Merry Christmas to one and all! Another one in the bag. It’s so nice to be back home on greeny green land. Catching up with friends and family has been a dream and a pleasure as always. There’s nothing quite like coming home and appreciating everyone and everything at such a buzzed and happy time of the year!
I was snap happy yet again and had to split this into two, with the AMOUNT of photos I took. You can just scroll and look at those. They’re more fun anyway. New Year’s Resolution – quality over quantity. Or I’ll end up being a weird old lady who hoards terabyte hard drives which will probably be the size of a matchbox by then, so I’ll probably accidentally swallow them and all of this will be for nothing.
I write a Christmas post every year. Reading all the past ones just before Christmas approaches has become somewhat of a tradition, and I’m always so happy I take the time to do them. Sure, the decorations are mostly the same and the company and plans and traditions don’t change too much. But they’re a wonderful reminder of who’s still in my life and who was, who’s new (we have babies in our gang now!) and how much fun we have together each year. The biggest change was Iñaki spending Christmas with us. My parents thought he’d enjoy all that goes with an Irish Christmas and invited him to stay, which was really kind of them. My parents always go the extra mile and I knew they’d go all out to make it memorable for him and make him feel welcome. The extra company was exciting, I loved having him here every day, and he fit in with everyone like he’s always been part of it. A natural, as they say. (I never know who ‘they’ are, but I go with it.)
It’s safe to say he had a great time, and he wasn’t in any rush to leave. He did, however, leave Dublin with Kerrygold butter in his suitcase. He had it every day for breakfast on toast. All other butter is ruined for him now. Ruined.
I arrived home mid-December to this super Christmassy house. Nothing like the feeling of being home! Or the sheer delight of a roaring fire. I always really appreciate all the space when I’m home, the garden, the silence…all that stuff is more than good for the soul. And oh, how I missed the cats! They didn’t miss me – too busy sniffing around for scraps and knocking baubles off the tree. Bad kitties.
I probably should have said I missed my family before the cats. Which I did, of course. That goes without saying!
On one of my first nights back, I had an awesome meal at Bon Appetit in Malahide with two blogger pals, Niamh from Gourmet Grazing and Stephanie from Eat Sleep Chic. I had afternoon tea at Bon Appetit some time ago but never had the pleasure of trying their tapas menu which was a great success.
We had the selection of breads with hummus and pesto, prawns al ajillo, pork belly, yellow fin tuna, homemade black pudding (the poached egg and hollandaise accompaniments were perfect!) patatas bravas and the morteau sausage. All fantastic dishes, washed down with 2 for 1 cocktails (a few too many Moscow mules and espresso martinis, but hey, it’s Christmas!)
Dessert was a sharing plate of salted mini muffins, chocolate brownies, ice cream, honeycomb, and macarons. My first meal back on Irish turf and a highly enjoyable one at that. I often recommend Oliver Dunne spots and this is a great choice for tapas, afternoon tea or a full meal, of course! They often do offers so keep an eye on the website if you’re planning on a wee trip to Malahide.
Iron-clad tradition number two, Christmas coffees with amigos. My friend Paddy and I have been friends for 10 years this year (OLD!) and every year we have a Starbucks Christmas coffee together. When I say ‘a’, that applies to me. Paddy has all the flavours at once and spends the afternoon totally whacked out on sugar.
After he showed me his new drone and we were up to date with everything happening in each other’s lives (no stone is left unturned, we have no filter when we’re together) we went to the Swords Christmas Market, which was magical! Ok, so it was tiny and we looped it twice in no time at all, but I had a slice of pizza, there were an impressive amount of food stalls (Tacos, burritos, Hungarian, Thai food, burgers, pizza, crepes) and we met my best pal Katie for some mulled wine and live music in the main tent thingy. I love novelty events at Christmas. If you can’t enjoy them then, when can you?!
I’ll just leave the link here because there’s always next year!
More shots of my parent’s garden and the house at Christmas. There’s nothing better than filling your lungs with fresh icy air in the mornings in that garden. With coffee. My favourite thing.
Christmas week came around fast, and it was time to pick Iñaki up at the airport. There were kids singing Christmas songs by the arrival gates with herds of people hugging, kissing and crying. Countless families and couples were reunited. I won’t lie, it was hard to keep it together. I kept looking up at the ceiling to stop my eyes watering. Emotions run far higher at Christmas! He arrived safe and sound, and his first request was chipper, the little fiend. We had cod and chips for lunch before hitting the city.
We had nothing particular to do in town, so we nestled down for a few cosy pints in Sweeneys, then moved on to a pub or two on the way up to Richmond Street for Eatyard. I missed the launch last month, and the very sound Buck & Hound invited me in to check it out whenever I made it home. What better way to show an Argentinian amazing Irish food?
Eatyard, an Irish food market (which is the ideal size, it’s mighty cosy) is located beside the Bernard Shaw pub. In fact, you can access the pub from the market if you want to continue the craic and pints. There’s loads of fun food and drink on offer…burgers, bbq, tacos, whiskey, craft beer and loads more. You see where this is going, and why you should go! Eatyard it’s basically a tiny little food village, complete with lights and music.
It opens Thursday to Saturday from 12pm to 8pm and the featured food vendors are Box Burger, Pitt Bros, Veginity, The Ploughman’s Daughter, Broughgammon Farm, Pieman, Dublin Doughnut Co., Brewtonic and a couple more. We were greeted with a cup of mulled wine and had a few of Jameson, ginger and lime at the Jameson stand, and Box Burgers to keep us going. The atmosphere was fantastic, such a pleasant little spot.
Eatyard admission is free before 5pm, €2 after. For more info, click here for the website.
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