Oct 242013

Guiness Kinsale Jazz Fringe festival hits the high notes

Final preparations are underway for the Guinness Kinsale Jazz Fringe Festival that takes place from 24th-28th October throughout a number of venues in Kinsale.

Kinsale Jazz Fringe Map


The line up kicks off with Busquitos on Thursday 24th October at 9.30pm at The Folk House, with the Fringe Festival getting into full swing on Friday 25th from 3pm until late. Some of the bands to look out for include the Dizzy Blues Band, Chris Hayward and Gadjo Jazz, Kevin Mc & The Vintage Boys, Crazy Chester and the inimitable Sharon Crosbie who will be playing in The Blue Haven, The Folk House, The White House and Hamlets throughout the weekend.

On Saturday 26th October, Cadillac Cats, 20 Fingers 2 Hands, Jamie Nanci & the Blue Boys, Two Time Polka and King K will be playing from lunchtime through the late evening. Look out for Johnny Fean & the Blues Train, featuring Horselips guitar legend Johnny Fean who makes his debut at the festival in the Wharf Tavern at The Trident Hotel at 10pm on Saturday and Sunday. Loose Change play the Blue Haven at 10.30pm, Nigel Mooney plays a late gig in the Seanachai at 11.30pm and for those with plenty of stamina, the White Lady hosts the Jazz Weekend Club Night every night from 11pm.


Sunday 27th October commences with a Jazz Brunch with Billy Crosbie & Sons with guest Jimmy O’Byrne in the Carlton Hotel as Stringfellows and the Hepburns play in the Folk House and Seanachi respectively. Local band, Cadillac Cats are sure to entertain at 2.30pm at the Silent Banjo and 6pm in Actons, as The Aristocrats play Hamlets at 7.30pm.

One of the Fringe Festival highlights is the Special Lunch Show on Monday 28th October at The Trident Hotel – The Tony Bennett Tribute, with The Billy Crosbie Trio, Jimmy O’Byrne and special guest Lucy O’Byrne from ‘The Voice’ TV show. Lunch & Entertainment €30 and booking is essential (021) 4779300.


Other gigs on Bank Holiday Monday include Loose Change in Oscar Madisons, Barefoot Gypsies, in the Blue Haven, Tuxedo Jazz in the Armada Bar and Gadjo Jazz in The Spaniard draw the weekend’s festivities to a close.

On behalf of the Kinsale Vintners, Anthony Collins said “We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Kinsale for the Guinness Kinsale Jazz Fringe Weekend and hope that our extensive programme has something to suit all tastes of jazz and blues.”


Kinsale will continue the buzz during half term holidays with a number of Hallow’een activites, highlighting with the Annual Children’s Parade in Kinsale Town Centre at 4pm on Thursday 31st October that is a huge attraction for all. See www.kinsale.ie

Oct 232013

Visiting Kinsale Co. Cork using the Kinsale App

For those of you who do venture down to Cork, Kinsale is a must see town. Located about 20 mins from Cork itself, this town is full of fish, fun and ghosts!
The town has some of the best fish in the country and one of our favourite spots to eat was the Fishy Fishy cafe. It makes such a difference when you eat fresh fish caught that morning. If you are planning to go it is recommended to book in advance as it is a popular restaurant.
We also went on a ghost tour of the town which was €10 per head. This was a guided tour in the evening which explained the history of Kinsale, none of which I can remember for this post, sorry!
There were two lads running the tour, one of which would dissapear from time to time. When he reappeared it was in an attempt to frightened us, and one of the times he jumped out of a bin! Its highly recommended to do this on one of the evenings.
Now you have a companion when visiting Kinsale, the Kinsale APP for Android or iPhone. This handy little companion will assist you in finding everything you need for your journey.
It has different topics like accommodation, places to eat and also things to do. In addition, you will get a list of events that are up and coming for the week you are there.
Looking back, this little app would have been very useful for our journey to Kinsale. I am prepared for my next as this app is installed and ready to go on my phone.

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Oct 212013

Priscilla Pilon is a travel blogger who jetsets travels the world, but is an admitted Paris addict, hence her blog, Weekend in Paris. She is also the travel editor for the online lifestyle magazine, The Daily Basics. She recently traveled to one of Newport’s sister cities, Kinsale, Ireland, and quickly learned why these two historic port cities are forever linked.

downtown kinsaleThe sailing capital of the world, Newport, shares the love of splicing the main brace and racing the rhumline from one port to another with Kinsale, Ireland. What most people don’t know is that Kinsale and Newport have many other commonalities. Newport and Kinsale, Ireland are sister cities, or twin cities as the Irish call them. The twinning experience means that members from both cities visit each other and help promote their destinations via cultural and educational exchanges. The similarities are uncanny – food and wine, sailing and leisure, landscape, fashion and décor. How successful has the “twinning” connection been and how we were received in Kinsale? Fabulously I say!

Having been immersed in the Irish memorabilia at Newport’s La Forge Casino for over 30 years, and having heard about Kinsale from the Irish summer employees that work there, I decided Kinsale was a must see city.  Not leaving hotel accommodations up to chance, I used the hotel finder app, Trivago to locate a hotel in Kinsale with local charm that was close to the water. Cynthia Bogart, editor of The Daily Basics magazine, is based out of Portsmouth, and accompanied me on this twinning trip to Ireland that Trivago sponsored.

Food and Wine

Throughout the years,  top Newport chefs have been hosting their counterparts from Kinsale, and vice versa, for a few special events. It’s a grand culinary exchange that benefits both destinations. Lord Kingsale

It is no wonder that Kinsale is considered the gourmet capital of Ireland; the food was every bit as fabulous as its twin city. The first stop along our culinary escapades was the The Lord Kingsale Bar and Guesthouse, where we found exactly we were looking for: an authentic Irish Pub experience. Low ceilings, beams, fireplaces, and a huge bar with a dozen draft pulls of beer–it was all there. What we didn’t expect was the fantastic level of “pub” cooking. We ordered two appetizers: a baked brie and a smoked salmon salad that were out of this world. Their wine selection was quite nice so we ordered a glass each of a fruity Sauvignon Blanc. After our food had been polished off, Mrs. Mortimer, the owner, sat down with us for a brief chat because her daughter had told her that we were from Newport! She bent over backwards to sing the praises of what the connection has done for tourism in Kinsale. She insisted our next stop had to be The White House because there we would find a grand surprise. She was grinning from ear to ear. We paid the bill and off we went on the treasure hunt.The white house

The White House Bar and Bistro is a member of the Kinsale Good Food Circle guaranteeing a great meal with fresh ingredients, but what we didn’t expect was that we would walk in and feel totally at “home.” The ambiance embodies Newport and the ample sailing memorabilia made us feel as if we were in the Clarke Cooke House. The bartender asked us where we were from and when we chimed in, “Newport!” he insisted we sign the guest book and head towards the outdoor patio to check out the “shrine” to Newport, and in particular, to Paul Crowley. Mr. Crowley, our deceased RI State Representative from Newport and co-owner of La Forge, was a driving force behind the Newport/Kinsale twinning. Beside photos of Mr. Crowley  was a Newport Yacht Club burgee, a RI license plate and artwork depicting the life of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis on the walls.

After our trip down memory lane, we settled down at the bar and ordered some garlic and green onion steamed mussels with heavy brown bread and two glasses of white wine. The delicious pile of mussels we were served could feed an army, but guess what? There was nothing but a mountain of empty shells left behind.klinslwe

Day two we visited the Bullman Pub in the Summercove section of Kinsale. In nicer weather, tables and chairs are set waterside where patrons enjoy a pint or a gourmet meal. Imagining the crowds, the scene must be reminiscent of summertime at Newport’s Black Pearl. It was lovely to view the Kinsale from the other side of the harbor, similar to Newport from Goat Island. Man Fridays’s was our next stop for a quick pick me up—crab au gratin. We loved the dining room with  windows overlooking the harbor, reminding us of the breakfast room at Castle Hill Inn.

Full entry at: http://blog.discovernewport.org/2013/10/21/two-newport-based-travel-bloggers-explore-our-sister-city-of-kinsale-ireland-part-1

Oct 082013

The 37th Kinsale Gourmet Festival in October is COMPLETELY SOLD OUT according to festival organiser Maria O’Mahony.   Demand for this year’s event taking place in the County Cork seaside town is unprecedented and tickets were sold out at the beginning of August – she said “the waiting list is like being in line for Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and waiting for the golden ticket.”

Good Food Circle Chairperson Roman Minihane said “we are thrilled with the volume of enquiries and publicity that the event has received.  Every year it goes from strength to strength giving proof to our customers and sponsors alike of the fantastic local product on offer.”

The dates for this year’s event are 11th – 13th October and although the ticketed programs are already fully subscribed to, patrons visiting Kinsale will be treated to ‘Surf & Turf’ with a twist – Martin Shanahan of Fishy Fishy said that each of the 11 Good Food Circle member restaurants will be offering a “Mad Hatters Special for €20” for the Month of September with a different variation of the dish in each premises – early booking is advisable.

Clona Dairies and Pallas Foods are the sponsors of the Friday afternoon ‘Surf n Turf Cook Off’ between the original creators of the popular RTE series, Martin and Paul’s Surf n Turf – Paul Flynn & Martin Shanahan with visiting national and international chefs lining up alongside them.  This event taking place at Actons Hotel will be a fantastic kick start to the festival and is completely free! 

Patrons who are lucky enough to have event tickets will move on to the Trident Hotel at 6.30 for an 8 course ‘Taste of West Cork’ Dining Experience & Black Tie Ball.  Sponsors Laurent Perrier will be providing champagnes and fine wines with radio & TV personality Derek Davis acting as Master of Ceremonies . 

The ever popular and much in demand Mad Hatter’s Taste of Kinsale sponsored by Thermomix leads the running order on Saturday morning at 11.30am at Actons Hotel.  This event beginswith a sparkling reception compliments of Christy’s Wines & Spirits.   Ticket-holders can join Alice and friends for an escorted ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed foodie walking tour around each of the tasting venues to sample fine cuisine, complemented by selected wines from the Festival wine sponsors, Barry Fitzwilliam, Findlaters, Karwigs, Longueville Wines Searsons . Beer is available for non-wine drinkers, and water is supplied courtesy of Tipperary Water. Diners are encouraged to wear a “Mad Hat” as a tribute to the special guest, the Mad Hatter; the best Mad Hat will win a prize, compliments of HATTITUDE, Kinsale. Afterwards, guests with stamina can return to the White Lady for live music and an afternoon nightclub!

The grand finale to the festival is the Fruits De Mer luncheon on Sunday where the Members of the Good Food Circle will present a mouth-watering four-course lunch to include lobster, oysters, crab, prawns and all the freshest seafood Kinsale has to offer. The food will be accompanied by the finest wines and freshly roasted coffee sponsored by Bewleys. Derek Davis will host the afternoon’s entertainment of fun, games and spot prizes. The annual charity auction in aid of Kinsale’s Pink Ribbon Walk will also be held here, to raise funds for Breast Cancer awareness. Afterwards, patrons can enjoy live music from The Magnetics.


Participating restaurants in this year’s Festival include Restaurant d’Antibes @ The White House, The Blue Haven, Crackpots, Jim Edwards, Max’s, Man Friday, Fishy Fishy, Pier One @ theTrident Hotel, Toddies @ The Bulman, Sidney’s@ Actons Hotel and White Lady.

For further information on the festival contact : 021 4773571.

www.kinsalerestaurants.com    / www.facebook.com/Good.Food.Circle