Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Antrim Coast Holiday Rentals

The first photo is the view from the cottage we rented in the Glens on the Antrim Coast, the second the actual cottage itself. Please read about this cottage & others that are rented to guests at the link below:

The amazing thing about this & the other homes that you can rent, is that they were derelict before being leased from their owners, and renovated for a time period of 20 yrs (after that they are turned back over to their original owners) this was done by the Irish agricultural department. We had a fantastic experience; the people who manage this project are the warmest, nicest people on the face of the earth; we were even welcomed with a wonderful welcome basket full of goodies. Prices are very reasonable; compared to what you would pay elsewhere. The views were breathtaking; and we were next to a working farm, we got to visit with all sorts of lovely creatures, the gate was right next to the drive. Very convenient to get to. Just watch out for the road signs which point to "the scenic routes", the driving can be a somewhat hairy experience, but worth it because of the fantastic views. We plan on going back next year.
I will post more photos later.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Delicious Irish Foods & Links

You don't have to be Irish to enjoy all the wonderful foods that the wonderful Emerald Isle has to offer! (Ok, I do eat foods from England too that are availabe in Ireland) A bane on those who declare that Irish food is bland!!!

Irish food can vary from the tried & true comfort food recipes, to downright haute cuisine. Whether it be the wee chipee down the street, where you can grab some fish & chips wrapped in paper, or on to the many diversified restaurants in Belfast or Dublin, don't let those with UK food prejudice dissuade you. There are also a number of online butchers here in the USA who bring their traditional Irish meat recipes from their native land. I will also put links in for regional butchers you can shop at. To be added to as I research more across the USA

Future posts (soon) will also feature recipes.

If you travel to Belfast, make sure you hit the Park Centre, in West Belfast. There is a Dunnes Department/Grocery Store, an Iceland, chemists & an independent butcher when you enter at the main entrance. (plus other stores) And Curley's supermarket on the Falls Road. Tesco's is another choice, a huge store with everything from Groceries to electronics.

Online Retailers in the US:

Tommy Moloney's

Food Ireland.com (check regularly for specials)

William's Pork (Irish & British Meats)

Irish/UK Retailers

Stewarts of Kearny (also in Point Pleasant NJ)

Prime Cut Irish Butchers
(718) 324-9262
4338 Katonah Ave Ste A Bronx, NY 10470 40.8999 -73.8674

There are many more Irish butchers in NY, please email if you have the links. A lot of Irish stores will also carry the basics; bangers, tea, candies. I usually shop at the Cross & The Shamrock in Hamilton twp NJ to grab some rashers & sausages.

Irish Pubs/restaurants~I'm not a big seafood eater; I'm allergic to shellfish, and when I have fish & chips, I don't want a big fishy taste to it. The best fish Ive found for fish & chips is either Cod or Haddock, both mild white fishes. And of course, home made chips. I have to admit hitting an Arthur Treachers whenever I see them.

Chow online has a directory & some reviews on Irish pubs/restaurants across the US.

Atlantic City also has some good Irish pubs/restaurants, check out NJ.Com for locations.

Please feel free to send me links/names of more that you know of

Friday, April 3, 2009

Celtic Woman Isle Of Hope Tour

If you have never experienced the music of Celtic Woman, here is you chance to do it live!! They put on a beautiful concert. Just got my tickets tonight, floor 5th row!!


US Dates


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Celtic Festivals

Here are some links to upcoming Irish/Celtic Festivals & Events you don't want to miss in the NJ/PA/NY area. Nothing better then relaxing with a good pint of Guiness or Harp, and enjoying the many awesome Celtic bands of every genre. Most local Hibernians also host annual Irish festivals, check your local Hibs for one near you.

Hunter Mountain, Catskills NY~Not only do they host an annual Celtic festival, they also have many other music/cultural festivals scheduled. Photo above is from the Celtic festival; throughout the weekend, bagpiping bands from all over compete, the highlight of the festival is the grand march down the mountain starting at dusk the final day of the festival (sunday) This is not to be missed!! Tons of celtic bands, irish stepdancing. The only thing I don't like is overpricing of the food & drink, and you will see a lot of the same food vendors at most of the festivals (I do have my faves though, try the Greek souvlaki/gyro vendor, they also own a restaurant in Tannersville) UK food is served inside, but it is stingy portions, high priced. Save your money and hit O'Neills afterwards, they are down the road.



East of the Hebrides Entertainment website

Ive never actually attended any of their events, but they look to be tons of just good craic, and they have them all throughout the year.



I have friends who have attended the Annual Wildwood NJ Irish weekend for years; they love the touring "drunk bus" that hits god knows how many pubs; its officially called a "bar crawl" meaning I guess that your going to be crawling after you drink all those pints. Keenan's Bar is supposed to be the hotspot for this event. Its being held this year on September 25-27th, if you plan to go and stay, make reservations now



Here's a link to some NJ festivals



Another list of Celtic/Scottish Festivals & Games



Also, if you plan on visiting Ireland, West Belfast has an annual festival, not to be missed!