You don’t have to have green fingers to enjoy a visit to Bloom, Bord Bia’s garden festival in the Phoenix Park (May 31st-June 4th). There are 25 cookery demonstrations planned for the Food Village at the festival, where there will also be more than 100 producers showcasing their food and drinks.
Neven Maguire will be the anchorman at the Quality Kitchen Stage, presenting a one-hour cookery demonstration on each of the five days of the festival. He will be joined by a roll call of well-known names including Irish Times contributor JP McMahon, Rory O'Connell, Catherine Fulvio, Paul Flynn, Roz Purcell, and Gary O'Hanlon.
A new feature at Bloom this year is a show garden with a boat, complete with cooking galley where chefs will prepare dishes for the public to taste. The Sustainable Seafood Garden is by Clogherhead designer Andrew Christopher Dunne, in conjunction with Bord Iascaigh Mhara.
As well as the Food Village’s offering, an additional 70 producers will have space in the Food Market. Bloom Inn will have 24 Irish drinks producers showcasing their wares, up from 14 last year, and will also host an Irish farmhouse cheese showcase.
Refuelling options will include steaks and burgers, and Indian food from Kinara Kitchen, all at the BBQ Bliss area. Sit-down options will include the Country Crest Food Fayre restaurant, and Bistro Bloom, where there will be a table service restaurant, a seafood bar and a cafe. The Phoenix Cafe at the park's visitor centre will also be open throughout the festival. bloominthepark.com.
Ballpoint pens by Nespresso
Ever wondered what actually happens to those Nespresso capsules you diligently collect and send off for recycling? Well, some of them are being turned into very sleek and stylish ballpoint pens made by the Swiss company, Caran d’Ache.
The company, which has been making writing and drawing instruments in Geneva for more than 100 years, has produced a satin-finish, midnight blue version of its classic 849 model ballpoint. The colour is based on the blue used in Nespresso Dharkan capsules, and the ink is a matching, mid-blue shade.
The limited edition pens cost €42.50 and will be available to order for delivery in Ireland from today at carandache.com.
There are three ways to recycle your used Nespresso capsules – drop off at a Nespresso boutique; arrange a collection from your home when placing an order online; and return via Parcel Motel by arrangement with the Nespresso Club (tel: 1800 81 2660).
Dairy-free and vegan-friendly bowl food
Surfer, chef and cookbook author Finn Ní Fhaoláin has collaborated with Kerala Kitchen, the Indian restaurant and takeaway on Dublin's Baggot Street, to create a dairy-free and vegan-friendly Chakra Buddha Bowl (€9 takeaway, €13 eat in).
The dish, which will be available from June 1st, contains fermented foods: pickled red onion and cucumber; fresh raw ingredients: pomegranate, lime, coriander, spinach and red cabbage; and immune system supporting turmeric, cumin and chilli. Spiced chickpeas and marinated sweet potato chunks add bulk and fibre, and it is finished with a dressing.
Bowl food has also taken on a healthy accent at Freshly Chopped, the salad chain, where Sadie’s Kitchen bone broth is being used for a new range of broth pots. There are Mexican chicken; bacon and cabbage; Asian chicken, and Lebanese falafel varieties (€7.50).
Walk and dine for World Oceans Day
Forager, whale watcher and guitar maker Andrew Malcolm will lead a 90-minute coastal cliff walk from the Cliff House Hotel in Co Waterford on Friday, June 8th, to mark World Oceans Day. The ramble, starting at 6.15pm, will allow participants to work up an appetite for a three-course dinner at The Bar restaurant at the hotel, where there will be plenty of local seafood on the menu. The walk and dinner will cost €45 and can be booked with the hotel.