A Travellerspoint blog

May 5 - part 2

Chapter One a Michelin star restaurant featured on Anthony Bourdain's CNN show

After Guinness we were brought home for a quick beautify and then back into town for a 6 course tasting dinner at Chapter One restaurant, thank you Hospitality 100 club for your generosity!! Cynthia and I sat with colleagues from Dublin Institute of Technology (Ralf Burbach and Mike O'Conner) Our lead server was a graduate from D I T, 5 years ago. The students were dressed in business attire and I think this menu blew their minds. They were all great at trying the food and sampling the wine pairings. As I am not a food blogger, yet, I will show you the food rather than tell you about it.
Oh I forgot to mention they had a bread Gueridon to showcase the 3 breads on offer for dinner! image

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Japanese pearl tapioca 90_B1C077FFB4D0547E18D71E736EC76E28.jpg

Chilled poached Clarenbridge oyster for all -90_B1C6517102CCC690569F899EAAE4D4C8.jpg I had the
Goat cheese and beetroot 90_B1D0B244A02D6E6929DE9DC011D48B89.jpg

Veal terrine 90_B1CEFC46C63490FC50914596220C8FA4.jpg

Cured organic salmon and Atlantic crab I had the roasted jumbo green asparagus90_B1D3FE23B89AD069E6A3F7BF23E87F10.jpg

Loin of rabbit90_B1D8842CE568D0454027F94FD5920748.jpg

Baked lemon curd 90_B1D9E080CA6AE01AE5FD5E009EFD13F3.jpg90_B1DBE82ABD7C7A52EDF6100C339172B0.jpgand our friandese

Posted by alitabrown 16:18 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

May 5

Dublin city walk and Guinness

City tour In the am in the rain. We Canadians decide that it will be no problem for us to walk about. ha! It is surprisingly windy and cool here in Dublin, especially when the rain comes. We were glad that Jordie kept the walking tour to just an hour. I must admit I am smitten with this lovely city, the architecture and the city plan are just so liveable. Alas prices are starting to eek up again - the average 3 bed row house in Dublin will run you €450k. That certainly explains for the crazy amount of traffic as people have to live out of the city if they want affordability. We have about 2 hours on our own before we meet up with the group to go on the Guinness tour.

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Sir Arthur Guinness had the brilliant idea to ask for a 9000year lease from the city of Dublin for the brewery. The current Building is shaped like a pint glass, where 14,000 pints poured. They purchase 100k tons Irish barley ( 80%malted/20%natural/10%roasted). Hops imported can Grow up to 15 feet. (Purchased from places such as Oregon, New Zealand Australia. ) they use the same original strain of yeast in the mash. 8 million liters of water per day come down from the Witlow mountains in pipelines that Sir Arthur Guinness arranged back in 1787. Guinness had 21 children - I heir. Company was 6 generations of family owned before it was bought y the conglomerate Diageo in 1997.

Some beer facts: barley is Roasted @ 230 degree so not to burn the barley, which is then milled and then placed into mashing tun to make the wort. This process takes 80 min. In the storehouse they add the yeast and Fermentation takes place. They use American Oak barrels for lagering the beer.
Once beer is ready for drinking It takes 90 seconds for the beer to settle. Don't taste till then. 5-7 Celsius is best serving temp. Did you know the colour is ruby red - well it is in the main brewery!! Best time to sample beer is at 10 am. 80 % nitrogen to CO2 is the best mix to get the foam and to create the "surge". Beer at the Dublin brewery is almost watery with caramel flavour - no wonder they can drink it in 3 sips!

Guinness trivia: they are trying to tap into craft beer market. Eg. West Indian porter. For sale in Canada? The coopers (people who make the barrels) used to require 7-9 years of apprenticeship before they become one and then they Only could only be a cooper if their dad was once.
1000 barrel needed each week - American oak.
Used to export via ships named after Irish rivers. B1AFE2439592B06D44B98C2B53ECDF74.jpg
After the UK. Nigeria is biggest market selling the 7% Guinness "foreign export" in bottle - a different recipe.
Beer Sculpture made of oak and lace and took 6 sculptors 1000 hours each to finish this piece. B1B0560ADE6A5D4E532E59625A686E5B.jpg
(Building made in Chicago style 100k tons of steel. Mr. Arrol is designer) B1B2AD97DE238E3C7D31DACE1D6F5195.jpg

Marketing : The harp story - the "downhill harp" is Irish and Guinness has TM this shape B1B01A010035EC9DAEA2BA5DDFB4481B.jpg
A Slogan was gathered from the people's in the 20's. John Gilroy was the lead marketing man and the Toucan most famous symbol. (Pelicans were the original) chose the Toucan because they Can fit 2 pints of the beer on the bea k. c1936. "If one is good for you, imagine what 2 can do."B1B153F2ACA72B7BA0A102F8B194A8F3.jpg
Irene Dunn "a women needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" spawned the foto. B1B1C533BB41F64D2F02E2306BC98788.jpg
Currently diagnosed have amassed 80% of all marketing material. Looking to gain all 100%.

Students Learning to pour the perfect pint B1B0E231DE1BA5C27A688E5EC62C5CCF.jpg

Posted by alitabrown 15:28 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

May 3 travelling via the train

Go west gals

Today is a bank holiday and a free day for us. The students get a tour with Jordy down to Buckingham Palace and then it's free time till dinner and our show Mamma Mia. Day 3 since the birth of baby girl Windsor, but not a lot of peer or excitement. Is this a function of being the second born? Oh wait we find out that night that Charlotte is the name.

CJ and I take the tube to Paddington station to access the over ground rail out west to Whitchurch. We will be heading back into London via Newbury, so the process requires talking to a live human vs. using the auto teller. I'm glad it was a bank holiday or the queues would have been very long. Our first stop is to the was to the town of laverstock for a trip to the Bombay Sapphire plant. I took the masters class (making cocktails) and CJ took the distillery tour. It was fun to make a build,(laverstock -using a burgundy red wine glass filled with ice, gin, fresh lime and elderflower sweet and sour mix and ginger ale) stir (martini - equal parts gin and Italian white vermouth) and shake strained (play on a Cosmo - gin, St. Germain, cran juice and fresh lime) drink. It was even more fun to be able to tell their master about a burnt martini as he had never heard this before. Score!

As this was a bank holiday there was less traffic on the lines but also less rail cars and more service being done = delays. We were lucky to get a taxis today. The driver takes us to the Vineyard hotel for a site inspection - as we are looking at a possible place for summer internships. (FYI - The hotel is outside of Whitchurch and we need to take a cab to get there. Travel time is now close to 2.5 hours. ) The owner of the hotel is sir Peter Miller who has purchased a winery in Napa Calif and has refurbished this property as a Relais and Chateau brand. We were met by Emma Jenkins,the director of human resources. The property is gorgeous and the staff are trained impeccably. Friendly and knowledgeable. They have an incredible wine program and I got to hold a magnum of '82 Petrus. (Kinda like going to Mecca) Emma shared the training philosophy for the hotel entry level staff (they have aligned themselves with 5 other hotels in the area to create a leadership training program). Certainly this would be a great place to work for a summer. They have staff accomm and the location is not too far from London, i would have loved to work at a place like this ... Maybe another possible stage for me??? Emma was very kind to drive us to the station in Newbury, however just as we were getting out of the car, the train was leaving the station (insert expletive here) so we are late getting into London.

It's now 5:10 and dinner reservations are for 5:30. We finally arrive at the resto by 6:15 as everyone is eating their main course. We get in some fish and chips and a glass of wine then we have to get to the theatre. London traffic is horrific and even with giving ourselves time we arrive at the theatre 3 minutes before curtain. The play was a fun adaptation of mamma Mia. We had seats on the main floor, with great views of the stage. After the play was over and the bows were taken, the cast performed: dancing queen, mamma Mia and Waterloo. Great ending the audience was up and dancing in their seats. Most of us grabbed a black cab home (FYI Covent garden tube station is now closed as an entry point until dec 2015)

Posted by alitabrown 14:21 Archived in England Comments (2)

May 4 - busses and ferries and busses

Dublin awaits

Bags to coach for 6:45 for our coach trip to hollyhead Wales. This will be a 6 hour drive and then 3 hour ferry ride. Yes it was long but we did drive thru Wales with its Klingon like language and the scenary was green and lovely. The winds around Wales are intense, the coach was buffeted about but our driver, Aiden, was terrific. The arrival time at the ferry was minutes before departure, I'm sure a whole lot closer than is normally preferred. I had to shoot one of the Jones coaches because that is my husbands name.
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We arrive in Dublin and the rain clears away to show us the lovely harbour. 7AF338FB07006F05FFC80F5A34440BF3.jpgWe are staying north of the airport at a travel-lodge which seems like a Fairmont compared to the Royal National πŸ˜…. Oh-oh spoke too quickly, no elevators. Ok so this place is more like a Holiday Inn calibre. At least it's clean! We head back out for a walk about dinner in the temple bar area of Dublin. A very quick 1.5 hours so we definitely need more time here to enjoy the city and its architecture and bridges over the Liffey river. 90_7AF5352295E06120C380570963C0B2CC.jpg90_7AF73C23A58723B134DFFCFB204096BC.jpg

How many of you knew that Dublin was on the same latitude (or close) to Edmonton? It was nice to be walking about at 8:45 in full light. Full day tomorrow for us. Walking tour of city centre, Guinness tour and then return back to town for our evening at Chapter One restaurant.

Posted by alitabrown 14:05 Comments (1)

London calling

We made it!

The trip over to London is uneventful, we arrive safely and quickly get thru customs and immigration. We arrived to find our happy face of the tour manager Jordy waiting for us. Since our arrival was early in the am, the plan was to go to Covent garden first for a quick walk and a bite to eat. This area is theatre district and we will be returning here on the 4 th to see Mamma Mia. It was good to have a stretch and sample a English meat pie.

Back on the bus (We got a brand new coach - literally this is the first tour) for a bus tour of the London. We got the highlights: Big Ben and London bridge, Tower of London, the London eye, the gherkin, the razor, the monument. I believe there was a bit more but I couldn't hear, perhaps it was because I was catching some zees😜

Check in was around 3 and the hotel was ready for us. Jordy had us complete info on the coach so that we could be speedily expedited into the rooms. The royal national hotel can only be classified as Spartan class hotel. The rooms are modest and not the cleanest ( a hair or two in the washroom, dirty sock from someone else by the bed and the glassware looks suspicious. Last year there was wifi set up in the lobby and the place was a hub of activity. Not so this year. Wifi is only available in the pub and then the signal is only strong later in the day. It seems that free and wifi are not synonymous in London at all.

Most of us go out to for dinner to Shoreditch neighbourhood for a "walk about" dinner. (Contiki speak for here is a cool area, find a place to eat ) This east end area is known for being funky, with lots of street art (graffiti) and container bars. Great Street art, the area reminded me of vina del mar in Chile. IMG_3381.jpgIMG_3380.jpgIMG_3376.jpgIMG_3369.jpgIMG_3370.jpgIMG_3375.jpgCity hall should really get behind this kind of initiative. We ate at a Trinidadian resto and had some great jerk beef and Cj had curry fish. Washrooms, well really one mixed sex washroom in a container with 5 stalls, for over 200 people. Likely wouldn't be approved by city hall. πŸ˜…
The return bus was scheduled for 930pm but we were fished way before that so we decided to take a walk into city centre to stretch out after being in a seated position all day. We walked as far south as the Thames and then found our way to the nearest tube station to home.

PS - have I mentioned that The lack of wifi access is frustrating. When you have gotten used to having access to wifi and text all the time this is superbly silly. Thank you Shaw but screw you Vodafone.

Posted by alitabrown 13:34 Archived in England Comments (0)

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