Thursday, 31 March 2016

Restaurant Review - No. 34, Carlisle

Three friends and I recently decided to try the mid-week wine tasting menu at No. 34 restaurant, it was a bit different, I don't know of any other restaurant in Carlisle that does a wine tasting menu.

My goat's cheese starter
 The restaurant has a relaxed ambiance, the chairs were comfortable and the tables spaced enough to give some privacy. For my starter I had slow cooked balsamic onion and goat’s cheese tart with a crispy vegetable salad and they gave me Sauvignon Blanc, Panul, Lontue Valley Chile to go with it. I was surprised that the amount of wine (which is complimentary) was more than I expected. I love goat's cheese and loved my starter was delicious, as was the wine.

I chose grilled sea bass, roasted fennel, pomme cocottes, roasted cherry tomatoes, olive tapenade, samphire and a lemon and white wine foam for my main course and this was accompanied by a Pinot Noir, Reserva Vina Mar Argentina. Again the food was delicious, the generous portion of sea bass melted in the mouth. I scraped the olive tapenade off the fish before eating it though, I hate olives in any form. My friends all had pan fried corn fed chicken, rosti potato, pancetta savoy cabbage, celeriac puree,  baby onion and chicken cream sauce with La Brouette Rosé, Vin de Pays du Comte Tolosan wine, they too loved their meals.
Chocolate dessert heaven!

We decided to go the whole hog and have dessert too and mine was chocolate delice with chocolate soil, cinder toffee, orange jelly, orange crisps and mascarpone along with Corney and Barrow Tawny Port. For a chocoholic like m this dessert was wonderful, the delice especially was heavenly! I'm partial to port occasionally, and this one went really well with the dessert.

My friends Kath, Margo and me, photo taken
by Tania

The service was very good, friendly and professional. The cost was reasonable for such excellent food - their wine tasting mid-week special Tuesday to Thursday is two courses for £18.95 and three courses £23.95,

Address:  34 Fisher Street


Monday, 14 March 2016

U2 ieTour Dublin 2 - The Finale

First of all sorry for the delay in finishing my blog about my experiences on the U2 ie tour, life got in the way of my writing for a few weeks. But now things have calmed down and I'll try to remember the last couple days of our time in Dublin!

24th November 2015

So-so Bono Photo
In the afternoon Debbi and I got the Luas to the 3Arena, we had decided to go for the meet and greet and joined the people waiting. It was still cold but not as bad as the day before. We hadn't been there long when a middle-aged American woman came along and asked if Bono had arrived yet. She then proceeded to say that Bono had a bionic arm after his bike accident a year previously (he had needed extensive surgery which included various rods to hold his bones together.) She said she had a bionic hip and then got out a photo of her hip xray which she said she was going to show Bono. Mmmm, we distanced ourselves from her as much as we could!

Bono eventually arrived and first went to the people on the other side from where we were. He took quite a while there with the result that he had less time for our side. As he got near us I heard his security man Brian say to him that they had to go. And Bono passed by us quickly, somehow Debbi
managed to get her copy of our book autographed by him (weirdly this gradually disappeared over time!!) It was all a whirl to me but I did get a so-so photo out of it.

Debbi and Me, Best Pals!
We needed food and warmth so headed to the Gibson Hotel and went into the Coda Restaurant for a meal. I had baked cod with mash and vegetables with bacon, it was absolutely delicious and just what we needed.

Later we met up with Paddy and picked up our tickets. As the previous night there was security, but not as much as I had expected seeing the terrible recent Paris terrorists attacks. Our seats were great, it is such a small arena all seats a close, so much better than the previous night. I could see the floor was very, very crowded, much more so than in London or Glasgow, I was glad I was in a seat. The end of the video screen was almost touching the balcony, they only just got it in. It was a wonderful show and it was good to be able to see it all.  During Beautiful Day Bono spoke to Dallas before going into Bad, later I heard that the setlist had I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For as the final song, so it seems Bono changed the ending and it was the right decision, Bad  performed in Dublin is electrifying, and yes, I cried again! This version wasn't as long as the Glasgow one, it also segued into 40 as in Glasgow and it too was shorter. Because of that, for me, it didn't equal the Glasgow version which was perfection. But it was still a good way to end our U2ie Tour.

We met up with Declan and Paddy, Declan had his son Owen with him, I'd last seen him as a toddler and here he was, a teenager, how time flies by. Paddy came back to our apartment for a few drinks and chat, it's always good to unwind with friends after a U2 show.

25th November 2015

Fire Restaurant
Debbi and I had a very lazy day, we needed to recover, nowadays we can't just bounce back when we are on tour! That evening we were booked into Fire Restaurant, somewhere we had talked about visiting for a long time. We met up with our friend from New York, Michelle, and first went into Cafe en Seine which is opposite Fire for a drink. Cafe en Seine is an amazing place which has a very interesting history, it also makes the best Singapore Slings ever!

After our drinks we went across to Fire and were shown to our table in the large, lofty Restaurant. The restaurant is part of the Mansion House which has been the official home of the Lord Mayor of Dublin since 1715.

Debbi and Paddy
Paddy joined us there and we had a wonderful meal, everything was perfect and it had a lovely atmosphere, none of us were disappointed in it.Unfortunately because of the passage of time I can't remember exactly what I had.

All in all it was a great way to end our stay in Dublin, good food and wine with good friends!

Michelle and Me