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frenchfoodiemovieclub
Fabulous food blogger and savvy business woman, Ketty, of French Foodie in Dublin [FFID] brings us a new night out with a twist, the Foodie Movie Club. The idea is that each month she chooses a different food themed movie screened in the private cinema in Brooks Hotel. I attended her last screening of Julie & Julia which proved so popular, I think she had to put on four separate screenings. It is the movie that inspired me to start blogging. You can read my review of the movie here. I also love Meryl Streep’s performance as Julia Child, an over-the-top, eccentric and exuberant chef and author of the best-selling cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

After popcorn and the movie, we headed en masse [well there were around 20 or more of us] around the corner to French restaurant, La Maison, on Castle Market. Through it’s red curtains and up the stairs to a private dining room where we dined on steaming pots of the most delicious French classic Boeuf Bourguignon. I had come on my own but quickly made friends with a fellow blogger, the lovely Marta of Cook It, Eat It, Love It. She has recently relocated to Dublin from Galway. The movie was a real talking point as was the luscious Boeuf Bourguignon complete with puff pastry surround which we demolished. Everyone was friendly and welcoming and I ended up staying way longer than I thought I would as I was enjoying myself. We happily ate and talked and laughed. I had to tear myself away reluctantly as I had work in the morning.

As Ketty says “It’s more than just watching a film, it’s about meeting people, enjoying food and building a community of those with a shared love of food and film.” Judging from the success of the night I went, it’s a concept that clearly works. I would heartily recommend it as a fun night out and going alone ensures you make some new friends.

This month FFID has selected the movie Ratatouille, the story of a little rat who dreams of becoming a French chef in Paris. The movie will be followed by an authentic ratatouille dish in French restaurant La Maison. There are two screenings on the 23rd and 28th of April – check out her website www.frenchfoodieindublin.com for further details and to make a booking.

xmas
Only four shopping weeks to go and here are some events to get you in the Christmas spirit…

Christmas at Dublin Castle: November 30th until December 22nd
Dublin%20Castle%20Christmas%202013
Each Saturday and Sunday in December Dublin Castle invites you to enter the magical world of the Nutcracker. The upper courtyard is transformed into a traditional Christmas market and choirs every Saturday and Sunday will be performing under the tree from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Enjoy a tasty treat from our Christmas vendors, including mulled wine, hot chocolate, gingerbread cookies and traditional chimney cake. The craft fair will take place on December 15th from 10.00am inside the Bedford Hall.

Check out their Christmas programme by clicking the link below:
http://www.dublincastle.ie/media/Christmas%20at%20Dublin%20Castle.pdf

Christmas on the Square: December 1st
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This Saturday, December 1st, the second annual Merrion Square pop up shop will be taking place in Number 45 Merrion Square. To kick start your Merrion Christmas there will be a one-day pop-up shop on December 1st with leading Irish designers and irish artisan food producers bringing their beautiful irish-made products to No. 45.

Check out their website for further details:
http://merrionsquare.ie/index.php/christmas-on-the-square/

Christmas at Farmleigh: 7th – 22nd December
Christmas%20Time%20at%20Farmleigh
Experience the magic of Christmas at Farmleigh with Christmas markets and carol singing every Saturday and Sunday. They also have Christmas Concerts. The Velvettes is a unique vocal group based on the classic swing combos of the late 1940s and early 1950s. They model their vocal blend on the style of the Andrews Sisters. A typical Velvettes set list is packed with songs from Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and Hoagy Carmichael- to name but a few. Tickets are allocated on a lottery basis. The closing date for ticket applications is at 10am on Wednesday December 4th. 2 tickets per winner, and only successful applicants will be notified.

Check out the Christmas Programme:
http://www.farmleigh.ie/events/Title,25285,en.html

The Docklands Christmas Markets: 12th – 23rd December
docklands
Everyone’s favourite Christmas Festival is back again for the 9th consecutive year, bringing Christmas cheer and magical festive treats to the heart of Dublin from the IFSC at Georges Dock. This year promises to be bigger and better than ever with a few surprises added to the regular line of events including an entertainment area taking place on the event platform in George’s Dock. The Victorian Carnival, the fantastic artisan food and craft market and of course Santa’s grotto will all be back to help make your festival experience a magical one.

Click on the link below for more information:
http://www.dublindocklandschristmasfestival.ie/

Dublin Port Winterfest at Point Village: 28th November to 23rd December
Winterfest-InfoPage-TOP
The Point Village will be transformed with the sights, sounds and aromas of a traditional Christmas market. You’ll find food stalls serving treats including Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Crepes, BBQ Bratwurst and Bockwurst, Hog Roast, Chinese Noodles, Chocolate Fountain and a Christmas Bakery. There is also an ice-rink, santa’s grotto and amusement rides.

Check out their website for more details:
http://www.dublinportcompanywinterfest.com/

12 Treats of Christmas Food Tour
snowmen
French Foodie in Dublin brings you on her ’12 Treats of Christmas Food Tour’ this December.
Mulled wine, chocolates, mince pies and other Christmas treats will be sampled during this festive walking tour, a stop in a restaurant for lunch is also included. Join a small group of Christmas lovers to share some delicious food and good company. French Foodie will bring you around some of her favourite spots to indulge with 12 different treats.

To book click on the link below: http://frenchfoodieindublin.blogspot.ie/p/christmas-food-tour.html

christmas

frenchfoodie

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.

coqauvin

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.

cheeses

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.

macaroons

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.

cocoa atelier

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