The 15 Series, Week 2: 15 Things To Do In Dublin Before December

ely restaurants celebrates its 15th birthday this year and each week, The 15 Series brings you 15 tips on topics such as food, wine, culture, lifestyle, craft beer and more!

#ely15years

 

15 Things To Do In Dublin Before December

The lead up to the festive season can be chilly, wet, dull and grey. Some have Halloween, pumpkins and dressing up to look forward to, while others might decide to have a dry November in anticipation of the busy festive season ahead, or take up a hobby they mightn’t have had time for during the summer months. There are plenty of amazing things happening in Dublin in the weeks leading up to December, so we’ve put together 15 for your bucket list.

1. Get Stoked For Bram
Bram Stoker
Photo credit: http://www.bramstokerfestival.com

There are a million and one things going on for this year’s Bram Stoker Festival, we reckon you won’t need to do anything else for the rest of the month after it! From vamp-wiring (yes, that’s city centre zip lining) to sinister screenings, gothic markets, karaoke to to all things ghoulish for the kids, there’s something for every man, woman, child and vampire this 24 – 27 October.

Enjoy at glass of blood red and a fang’s bite of rare organic steak at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2


2. A Photo Speaks A Thousand Words
World press photo exhibition
Photo credit: http://www.worldpressphoto.ie

The awe-inspiring World Press Photo exhibition returns to The chq Building this Friday 17 October and runs right up until 15 November. If you didn’t catch it last year, now’s your chance to check out a showcase of some of the best photojournalism in the world. Prepare to be moved.

Enjoy lunch at ely bar & brasserie, beside the exhibition in The chq Building, IFSC, Dublin 1


3. Art Comes Alive

NGI Plays presents sixteen short plays inspired by National Gallery paintings on Saturday 22 November and 29 November 2014. Sixteen 10-minute plays inspired by paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland have been created, over two years, by five Irish playwrights and will be beautifully performed by actors from the Umbrella Theatre company.

Enjoy early-bird menus from 5pm, Mon – Sat at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2.


4.  Book It In

As the clever Kitten Soft tv advert states, “Paper has a big future”. Meet authors, editors, publishers and head down, bookmark in hand, to the Smock Alley Theatre for the Dublin Book Festival, 13 – 16 November. Perfect for families, book lovers and fans of poetry & prose, we’re looking forward to the return this vibrant festival,  which has been running since 2005.


5. Run Dublin, Run

No better way to spend a bank holiday Monday than to enjoy a little bit of fresh Dublin air at the annual Dublin Marathon, taking place on Monday 27 October. For those of you who have been training, a very well done, to those who haven’t had the time to train, fear not! Walkers are accepted and welcomed.


6. Explore The Unknown Rhône 
rhone wine

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Rhône Wine Week Ireland is a celebration of the wines of the Rhône Valley, with events all over the city, from 3 – 8 November. From Rhône dinners, Q&A’s with Rhône experts and wine makers, to the Big Rhône Quiz, there’s lots to love about this South of France wine celebration.

Fans of the ely Big Tasting will love the Big Rhone Tasting, Thursday 6 November at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC, Dublin 1.


7.  That’ll Do Donkey, That’ll Do

Based on the hit films, Shrek The Musical promises to bring all the much-loved characters to life, live on stage, in an “all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza” at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre on 21 Oct – 9 November.  The onstage version is sure to provide a lot of laughs between the green swamp-dwelling ogre and his cheeky donkey sidekick.

Enjoy pre-theatre dining from 5pm at ely gastro bar, Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2.


8.  Smashing Science

Three Smashing Science films will screen at the Chq Building on 13 – 15 November as part of science week. Along with a film, each evening will also include discussion with leading scientists and thinkers. Brought to you by Insight, AMBER, UCD Science Expression and Happenings, the evening promises films, science, beers and discussions – a winning combination.

Enjoy an all new bar menu, craft beers and an extensive wine list at ely bar & brasserie, in The chq Building, IFSC, Dublin 1


9.  Let’s Dance

Think pink and dance like everybody’s watching for a fantastic cause this 29 November at the Convention Centre Dublin. Strictly Against Breast Cancer returns to Dublin with even more glitz, glamour and dancing than ever. Some great personalities will be partnered with supporters and survivors and this black tie event offers a fun night out, while helping a very worthy cause.

Enjoy pre-event signature cocktails at ely bar & brasserie, in The chq Building, IFSC, Dublin 1


10. Love The Wine You’re With
wine and cheese tasting

Photo credit: ely restaurants

Many people just assume that cheese and wine go together, but that’s not always the case. Some cheeses ruin a good wine, and vice versa. But, there are some outstanding wine and cheese pairings and at the ely Wine & Cheese Tasting, Thursday 30 October, we will get a better understanding of what wines work with cheese and why, while most importantly enjoying them!

Limited tickets available for the ely Wine & Cheese Tasting. To book, click here


11. Don’t Let The Days Go To Waste

When you first read about the upcoming Abbey Theatre production The Waste Ground Party, you are greeted by the words “This area has gone to the f***ing dogs”. This intriguing intro, in our opinion, just reiterates the fact that this exciting new play from Shaun Dunne is definitely one to catch this 22 October – 29 November.

Enjoy pre-theatre dining at ely bar & brasserie, in The chq Building, Dublin 1 – corporate ambassador of The Abbey Theatre.


12. Run In Dublin’s Darkness

Mark Pollock is one of the world’s most inspiring and amazing athletes and this year’s Lifestyle Sports Run in the Dark plays a massive part in funding the Mark Pollock Trust’s mission to find a fast track cure for paralysis. You can play your part by lighting up Dublin’s darkness and running 5k or 10k on 12 November.


13.  Gonna Make A Change

Marking the 5th anniversary of the King of Pops’ passing, Anthony Walker premieres The Man In The Mirror – A live tribute to the music of Michael Jackson at the Olympia Theatre, Saturday 1 November. With a 5 piece live backing band, 4 backing singers and 6 piece dance troupe, MJ will really come to life in Dublin, for one night only.


14. Shoulder To Shoulder 

Whether you’re one of the lucky 150,000+ ticket holders or simply prefer watching from your sofa or at the bar, there are 3 big Irish rugby dates to enjoy in the run up to December. The 2014 Guinness Series kicks off at the Aviva Stadium on 8, 16, 22 November as the nation comes together for this year’s autumn internationals to cheer on the boys in green.

Enjoy a post match feed, featuring organic Burren steak from the ely family farm at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2.


15. It’s Beginning To Look Alot Like…

In the week before December, the RDS will transform into a Christmas wonderland filled with food, wine, crafts, gifts and more. Get ready for the month ahead at the Food & Wine Magazine Christmas Show, 21 – 23 November. This year’s show promises so much red and gold festive goodness it’s sure to knock the bah humbug out of any skeptic.

Enjoy the run up to the festive season at ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place, Dublin 2 – Awarded ‘Best Wine Experience in Ireland’ by Food & Wine Magazine, August 2014.

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tips, tipples & table talk – Week 7

In this week’s tips, tipples & table talk we reminisce about the fruit & veg wars we had at home when we were younger – and how those who still feel the same can tackle the problem today. We also look through the glass and discuss how you can make an average wine taste better and our what’s on this week includes babies carrying watermelons, fire breathers in Dublin city centre and 1970’s aristocratic Ireland.

Tipple tip of the Week: Through the Looking Glass – Why that wine glass really matters.

In our opinion, Riedel has perfected the art of making the right glass for the right wine. However, that said, you don’t need to spend a fortune on wine glasses for use at home. Here are some quick tips in choosing a glass for your wine.

Hang on, does it actually matter?

Yes it does! Did you know that you can turn a great wine into an average wine by serving it in the wrong glass – and make an average wine taste better by using the correct glass. Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice would say.

Hmmmm, tell me more.

The bottom of the glass should be bowl-shaped, with the rim of the glass sloping inwards to capture and concentrate the aromas.
The bowl of the glass should be wider for red wines, which benefits from a little swirling around. On that swirling note, a good solid stem is always always important, nobody wants a broken glass! A more subtle light and delicate white wine will concentrate better in a tall glass with a tapered rim. Always use a tall, slim flute glass for your sparkling wine and champagne. This will keep the bubbles flowing and help keep its sparkle!

In an ideal world, we’d all wash our wine glasses by hand but we know as well as you do that this quite tedious. Most good glassware is dishwasher safe, just make sure to check before purchasing (or before you pop it in the dishwasher!).

More on ely’s wine appreciation classes here.

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Taste tip(s) of the Week: How to Eat Healthier – Even when you hate fruit & veg

We remember it like it was yesterday. Seven years old and sitting at the dinner table having a stand off with the ‘rents. Surely, they have to give in first. Surely, they couldn’t leave me to starve? Surely, if I could just get them to look away for a minute I can easily hide them in my lap. Or in my pocket. Or maybe in my Velcro runners. Give peas a chance? Not a hope. This was full blown veggie war, with only one winner.

Now-a-days, while we’ve out grown out of table tantrums, there are still many of  you who are just plain adverse to certain (or many!) fruits and vegetables. You know the advantages, you know it’s good for you and you know you should be eating more of it, but sometimes… y’ just don’t want to. Our taste tip of the week, here are a few easy ways to include more fruit and vegetables into your diet.

  1. Replace today’s soft drink or coffee for fruit juice – There are now some top class juice joints in Dublin city, Staple Foods and Green Beards Juicery to name only a few, so why not replace your sugary soft drink or coffee at least once a week with some fresh fruity goodness. Alternatively, head to the fruit aisle, grab a blender and make some yourself at home.
  2. Add a new vegetable to your regular meals – Take a staple dish that you love, like pizza or pasta, and try to add a different vegetable to it, at least once a week. Whether it’s adding peppers to your usual margherita pizza or mushrooms to your creamy chicken sauce, why not be brave and try it. 9 times out of 10 you’ll find you might actually like the flavour.
  3. Replace dessert with sweet fruits  If you’re used to eating something sweet after every meal, try sweet fruits like mangoes or strawberries for dessert instead. Similarly, frozen yoghurt with fresh berries, is basically ice cream… right? As featured on our blog a few weeks back, you can check out the recipe here.
  4. Dunk ’em & stuff ’em Like breads and crisps, sliced vegetables like carrots and celery also taste great dipped into humous or a (light) sour cream dip. Peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms can all be stuffed with pesto, cheeses and more, not only complimenting but enhancing the flavours.
  5. Vegucate yourself – Sure, we all know that fruit and vegetables are good for us but how many of us actually know the specifics? Particular fruits can help with everything from anxiety to acne and certain vegetables can cure ailments along with boosting energy, endorphins, stamina and much more. Read up, vegucate yourself and maybe it’ll tempt you to try something new.

Try new healthy, seasonal summer menus at ely wine bar.

fruit and veg collage

What’s on this Week

A big one on Merrion Square this weekend folks and so much happening at this year’s Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular, formerly the Street Performance World Championship. The very best in family fun and entertainment, the event itself will be held July 11th – 13th but will also spread across Dublin city with concerts, family picnics, artisan food events and outdoor screenings until July 27th. The event map can be enlarged by clicking the image below and the full Dublin line up can be found here.

Just up the road from Merrion Square, ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place is open for Saturday lunch + dinner. 

laya map 2

The hugely popular Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage was put in the corner (of Grand Canal Square) last night and will run until the 26th July at The Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Featuring all the best bits from the film and more, this fantastic show still has some tickets left and can be purchased here.

Book pre-theatre at ely gastro bar, Grand Canal Square.

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One of Brian Friel’s finest plays, The Aristocrats, runs in The Abbey Theatre until August 2nd. A moving drama about a wealthy Catholic family in 1970’s Ireland, it surprisingly relates extremely well to current and modern times. With a fine cast executing Friel’s fantastic script with haunting undertones, this play is a must see for any theatre lover. Tickets are still available, to purchase click here.

Enjoy pre-theatre dining at ely bar & brasserie, IFSC.

brian friel

 

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 6

In honour of this Friday, the 4th of July, we reviewed some un-brew-lievable (sorry) American craft beers along with one for you to enjoy in the summer sunshine, the easiest fro-yo recipe ever, in this week’s tips, tipples & table talk. We also look at 50 Shades of Grey in Ireland and no, not the book: Why you you should be visiting the uniquely stunning Burren, Co. Clare this summer.

Craft Beer(s) of the Week: Red, White and Brew  

Independence day is upon us this Friday 4th of July,  so we thought it only fitting to put our star spangled banner of approval on our favourite American craft beers. There are now over 2,700 craft breweries operating in the U.S, the highest total since the 1880s according to the Brewers Association, which made our decision a tough one, but here it goes: Our top American craft beers of the week.

  1. Anderson Valley Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout – Which is the stout that us Irish folks love to drink? Just can’t quite think of the name right now but it is because of our love for this stout that makes it difficult for others to get a look in. However, this Californian stout is seriously interesting with a thick, rich and full body along with hints of chocolate and coffee. When the waiter offers us the dessert menu, we simply say we’ll have another one of these.
  2. Brooklyn Lager – Some might argue that, hang on, this isn’t really a craft beer anymore but that’s where some might respond that hey, this is the original craft beer… of New York anyway. According to Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Lager is New York’s “hometown” beer, brewed to a pre-Prohibition recipe that dates back to the days when Brooklyn was the brewing capital of the East Coast. Light bodied, this craft beer is easy, drinkable and can be enjoyed at any time of the year.
  3. Flying Dog Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale – The team at ely are huge fans of the Flying Dog Brewery and their classic pale ale is still one of our favourite craft beers out there. Fantastic summer drinking, its floral citrus aroma runs all the way through and can also be found in its well balanced taste. 5 out of 5, wonderful stuff!
  4. Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale – This beer from the folks at Lexing Brewing Co. (Alltech) is a whopping 8% but what we like about it is that it’s surprisingly drinkable and smooth, despite its high alcohol volume. True to its name, you can certainly taste the bourbon but it’s accompanied by a lovely, nutty oak taste along with dark fruits, figs perhaps. Not a beer for a big night out but for a relaxing, much like the beer, well balanced evening.

 beer collage blog

WIN an Alltech Lexington Brewing and Distilling craft beer & bourbon hamper worth €250 at ely bar & brasserie’s 4th July BBQ this Friday. Click here for details.

hamper alltech 2

Taste tip of the Week: Frozen Yoghurt Berry Cup

Fresh, fruity and good for you – this quick ‘n’ easy frozen treat offers delicious and guilt-free indulgence this Summer.

What you need:

  • 200g mixed nuts (e.g. pecans, walnuts, almonds)
  • 500g mixed berries (fresh or frozen) plus a few fresh berries to serve
  • 500g organic plain yogurt, chilled
  • 2 tbsp good quality honey
  • mint leaves, to serve

How we do it:

  • Toast the nuts by placing in a frying pan over a medium heat and tossing until golden brown – take care not to burn.
  • Put three-quarters of the fruit in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds.
  • Add the yogurt and honey and blend for 1 minute until smooth.
  • Taste for sweetness and add more honey if necessary.
  • Layer the yogurt with the remaining berries in tall glasses, bowls or cups and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • To serve, top with toasted nuts and some mint leaves.

For more recipes, see ely’s award-winning cookbook here.

berries

Travel tip of the Week: The Burren, Co. Clare

“The Burren? Sure that’s only rock, there’s nothing there!”

We still remember when we first advised one of our overseas customers to go and visit The Burren, Co. Clare during their round trip of Ireland, and the quote above that somebody quipped in with. Now, while the person did have a point about the rocks (The Burren takes its name from the Irish word ‘Boíreann’, meaning a rocky place), they were wrong about the ‘only’ part. When you think of Irish landscapes, you picture every shade of green while in the Burren, you find 50 shades of grey with only a bit of green thrown in. This strange beauty is what makes the Burren so uniquely stunning and gets our recommendation for Travel tip of the Week.

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The Burren’s unusual landscape, created by limestone erosion from the rain, plays host to a truly unique ecosystem of alpine, arctic and Mediterranean plants, see Burren Beo for moreDue to this rich wildlife, the area allows for some of the best farming in Ireland along with delicious seafood (à la Burren Smokehouse) and proudly, The Burren is home to the ely organic family farm. The area’s large amount of butterflies, animals, flora and fauna wonderfully and amazingly all survive in a land that appears to be composed entirely of rock.ely family farm_Burren farmland_low res

The Burren, also rich with historical and archaeological sites, is an ideal location to combine a trip with the nearby Cliffs of Moher or perhaps, for a stop off along the way. Colours of the Burren change with the light, weather and season, making it a fantastic place for the many artists who visit to set up their easels for the day.

To learn more about visiting The Burren, Co. Clare visit: www.burrennationalpark.ie 

ely family farm_Burren farmland_collage

 

tips, tipples & table talk – Week 3

Fathers. For many of us at ely, these are the people who taught us how to farm (Erik & Hugh Robson on the ely family farm pictured below), how to cook, how to pull our first pint, how to taste our first pint, to walk us down the aisle and to hold our hands through the times when we were to become fathers ourselves.

To all dads, granddads, great-granddads and those who act as father figures, we thank you!

Give the gift of ely this Father’s Day, Sunday 15th June

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Craft Beer of the Week: Monty Python’s Holy Grail Ale

This take on the classic English Golden Ale is a great option to accompany a barbecue’d burger. The slight fruity flavours of Monty Python’s Holy Grail offer light refreshment while the caramel buttery taste surprisingly compliments beef quite well. Easy drinking for the Summertime and according to Black Sheep Brewery, our Craft Beer of the Week “has been tempered by burning witches”, so that’s always good – right?

Available: ely bar & brasserie

 

Tip of the Week: Summer Wedding

ely’s executive head chef Ryan Stringer is getting married this weekend! For those of you who too, have an upcoming summer wedding planned, here are a few of our last minute tips from our wedding coordinator at ely bar & brasserie on the things you may have overlooked.

Umbrellas

Your summer wedding has been purposely planned for the weather to be on your side but don’t forget, this is still Ireland and she’d be a grand aul’ country if only we could roof her. Whether your venue is indoors or outdoors, you and your guests will probably have to be outside for some part of the day and may not have thought to bring  umbrellas. Always handy to stock up on a few for your guests, many stores sell relatively inexpensive ones. If there is still a shortage of umbrellas and it does rain on the day, for goodness sake, cover the bride!

Shoes

If you’ve purchased new shoes for the big day, make sure to break them in in advance. In the summer the weather is obviously warmer, sometimes even very hot, resulting in feet swelling from the heat. Throw in any anxiety or nerves you might have and trying to fit comfortably into a brand new shoe can cause serious pain and discomfort later. Nobody wants to smile through gritted teeth on the dance floor! While cold feet on the day of your wedding is never good, equally so, neither is hot feet.

Grass

If you are having a garden wedding or reception where there is lots of grass, try to ensure that the grass isn’t freshly cut on the day before, or on the day of the wedding. A few days in advance is perfect. Keep in mind that in the summer, many people can suffer from hay fever allergies and freshly cut grass can irritate those that do!

Traffic

For those planning a city summer wedding, keep in mind that the weather can play a huge part for traffic problems! If your church or wedding venue is located near the coast, keep in mind that on the rare scorcher of a sunny Irish day, all routes to the coast are usually heavily congested. Similarly, when the weather is particularly bad, traffic can also come to a standstill as drivers take particular caution on the roads. Just remember to keep an eye on the forecast (which you most likely will be doing anyway) and make sure to remind your guests to allow for plenty of sufficient travel time on the day.

Ask us about holding your unique wedding at ely wine bar or ely bar & brasserie today.

wedding collage blog

What’s on this Week

The Dublin LBGTQ Pride Festival  kicks off this Sat 14th June with plenty of fun happening in the city for all. Enjoy smooth live jazz from The Cormac O’Brien Trio from 2pm this Sun 15th at ely gastro bar. Food lovers can flock to Taste of Dublin at The Iveagh Gardens, Thurs 12th – Sun 15th June and lovers of food can also get involved in Street Feast on Sun 15th June. Street feast is really a cool day of community lunches where you can get to know your neighbours, meet new friends and enjoy some good grub in the process.

In case you missed it

The Dublin Diary reviews ely wine bar, 22 Ely Place.

“I wasn’t expecting to be shown downstairs to a snug little bar area with a brick-lined restaurant beyond. I was gobsmacked! The place just oozed charm and character … Ely Place is warm, comfortable and relaxing.”

You can read the full review here.

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