After a big family trip to Italy over Thanksgiving in 2021, we did another group trip trip to Ireland this past Christmas and New Year. This time we had 9 instead of 8 people, including my parents, Dan’s siblings, our friend Pryor and her husband and mother, and stayed for 11 days! We toured a decent bit of Ireland and I think everyone remains on speaking terms, LOL. I’ll be writing about more specific bits of our trip later, but here is a summary for those interested in doing something similar!
Christmas in Ireland!
DAYS 1 – 4: KILKENNY, IRELAND & MOUNT JULIET ESTATE
After an overnight flight from New York, we landed in Dublin early in the morning. A van, with a lovely driver, John, was waiting for us and drove us 1.5 hours to the Mount Juliet Estate, just outside of Kilkenny, where we had booked a four day Christmas package. We got lucky and blue sky came out just as we arrived at Mount Juliet Estate.
In light of the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday (i.e., my favorite holiday after my birthday!), I am writing all about Dan and my vacation to Ireland over Christmas and New Years! On this trip, since we visited with a number of Ireland first timers and whiskey lovers, we visited three whiskey distilleries in Dublin! This is my comparison of the three, after having visited each multiple times.
We’ve been to Galway a few times, and Galway always offers fun restaurants serving good food. Some previous favorites are Ard Bia at Nimmos, the Dough Bros., and Kai Café. Ard Bia and Kai Café, my standbys, were closed this trip because we visited between Christmas and New Years, so I tried a new restaurant opened in 2020 – Ean! Self-described as “an inventive bakery, restaurant & wine bar,” Ean is a product of Galway’s Michelin-starred Loam (closed during my visit). Located on a quiet street, Ean’s interior is a clean space of large tables perfect for sharing. We made a reservation for 9 people via email about a month prior to our visit.
Galway during the holidays! Highly recommened.
Making the reservation was easy and an email confirmation was sent a day or two in advance. We arrived right on time and our table was waiting. While it changes daily, Ean’s dinner menu is a selection of dishes meant to be shared in a variety of sizes, ranging from small croquettes to large dishes that could serve as a main. The wait staff helped us select a number of things to share between nine people, which I’ll go thorough below.
You probably know that Dan and I love a food tour, and of course we took one in Corfu Town, Greece this summer. This article details the tour and the delicious things that we ate. Unlike some of our other food tours, this was a food and historical tour, so food tastings were interspersed with a Corfu history lesson and stops at some important sites, such as Saint Spyridon Church and the Venetian Well. Here is Dan and me before the food portion got started!
Dan and me in front of the Old Fortress in Corfu.
ALL OF THE TRADITIONAL GREEK BREAKFAST FOODS
After seeing some beautiful sites and learning some history about Corfu Town (which I don’t go into here, suffice it to say it was the main highlights!), we stopped for our first tasting, a huge greek breakfast in Corfu Town’s old town. We first tasted cheese pies and spinach and cheese pies, which are basically the named ingredients wrapped in fragile phyllo dough. These are easy enough to find in Corfu and Greece generally, but these were really good. We also ate the sweet version, topped with powdered sugar. Next up were two new things for me, small spoons of tahini butter and chocolate tahini butter. According to our guide, Greeks use this similarly to how we use peanut butter and Nutella. I really liked the tahini butter and could definitely eat it on a regular basis (and should have brought some home!). We then moved on to the “delights,” or desserts. Baklava and a chocolate square were on offer as was traditional Greek yogurt topped with a fruit marmalade. Our meal was served with Ginger Beer, which is a type of soda popular in Corfu since 1950(!). To be clear, it does not contain alcohol and you can find it pretty easily around Corfu Town. What a breakfast! If you are in Corfu, you can probably find most of these things on the breakfast table, but not all together!
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