Sunday, May 17, 2015


A few weeks back, I was invited to the Marker Hotel by Image Magazine to listen to Bodyism founder James Duigan. The Australian personal trainer, author and Entrepreneur was in town to speak exclusively to Editor-in-chief Melanie Morris about his journey from being a young Aussie boy, growing up in Adelaide to being an international personal trainer to the stars and one of the leading voices in the world of health and nutrition. The evening was sensational and one of the best moments of the night, personally for me; was the opportunity to meet Pippa Holt.

Originally from Melbourne, Pippa began her career in publishing at Vogue Australia before packing her bags and making the move to London in her early twenties. She initially worked in fashion PR before moving to a stylist role at The Times and now spending the majority of her time living in Dublin, she is currently a contributing editor at British Vogue and also a fashion consultant. After speaking to Pippa briefly at the event, where I divulged my undying love for Vogue Australia and the various pieces she has written over the years - I remembered a piece that Pippa had written for Australian Gourmet Traveller about Dublin.

Now living back in Dublin after four years living in Melbourne, Pippa's piece in Australian Gourmet Traveller was the perfect thing I needed to get me excited about being back. An insiders guide to Dublin, I've decided to go through the entire list of places recommended and this weekend saw me visit spot number one, Bibi's cafe in Portobello.

The cafe, which was originally a corner newsagents was transformed into the perfect neighbourhood cafe and sits perfectly among the Victorian terraces which line the streets. Whilst Pippa recommended the Turkish eggs in her piece, I opted for poached eggs with spinach, bacon and hollandaise sauce. The dish originally came with English muffins however I asked for sourdough instead, which was the perfect choice as English muffins to me are a bit doughy, devoid of any real flavour and I just love the crunchiness of a really good piece of sourdough toast.

The next morning, after a few too many mimosas the night before - I decided to grab my MacBook and headed to Bibi's again. Having spoken about this "new" find of mine with my friends the night prior, I was told by those that knew the place, to check out their toasted sandwiches the next time I ventured over. Walking down Ovoca Road I thought to myself once again that this cafe was positioned in one of the most attractive parts of the city and you couldn't help but think this place was miles out of the city as the peacefulness of the area was incredible.

I took my friends advice and ordered the toasted sandwich for brunch. It was filled with Gubbeen chorizo, manchego cheese, sundried tomato and served on the side was a little dish of delicious chilli mayo. What differentiates Bibi's toasted sandwich, lets say from one you might find in Fallon & Byrne for example is that these guys toast theirs on a pan. Soaking up all the juices and creating a delicious crust on the outside, this sandwich felt like the most extravagant treat for 11am in the morning.

I, ever the awkward foodie decided to fill my toastie just that little bit more with the green salad leaves on the plate and whilst it might have made for a messy experience - they perfectly cut through the richness of the chorizo and cheese.

Feeling ever so gluttonous, I decided to treat myself to a slice of peanut butter and chocolate brownie alongside my coffee. Sometimes brownies can be a real let down when you order them, 3FE's brownie is dense and really chewy, whilst some of the others I have tried around town are dry and a bit one dimensional in terms of flavour. Just the other day I finally got the chance to taste the cheesecake brownie from KC Peaches and boy that was a major let down. None of them blew me away.

Bibi's peanut butter and chocolate brownie was incredible. It was fudgy, tasted of actual chocolate  rather than being overpowered by that chalky taste of cocoa powder and once you reached the bits of peanut butter - well you were in heaven.

Overall Bibi's has been the best cafe I've visited to date since moving back to Ireland. I would highly recommend giving it a go and if you are heading there and the party is bigger than two I would strongly encourage you to ring in advance. Check with the staff beforehand; for the wait time for a table can be pretty long. But when the food is as good as Bibi's, it really is worth the wait.

14a Emorville Avenue
Dublin 8

Thursday, April 30, 2015


The Fumbally is the culmination of 4 years of cooking, travelling, working at festivals, gathering ideas, arguing those ideas, making mistakes, making new friends, finally realising those ideas, having lots of dinners, tasting new things, building a kitchen and seeing what will happen.
Some of us have been working in kitchens all our lives, others haven’t, but we all have a love for food, good coffee and the simple pleasure of sharing a meal with friends.

I don't think I could think of a better way to sum up The Fumbally than exactly how it is presented above. This is taken from their website, from the owners themselves and evokes perfectly what their ambitions are with the business.

I had the pleasure of being off last Tuesday, with tickets to attend Lovin' Dublin's Food Connect in the afternoon at The Button Factory. It was a great afternoon of talks by some of the leading chefs, entrepreneurs and foodies within Ireland and before making our way there; Kevin and I decided to take a quick potter around Dublin 6 & 8 since it was such a beautiful sunny day.

We headed towards Noshington for a bite to eat after having a quick browse of their menu on their website and despite the superb exterior of the cafe when we rocked up; the minute we walked in both Kevin and I took a quick look around and decided to walk out. Having lived in Melbourne for the last four years we have eaten in some of the most incredible cafes where the design of the cafe is just as important as the food they serve. The shell of Noshington was superb and something magical could have been done to the space inside, but it just lacked that personality which could be seen on its exterior. With that we decided to head to The Fumbally instead, walking through the narrow tree lined streets of cottages until we found our way there.

The last time I had been to The Fumbally I wasn't too impressed and thats not due to the place itself but rather the massive swarms of people that descended on the cafe on the particular day I tried it. The space itself is fantastic, the rebirth of a space that was created during the height of the Celtic Tiger and now repurposed for those that like great food, at great prices and most importantly superb coffee.

Grabbing a seat at the end go the giant communal table we ordered some breakfast, coffees and a sweet rhubarb and kefir beverage for myself. Whats most reassuring about the food at The Fumbally is that they use fresh produce that is housed along one of the walls. Crates and boxes of fresh tomatoes, butternut squash, avocados and herbs are picked at throughout our time there by the chefs and this freshness is evident within the food when it arrives.

I decided to order the avocado on sourdough with picked red cabbage, toasted seeds and popped amaranth. Overall I liked the dish however I wasn't too happy with the red cabbage. No fault on their part, it just isn't something I'd pick again - the red cabbage that is.

Kevin ordered the Fumbally Eggs which is made up of scrambled eggs, Gubbeen cheese, garlic, tomatoes and all served on a piece of toasted brioche. Questioning the man himself on if he was happy with his choice; I got two thumbs up. What I like most about this place apart from the quality of the food is the prices. Everything is so well priced that one could grab some breakfast, a coffee and maybe a small treat and not spend over a tenner.

Talk about wonderful value for money. I can't wait to get back.

The Fumbally Cafe
Fumbally Lane
Dublin 8 

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Its all about the female besties at the moment, Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss had their moment on a recent cover of American Vogue and now its Abbey Lee Kershaw and Riley Keough having their turn on the latest issue of Vogue Australia. Both are currently promoting their stints in the latest Mad Max: Fury Road which is due for release shortly. As it currently stands I haven't had a chance to have a look at the issue as its currently sitting in my parents house but I have a feeling that Edwina and the gang have put together a cracking issue. Check out some more imagery from the issue below.

Friday, April 17, 2015


Moving from one country to another is never easy, regardless of whether or not that new place is your home country or not. Just before Christmas after four years away, I made the decision to pack up the life I had built in Melbourne and take a gamble on building a new life back in Ireland. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means but thinking about all of the pros and cons, the idea of being closer to my family came up top of the list and the rest they say is history.

The emotional roller-coaster that ensued over those last few weeks in Melbourne was exhausting and I constantly deliberated on whether or not I was making the right decision. I had built up something quite amazing in Melbourne; a wonderful group of friends, a beautiful home in Port Melbourne and a job in which I was thriving. What was I thinking, was I mad? To some yes, to others they got it straight away. They knew the draw of family was strong and hey – the weather isn’t that bad I kept telling myself. Oh how we try and fool ourselves in life.

Cut to nearly four months later and I can tell you that the weather is indeed that bad, however on those occasions when the sun comes out and the trees look like they’re starting to blossom – you stand a little taller, smile a little more and life is suddenly okay. Don’t get me wrong, its not all sunshine and rainbows. It’s been hard. There was the massive culture shock I experienced at the start. The way in which the Irish socialized, their way of working – even the way they served their coffee was difficult to digest at the beginning and in my head I craved the familiarity of home – that home being my cosy beachside apartment in Port Melbourne. Waking up each morning in Ireland it was dark, leaving work it was dark – it just always seemed to be dark and it left a cloud of negativity that was hard for me to push through on occasions. My morning ritual of the last four years of heading to my favourite cafĂ© at seven in the morning was not possible in Dublin. 

You see, Irish people – well the majority of them don’t really do mornings.

I on the other hand love the morning time. Its my time to set myself up for the day. Grab a coffee, read a magazine or catch up on my favorite blogs like Liberty London Girl, The Londoner, Harper &Harley or French Foodie In Dublin. Most of the nice coffee shops in Dublin open up around eight and usually I head somewhere then for my morning coffee. Coffee was such a big part of our daily ritual that it was important to find somewhere in Dublin that offered us that little cup of joy each day.

You’ll be pleased to know that there are several great coffee spots in the city, some new to the scene and a few that have been around for quite some time. These are my top choices of where to find that great cup of coffee.

3FE is probably the most highly regarded coffee spot within the country and its also a fantastic spot for grabbing a hearty brunch. I’ve been quite a few times now and just recently I had the pleasure of having their green eggs and ham. A enormous mound of pulled ham sat on top of two homemade crumpets, topped with two fried eggs and covered in herby green hollandaise sauce. Scrumptious. The coffee is so strong and full of flavour that there’s no chance of grabbing a weak latte here.

Brother Hubbard opened a few years back and instantly became a hotspot for those looking for great food and coffee without the astronomical costs that we had all become used to during the Celtic Tiger. I’ve been going here for the last four months and constantly bring friends and family when I find out they’ve yet to try Brother Hubbards pulled pork sandwich, cinnamon and walnut scrolls or their amazing granola. 

Always fresh, always presented impeccably and bursting with flavours from around the world; I could eat here or at their other spot Sister Sadie on Harrington Street (pictured above) any time of the day, any day of the week.

Fallon & Byrne has a great reputation as one of the finest food halls in Dublin. If you’re looking for something; nine times out of ten they stock it.  Sure they even stock Tim Tams in multiple flavours.  Praise the lord. Housed in a open warehouse style building this is a great spot for a coffee and a croissant in the morning when the city is waking up. 

Love Supreme in Stoneybatter is a little gem of a spot and somewhere I would be happy enough to sit for hours reading or writing. Small in size, the place has more personality and charm that a lot of the cafes I have mentioned above. The staff are incredibly friendly, the coffee is sensational and their freshly baked pies are out of this world. 

The same can be said about the coffee thats served at Portabello local, Grove Road. This is a stunning little cafe just at the bridge at you enter into Rathmines and its serves some super brunch dishes throughout the week such as smashed avocado on sourdough with feta and roasted tomato. 

Sometimes you just don’t want another coffee and that is when I take a short stroll down the road to Wall & Keogh. This place is a stunning little establishment located at the top of Richmond Street South, just before the bridge at Portobello. With over 150 varieties of tea, this is a spot where one comes to relax, read a great book or in my case sit for hours writing. Some of the best cafes around Dublin stock their teas and with good reason – they are delicious. I tend to stick to the more fruity types of tea as I find them really refreshing. My current favourite being Granny's Garden. 

Looking back, there were moments when I was ready to pack up and move back to Melbourne, thinking it would have been easier to do so then try and mold what my life was like in Melbourne into something similar here. I missed all my favourite places, like Trumans in Albert Park or Auction Rooms in North Melbourne. I thought that there were too many cultural differences – that maybe the way I wanted to live was not possible here and that way of feeling went on for quite some time. But when you take a deep breath, look around and see the sun breaking through the clouds you have to remember that life is ever changing, a constant stream of opportunities falling your way and that Dublin thankfully has a few great places to get that sensational cup of coffee. 


With the increasing number of Australian beauties making a name of themselves around the world, it seemed a little disappointing to me to me see Cate Blanchett cover the May issue of Harper's BAZAAR Australia, especially since the actress covered its main competitor Vogue Australia just last month. Whilst I do love a great Cate cover and this one is by far better than last months Vogue Australia - there are a number of other Australian actresses, models and personalities that I would have preferred to see on the cover. But as I was always told never judge a book by its cover. Some of the best issues of all my favourite magazines have had the most disappointing cover images, so when I get home this evening and rip the plastic off I can't wait to see what awaits inside. This issue is on sale now in Australia and available for subscription at Magshop Australia

Have a great (magazine-filled) weekend folks. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015


So I took a quick trip to Copenhagen recently, just for the one night and the morning after I arrived home I was up and out of the house early – still inspired by my time walking around what I found to be one of the most inspiring places I had been in a long time. It left me with a sense of adventure, and so I left the house early; eager for a potter around the city and a bite to eat. I had been tossing up a few places in my mind that morning and as I walked from Ranelagh towards the city I narrowed it down to two; Whitefriar Grill and Hatch & Sons. I had read a huge amount about Whitefriar Grill on other food related websites but hadn’t heard much about Hatch & Sons, and with that I decided to visit the place to see what it was all about.

Tucked away, down in the basement of a grand Georgian building facing Stephens Green, I instantly noticed how perfect the outdoor seating area would be for a coffee during a beautiful summers day. Whilst it was just off one of the busiest streets in Ireland – you felt a sense of separation form the hustle and the bustle of Grafton Street and Stephens Green. However this sense of calm and comfort quickly evaporated the minute I walked in the front door. What should have been a warm, cosy and inviting place ended up being quite dull, dark and a tad grey for my liking. 

I became slightly confused when I read through the menu, where was all the breakfast options? Do people really want to eat Soup or Beef and Guinness pie at ten thirty in the morning? When it came down to it, for me there was only two options for breakfast since I don’t eat porridge – double baked eggs with brown bread, bacon, sausage and roast tomato or the poached seasonal fruit, granola and Killowen yogurt.

This particular morning I was in the mood for a hot breakfast so I went with the baked eggs. What arrived looked beautiful, it was presented fantastically and I loved the rustic element that the wooden board brought. Presentation aside and thinking of practicality, it was hard to eat the meal without picking at it one bit at a time. First the bacon (crispy but extremely salty) had to be eaten on its own, as it became quite the obstacle when trying to get a little piece of this and a little piece of that. Sometimes a plate is just what you need when you're eating a dish which lots of different elements. A few bites into the meal and I reached for the one thing that you will never see me eat, tomato ketchup.

Why, I asked myself was I doing this? Why did I feel the need to pour a big dollop of ketchup onto the side of my dish? The reason folks was this was one meal that needed “something”. The bacon, despite being nice and crispy; was dry. The baked eggs were cooked through, so the yolks were not runny as they should have been and because of that I just needed something to help give this dish flavour and some much needed moisture. What also left a bad taste in my mouth metaphorically speaking, was the brown bread. Would it have been too much to ask for it have been toasted, even warmed up before it arrived. Unlike the eggs that arrived at my table - the dish overall was a little half baked for my liking and definitely not worth the nine euro fifty I paid. 

I always believe that you initially eat with your eyes and with this dish I was thoroughly satisfied looks-wise, but would I choose this dish again? Probably not. Would I go back to Hatch & Sons for breakfast? Probably not, but I would like to check it out for lunch. I’ve heard their Blaa’s are worth a go.

Hatch & Sons
The Little Museum of Dublin
15 Stephens Green

Dublin 2

Saturday, April 11, 2015


I have to say I've been waiting for a while to see a fashion magazine with Kendall Jenner on the front cover and when I say fashion magazine I don't mean the likes of Teen Vogue guys. The dark-haired beauty poses for Karl Lagerfeld in a Chanel Haute Couture look with the headline reading: ‘Kendall Jenner Transformed’ and she certainly has transformed right before our very eyes. She also has an interview in the issue where she discusses meeting Karl Lagerfeld, walking for Marc Jacobs and her sister Kim Kardashian’s style status and I for one look forward to seeing more of Jenner in the upcoming months. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...