Gourmet Getaways on Travel Tuesday

Gourmet Getaways by The Novel Traveller

Gourmet Getaways this Travel Tuesday on TV3’s Midday

Whether you love to cook or prefer to enjoy eating like me, I’ve some novel ideas that we will be discussing on Midday on 13th September


Cookery Schools in Irelands Blue Book

Dunbrody House, Co. Wexford

Indulgence is the order of the day at Dunbrody House with world-renowned gourmet restaurant, chic champagne seafood bar and breakfast until noon daily. Couple this foodie focus with an aim to please and pamper and you’ll get a feel for what Dunbrody is loved for. Set in 300 acres of parkland on the idyllic Hook Peninsula, Dunbrody really is the perfect year-round choice for a romantic getaway to the country.


Bed & Breakfast €95 – €195 PPS

Dunbrody Cookery School has been designed to cater for all levels of cooks, from budding enthusiasts (Back to Basics) to the experienced gourmet (specialised courses). All of the courses at the Dunbrody Cookery School have been personally designed by Celebrity MasterChef Kevin Dundon. The perfect blend of demonstration and hands-on individual tuition means that you will learn practically and be able to reproduce the dishes at home in your own kitchen. Located just opposite Dunbrody Country House where the restaurant has received numerous awards the simple philosophy of under-stated but delicious food follows on in the Dunbrody Cookery School. http://www.dunbrodyhouse.com/


~ 1 Day Courses at €175 per person 9.30 – 4.30
~ 2 Day Courses at €325 per person 9.30 – 4.30 each day
~ 5 Day Masterclass at €695 per person 9.30-4.30 each day 

For more information, please see www.irelandsbluebook.com or contact Dunbrody House directly on 051 389 600

Ghan House, Co. Louth

Built in 1727, Ghan House is a fully restored, family run Georgian House and Restaurant. It is one of the oldest private houses of its type in Ireland, with 3 acres of walled mature gardens. Located a tree length from medieval Carlingford, with its’ narrow streets, town gate, castles priory & ancient walls. Ghan House is just one hour from both Dublin and Belfast.

Ghan House, Carlingford, Ireland www.ghanhouse.com+353 (0)42 937 3682
Ghan House, Carlingford, Ireland www.ghanhouse.com+353 (0)42 937 3682

Ghan House Cookery School was established over 20 years ago in 1993, and was the 3rd such Cookery School in Ireland started by proprietor Joyce Carroll. If you would like to improve your skills at baking, seafood, entertaining your family and friends or simply wish to watch the experts show you how, then there will be a course to suit you. Guest chefs include former head chef Paula McIntyre featured on a number of BBC cookery shows, and Ursula Ferrigno, a specialist in Italian cuisine. Special events are hosted throughout the year such as Gourmet nights, wine tasting, Georgian Banquets and midwinter solstice night.

One-night cookery, dinner and B&B package Cookery tuition, evening dinner in your own private dining room on one large table, one nights’ accommodation and full breakfast

Weekend (Fri or Sat) ~ €170 per person

Midweek (Sunday – Thursday) ~ €155 per person

For more information, Contact Ghan House directly on 042 937 3682 http://www.ghanhouse.com/

Both of these properties are part of Ireland’s Blue Book so check out their website for other deals at



Ballymaloe House is a family-run country house hotel famous for its outstanding hospitality and superb food. The 17th century house built onto a Norman keep is nestled in a 400 acre estate in rural East Cork. Ballymaloe House is only 20 miles from the historic city of Cork, and minutes from the breathtaking south coast.
The bedrooms come in all shapes and sizes, from large and airy to cozy including ground floor rooms in the courtyard. Amenities include a small golf course on the premises and within easy reach of several other championship golf courses. Sea and river fishing can be arranged within 5-20 miles. Outdoor heated pool (summer use).

Babysitting available. Outdoor children’s play area. Tennis court.

Members of the family also run an excellent craft and specialist kitchenware shop on the premises, the Ballymaloe Cookery School & Gardens in Shanagarry and the café in the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork city. The food is largely produced on the home farm and has won high recommendation in all important food and restaurant guides.


The Allen Family

and www.ballymaloe.ie

Escape to Ballymaloe House for a mid week night of great food and comfort and visit the nearby Ballymaloe Cookery School to join the students for a delightful afternoon cookery demonstration either on the day of, or the day following your arrival.

Ballymaloe’s cookery demonstrations are world renowned and you will join students at the cookery school for one of their afternoon demonstrations and tastings by either Darina Allen, Rory O Connell or Rachel Allen (subject to availability).

Your stay in Ballymaloe House is sure to relax both the body and mind and this package includes a 5 course meal.

From €225.00 per person sharing (B&B, Dinner at Ballymaloe House and Afternoon demonstration)




Winter in Italy Course at The Tannery


October 29 @ 10:00 am4:00 pm

| €140

Robust, comforting, heart-warming, all of these words describe the Italian food that we crave during these winter months. Paul will demonstrate his favourite Italian classic dishes and inspire you to continue the theme at home. Enjoy a generous late lunch afterwards before you all say Ciao. www.tannery.ie in waterford


If you would rather travel further afield to do your cooking then Travalu in Navan have a lovely package to Florence in Italy


Have you always wanted to cook like the masterchef’s well now you can with our fabulous offer to Florence!

Departing Dublin on 11th May on a direct flight from Dublin to Pisa staying 3 nights in the 4* Embassy Hotel in Florence on a room only basis inlcuding an italian cooking course all this for only €497 per person.


The hotel is located a few hundred metres from the Santa Maria Novella central station, the historical centre and the main exhibition and congress centre. Peretola Airport is approximately 5 km away and Galileo Galilei Airport is roughly 85 km from the hotel. This luxurious, completely renovated hotel is housed within an aristocratic building from the 19th century, where the elegance and the style of that age combine with the comfort of the lattest technological facilities. The use of ecological materials has permitted keeping the details of the building’s original structure, such as the magnificent vaulted ceilings of the hall and of some rooms, unaltered. The charming city hotel has a total of 38 rooms which provide guests with a high level of comfort and convenience, thanks to their elegant design and contemporary amenities.embassy-hotel

For more info Lo Call 1890 289 255 or email info@travalue.ie or click here Cooking In Florence



If like me you would rather be eating gorgeous Gourmet food than cooking it – I’ve a recommendation closer to home – I recently spent a wonderful weekend in Glenlo Abbey Hotel in Galway and was treated to a novel dining experience.


The surroundings is very important if you want to have a spectacular meal and for me The Pullman Carriage tucked in beside the spectacular Golf Course at Glenlo Abbey created the perfect setting for a very special meal. I dined with my two teens – both with very different tastes and requirements.


My twelve-year old vouched for the children’s menu and it was a good decision. The chicken breast was breaded and served in glass. I chose a meal that actually looked too good to eat – it was trout with potatoes dipped in beetroot and a seafood foam lightly dressed on top and full of the flavours of the sea. With arctic roll for dessert, which is one of my all time favourites, I won’t forget this dining experience for a long time.



If you fancy getting out of cooking the Christmas Dinner this year then why not book a package at Glenlo Abbey Hotel and get pampered instead. Check out their website for details http://www.glenloabbeyhotel.ie/


Climb aboard the Pullman Restaurant, two former carriages of the Orient Express, for a magical Christmas Experience. Enjoy Festive Afternoon Tea with Mrs. Claus, followed by a visit to Santa on the Glenlo Christmas Express for a gift for all the children. Finish with a viewing of “The Polar Express” in our Abbey Movie Suite.

Served each Saturday and Sunday throughout December in the run up to Christmas, from 1pm – 3pm aboard the Pullman Restaurant.

Adult     €30.00 Child     €20.00 Two servings at 1pm & 4pm Bookings are Essential.

2 Night Package 24th – 26th December    From €565 pps 
3 Night Package 24th – 27th December   From €785.00 pps
Children Aged 3 – 12 years old (sharing in same room as adults) 
2 Night Package 24th – 26th December   From €295 per child
3 Night Package 24th – 27th December  From €365 per child
Booking & Enquiries
Tel: +353 91519600
While we were in Glenlo Abbey I did some Falconry and Archery with the kids and you can read about it on my review here http://thenoveltraveller.com/Glenlo
If you fancy taking an autumn trip to Glenlo and do a spot of Falconry here are some special prices for birdwatching

On the shores of Southern Ireland’s longest lake – Lough Corrib, Glenlo Abbey estate is the perfect backdrop for a bird watching weekend. With a wild falcon that calls Glenlo estate its home, your own in-room telescope, a guided bird watching tour around the city, plus a falconry session with the Resident Falconer and dinner on an evening of your choice, this truly is a bird lovers dream package!

The package is available ThursdaySunday from €314 per person sharing and includes two nights’ bed & breakfast, dinner on one evening, bird watching tour and falconry session.

For reservations and enquiries, please contact reception on +353 (0)91 519600 or email: reservations@glenloabbey.ie. Website: www.glenloabbeyhotel.ie

NI Food Tours, Co Down

These tours offered by Tracey Jeffrey are for both ‘foodies’ and those who just want to explore Northern Ireland through the medium of local food and drink. Four coach tours are offered, covering the 115 miles of stunning coastline around Strangford Lough just a short drive from Belfast. Tours include visits to local producers, fishing villages, working farms and even chocolatiers.


  1. Fab Food Tour of County Down, feast your eyes on the beautiful scenery and stunning coastline of Strangford Lough whilst enjoying the very best of what’s available in the culinary capital of NI! Stop at Clandeboye Yoghurt, home of Northern Ireland’s only locally made cow’s milk yoghurt, then onto Echlinville Distillery, Northern Ireland’s first Whiskey Distillery in over 125 years. and finish your tour at Poacher’s Pocket Restaurant (Michelin Guide recommended).
  2. Lord and Lady Tour, This Edwardian dining experience will take you on a Tour which is very special and unique! You will as part of the Tour enjoy gourmet food in the company of a Food Historian and in a beautiful setting!july-seas-rivers-and-loughs-image
  3. Deep into the Mournes Tour Enjoy a Food Tour where we travel to the Mourne Mountains! The Tour will focus on local fish and shellfish amongst other fantastic produce and you will sample some of the best craft beer in Northern Ireland – Belfast Black
  4. Chocolate Ecstasy start this Tour with prosecco! Then have a Chocolate Workshop where you will temper your own chocolate, make moulds and fill the chocolates with a ganache which you will make from scratch. You will also visit a local Restaurant where you will be served an amazing chocolate dessert!

For more information visit http://nifoodtours.com/

The Finnebrogue Artisan Hans Sloane Chocolate & Fine Food Festival takes place in Killyleagh, Co. Down to commemorate and celebrate one of Northern Ireland’s most famous legends, Sir Hans Sloane who invented the recipe for milk chocolate.


Fun events to look out for include a Chocolate Ball on September 24, the Hans Sloane Chocolate & Fine Food Family Fun Day on September 25 and the Hans Sloane Chocolate and Fine Food Family Fun Day.

A ‘sweet’ partnership announced for local chocolate festival Chef Paul Rankin (L) and Finnebrogue Artisan Chairman Denis Lynn (R) join Hans Sloane, the 17th Century County Down-born inventor of milk chocolate, to announce Finnebrogue Artisan’s sponsorship of the 2016 Hans Sloane Chocolate & Fine Food Festival, Killyleagh. Set to take place from 23rd to 25th September, this year’s festival is planned to be the largest one yet, with over 15 chocolatiers and nearly 40 local artisan food producers setting up camp at Killyleagh Castle for the weekend-long festival. For more information visit www.hanssloane.com. Photo by Aaron McCracken, Harrison Photography.
A ‘sweet’ partnership announced for local chocolate festival
Chef Paul Rankin (L) and Finnebrogue Artisan Chairman Denis Lynn (R) join Hans Sloane, the 17th Century County Down-born inventor of milk chocolate, to announce Finnebrogue Artisan’s sponsorship of the 2016 Hans Sloane Chocolate & Fine Food Festival, Killyleagh.


Set to take place from 23rd to 25th September, this year’s festival is planned to be the largest one yet, with over 15 chocolatiers and nearly 40 local artisan food producers setting up camp at Killyleagh Castle for the weekend-long festival. For more information visit www.hanssloane.com. Photo by Aaron McCracken, Harrison Photography. For more information on a short break to Northern Ireland and the Year of Food & Drink 2016 go to www.discovernorthernireland.com.




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