SeaFest, the largest free, family-friendly maritime celebration in Ireland, takes place in the Port of Cork, Cork City this weekend, from 7 – 9 June. It features a fantastic array of free events for all ages — free sailing, kayaking, vessel tours, opportunities to see marine creatures up close, and a variety of interactive sessions. There will also be a number of familiar faces — cooking demos from top celebrity chefs such as Neven Maguire, Martin Shanahan and Rory O’Connell; and a talk from Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann, Evelyn Cusack on our changing weather. There will be plenty of things to entertain your family and make this a weekend to remember!
I’m a big fan of brunch. Often I find that I don’t feel like eating first thing in the morning, but still in the mood for something breakfast-y later on. We have a weekend tradition of heading for brunch and have been trying different spots around Cork City to see who does the best. One of our favourite discoveries is Ali’s Kitchen on Paul Street.
It opened in 2016 in the building which used to house Connolly’s Bookshop. It’s a beautiful red brick building. I was intrigued to see what would go in its place, as the building itself to me was worth really working with. Ali’s Kitchen doesn’t disappoint. The decor makes the most of the beautiful red brick walls. The bare minimalism leaves the focus where it should be: on the food.
Ali’s Kitchen describes itself as a bakehouse, and the baked goods are definitely what will keep customers popping in.
So, let’s get down to the brunch menu.
We’ve been there quite a bit over the last two years. I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, and generally, I opt for the french toast. Himself normally chooses the Eggs Benny. It seems that every table around us is the exact same – one person goes sweet, the other goes savoury. I honestly have never seen a french toast like this. (So obviously, here’s an array of the french toasts that have gone before).
The Eggs Benny is served with Durcan’s Ham from The English Market and is absolutely delicious. I tend to order it when I’m feeling I can’t justify my dessert-for-breakfast selection of the French toast.
There’s also the beauty of the Florentine which can’t be ignored – the hollandaise is DIVINE.
What About Kids?
We have always found Ali’s Kitchen to be extremely accommodating of kids. While the size of the place isn’t super buggy friendly when it’s busy, for older toddlers and up they’re very friendly. Although there isn’t a designated children’s menu, we have found that they’ll either give a smaller portion or serve up something kid friendly. Eliott is a big fan of their poached eggs and sourdough, while when I’ve been with friends they’ve served up porridge, half portions of french toast and excellent kid friendly eggy soldiers. If kids have leftovers or don’t feel like eating right now (but you know they will later), Ali and her team are more than happy to pack up the leftovers for you to enjoy at home.
How About The Coffee?
Ali’s Kitchen serves the most gorgeous coffee I’ve had in ages, an Italian blend that I could stay drinking all day (and then jitter all night and feel like it was worth it). Make mine a flat white – I like to grab mine to go when I’m wandering around town even if we’re not in for a sit-down meal.
Even if the food wasn’t as delicious as it is, I would recommend going to Ali’s Kitchen for the service alone. We have never once had anything but a stellar experience here – and we’ve been here a lot, on a variety of different days. The staff are enthusiastic and pleasant and so happy to help with anything we have needed, whether it be a different chair for the four-year-old, menu selections or simply exchanging pleasantries. It gives it such a family feel in what can be a rather distant city centre location, and it’s the reason we keep coming right back.
I highly recommend getting there early. It isn’t the world’s biggest cafe, and with food this good, demand is high at the weekends. Even if they’re full though, it is worth the wait – and few places are that good when you have a hungry four-year-old in tow.
During the week, their breakfast menu runs from 8.30-11.45 Tuesday to Friday and is definitely worth trying out if you’re not able to make it at the weekend. I’ve not been in yet for lunch (it’s on my to-do list) but have heard great things. If it’s anything like the morning feasts, I’m in for a treat.
It’s one of my absolute favourite places to go in the city, whether for a bite to eat or just a coffee and cheeky pastry. For a look at more of their menu, check them out on Instagram – it’s definitely what I would class as food porn. I definitely recommend heading along to see what all the fuss is about, you’ll become a firm fan. Just make sure to save me a seat!
BadMammy is on Facebook and Instagram, come over and say hi!
This isn’t an ad, nor has Ali’s Kitchen asked me to review or offered any benefit to me for doing so. I’m simply a massive fan of the place and think that my readers will definitely benefit from checking it out!
Finding new places to go with the little man in tow has become an ever-growing hobby as he gets older and needs more to keep him interested. It’s not as easy to keep his attention (and keep him out of trouble) with the same places over and over, so I’m thrilled to discover new places. When they’re places that are right on our doorstep, all the better! So discovering Nano Nagle Place, which has reopened within the last year to the public after a huge renovation, has been a brilliant start to our Summer.
I hardly dare say it, but the Summer has arrived in Cork. There are intervals of sunshine between the rain and I wind up sunburnt while driving the car. I really should just apply the sunscreen before getting in the car even if it’s lashing as a habit, it’s happened more than once. With the good weather joining us occasionally, it’s nice to get out to new places as a family and we’ve just discovered the beauty of Fota House and Gardens during May. More specifically, the arboretum and gardens around the house – we’ve not done the house tour but it is beautiful to look at. Here’s how we got on!
Ireland’s national holiday, St Patrick’s Day, falls this Saturday, 17th March. Each year, we celebrate St Patrick, the guy who got the credit for bringing Christianity to Ireland (apparently Palladius didn’t kick up enough of a stink about it). Each year, we have parades and family events as well as a bank holiday. St Patrick’s Day has a reputation for being linked with alcohol consumption, so I’m encouraged to see how many family-friendly events are taking place this year. I did a roundup of the events happening in Cork in previous years and people seemed to find it helpful. Hopefully, this may be of help to you in picking what you are doing with your family that day.
The Beast from The East has been making its way across Ireland. The street value of a sliced pan is high, motivation to go into work is low, and there’s talk of red alerts meaning nobody is going anywhere. Which means the schools are closed, and it’s debatable as to what the escape options are over the next few days. If you’re at home with the kids, this all sounds brilliant for the first 24 hours (or if it’s a threenager, 24 minutes). However, after a while, cabin fever may well kick in. I’ve asked other members of the Irish Parenting Bloggers what they’re planning to do to stave off the crazy cabin fever over the next few days of Snowmageddon – here’s what they’ve come up with.
As the last posting day is drawing closer, and shops are starting to fill to bursting with last-minute shoppers, the pressure is on to buy THE PERFECT GIFT. While some people have been prepared since August (I am DEFINITELY not in that category), some of us have gone against our resolutions to be more organized in 2017 and are faced with finding the perfect gift in a short amount of time. As lovely as online shopping is, the chances of things getting here on time and in one piece diminish over the festive season, so sometimes brick and mortar shops are the only options left. While Cork City is full of the regular high street shops (Debenhams, H&M, New Look), it’s also home to some wonderful homegrown small shops with thoughtful gifts you’ll not find elsewhere. Here’s a look at 8 of the loveliest spots to pick up thoughtful gifts in Cork City this festive season.
Christmas is a time of magic, a time of wonder, especially for little ones. This is really the first year that Eliott is getting into it – he is very excited about the idea of Santa coming, and has been singing songs about Rudolph for weeks. With that in mind, we’ve been hoping that a Santa experience will give all of us, not just him, that Christmassy feeling we’re seeking in the dark December days. We were lucky enough to be invited to check out the wonder of Christmas at Cork’s Fota Beyond experience this year.
Hallowe’en is fast approaching, and there’s plenty going on to celebrate the night when the ghouls come out to play. With the weather as miserable as it has been lately, hopefully this will be a chance to have some spooky fun without getting rained out of it. Over the last few years, the Hallowe’en spirit has definitely increased in Cork, and this year is no different. Whether you’re a little one or a grown up, Cork has plenty in store for you.
Culture Night 2017 is almost upon us. On the 22nd of September, various centres of culture including museums, theatres, churches and many more open their doors and allow in the public for exhibits of the best of what they do. It’s an annual event which I look forward to each year, as there is always something a bit different on that night. Although there’s lots of events that are for adults only (great date night!), it also provides lots of options for the little ones too. Here’s what’s set to go on in Cork to keep the kids happy for Culture Night 2017.
Cork City is my home. I’ve lived here for 8 years now, and I’ve developed a love for the place, rain and all. It’s a beautiful city – yes, it has it’s faults too, but for it’s small size, it’s filled with lots of history and beautiful buildings. A few times a year, it gets to show off all the wonderful cultural things this little city holds dear. On 19th August, the 12th annual Cork Heritage Open Day, is one such day of showing off. If you’re looking for something fun to do with the family this weekend, you’re sure to find something you’ll love here.
I’ve been blonde for about six years now. After a bad breakup, I decided to change things up and have, for the most part, stuck with it ever since. It is a lot of maintenance though. Despite the prominence of the balayage trend, even keeping on top of that requires at least five colour treatments a year (four if I’m REALLY pushing it). At around 100 euro a pop, it’s a big ask.Bigger than the money issue is the back pain issue. Sitting for long periods of time kills my back, it is prone to seizing up, so spending close to three hours in a chair, staying still does not bode well for me. Such instances need to be rare and spaced out. So, perhaps it’s time to say goodbye to blonde.
Have you got plans this June Bank Holiday weekend? The Cork Harbour Festival stretches over the Bank Holiday weekend through to the following weekend. It runs from 3-11 June. It’s filled with lots of activities suitable for everyone in the family. If you’re looking to embrace the maritime spirit, this festival may be the one for you. Head to Cork for lots of fun, free entertainment and great family events.
Keeping toddlers entertained can be a constant battle – especially when you’re trying to vary things up so you don’t go mad yourself. Kids are expensive little people, and activities to keep them entertained can really rack up the costs. So, as its coming into the longer days, here are four free things to do with toddlers in Cork City.
The school holidays are here, so it’s time to get out of the house to beat the cabin fever. If you’ve not got kids in Easter Camps, it may be nice to have some activities to look forward to as the week goes on. Here’s a look at what Cork has to offer in the way of fun for kids and grownups alike over this Easter Holiday season. Hopefully these Easter Activities will help keep your kids occupied and stave off the holiday rage!
Now that the days are getting sunnier, we’re looking for more things to do outdoors with our little man. As much as possible we’re trying to keep it local – the less time getting there, the more time we get to enjoy outside! One of the big favourites around here is Fota Wildlife Park. So, when the weather was beautiful the day after his third birthday, we decided there was no better way to celebrate as a family.
Ireland’s national holiday, St Patrick’s Day, falls this Friday, 17th March. In celebration of St Patrick who got the credit for bringing Christianity to Ireland (apparently Palladius didn’t kick up enough of a stink about it), we have parades and family events as well as a bank holiday. St Patrick’s Day has a reputation for being linked with alcohol consumption, so I’m encouraged to see how many family friendly events are taking place this year. I did a roundup of the events happening in Cork previously and it went down well. As of yet I’ve not found a concise list of events in Cork, so this may be of help to you in picking what you are doing with your family that day.
I’ve lived in Cork City since 2009, meaning that this year is my 7th year here. In 2014 I gave birth to my son, which meant that I started to view the city in a whole new light – accessibility was a very real issue and I started to see just how accessible and inaccessible certain places were with regards to wielding my buggy around. I looked in envy at Mama’s whose babies were happy in a sling or structured carrier, as I wasn’t able to do the same thanks to a back injury and a disagreeable kiddo. I began to structure my almost daily wanders around where was best to have the buggy with me. It’s changed the way I look at the city, and am constantly on a search for different places to go, so in the nature of sharing the wealth, here is my guide to Baby Friendly places in Cork City in 2017.
Are you in Cork with the family this weekend? As Christmas is coming up, the city is set to be busy with shoppers. It can be nice to get away from the chaos for a while – kids aren’t known for their patience during long shopping days! The lovely folks in Cork Film Fest have entertainment suitable for all the family on this weekend – if you’re looking for something a bit different, this may be up your alley.
Getting out and about with your baby or toddler can either be a joy or an ordeal, it depends on the day. Some days everything goes great, you’ve got that child who smiles and is happy. Others it’s more like bringing the Spawn Of Satan to Tesco, or worse, a full on trip into town. In the two and a half years I’ve had a tiny posse, we’ve definitely had a mixture of the two. Days can be made or ruined by little things – not having the stuff you need in the bag, people not moving out of the buggy spots on the bus, and one of my pet peeves, lack of appropriate changing areas. I’ve written before about my list of baby friendly places to grab a coffee or some food in Cork City, and have been told others found it helpful. Sudocrem recently ran their Baby Changing Room Awards 2016 and I’m thrilledto see some of my favourites on their list! Here are my top six places to head when baby needs changing and I’m out and about in Cork (city and suburbs).
You know those summer days where the fates all align and allow you to actually go and do something nice together as a family? We had one of those last Friday, so decided we would head to Fota Wildlife Park and make the most of the weather. At two, E is animal mad – he knows all the noises, he knows the names and was very excited about the concept of going to see all the animals. In particular, the cows. Ahem. Once we had him corrected to realise that it would be more lions and monkeys, rather than farm animals, we were set to go!
I’ve been livingÂ in Cork for almost seven years. I moved down here in early September 2009, seventeen years old, terrified that I’d hate it, that I’d know nobody, that I’d miss my home too much. College was what drew me here, it becoming home is what has kept me. When Sadhbh from Where Wishes Come From started up a linky about loving the place you live, it inspired me to get writing!
I love finding new places to try out for lunch in Cork City, especially places that are good value for money with varied menus to treat my tastebuds. Recently, a cafe I had tried once before in it’s old location in Turners Cross, Lishh, moved to the Dosco Business Park on the South Douglas Road, closer to my house, and I took it as a great excuse to try it out properly. Lishh is a mixture of a deli cafe, food seller and catering company – now located directly across from Cork Meat Company and The Good Fish Company, two excellent fresh food sellers – the perfect combination.
Throughout my time writing this blog, I’ve tried to promote events which were on in Cork for parents (and parents to be), things that would make it easier for those of us with kids to get out of the house and meet other people who are in our shoes. I’ve written about Toddler and Parent Mornings in the Library, Cuidiu Coffee Mornings where sanity is regained over a cup of coffee, and random events in between. This time however, I’ve gotten a little bit more involved.
I was thrilled to be approached a little while ago by the organisers of this new Coffee Morning For Mums event, which is being held in a shopping centre not a million miles away from my regular stomping ground, Douglas Court Shopping Centre. From experience I know that being at home with baby/babies can be quite lonely and isolating, and it can be difficult to meet others who are in your shoes too – so when the idea of a coffee morning which will also have informative talks for Mums was mentioned, I thought it was a great idea.
With Christmas close at hand (yes, I went there, Tesco has been blaring the music since midnight on October 31st), thoughts have started straying towards gift ideas and trying to find unique gifts that friends and family will love. I spotted the Glucksman Gallery in my alma mater UCC was holding a Craft & Design Fair last weekend and thought it would be a good idea to check it out, to see if I could spot some gift ideas from local craftsmen. I was not disappointed.