On Saturday I enjoyed a lovely afternoon on one of French Foodie in Dublin’s French Food and Wine tours. On a not so typical October day with the sun shining, we met on the steps of Powerscourt where Ketty was holding a French baguette.
Our first stop was La Maison in Castle Market Street for a very authentic French lunch of Coq au Vin and some beautiful French wine. We sat inside but they have a beautiful space at the front which is open air on sunny days but has a roof on those colder, wetter days – perfect for watching the world go by. Entry is through a red curtain which is a nice touch and the service is friendly and efficient. We were treated to some French bread, olive tapenade and a beautiful selection of fresh fruit and vegetables presented in a wire chicken. The coq au vin was the nicest I’ve ever tasted and it was served with potatoes and green beans. It was a lovely way to start the tour as we all got to know each other over lunch. We all had a love for food in common.
After lunch we took a short walk over to Sheridans just off Grafton Street on South Anne Street for our cheese course. We sampled four different varieties of French cheeses. The shop is tiny and the staff are very welcoming and knowledgeable about their products.
To wash down the cheese, we headed to Fallon and Byrne wine cellar for a French wine tasting. David talked us through one white, Le Clos des Grillons Cotes Du Rhone Blanc and two reds, both Malbecs – KO In Cot We Trust and Chateau du Cedre. As I am a white wine drinker, it was an easy choice for the winner for me. They do a Happy Monday deal where they offer a €1 corkage for any wine consumed in the cellar and apparently there is also half-price cocktails upstairs in the restaurant.
To round things off our last visit was to Cocoa Atelier on Drury Street for a chocolate macaroon tasting. They have lovely desserts and chocolates on display and on a busy Saturday the shopkeeper had kept aside some chocolate macaroons for us.
What I loved:
The host – Ketty is the perfect host willing to share all her favourite places and her love of all things French. She even gave us all a small sweet treat at the end of the tour which she had purchased that morning in The Paris Bakery on Moore Street.
The food – La Maison, I will be back to sample more delights. There is plenty to eat on this tour so you won’t go hungry. Come with an empty tummy!
The company – The small group idea is a great one with only 10 people it was easy to get to talk to everyone. We had a lovely group with a mix of nationalities – the newly-weds Anne and Stephen from Cork and Kerry; the French couple Arnaud and Marie and their Brazilian friends Daniela and Eduardo and another French guy Johary and the Danish well-traveled Google-ite Benedicte.
The introduction to new places – Cocoa Atelier where have you been hiding? Macaroons – I may well become addicted!
I can’t think of a nicer way to spend a Saturday afternoon and remember to #followthebaguette.