27th June 2013 Helen 2Comment
So, last weekend was a little bit more of a contrast of events than expected! Going to work Friday morning, myself and my husband were debating our options for tea.  After a long week or being largely on my own with the kids, I was enthusiastic for something nice, but not for taking on the cooking.  That said it was really a complicated toss up: beans on toast or pancakes. Glamorous!As it happened we ended up with a complete treat of a 7-course meal -with drinks, in the beautiful Hibernian Club on St. Stephen’s Green – and all for free!! The lovely peeps in Discover Ireland ran a competition for tickets on Facebook on Thursday. Brilliantly for me the girl who won on Thursday never claimed her prize so, roping in my parents for some last minute baby sitting, we headed out for a very fabulous and unexpected night on the tiles!

Apparently this was well known about in the foodie world – so needless to know we’d heard absolutely nothing about it, but it was the inaugural dinner of the Guerilla Gourmet Club – which aims to promote up-and-coming Irish food artisans by promoting them in tandem with established brands.It all kicked off with Hennessy Summer Tea Cocktails – basically twinning the Cognac with Nik’s Earl Grey Tea.  Apparently there was also Iced Tea on offer – not that we noticed! Lovely trays of canapes were doing the rounds – with Jack McCarthy’s black pudding sausage rolls with whipped Crozier Blue cheese, and Murphy’s sea-salt ice-cream cones, my favourites.

I really hadn’t thought of the set up at the dinner beforehand – instead getting home, changed, the kids sorted, and making it to the free bar, kept me busy. Anyway, if I’d thought about finding the energy to converse with a table of strangers after a long week of work / kids I’d honestly have been a bit hesitant.  As it was, we had a table of 11 – and a nice mix of competition winners and randomers, and they were all great craic, so it was really like going to a wedding and barely talking to your husband for the entire day, and then catching up on the taxi on the way home i.e. surprisingly nice!

The food was simply amazing. I took some dodgy photos that don’t do it an ounce of justice but it really was great.  Highlights were the Liscannor Crab with cucumber and Goatsbridge Trout Caviar; and the slow roasted duck spring roll; but the main course – an eight hour slow roast leg of Connemara Hill Lamb was just sublime. Each table was given two cuts – and to prove how ‘melty’ it was it just took a spoon and fork to serve it up. Everything was washed down with little samplers of ciders and beers, and big samplers of wine.

The strawberry and cream, and cheese courses followed.  I’m a glutton for cheese – and at this point I was a drunk glutton for cheese, but even then I had just enough class to ignore my husband’s suggestion to ‘bring home the cheese’!(seriously, lovely runny round of cheese on the lower right handside, meets inside of my bag.  Not what you want to find the next morning!)

We even pocketted the little chocolates to thank the babysitters.

So, it was fabulous and we loved it. It tasted all the sweeter for the fact that it was free and last -minute.  There is talk of another one in September and it’s a seriously great night out.Sure fire us over a few free tickets and we’ll drag ourselves out again.

And then, by way of complete contrasts, we packed up kids, hangovers and all the gear and off we headed for a BBQ and camping in our friends garden in Wicklow! Yes, we know our place.

And with that, have a happy weekend.

x

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