Friday, June 12, 2015

The Food in Northern Ireland

Pavlova, a favorite dessert in Northern Ireland.
Why are you not surprised that one of my first blogs about my recent trip to Northern Ireland would be about "food"?  After all I am a "foodie" (I seek new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.)  Okay I do sometimes eat out of hunger or convenience. 

The Ryandale , a restaurant in the small village of Moy, was where I had my first meal (and several more) in Northern Ireland.  I opted for the traditional meal of bangers and mash.  The sausage was prepared by the local butcher and was made of pork and leeks---very tasty.  All of the meals we had there were very good and quite reasonably priced.
Bangers (sausages) and mash (mashed potatoes) with gravy.
The best meals were those we had at Brookvale, the home of Thomas and prepared by Thomas' mother Ann.  A typical dinner was roast beef  (or chicken) served with gravy, a green vegetable such as broccoli, carrots and parsnips, and always Irish potatoes mashed or baked (or both). 

One of Ann's marvelous dinners.  Roast chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli, carrots and parsnips.
Thomas' dad, David, mashing the potatoes. 
At the wedding dinner after the ceremony at the Parkanaur, a Caprese salad was followed by a traditional dinner of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potato and peas. A bowl of mashed potatoes was passed around as well. 
A traditional Irish dinner of roast beef, gravy, baked potato, green peas and Yorkshire pudding.
Sweets are very popular in Northern Ireland.  On one of our day excursions we happened upon the Donut Tree (their version of our Krispy Kreme) where fresh donuts were available.  Most of our group had a donut (I later regretted that I didn't).  Elizabeth had an apple filled one that looked mighty good. 

Elizabeth at the Donut Tree. 
Elizabeth's apple cinnamon donut. 
One evening at the Ryandale, I ordered Honey Comb Ice Cream for dessert.  I am always up for a new flavor of ice cream, and boy this one is good.  I want to share this with our local ice cream vendor with the hope that he can duplicate it. 
Honey Comb Ice Cream, a favorite in Ireland
I have always thought of Pavlova as the national dessert of New Zealand and Australia, but it sure is popular in Ireland as well.  At every turn there seemed to be Pavlova available.  It was the first dessert at the wedding dinner, and it was as scrumptious as it looked. There always seems to be two desserts at every meal.  After the wedding cake* was cut, slices of both the top lemon layer and the bottom chocolate layer were served. 
Pavlova at the wedding dinner at the Parkanour. 

The wedding cake at Thomas and Rebecca's wedding. 
The absolute best dessert I had during my week in Northern Ireland was the rhubarb pie made by Ann.  Rhubarb is a favorite of mine, and this one was to die for---and the best pie crust I have ever eaten.  I must get the recipe from her.  I was so busy devouring the pie I didn't get a photo of it : (. 

*The wedding cake was made by Ann's nephew in England and brought over to Ireland by boat.  The marzipan "bride and groom" atop the cake are so appropriate.  Thomas is a photographer who often takes pictures of Rebecca, the fashion blogger, for her blog. 


  1. I love the marzipan wedding cake decoration!

  2. Had a lot of fun reading this Pat! :) Glad you enjoyed your week