**Update** Gourmet Food Parlour are no longer located in Ballyboughal. For more information on other branches, please see www.gourmetfoodparlour.com. **Update**
As many of you will remember, there was a storm brewing a couple of Sundays ago. The weather was dull, rainy and just plain horrible. On that note..January has been far, far colder than December, hasn’t it?
Anyway…this particular Sunday I was all set for a day of fluffy pajamas and reading by the fire until my friend Katie called suggesting we go for lunch. I’m so glad she did because since then, it has put me in the frame of mind to use my Sunday wisely this year – to meet friends, to go out, even if it just means going for a long walk to get some fresh air. It makes a nice change when compared to 2013, where I spent most of my Sundays lounging around our apartment. Although very relaxing, it always felt totally wasteful (and I always felt a little guilty.)
We both made a couple of suggestions and then settled on The Grange, as Ballyboughal was pretty much a handy spot for both of us that day. The Grange is one of the Gourmet Food Parlour franchises. There are five of these artisan cafe/wine bars located in Dublin; the other four are located in Dun Laoghaire, Swords (two cafes) and Malahide. They serve good wholesome food, all made with fresh ingredients at very good prices. GFP is a good spot for small plates like olives and bruschetta, lunch or something more substantial. They also host tapas nights every Friday and Saturday, where you’ll be serenaded by Spanish guitar to make things a little more authentic.
The Grange is my favourite of the branches because it’s the most homely – it feels like you’re at a friends house, and there’s never a rush on lunch – something that really bothers me about a few places. It’s bright, airy and the perfect size. It’s decorated with quirky lampshades, a grand piano and a cozy fireplace (you can request a table here if you like) and the shelves are full of gourmet goodies – wines, chocolates, sweets and dipping sauces.
Katie and I sat in a quiet corner between the piano and the fireplace, and spent quite a while reading the menu. Choosing just one thing can prove difficult. I’m a creature of habit at any Gourmet Food Parlour, and always have the same sandwich (number 4), the quesadillas (which are the best thing on the menu in my opinion – I highly recommend these) or the warm goat’s cheese salad when I feel I should be a little healthier.
Katie ordered the crispy seafood platter from the specials.
I was happy with the salad as always – the goat’s cheese was fresh, tender and crumbly and was complemented by handfuls of stuffed olives and balsamic dressing. I couldn’t finish the whole thing, and don’t think I ever have. It’s perfect for two, and could be shared with a few tapas on the side. Katie enjoyed hers too, particularly the tempura and fishcakes. She let me try some of her panko crusted calamari because she’s good like that, and she knows I enjoy panko crusted things.
Feeling full, we skipped dessert but kept our chats going over coffee, before visiting the art gallery and one of the two gift shops. The shop below the gallery was closed that particular day.
The art gallery
I love this candle!
When we left, the sky was so calm and everything was so quiet. It didn’t last though – by the time we both reached our respective homes, the wind was howling and the rain was pelting down even harder than it was that morning. We were lucky we missed it!
P.s. I forgot to mention – I wore my brand new watch I got for Christmas from my sister. I love it..what do you think? As I write this, the time is currently umbrella to headphones.
Click here for more information on the Gourmet Food Parlour.
Enjoy your Sunday, whatever you do!
♥ ♥ ♥