp to put on a piano that her life would be transformed. Woodturning now dominates her life. She uses storm felled local timber such as ash, oak, robinia, beech and yew which over a period of two years she transforms into beautiful functional bowls. You can see her working in her own gallery or find her work for sale at other galleries in the area. For gallery hours and more on her work visit – http://www.hilaryhale.com/

Mairi Stone Ceramics

Mairi Stone makes porcelain pieces with glass inlays that are inspired by nature’s organic forms and structures. Based in Schull, West Cork, Mairi uses bright vibrant colours to contrast with the white porcelain and a variety of textures. We are pretty sure you’ll have a hard  time just settling on one of these unique pieces.

http://www.mairistone.com/

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Dublin Day Trips on the DART

We can’t think of a better time to take advantage of some affordable family activities – and one that we think is particularly great and really well priced is a family day pass on the DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit). For as little as €17.20 for the day, a family of 1-2 adults and up to 4 children under the age of 16 can travel on the DART for the full day.

By using us as a base – you will be only a two minute walk from the Lansdowne Road DART Station so you can set off with the kids in tow for a great day of building memories together. Make sure you’ve brought your camera along and if you want suggestions for where to pick up a lunch on the go or places you should eat out – ask one of the staff before you head out. From the station you can head north or south of the city – either route will take you to idyllic coastal villages and while you may not be able to get to them all in a day – you will certainly enjoy stopping off in several of them – finding a little cafe for lunch and visiting some of the sites and museums to be found in each of them. The DART runs all the way from Malahide & Howth north of Dublin to as far south as Greystones in County Wicklow. Each of the stops along with way are along the coast and for more information about each place – we suggest you check out the listing on the Things to Do.ie website. You might also like to look at the album up on our own Facebook page with some photographs taken during the summer on a trip to Howth. Click here to see the Album.

Be sure to double check times before you head out (Irish Rail Timetable)- or by all means please ask of the staff here at Ariel House to assist you.

The Ariel House Team

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