While I truly believe eating out is one of the best ways to mark a celebratory day, often with the more ‘Hallmark’ holidays, restaurants tend to churn out saccharine set menus and you often end up in a dining room full of families who may not all want to eat out together. It’s not always the fun experience, even in the best restaurants. So if you have a mammy who loves food and you’re looking to spend some time together for Mother’s Day why not get a bit adventurous and book her one of the great food and drink experiences and days out around Dublin?
How many of us end up a bit bothered on a trip into town, eating at the nearest spot we find and probably bypassing some hidden gems as we do? A morning spent with Ketty Quigley on her Delicious Dublin Food Tours should sort that out. Ketty takes small groups on a 3.5-hour walking tour of the city centre, discovering, meeting and tasting some of the most exciting bites and brews on offer. Food fans will appreciate her unique insights to the Dublin gastronomic scene and you’ll walk away seeing the city with new eyes. Get booking.
This recommendation comes with a disclaimer — Lily Ramirez-Foran’s classes and supper clubs tend to sell out as soon as they are released so they do involve a bit of savvy planning. But let me tell you — they are worth it. Lily runs Picado, a Mexican pantry in Portobello where she hosts intimate, fun cookery evenings. Discover true Mexican food and flavours and learn how to make tortillas or tamales from scratch. A usual evening here involves Lily demoing some deliciously authentic Mexican food to a small group, plenty of hands-on cooking and then sitting down to enjoy your feast. Worth the extra effort to book for sure.
This is one for the more venturesome. The restaurant at Brooklodge in Macreddin Village, Wicklow is well known for its hyper-local approach to eating, growing and foraging many of their ingredients. And it’s the foraging we’re interested in. From March into the summer, they run wild food masterclasses where you head out with their forager to learn how to identify, gather, cook and preserve the many edibles growing all around. It includes a demo with their chefs and no doubt a bite to eat. Why not go all out and book an overnight package? It’s all about balance.
Fab Food Trails is another great option for touring the city and unearthing new food finds. Their charming guides are always folk that know the city and its food well, so you get a marvellous insider look at the current food scene. On a gentle 2.5/3 hour stroll, you’ll visit six to seven different places, all independently owned, tasting in each place and meeting the purveyors or makers. They do daytime and evening trails. Fab indeed.
The Cooks Academy is one of the busiest cooking spots in town, with plenty of classes on offer. But we’re looking for treats here, not overly practical cooking, and their supper clubs do just the job. Focusing on more intrepid dishes like ramen, curry, paella and middle eastern recipes you book in for a hands-on, from-scratch class that finishes with feasting on your creations and a few glasses of wine. They also do pop-up dinners where you just get come and sample the fine dining efforts of their professional cookery students. There’s literally something for every mum.
Image via Delicious Dublin Tours on Facebook