Learn about Chateau Feely at special Ballymaloe event

Food File: Wine-lovers evening; Valentine’s Day at a Blue Book destination; and a new brunch menu at Tartare in Galway

Ballymaloe will host special Chateau Feely wine event

Chateau Feely wine dinner at Ballymaloe

For wine lovers, the Chateau Feely wine event (February 15th) will allow you to experience the renowned Allen hospitality at Ballymaloe House in east Cork and learn about the award-winning, natural wine from Saussignan, Dordogne in France. It is hosted by Sean and Caro Feely who packed their bags and left Dublin in 2005 to make their dream of wine-farming come true when they bought a rundown vineyard in the southwest of France. They are now regarded as experts on natural wine growing and wine tourism. Caro will tell their story and enlighten guests on individual wines before you enjoy the paired Ballymaloe House set menu from the walled gardens and farm. The dinner begins at 6pm on February 15th and costs €105. Make a night of it with an overnight stay with prices starting from €200 per person including the wine dinner, bed and breakfast. Tel: 021 465 2531 / ballymaloe.ie

Old-fashioned romance at Glenlo Abbey Hotel

Treat your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day

If you are seeking something a little more memorable than a petrol and panic-scented "bouquet" this Valentine's Day, there is still time to sweep your beloved off for a special getaway at a Blue Book destination. Many of the Blue Book's hotels, restaurants and country houses are offering special dinners and romantic overnight and weekend packages. Head north to Donegal's Castle Grove Country House hotel for their "Romance on the Wild Atlantic Way" package which includes two nights bed and breakfast and a gourmet dinner on one night. Also included is a champagne afternoon tea by the fire to surprise your sweetheart (€300 based on two people sharing and valid February 3rd-25th, 2018). In Galway, Glenlo Abbey Hotel is all about "old-fashioned romance" and their Valentine's package includes two nights bed and breakfast with a welcome glass of champagne and candlelit meal on one evening. Then unwind at their in-house movie theatre where they will play classic black and white romantic movies. (Valid February 1st-28th, 2018 with prices starting at €209.)

Cork’s Hayfield Manor have a “deliciously decadent date night” that includes one night bed and breakfast with a gourmet dinner in either Orchids restaurant or Perrotts bistro. Their “romantic turndown” includes a chilled bottle of champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries, rose petals on your bed with a soothing Elemis candle burning while classical music plays. (Valid February 9th-18th, 2018 starting at €151 per person.)

For more details and for all the Blue Book's Valentine packages visit: irelands-blue-book.ie

Brunch at Tartare Café and Wine Bar in Galway

The west’s awake at Tartare’s new brunch menu

Wake up to a real taste of the west with the new Sunday brunch menu which was launched this month at Tartare Café and Wine Bar in Galway. The terroir-based café and wine bar in Galway's West End is owned by husband and wife team JP McMahon and Drigín Gaffey of Aniar and Cava Bodega restaurants. Here, they have taken a "west is best" approach to brunch classics incorporating some of the glorious bounty of west of Ireland produce. Begin with a Connemara whiskey, apple and seaweed sour before tucking into dishes like poached eggs with pink fir potatoes and seaweed hollandaise or fish fingers, scrambled eggs and dill. Popular brunch classics like buttermilk pancakes and housemade granola have lovely local additions like honey and yoghurt. You will also find their signature dishes of Dooncastle oysters and beef tartare. Sunday brunch is available between noon and 4pm every Sunday.

Tartare Café & Wine Bar, 56 Lower Dominick Street, Galway. 091 567 803

Marie Claire Digby is on leave