Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dux and Co, Wellington Quay

I popped into Dux and Co yesterday for a quick lunch. I'd walked past several times and thought it looked nice. The interior is sort of shabby chic, welcoming with wooden tables and a bottle opener hanging from a string. There is also a couch corner.

I chose soup of the day, which was pea and mint. It arrived in a generous sized pottery bowl with a sprig of mint and a slice of toasted ciabatta. It was thick, wholesome, delicious and filling and only €4.50.  I know there are good soup and sandwich deals around but you wouldn't need a sandwich after this! I finished with a black coffee, hot and strong.

The evening menu (Weds-Saturday)looks lovely and is very reasonable. There are nibbles,cheese and meat boards and tapas style sharing plates. The mains are well priced at €13/14 with daily specials on the board and there are delicious veggie options. There isn't a drinks license but you can bring your own wine for €4 corkage a bottle and beer for €6 a table. Definitely one to bear in mind with it's close location across the halfpenny bridge up to The Abbey or the Gate for a pre-theatre.

Dux and Co.
51 Wellington Quay 613 9864

House of Colour, Wellington Quay-Great value

There's a great value offer in House of Colour Hair Salons. Mondays to Thursdays a wash and blow dry is €15, and Thursdays they are open until 8pm so you could pop in before you head out for a meal/drink/show etc.
I called in yesterday to the salon on Wellington Quay and was very impressed with the friendliness and the service. A tea or coffee is usually complimentary but House of Colour's menu lists,wait for it, complimentary white or rose wine along with several other hot drinks. They'll even pop out to a local sandwich bar to bring in a snack for very reasonable prices.
The staff very friendly, introducing themselves and explaining what they will be doing. The head massage that followed my first wash was heavenly. Ricky attended to the blow-dry and was very pleasant to chat to.
On leaving I was handed a gift card for a reduced price blowdry (€15 anytime up to April 21st), shampoo cut and blowdry (€26) and a partial meche and cut (€65-an excellent price).

We hear too much about how pricey everything is so here's a great value salon and while some of the things I've mentioned such as friendliness etc are things that should be expected, there are some salons that can be quite intimidating so it's always good to know about good value, friendly establishments.

Launch of Westport Festival of Music and Food

It's early Wednesday evening and whilst most people are heading home from work there's still a buzz about town. It's Dine in Dublin week so the restaurants are busy, and Wednesday being the 'hump' of the week, it's all downhill to Friday from here.

I'm heading to Medley on Drury Street ( ) which is a lovely converted space for functions run by Andrew Rudd next to Brooks Hotel. It's the launch of the Westport Festival of Music and Food 2013, a two day event to be held this year on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June in the grounds of the lovely Westport House, Co.Mayo. Among this years acts are Elvis Costello and Imelda May.

But this evening's event is about food as well. Redmond Cabot, food producer is showcasing local foods that will feature at the festival and drinks are flowing courtesy of Miller and Kopparberg, the Festival sponsors. Daryll Dowling is the events director and he tells me this is the event's second year and this year the music has merged with food allowing local producers to showcase.
Redmond Cabot 3.jpg

Mike Maloney, ex-DJ with 2FM took the mike to launch the evening and told the crowd that this year's Festival in the 400 acres of Westport house had expanded from last year. A child-friendly event with an adventure park, there is a caravan and camping area that has we were told 'a good vibe'. The food side of the Festival is a big part of it and there is to be a 'Best in the West' Food Village. We sampled what would be available from a fabulous taste menu through the evening;
-Connemara Hill Lamb in a spicy tagine
-Killary Mussels (sooo good, served with a crunchy salsa style topping)
-Clew Bay oysters
-the West Chowder
-Red's Sauces on canapés: roast beetroot and sage dip, chilli lime hummus and black olive tapenade.
All were absolutely delicious.

In addition to the great food there will be a 'friendly food forum'. Present at the launch was restaurant owner and chef Derry Clarke from L'Ecrivain. He explained to me that it was to be very casual and friendly and he plans to bring forward young unknown chefs to give them exposure and  a chance to showcase their work under his mentoring eye.

There will be a hairstyling tent on site run by the Dublin hairdresser Dylan Bradshaw and the renowned photographer Barry McCall will have a photobooth set up for souvenir photos of the great event.
A new addition this year is 'The Cotton Club', a marquee with a '20s vibe going on, with live music Duke Ellington style and classy cocktails. Also the great Galway  music venue the Róisin  Dubh, will be inviting their favourite acts to perform in the Stable area.

Present at the launch was Barry Murphy of Ápres Match fame and he will be performing in the Comedy Tent, as well as Phil Jupitus amongst others.

The music line up of over 50 acts booked so far includes greats such as Imelda May, Elvis Costello, ABC (in gold suits?!), Blind Boys of Alabama and many more. At the launch were the Co.Monaghan singer Ryan Sheridan, Jack Lukeman who recently released the great album 'The 27 Club' and Steve Wall of The Stunning who will all be performing at the festival. Also at the festival are Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, Alabama 3 (of theme music to The Sopranoes), Damien Dempsey, Sharon Corr and Delorentos and a whole lot more. Performing at the launch were Riptide Movement.


The Festival website is being updated but day tickets can be bought there Combined festival and camping tickets are on sale through .
You can catch up on Twitter @westportfest and on their Facebook page .

(With thanks to Sinéad Ryan for the invite.)