Saturday, April 25, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS THE MAY ISSUE OF VOGUE AUSTRALIA FEATURING ABBEY LEE KERSHAW AND RILEY KEOUGH


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

WINTOUR&GUINNES ON GETTING THAT PERFECT HIT OF COFFEE EACH DAY IN DUBLIN CITY CENTRE


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 café 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. 

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS THE MAY ISSUE OF HAPER'S BAZAAR AUSTRALIA FEATURING CATE BLANCHETT

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

WINTOUR&GUINNESS VISITS HATCH & SONS FOR SUNDAY BRUNCH


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

WINTOUR&GUINNESS AND THE MAY ISSUE OF HARPER'S BAZAAR FEATURING KENDALL JENNER

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. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS & THE SLIGHTLY OUT OF CONTROL OBSESSION WITH THE CONSIDERED CAFE BY HELEN JAMES


There’s always that one place that you become obsessed with, that one place you constantly want to visit, peruse and hopefully take a little piece home. The Considered by Helen James section of any Dunnes Stores location is just that for me right at this moment in time. I have to be honest that I’ve become completely obsessed with the range James has created and having just signed a new apartment lease here in Dublin, I'm eager to get my hands on every single bit of the range for my new abode (considering I am starting again with absolutely nothing having just moved back from Melbourne). 

The range consists of everything from dinnerware, kitchen utensils, preserves and bakeware to some of the most deliciously scented candles currently on the market. All of which are considerably more affordable than one would expect from products of such high quality. This is accessible luxury from a retailer than traditionally hasn’t been associated with that term; but over the years since I first moved to Melbourne I have noticed that with the Paul Costelloe, Carolyn Donnelly and Helen James collections – Dunnes have struck with a chord with those looking for high quality stylish products without the hefty price tag.  


The team behind Considered also extended their evident talents towards the opening of the Considered Café on Drury Street. Situated next to Kaph and Cocoa Atelier, its right next to some rather strong foodie hotspots in the capital however this place smashes both of them out of the park in terms of coffee, food and those little sweet treats that we all deserve every so often.


I have been visiting the café every few days for lunch over the last three months as its just a stones throw from my office in the city. Beautifully presented the café is full of light, beautifully merchandised and has enough seating to make it cosy without being overcrowded. Upon entering its hard not to miss the large island in the centre of the retail section that is covered with large bowls of freshly prepared salads, dishes full of cakes such as flourless polenta, orange and almond cake, flourless chocolate cake or traditional homemade biscuits.


Each day there is a different soup available and the selection of sandwiches that are on offer differ from time to time. Over the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to try the carved ham, cheese and braised leek, the turkey with bulger wheat, soups such as the tomato & basil and the mushroom and celeriac as well as the flour less chocolate cake. All of which are beautifully presented upon receipt. The team at Considered really understand their target audience and that one initially eats with their eyes, so everything is executed perfectly. 


What I really love about this place is that firstly, Helen James has a great eye for detail. She is obviously very talented from a retail perspective as the range she has designed for Dunnes Stores is sensational, but that eye extends further to the café as well. The food is without doubt the star of the café, as it should be. The coffee is excellent and far excels that of which is sold next door in Kaph or Fallon & Byrne nearby and the service is attentive and extremely friendly. I literally leave this place happier than when I walk in first and that my folks doesn’t happen all that often if I am being honest. Helen James & Dunnes Stores, thank you.

Considered Café
35/36 Drury Street
Dublin 2

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS DEVOURS THE MARCH ISSUES OF BRITISH HARPER'S BAZAAR & VOGUE OVER BRUNCH AT BAKERS IN DONNYBROOK

So whilst Kevin works most weekends, I am left to my own devices really, eager to run around the city uncovering all of Dublin's hidden fashion, brunch and coffee gems. Living in Ranelagh and being so close to the city, I like to get away from the hustle and bustle of the main city area most weekends - especially since I spend the majority of my week there. I hadn't realised just how close Donnybrook was to Ranelagh, until a week or two after I moved into the area. Not too long ago I took a trip down Marlborough Road and came out just beside Donnybrook Fair. I had heard some amazing things about Donnybrook Fair and everyone was right; it really is more than just a local shop. Full of delicious fresh breads, baked goods and freshly made meals - I could do my weekly shop in there happily. 

I took a quick trip around the shop before I made my way up the street towards Bakers. Bakers had been on my list for a a while now and having spent the last year in Melbourne keeping my eyes out for all the main brunch and coffee spots in Dublin - this suburban sanctuary was exactly what I needed on that Saturday morning. Multiple magazines tucked under my arm and a few days into a paleo-inspired diet I was eager to see if Bakers were able to accommodate for this guys rather demanding ways. 

I tend to get up rather early at the weekends, eager to get up and get going. So when I got to Bakers it was thankfully before the crazy breakfast rush that quickly developed shortly after I arrived. I started the day off with an Americano (or a long black for my Australian friends). Usually I am a latte drinker however I was off milk during that time. It wasn't too much of a struggle to give up milk considering I was doing so to see if it made any difference to the eczema I developed last year. Looking through the menu, I eventually decided on the Superfood salad. Roast butternut squash, beetroot, candied walnuts, pine nuts and blueberries sitting on a bed of fresh crunchy spinach. The salad usually comes with house dressing however I decided to ditch the dressing, opting for a side of olive oil. The salad was nice, however it lacked that vital something that would have given it a great big punch of flavour. At ten euro fifty, its not a cheap salad and a few blueberries a Superfood salad does not make - it needed some form of a protein in my opinion. I ended the meal with a peppermint tea which was recommended to me by the waiter. It was beautifully light and perfect for that cold winters morning flicking through the latest issues of British Harper's BAZAAR and Vogue. 


Bakers is a great spot. The food looks beautiful, the coffee is great and the cafe itself is one of the most inspired I have come across since I've moved back to Dublin. Given that I was on a very strict diet at the time of visiting I have to say I don't feel like I've had the chance to get a real taste of what these guys do and because of that I intend on visiting the place again very soon. 

Bakers
The Crescent
Donnybrook 
Dublin 4
Website: www.bakers.ie

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