Category: Around Ireland

Brunch at Ali’s Kitchen – A Delicious Choice In Cork City

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.

Alis Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

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.

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

So, let’s get down to the brunch menu.

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

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).

 

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

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.

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

 

There’s also the beauty of the Florentine which can’t be ignored – the hollandaise is DIVINE.

 

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

 

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.

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com
The portion sizes are quite big here – even the Kids portion of French Toast can leave leftovers – but they’re always happy to package up the rest for snacking later!

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.

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

The Service

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.

My happy campers after an incredible brunch

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.

Ali's Kitchen - Paul St, Cork City, Ireland - Bakehouse and Brunch - Delicious Food and Excellent Service. BadMammy.com

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!

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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! 

 

 

Visit Ireland’s Historical Gems for FREE – Historic Days Out for All The Family

Getting to see Ireland’s gems of historical sites is definitely something I want to do more of. Being able to drive now has opened up so much more of the country to me and I plan to embrace it. I studied Celtic Civilisation as part of my degree, and so discovered a lot of interesting history of these amazing sites. They’re a great resource to bring kids to as well – they make a fantastic day out and they’ll be learning to boot. Many of these sites are now owned by the Office Of Public Works (OPW).

On a normal basis, these sites are mostly paid entry. However, on the first Wednesday of the month, they are free entry to the public which makes them a great free day out. AND from July 1st, they’re all free entry EVERYDAY for kids!  Here’s a list of the sites waiting for you to discover them – great for days out when the kids are off and you’re needing something to do!

Visit Ireland's Historical Gems for FREE - Historic Days Out for All The Family

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Days Out With Kids: Fota Wildlife Park With a Two Year Old

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!

Fota Wildlife Park - Day trips with Kids in Cork - BadMammy.com (more…)

Buggy Friendly Coffee Spots in Cork City

I live in Cork City Centre, so spend the vast majority of my days wandering in and around the shops and side streets, wielding my not-so-tiny buggy with the tiny man inside. Generally we seem to follow the same pattern, occasionally meeting others for lunch, wandering around shops and looking at more things to clutter up the already overly-populated house with. (Homewares are my kryptonite. Especially the tiny tiny dishes). Some shops make it easier than others for people with buggies, or children in general to come in. There are a few clothes shops in particular inaccessible due to the lack of a lift, or awkwardly narrow aisles – and yes, I have been that Mammy trying to balance the display I’ve just hit with the buggy, hoping and praying that it won’t come crashing down. Dorothy Perkins, I’m looking at you.

 

 

Where I’ve found it most awkward however is actually going for lunch, or for coffee, with tiny humans attached. Pre-baby, I could text around and organise a coffee without a thought for where we should go – sure, all we needed was two chairs, they didn’t need to be comfortable or easily accessible, and a lot of the time my shortness was the only obstacle holding me back from the high stools. These days, the priorities are a tad different. As bad as pulling a display in a shop down is, places with hot food and beverages become ultimately dangerous if there isn’t enough room or they aren’t properly accessible, and so planning a coffee date with friends becomes something of military precision – especially if you’re looking for somewhere with decent coffee. However, over the last few months I’ve found a few places which have been absolutely fantastic and baby/ buggy friendly.

Deep South

When I was in college, this was a sports bar. In its current form, it is still a bar but during the day serves a rather interesting menu – their sweet potato chips are to die for – and are extremely buggy friendly. There are two small steps (not the worst for the buggy steering by far) upon entrance, and they’ve always been quick to offer help with this. Theres a choice of different seating arrangements, we’ve always found an area down the back perfect for lunch with the buggy, or if its a nice day, which it has been quite a bit this summer, the outdoor area is absolutely lovely and is complete with a shaded area perfect for hiding away small eyes from the sun. They also serve Cork Coffee Roasters as their coffee, which is fantastic, as Cork Coffee Roasters themselves have the most anti-buggy set up I’ve ever seen (narrow, narrow cafe always overcrowded – its tough to manoeuvre even without a buggy) but have rather nice coffee. Quite a nice find.

Cafe Gusto, Lapps Quay

If you’re down that end of the city on a weekday before 4pm, Cafe Gusto is a lovely little pit stop. While having more reduced opening hours than its Washington St sister, it is infinitely easier to get around with a buggy and it is possible to sit on the high stools and have room for the buggy behind you. Alternatively, as with the last choice, if it is a sunny day there is a gorgeous outdoor area looking out onto the River Lee where you can sit and while the hours away. Their pastries are also lovely (Pre-diet me recommends the carrot cake with one of their lattes for a super happy experience).

Debenhams Cafe

It’s in the dead centre of town, serves a brunch until 4pm with the nicest sausages I’ve ever found in Cork, and you can browse baby clothes and makeup downstairs to your hearts content. I’ve been a fan of this place long before tiny tyrant came along, but it was only when I became one of the buggy wielders than I realised how good it was. There are lovely wide aisles, room to place buggies beside tables without getting in anybody’s way, and if you’ve got older kids as well as having a kids lunch special, they’ve got a somewhat play area corner. Do watch out for the predatory Pixi Foto reps who will tell you your child is gorgeous and ploy for your money (unless this is something you’re interested in).

Another place perfect for tea and cake. I have also seen staff members being called to assist customers with their trays if they have a buggy with them – its not happened to me as I tend to leave the buggy with the other person while I go up and grab, but its good to note. My only downside to this place is that it taught me the fast way how to precisely steer the buggy – their lift exits off into the homewares department, into the many breakable crockery sets – I really do wonder about the thought behind that, putting narrow aisles with lots of expensive breakables in a place thats meant to be more accessible.. but apart from that, its a fab find.

Dunnes Stores Cafe

 

Another department store cafe, this one is on the top floor of the shop. It’s easily accessible via lift (or at a push those flat escalators). They’re absolutely lovely here and I’ve always found them really helpful. This one is definitely dependant on time of day as around lunch time it is packed, and can be difficult to find a place to sit with the buggy. However, when its not bursting at the seams full there is plenty of room. They drop food to the table if they see you with a buggy, which is fab and means no trying to wrestle tray and buggy.

Having used this as a pit stop many a time to feed tiny man, I’ve also been approached and asked if I’d like a top up on my tea or the food re-heated once I’d finished feeding, absolutely no rush on anyone to move on out as well which I found with some other places. Sandwiches, tea or cake readily available for reasonable prices as well.

Perry St Market Cafe

 

I’d never actually come across this place before another Mammy recommended it to me, it opened late last year in what is apparently a former night club, but is now serving as a rather lovely cafe. Big wide aisles mean this place is a hit with the buggy brigade as seen on any of my visits in there, as well as friendly staff and massive portions. Their main menu varies from day to day, but the real crown in their jewel is their dessert counter – absolutely unreal. Food is a bit more expensive than in other places mentioned, but I’ve not been disappointed yet.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BN636OJA6N3/?hl=en&taken-by=perrystreetmarket

Bodega (Now The Old Town Whiskey Bar At Bodega)

Bodega has been a brilliant haunt of ours with a buggy in tow. As well as being accessible and having a changing table, they’re also really accomodating and kid friendly. Whether you’re looking for brunch, a scone and some tea or just a place to sip a coffee while baby naps, it’s got it. Make sure to get one of the comfy sofa-style seats and you’ll happily spend the afternoon!

Good Day Deli

This is one of our newest discoveries but I absolutely love it. The Good Day Deli is in the grounds of the gorgeous Nano Nagle Place and serves delicious food and coffee, while also being completely buggy accessible. It’s also in great grounds where older kids can roam about safely, allowing you to have your coffee in peace!

 

Those would be the top few places I’m likely to be found, buggy parked, coffee in hand. Have you got any suggestions? Leave a comment and share the wealth of knowledge!

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7 Buggy Friendly Coffee Spots in Cork City, Ireland - BadMammy.com - Are you looking for somewhere to grab lunch, coffee or even just a cold drink and chance to sit down in Cork City with a stroller? Take a look at this list!