I feel like I have cakes coming out of my ears lately, infact I’ve eaten so many cakes that I wouldn’t be surprised if my ears turned into cakes. I hope they don’t, as I would probably eat them too. I’ve been out and about a bit lately; I’ve celebrated two communions and one confirmation, baked brownies, a battenberg, a bakewell tart, a communion cake, a confirmation cake and an array of cookies (coming soon!), I collected a medal-less poor sad soul from the Coca-Cola Cup in Belfast and we just waved Chub’s parents off at the airport after their short trip to visit us; which meant a few frenzied cleaning sessions, plenty more baking, cooking and a bit more gallivanting! I also visited Bloom where I had lovely cakes from The Phoenix Cafe, which is my new cafe crush.
Bord Bia kindly invited some Irish, French, English and Belgian food bloggers to Bloom to take part in a picnic styling challenge. It was my first chance to meet up with a lot of the bloggers that I’ve been following (through their blogs, not in a hiding down dark alleys kind of stalking way!) and those that I’ve been chatting with on Twitter. It was my first time to Bloom so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Lily kindly picked me up early Friday morning from the train station and we made our way up through the park. We knew where we were heading when we spotted a big gang of ladies (and a few token males) with big handbags (men were without handbags!). After everyone was rounded up, had name badges given the once over before hugs were given out generously we made our way around the gardens for a private viewing before they opened up to the public. The gardens were all stunning, the excitement overwhelmed me so a lot of the details washed right over me, but Lily, Aoife, Rosanne, Catriona and Kat all captured everything beautifully, so if you would like to read more drop by their blogs. The food village at Bloom was fantastic, with lots of artisan food producers selling their wares. They were also very kind in providing produce for the picnic. To cut a long story short, my team didn’t win, so the less said about that the better. We then got treated to lunch at The Phoenix Café, which was absolutely delicious, beautiful sandwiches, cakes, tarts, buns, cookies and elderflower lemonade. Helen, the lady who runs it, really looked after us and is such a lovely person, we have promised to arrange another meet up at the café soon, we said it would be especially to get her online and social networking but really we just all want to eat some more of her delicious cakes!
Chub and I went back on the bank holiday Monday so I could visit the food village to pick up the produce I didn’t get a chance to buy on the Friday. I picked up some beautiful hot smoked salmon from the Burren Smoke House, St Tola Goatscheese, lovely smoked bacon, chicken and duck from Carraig na Breac, granola from Paddy O’ Granola, barm brack from Hickey’s Bakery, Glenilen yogurts and lemonade, striploin steaks from Premium Butchers, Skellig chocolate, Jane Russell sausages, strawberries and herb pots. We were absolutely weighed down on the way home, which made the one hour queue for the carpark worthwhile.
I was a guest of Bord Bia at Bloom and I would like to thank them for such a lovely day out at Bloom.
Anyway, between all this gallivanting, I somehow found time to make Paula’s Greek lemon and rosemary tarts. The rosemary pastry sounded so interesting, that I had to try it. I will definitely try the pastry again with different fillings, perhaps a lemon or grapefruit curd. If you would like to try it too, drop over to Paula’s blog.