Paddy Box delivering a taste of home to Irish people around the world

Food File: Premium picnics in Killarney National Park and Chinese brunch in Dublin

Discovering new, often weird and wonderful, varieties of potato crisps can be one of the joys of travelling. Fried egg flavour is a Spanish favourite and in China you can have a packet of Lay's kiwi flavoured crisps with your beer, if you really must.

But there’s nothing quite like the taste of a Tayto crisp, especially when you are far from home. There’s a six-pack of Ireland’s favourite crisp (sorry King), included in the new Birthday Box from The Paddy Box, which delivers care packages of popular Irish foods.

The Birthday Box has Irish childhood parties as its theme, so it also includes a chocolate fudge cake, a party bag of sweeties, Jacobs biscuits, Cadbury Curly-Wurly and Crunchie bars, and Oatfield Emerald caramels, as well as the crisps.

In its first nine months in business, The Paddy Box has delivered a taste of home to Irish people living in 76 countries worldwide. Selections can be customised when ordering online, and the most often ordered items are Tayto crisps, Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, purple Snack biscuits and Ballymaloe Relish. See

A (pricey) picnic on top of a mountain

A gourmet picnic to be enjoyed while taking in the views at the peak of Mangerton mountain in the Killarney National Park, with a helicopter chartered to deliver you there and take you home again. Sound enticing?

Throw in a two-night stay at the Killarney Park Hotel, staying in the master suite with a sittingroom and kitchen – not that you’ll need it with a five-course dinner to look forward to – and you have the makings of a memorable weekend. But it comes with a hefty price tag of €2,320 – per person. The package includes the services of a waiter from the hotel to accompany you on the helicopter, set up the picnic and serve the Champagne.

Chinese brunch

Brunch is big in Beijing, and Chinese restaurant Hang Dai, on Dublin's Camden Street, is adding a brunch offering to its menu from this weekend. Saturdays and Sundays (noon to 3.45pm), a family-friendly brunch will feature dishes such as steamed buns with ham hock, poached egg and kimchi Hollandaise; duck in black bean sauce, crisp rice noodles and fried egg; chilli-fried king prawn scrambled egg with prawn crackers; and bacon and egg fried noodles with fermented chilli sauce. Brunch cocktails will include bloody Marys, mimosas and espresso martinis, and Green Beard juices will also be an option.

Cookery books workshop

Ruth Healy is running the fifth Rare Cookery Books Workshop at her Urru Culinary Store in Bandon, Co Cork, on Saturday, September 8th. The theme this time is "the writings of Ballymaloe, Myrtle Allen and her contemporaries".

The guest speaker is UCC food historian Regina Sexton, and the workshop will be conducted by food blogger and broadcaster Elke O'Mahony. Tickets are €10 and must be booked in advance online at or by telephoning 023-8854731.

Healy describes the event as “a really convivial afternoon of book talk and food stories. The love of cookery books is a real leveller and it never ceases to amaze, the abundance of stories people have collected in and about their books. Cookery books are so much more than a collection of recipes, they are societal and personal diaries.”

JP McMahon-Alberto Rossi collaboration

Galway restaurateur and chef JP McMahon will swap his kitchen at Aniar for the InterContinental hotel in Dublin for one night on September 13th. In collaboration with the hotel’s executive chef Alberto Rossi, he will serve 12 dishes, over nine courses, to 76 diners. Dinner will cost €80, with wine pairings for an additional €35. Reservations can be made at 01-6654000.