Review: DeVille’s, Dalkey, County Dublin

DeVilles  When chef Keith McNally opened his restaurant, Pastis, in New York’s rundown Meatpacking area in 1999, it blew the competition away to such a degree that one of the restaurant’s most noted celeb visitors, Martha Stewart, gushed that having an eatery of such distinction was like Paris coming to town.

Review: The Snail Box, Ashbourne, Co Meath

Snail Box  The first things you notice are the baseball caps. They hang down from the ceiling – over 3,000 of them – in neat rows, looking for all the world like multi-coloured bats. Hats from the locality, hats from around Ireland, hats from across the globe.

Review: Cava Bodega, Galway

Cava Bodega Ext  With the Spanish Arch just minutes away, it makes sense to continue the Iberian trail, and so in the middle of the Galway International Arts Festival, we rocked up to Cava Bodega. No fools us, we nabbed a table for two a few weeks before, as we had previously learnt to our cost that this little tapas place is almost always booked out at weekends.

Review: Dunne & Crescenzi, Dublin

D&C outside

Born and bred Dubliner Eileen Dunne met Italian Stefan Crescenzi in the early 90s, married, moved to Dublin from Rome in 1995, and started stocking and selling fine Italian produce and wine from a tiny shop in Sutton, north of the city.

Review: The Winding Stair Restaurant, Dublin


Winding Stair  Whether paying customers know it or not, some restaurants have a lot of memories attached to them. Your reviewer, for example, recalls spending more time in the Winding Stair second-hand bookshop/coffee bar throughout the 80s and 90s than was good for the bank balance.

City Break: Santiago De Compostela

Cathedral Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984 and Galicia’s greenest city, is a place of pilgrimage for many people – the discovery of the body of the Apostle James transformed this city into the most important focus of religious worship in Europe during the Middle Ages.

Travel/Adventure: Turkey

Istanbul  Think Turkey and you automatically think of  the summer tourism resorts of Bodrum, Antalya, Marmaris, Fethiye and Alanya – just several of the hot spots that pepper the Aegean shores. It was far from these resorts I experienced when I arrived in Turkey some years back as part of an international delegation of journalists which was invited to see not the typical tourist traps, but the rarely visited North Eastern part.

City Break: London (Chelsea)

Kings Road

Kings Road

It hardly seems like almost 30 years ago when your friend and mine, a certain skinny punk rocker by the false name of Elvis Costello, issued forth a spittle-flecked diatribe on the shallowness of the fame and fashion industry in a song called (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea.