Mum's Life

The very best dining & hotel breaks this summer.

With the Summer of 2022 being the first ‘proper’ summer since 2019, it brings a great opportunity to enjoy some seriously good dining experiences and hotel breaks away too. We’ve rounded up the best dining and hotel news to make guide you on what’s hot this summer.

Dorian Wine Bar & Restaurant, Donnybrook, Dublin.

Dorian Wine Bar and Restaurant, Donnybrook, has launched a new summer menu under the helm of talented Head Chef Rowen Babe. Dorian, a friendly neighbourhood bistro is which takes décor inspiration from the roaring 20s, is situated where the old Roy Fox grocer used to be. Dorian is the perfect spot for a low-key date, a casual catchup with friends or a pre-match lunch or dinner with an award-winning mixologist offering a host of interesting, delightful summer cocktails.

The new summer menu features dishes which are bound to be popular with even the choosiest of pallets, with highlights including Fennel Cured Mackerel, Courgette, Basil, Garlic and Chilli oil or Korean Cauliflower “Wings” marinated in spicy gochujang sauce, served with crispy shallots, sesame and coriander (many options are ideal for vegetarians). Other highlights include Cromane Mussels, Grilled Asparagus and Hand Pickled Crab on sourdough to name a few. Be prepared to tickle your tastebuds with Dorian’s award-winning cocktails such as Pineapple Margarita or the Pink Lady (Glendalough Rose Gin, Italicus & Lemon Juice). www.dorian.ie

Experience a Rare Haven at Blue Haven Hotel, Cork.

Located in the picturesque Kinsale town, moments from the harbour and in the hub of vibrant activity at the Blue Haven Hotel you’ll find Rare 1784, a new and unique experimental dining and cocktail space.

On arrival diners are greeted by the master mixologist James Agar who will converse with guests to discover what drink style they would like to begin their food and drink experience, taking them through the journey of each cocktail they choose and the ingredients used. There is a choice of 5, 7 and 10 course set menus, with each starting with homemade breads and scones served with mouth watering Vegemite butter and miso butter.

Diners can choose from the carefully curated bespoke Irish craft cocktail list and wines selected by the restaurant’s sommelier. Experience A Rare Haven at the Blue Haven Hotel in the heart of Kinsale, with a one or two night stay in the hotel’s stylish guestrooms and dinner on one night in Rare 1784, available from €298.00 for 2 people sharing.  For more information visit www.bluehavencollection.com or www.rare1784.ie.

Bartley's at The Grafton, Dublin.

Bartley’s is the newest addition to Dublin’s social life, the ultimate escapist and coolest experience in Dublin with its four distinct spaces Bartley’s Bar, Bartley’s Restaurant, Bartley’s Lounge and Events with Bartley’s Coffee Dock and Terrace.

Built on the site of the original Bartley Dunne’s pub, it is located at the ground floor space of the four-star hotel The Grafton on Lower Stephen Street, adjacent to South King Street in Dublin 2. Inspired by retro glamour and designed with a nod to the nostalgia of the era, this atmospheric venue embraces the personality of this iconic landmark that was Dublin’s first gay bar which welcomed a diverse and eclectic mix of people up until it closed in the 1990’s.

Contemporary balances with classic themes as moody tones and rich velour textures of the furnishings, blend with the friendly and personal service to create a warm and welcoming ambience. This is the destination whether it’s lunch or dinner, cocktails with the girls, corporate events, or after work aperitifs with colleagues and gatherings of friends to meet, celebrate or watch great sporting moments.

Food is served daily and the menu looks divine with a strong lunch and dinner offerings.  Bartley’s Coffee Dock also serves coffees that can be grabbed to go or enjoyed on the indoor or outdoor terrace.

Redcastle Oceanfront Golf and Spa Hotel, Donegal.

Redcastle Oceanfront Golf and Spa Hotel is one of North Donegal’s best kept secrets. Families, couples, friends and locals who enjoy quality, value and warmth have been coming to Redcastle Oceanfront Golf and Spa Hotel for many years and now the hotel is ready to welcome new patrons to showcase its half a million-euro upgrade.

The hotel bedrooms at Redcastle Oceanfront Golf and Spa Hotel have been given a sleek makeover with not just style in mind, but comfort too. The inspiration for the themes of the new look rooms is taken from the natural environment and spectacular setting of the shores of Lough Foyle on which the hotel is situated.

Redcastle Oceanfront Golf and Spa Hotel is known for its facilities that will cater to fans of the outdoors with a 9-hole golf course on offer as well as surrounding parklands.

The CARA Spa at the hotel is the perfect spot to unwind after a day exploring Donegal and guests can settle in for a morish dinner at the award-winning The Edge restaurant in the hotel, which is headed by well-known chef Gordon Smyth. Book here.

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin.

Enjoy a trip to stay in the city centre Radisson Blu Royal Hotel who offer a range of rooms to suit couples breaks to the capital and family stays too.    If you have an expectant mum in your party, then the 'Be My Baby' at Velvære spa would make a wonderful addition to a stay.  

The 'Be My Baby' babymoon experience includes one hour access to the thermal area with thermal vitality pool, black aspen Finnish sauna, thermal steam room, drench shower, Caribbean storm experience shower and ice fountain for you and a friend. Mum-to-be will enjoy a 60-minute tailored pregnancy massage and a 30-minute CODAGE hydration facial.

Feeling suitably pampered, retire to the relaxation room where you can both sip on a mocktail, bespoke to Velvære.   If it’s a group booking you are after, the family rooms are spacious and can accommodate up to 3 adults and 1 child.  For more information visit the hotel here or velvaerespa.ie for more information.

Denis Cotter of Cork’s Paradiso Restaurant comes to Overends Kitchen, Airfield Estate, Dundrum

Chef, restauranteur and cookbook author Denis Cotter, of acclaimed Cork vegetarian restaurant Paradiso, is bringing his unique style of meat-free cuisine to Overends Kitchen,  Airfield Estate, for one night only on Friday, 22nd July.

Guests will enjoy a celebration of seasonal produce with a five-course tasting menu created by Denis in collaboration with the team at Overends Kitchen. All courses will feature seasonal fruit, vegetables and herbs grown on Airfield Estate’s 38-acre farm. This specially curated dinner will kick off with a welcome cocktail at 7pm, with Denis presenting each course. All dishes will highlight the flavours of the Estate while showcasing the versatility of vegetables and the intensity and complexity of flavour that Denis is known for. The event marks the first in a series of monthly collaborations with visiting chefs at Overends Kitchen with future participants set to be announced soon. Tickets cost €65 for five courses or add wine pairings, €100. Tickets are limited and expected to sell out quickly. Book now at www.airfield.ie.

Newpark Hotel, Kilkenny

If you are looking for a break this summer, then look no further than the award-winning Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny. This 4-star family run establishment, which is part of the Flynn Hotel Collection, is one of Ireland’s favourite family destinations and is the ideal base from which to explore the vibrant medieval city of Kilkenny, just a 10-minute stroll away.  Families can enjoy the VIP treatment with their family friendly offering of superior family rooms along with kids’ club, 40 acres of landscaped gardens and mini wildlife farm.

If it’s an adult break you are in need of, then the hotel also offers a Spa Indulgence Break which will do the trick – it’s two nights B&B, with dinner and a 45-minute treatment per person, along with use of the escape health club, indoor pool and outdoor infinity pool. Visit newparkhotelkilkenny.com for more information.

Ballymaloe House, Cork.

Ballymaloe House in East Cork has just completed a major investment by upgrading many of their guestrooms. The hotel, which is famous for having the original ‘farm to fork’ dining experience, is encouraging guests to disconnect from the world this summer. They have just completed a series of room upgrades which have transformed many of their guest bedrooms and suites.

One of the rooms which has undergone a transformation is “The Green Drawing Room” which was formerly Myrtle Allen’s office and which is strategically positioned with an ideal view of the front door. In the room, the antique green flock wallpaper, which dates circa 1960 has been lovingly restored by inhouse fine artist Gentian Lulani.

The Mallard, which is a Classic Garden Room and Kingfisher, Heritage Room category, are also two new rooms at the top of the house created from the development of The Allen Flat – where Myrtle and Ivan Allen used to live. These rooms can be individually booked but also make a fabulous family suit including a common area housing Myrtle’s impressive bookcase of cookbooks dating back to the 1940s. For more information on ‘Disconnect to Reconnect’ packages or to enjoy their Conservatory Lunches visit www.ballymaloe.ie/.

Sprezzatura, Dublin.

Sprezzatura, Dublin’s premium spot for fresh, affordable and sustainable pasta dishes, has unveiled a new kids menu, showcasing simple yet delicious options made with the developing palette in mind. ‘Adventures in Pasta’ will offer children an introduction to Italian classics created with the very best ingredients from Irish suppliers.

Priced at €7.95, each new plate makes use of popular children's pasta shapes, and explores the Sprezzatura ethos: Irish produce, Italian ideas. Tyres with Toonsbridge Mozzarella, Wexford Tomato and Littlecress Basil, marry some of the finest and most reputable Irish ingredients for an uncomplicated caprese style dish. The Spaghetti, Cáis no Pepper is a clever spin on Sprezzatura’s popular Cacio e Pepe without the fiery pepper that might be off putting to younger palettes.

The restaurant group are happy to accommodate all dietary requirements too. For more visit www.sprezzatura.ie.

Shells Treatbox, Sligo.

And if  you can't get away to enjoy any of the above, then we'd highly recommend the Shells Treatbox which can be delivered to your door.  Priced at €42, it combines some of their bestselling treats which are all homemade using the finest ingredients. Send someone a special gift or just treat yourself and enjoy a slice of Shells at home.  The box includes Shells Treacle Brown Bread, their Homemade Jam, Shells Granola and Shells Coffee. 

By way treats, you will receive two Triple Chocolate Brownies, one Shells Famous Bakewell and two Power Balls.  Shipping every Monday and you can order here.

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