The Western Hotel celebrates the opening of TK Maxx

Thu, Oct 08, 2009

The Western bar and restaurant, located next to the new TK Maxx store, will celebrate the shop's opening today (Thursday) by offering, for one week only, a special 10 per cent discount on lunches and dinners to all customers upon presentation of a TK Maxx store receipt.

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Winter coats for under €100

Thu, Oct 01, 2009

Winter coats are a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe. Now is the time to shop for a coat that will see you right through autumn and winter. I have picked out three winter warming coats for under €100.

My top tip: Find the cut and colour that will suit your shape and your complexion. Wear your coat open to slim you down and reveal you outfit underneath.

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Exciting news for brides to be

Thu, Oct 01, 2009

Just arrived at Galway’s leading designer bridal shop are some stunning gowns from the 2010 collection from Novia D’Art and Fara Sposa of Barcelona. Brides will be spoiled for choice with this incredible collection. Sisters Maria and Therese Raich are the inspired designers behind the brand. They use the most delicate of fabrics, especially silks and laces. Last year one of Spain’s princesses wore a wedding gown made from Guipure lace. This is an intricate and delicate lace favoured by the Spanish royalty. Two of the gowns from the Novia D’Art collection feature this beautiful lace.

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The Pagodas Temple — the one stop shop for martial arts in Galway

Thu, Oct 01, 2009

The Pagodas Temple was started in 2005 by Chris Hickey, a fourth Dan black belt, the highest graded judo black belt in the west of Ireland. Mr Hickey always wanted to have his own dojo where he could pass his skill and knowledge on to others with a passion for the martial arts. This is due largely to the training he received in the Galway Judo Club, the support of his many friends, and his long time mentor Sensei John Creaven.

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La Trattoria, Quay Street

Thu, Oct 01, 2009

The Magnetti family was one of the first to set up an Italian restaurant in Galway, and that was the original la Trattoria in Cross Street in 1989. They moved to their current location in Quay Street in 1994 where, if I remember correctly, Craughwell Electric started out. In fact they had a 20 year anniversary party earlier this year and everything on the menu was priced at 1989 prices! It is now run by the second generation of the Magnetti family and the emphasis is on authenticity. All the pastas and all the sauces are made by themselves and it shows through in the taste.

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The Fisherman come to Galway Shopping Centre

Thu, Oct 01, 2009

A new fish shop has just opened in the Galway Shopping Centre. Aptly name The Fisherman, the store is located beside the main entrance to the centre.

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Sweet potato

Thu, Oct 01, 2009

The sweet potato, or boniato, is in fact not a potato at all, but a member of the morning glory family. This versatile vegetable has a great many uses and makes a refreshing change from the traditional spud. The sweet potato is ideal for roasting, making soups, for purees, and many more culinary uses. Additionally the bright orange colour of the vegetable tells us that the sweet potato is also a good source of carotene and vitamin A. Additionally this vegetable is regarded as the most important tropical root crop in the world. Introduced into Africa, possibly by slave traders, the sweet potato has since its introduction steadily replaced the true yam in Africa as a major source of carbohydrate.

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Sheridan’s on the Docks

Thu, Sep 24, 2009

I have been aware of Sheridan’s on the Docks since it opened; however my impression was that it was a bar that served bar food and most likely lots of cheeses from Sheridan’s cheesemongers. It is difficult to spot as you whizz past in a car, indeed the signage can only be spotted if you are directly in front of it. However this is a premises worth finding as some pretty exciting things are happening in the kitchen upstairs.

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Cava — authentic Spanish cuisine in Galway

Thu, Sep 17, 2009

My visit to Cava dissipated two preconceived ideas that I had about the menu. One, the idea that the tapas dishes would be small little nibbles similar to what you get at a bar counter in Spain and two, that the menu would be limited to the typical array of tapas that you might find on the Costa del Sol. Neither proved to be the case, the portions are quite large indeed, very often as big as a typical main course, eg, my cured roasted duck leg served with baby potatoes fried in duck fat was of a size that would satisfy most appetites, and the selection is absolutely spectacular. JP and his team seem to have found some of the very best tapas dishes from around the world and recreated them with 100 per cent authenticity. Suffice it to say that the tapas here are much better than anything I have been offered in the touristy parts of Spain. It is worth saying that my initial impression of the menu was that for tapas it seemed expensive, however, from the size of the portions and the inventive dishes I have to say the opposite is the case.

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Doughnuts

Thu, Sep 17, 2009

There are few foods better suited to go along with a hot, fresh, cup of coffee than a doughnut. This fried pastry, when made fresh, is delicious, and if freshly cooked doughnuts sound like your kind of thing make sure you get down to the Saturday market in Galway city and seek out the doughnut stall, as they are truly delicious especially with a little ground cinnamon.

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Fiori di Zucca, Dominick Street, GalwayFiori di Zucca, Dominick Street, Galway

Thu, Sep 10, 2009

Fiori di Zuca, which means pumpkin flowers, is a new venture from four women, three from Italy and one from Ireland. They describe it as a friendly and creative Italian café which is open seven days a week from 10am to 7pm. It is located at the end of Lower Dominick Street near the river and at the rear of the building that houses the new indoor market. Having chatted to Barbara and Roberta I think they may have just the right formula for the times we live in.

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West Restaurant at The 12 Hotel

Thu, Sep 03, 2009

I had been for dinner at The West in Barna shortly after it opened and as I have been noticing that the awards were starting to pile up — particularly for the wine list — I decided that another visit was in order. I chose what I thought would be a quiet Wednesday night (it turned out to be packed) and we were seated at a window table. As the views are not part of the attraction the emphasis is on lots of exotic lighting and more candles than would light a cathedral. The décor really suits an evening meal and with winter approaching it is a perfect ambience to detract from the misery outside.

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Ribs

Thu, Sep 03, 2009

Really good quality pork is one of the foods that can really make a passionate chef all misty eyed. Pork is a meat which is still great value and when the cuts which are often regarded as the cheap parts are used, a meal of outstanding value and taste can be had. For me the two best cuts of pork are the belly and ribs. Indeed these cuts require a little more work and attention than the more often used loin and legs but the little bit of effort is undoubtedly worth the work.

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Celebrate good wine at O’Brien’s opening

Thu, Aug 27, 2009

O’Brien’s Wine Beer and Spirits has announced the opening of its newest store at the Galway Shopping Centre.

Store manager Peter Hughes from Knocknacarra in Galway is looking forward to the challenge of a new store. “I am absolutely delighted to be part of the O’Brien’s team,” he said. “The company has established itself as one of the market leaders in wine retail here in Ireland by consistently delivering the highest quality products and offering the best value. I look forward to introducing the people of Galway to our exclusive wine range from many top producers worldwide.”

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Coping with nightmares

Thu, Aug 27, 2009

It is the end of a long, tiring day. You turn out the lights and settle down for a good night’s sleep.

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Are markets too expensive?

Thu, Aug 20, 2009

As most readers will know, I am an avid supporter of local markets and indeed I shop regularly at them in Galway city, Oranmore, Clarinbridge, Moycullen, and anywhere else I see them up and down the country. However I have had many comments from readers and friends that the produce is often very expensive. Traditionally most people go to a market and expect some sort of deal or bargain — I’m mainly thinking of clothing, etc, however, I think the same mindset is true with many people where food markets are concerned.

Logically the foods should be cheaper than the shops; rent, which is the single biggest issue for all shops today, is very small, there are no rates, there is no oil or electricity bill. Marketing budgets do not exist for most, and staff costs are also not an issue as it is usually the owner who does the selling. It is generally a cash business also, which has advantages, so why are the goods not cheaper? I remember reading about the history of markets in Ireland and there was some kind of agreement that they would not undercut the local shops, but that was 40 or 50 years ago and I think the competitive laws have overruled whatever may have been agreed all those years ago.

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Make the most of lemons

Thu, Aug 20, 2009

Ah, the lemon, one of the fruits we look at almost every day and yet we easily forget just how versatile a fresh lemon really is. Sure what would become of fish and chips without a squeeze of lemon, or a gin and tonic for that matter? Indeed the lemon helps increase the vitamin C content of many an alcoholic beverage.

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Form your party at The Dáil Bar

Thu, Aug 13, 2009

The Dáil Bar in Middle Street goes above and beyond your typical bar and restaurant when it comes to group reservations and party bookings. They are taking all the planning and stress away from organising an outing and making sure that you receive a package and service that is tailor-made for your group.

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Form your party at The Dáil Bar

Thu, Aug 13, 2009

The Dáil Bar in Middle Street goes above and beyond your typical bar and restaurant when it comes to group reservations and party bookings. They are taking all the planning and stress away from organising an outing and making sure that you receive a package and service that is tailor-made for your group.

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Celebrity chefs — are they losing their appeal?

Thu, Aug 13, 2009

I may be wrong, but I get the impression that the adoration being heaped on certain chefs may be starting to wane. Perhaps it is the recession; perhaps it is the stories of Gordon Ramsay’s empire in disarray, or perhaps we are just sick of them. I am all for promoting better cooking, better eating, and buying the best local produce, but realistically how many people actually ever cook anything they see demonstrated on television? It is a bit like watching reality TV, except you are watching someone cook rather than wander about a house.

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