Posts Tagged ‘Limerick’

We’ve had an absolutely hectic time here in Redwood for the past 10 days.  I’ve been away to Dublin to do some minding of nieces and nephews, and then we’ve had some of my family and some of Alfie’s family come to stay.  All good fun.

In honour of such visitors we actually managed to take a day off on Wednesday, and went to Limerick to visit King John’s Castle.

I grew up in Limerick.  Spent the first 16 years of my life there.  I have many memories of those years, but one, in particular, which relates to King John’s Castle, was walking (always walking) over to my Nana’s every single Sunday afternoon. My Nana lived just down the road from the Castle.

In those days the Castle was completely off limits.  It was locked up and no-one was allowed inside.

Thomond Bridge

Thomond Bridge

Despite crossing over Thomond Bridge and seeing the Castle every Sunday, I really didn’t know much about the history.

Let me tell you if you get the opportunity to visit…. you simply must go.  Millions of euro have been spent on the restoration, creating a wonderful interactive experience, and every penny has been well spent.  800 years of history is told in such an interesting and creative way… needless to say I was particularly interested in the ‘food history’.

The Normans brought us a varied diet

The Normans brought us a varied diet

This would certainly encourage obeisance :)

This would certainly encourage obedience 🙂

The Menu

We liked that pork and bacon featured on the menu!

However, there is so much to the exhibition…. the lives of the people through the ages, the battles…. something to enthral everyone of every age.

Isn't this model amazing?

Isn’t this model amazing?

You can go right up to the top of the towers, which gave amazing views in every direction.  Those folks back in the 13th century must have already known the phrase ‘location, location, location’!  Look at that view.


There is another story to go with this photo.  See those houses on the left…. when I was a little girl I swear I saw Santa and his reindeer land on the roofs of those houses (Nana’s house was on the other side of the river)…. we had to rush home immediately!!!

However, back to King John’s Castle…  as an Irish person visiting the Castle we really were proud of how it has been developed.  Despite it being a dreary October afternoon, there were quite a few tourists about, all of whom seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the experience.  There were four adults in our group.  We each came away with different aspects having impressed us, and had a lively discussion in the car on the way home, on the lives of the folks who used to live in the Castle.

Be sure to get there 🙂


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I am sure it must happen to others…. you haven’t been somewhere for an age, and then suddenly you are there so may times!

That is what has happened here.  We had not been to Limerick since November – then we’ve been twice in the past two weeks!  Our last trip there was this past week when we travelled for the Foodies Expo.  We had heard about it through our local County Enterprise Board, so figured we’d give it a try.

As it was almost like a day off, we headed away early and stopped at La Cucina for lunch on the way.  This was only our third attempt to get to La Cucina and our luck was in this time round!  We managed to have a very quick lunch there – it would have been nice to have had more time to sit and chill (and maybe even have a glass of wine).  Next time!  Alfie declared the pizza excellent – even better than his own – now that’s some praise!  Pizza

Italia Ciabatta

We did come away with a few goodies tho!  I am waiting patiently for my rocket to grow so I can have a nice Bresaola Salad. 🙂

Bresaola and Salami

Then it was off to the exhibition.

We weren’t sure what to expect but well done to the organisers. It was really worth the trip.  For us, it proved to be a great opportunity to network and meet with various suppliers.

Had a couple of long chats with lots of different traders – but one of the most interesting (for me anyway) was chatting with Muireann from North Tipperary Food Works.  A clever idea they have there…. an HSE fully approved kitchen that food producers can rent by the hour!  No excuse if you live in the area (near Rearcross) – the rent is nominal (€15 ph) and the kitchen has full approval.

There was a ‘break out’ section too, where interesting talks were going on.  We had hoped to catch Peter Ward’s (Country Choice) talk but just as Peter was starting we bumped into old friends who we hadn’t seen in 10 years!

Ireland really is such a small country! You really never know when you are going to bump into people.

When we’d last met Frank and Grainne it was probably over a late glass of wine in Malahide.  So we had a very very quick catch up with them!  Good to hear that they’ve now got a restaurant The Beach House in Bray – which of course we will have to go visit sometime.

We did get to hear Sully of Cully & Sully talk.  Sully was kind enough to share his thoughts on costing and cashflows – and tell us of their experience and lessons learnt.

Unfortunately the feeding routine back home meant we couldn’t stay about to hear Bobby Kerr speak.

Again well done to all involved.

There should be more of these type of events around the country.  There was such a positive vibe for the afternoon.  If you see something like this in your area get along to it.

Well worth a second trip to Limerick.


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