Met Sofie in Kinsale on Sunday. We had a lot to catch up on as we haven't seen each other in ages. Anyhow we thought the Arts Week in Kinsale was the best excuse to meet up again. I am never sure if I like Kinsale or not. I love the old houses that are scattered around the town, the little shops and of course the restaurants. I have never been to Jola's and unfortunately they are not open for lunch and we both didn't want to stay around for too long so we settled in The Blue Haven Food Company.
I have been to the Blue Haven Hotel a few years ago when my little niece (now she would kill me if I called her little - she is 15 now) had her first communion and I wasn't impressed by the food. But in the years after that, the hotel has branched out - almost as if they are planning to take over Kinsale completely) and the Blue Haven Food Company is one part of this 'empire'.
You come into a little shop style which is called the Boutique Bakery. I have to admit that the display of cakes, slices and tarts looked mouthwatering and who ever tries to hang onto a diet should avoid this shop like the plague. It looked just divine. A corner of the shop was covered with shelving units that were loaded with chutneys, jams and lots of other delicatessen.
You walk through the shop into the dining area which - like the shop - was decorated in a warm but still fresh cream colour. The walls, cabinet units and chairs all were painted in cream (you think that looks boring - think again). Here and there was a splash of colour in turquoise. This is how you imagine an oldfashioned seaside cafe to look like. The menu was on the table but also on a big blackboard on the wall. You find the usual suspects of paninis, wraps, sandwiches etc but also Jacket Potato. So, you might think that is nothing to write home about.....but you are wrong as most cafes, bistros and restaurants don't have Jackets on offer (I still wonder why that is) while it is very common in the UK. Anyhow, Sofie and myself had a smile on our faces and we opted both for a jacket (mine with goats' and cheddar cheese and Sofie with coleslaw and cheddar). The portions were small enough for lunch but big enough to fill you. The waitresses left us mostly to ourselves and we took the time to complete our chats.
The arts week was well organised as most shops displayed local artists in their windows, a craft and arts fair was on in the Temperance Hall and the 'Clay Man' was entertaining the crowd with different heads of clay (he actually had a big lump of clay around his head and made different shaped heads from pigs to fish etc). A food market was there as well with the typical stalls of crepes, pies and others yummy delights. A youth dance group entertained the people as well as the Capoeira Group.....we escaped when they were looking for volunteers to join them.
I also came across a new shop called Gourmet Galley. It is a charming looking shop full of little treasures for the cook. Not as well stocked as Brennans in Cork, it was inviting to browse and I couldn't resist to buy a new tart mould (I know I know I got already a few but this is a new size - promise). The shop is located in 43 Main Street.
The weather was good to us as the sun was standing strong and we decided to walk along the water between Kinsale and Belgooly. It was a great day and I went home with a big smile on my face.