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!
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.
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.
So, what’s going on this year?
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Winter is definitely coming. The weather is finally starting to get cold, the evenings are getting darker and there are leaves all over the ground in gorgeous reddish/orange shades. Living in Cork, this also means getting into the mindset of dealing with even more rain, but for the moment, I am cherishing the days without, where it is cold and crisp, and I’m able to head out walking with my boy. We’ve recently moved further out of the city than I’ve ever lived before since my move down here in 2009, and so have started exploring a whole other area which I’d not really paid too much attention to before. Through a curious wander the other day, I discovered a trail that went through Ballybrack Woods, behind the playground, and resolved to go back as a three so we could enjoy a nice family wander into nature. Read More
All I want is a room somewhere
Far away from the cold night air
With one enormous chair
Oh, wouldn’t it be loverly?
Eliza Dolittle, My Fair Lady
When you’re at home with a toddler, days can get pretty repetitive. Unless you set up different things to do during the week, it can feel like Groundhog Day. Every day involves chasing a football around the living room. My life soundtrack is currently the songs from Baby Genius. It’s worse when it rains – yes, I’ve still not learned to love the rain – because as I don’t drive, there is little to do in the city centre with a toddler and outside of that isn’t much of an option. There are only so many visits to the kiddie library we can do in one week, so I decided one morning that we’d change tack and head to Chuckies Play Zone, the closest soft play centre to us.
I don’t think anyone honestly likes house hunting in practice. In theory, of course, looking for the perfect place to live, to build a home, to make your own. Visions of scenes from Location, Location, Location and finding the perfect house first go fill your head as you log onto Daft.ie or the numerous other websites advertising places to live in your area. Unfortunately, thats about as far as those scenes go; visions in your head. Unfortunately in modern Ireland, this is not the reality for house hunting. Read More
The diet is still on, don’t worry, but some times you have to have a bit of a cheat meal. Lately in Cork, everywhere you look there have been springing up “Asian Street Food” restaurants and takeaways. As someone who quite likes her food asian but isn’t a fan of MSG, seeing that the two combined in one of these establishments was definitely a call for me to try it out. I apologise for the pictures; food blogger I am not, but having tried it for dinner one date night, I decided to try it for lunch with a friend the other day and review it on the blog. Read More
We’re getting there. Both me and the little man have been doing a lot of walking lately. We haven’t quite hit the stage of walking without clinging to something or someone (mostly Mammy’s leg or the sofa) but E is mad on the move and is so so close to proper independence. I can barely keep up with his crawling so when he gets running I’m proper done for. Read More
As I have said previously, none of my peer group of close friends had had babies when I was pregnant, or indeed had my own baby. This left me at a distinct disadvantage with regard to planning play dates or even just socialising – the best cafes (newer, hipster, slightly better coffee) always seemed to be inaccessible and as cute as they did find my son, the lack of conversation on his part (and the lack on my own, between only having baby things to talk about and being distracted by him) was definitely a deterrent. I noticed them pull away a bit and so was left in a bit of a twilight zone. Enter the Mammy and Baby groups. Read More
I’ve lived in Cork city for five years. I moved down here in September of 2009 and went on to gain the accent in ways I can’t get rid of, gain my degree, become friends with some of the best people in the universe, and have wound up still here all these years later, in our little family of three and still working here. In those five years I’ve learned there is a lot to love about this place – you have to start looking at the positives when you hate rain and you live here; there’s quite a lot of rain so there has to be quite a lot to offset it. So, in the spirit of positivity, here is my little Love Letter to Cork – things you really must do here, in my opinion. Read More
A week late, the amber necklace has arrived. Appropriately enough, it was ten minutes after the discovery of the package in my letterbox and the given amount of jumping for joy while sedately pushing the buggy, fearing waking the sleeping child, that I discovered a shop that sells them. In Cork. A place I’ve walked past every single day for the last week, but only spotted them today. Absolutely typical. Read More
It’s been a stressful kind of week. Manageable stress, but the kind that has the ability to drive you up the walls at the same time. Read More