Select: music, food and games by the sea at Dún Laoghaire’s The Beatyard festival
We all know festivals are hungry work and there are lots of food options down by the water this weekend
Dún Laoghaire gets its very own music festival this weekend, when The Beatyard takes over the town harbour on Saturday and Sunday for two days of music, food and games by the sea.
You can expect acts such as Sister Sledge, Neneh Cherry, Four Tet, Mister Saturday Night, Horse Meat Disco and lots more, along with an arcade and pinball parlour, crazy golf, human Fussball and lots of street art and graffiti from 2pm to 10.30pm each day.
We all know festivals are hungry work and there are lots of food options down by the water this weekend. A special Eatyard area – with Astroturf, music and its own white picket fence – will have a variety of food and drink options, including coffees from 3FE, which will also be hosting a Barista Jam from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Ten baristas from around the country will take part each day (including some of the crew from Brother Hubbard and Coffee Angel in Dublin). They’ll be judged on their coffee art and the taste of their brew. “When you order a coffee in a coffee shop, the baristas are banging them out quickly, but this competition gives them a chance to really show off the incredible things they can do with latte art,” says one of the festival organisers, Dave Parle.
Food vendors will include The Big Blue Bus, which will be making pizzas on site in a wood-fired oven; Suha’s Palestinian Falafel; healthy salads and sandwiches from Staple Foods; Ugly Duckling, an American-style diner in George’s Street Arcade; and the Epicurian Food Hall will be serving up prawn po-boys (€6), with “Creole/Cajun mayo with more than a dozen ingredients”, according to owner Derek Mahon. “We’ll also be serving some lighter, festival-friendly options, including a burger that’s a combination of brisket, chuck and Jacob’s ladder cuts of beef, so it’s not too filling.” The burger will be served on an Arun bakery brioche baguette with American dressings for €6.50; or there’s a pulled chicken sandwich with salsa, guacamole, nachos and mayonnaise (€6).
Award-winning mixologist Phoebe Fairbairn will be shaking up cocktails throughout the weekend, such as the Talisco Violet (Olmeca Tequila, violet liqueur, lime juice and ginger ale) or the Ginilla Fizz (Beefeater gin, vanilla sherbet, white grapefruit and bubbles). Spudbox, the most self-indentifying of vendors will have baked potatoes with fillings such as chilli con carne (€8), a Mediterranean mix of roasted veggies (€7) or melted cheese (€6) with dressed leaves. Local institution Teddy’s Ice Cream will be on site in a restored 1984 Bedford van, serving their famous 99s (€1.90, or €1.60 without the Flake, but we’re not sure what sort of heathen would order one of those).
There are lots of food options in town before you go to the festival: if you fancy a stroll, you can still get your Teddy’s fix at the end of Dún Laoghaire’s East Pier, from its shop beside the lighthouse. Also on the pier, Fish Shack by Ouzos will be operating from their wooden- clad van, where you can get fresh haddock and chips (€8.50), po boys made with Dublin Bay Prawns (€7), or a seafood salad with crab claws, lobster and shrimp (€9.50).
Looking on to the harbour, there are a number of places along The Pavilion serving quick pre-festival snacks. We like ItsaBagel’s Brooklyn: a poppy-seed bagel with turkey, bacon, avocado, tomato, lettuce and mayo (€5.65). Or perhaps on Sunday the All Day Cure might be more apt, with sausage, rasher, free range egg and tomato relish, €5.50. Real Gourmet Burger has whopping burgers such as the Jaipur, a lamb burger with raita, mango relish and chips (€10), and a Blue Cheese with melted Cashel Blue, onion marmalade and chips with blue cheese mayonnaise (€10).
On Sunday morning, the People’s Park market begins at 11am, a five-minute walk from the festival entrance. Pop over to Food Fiesta for some piping hot croquetas with fillings such as Iberico ham, cod, spinach, courgette and cheese (€1 each or 6 for €5) or a large serving of paella (€6) or head to Karuna’s Kitchen at the gates for a chickpea curry (€5.50 with rice) or hot samosa (€2.50 each). If you’re a real early bird, you can grab some breakfast and a coffee from 9am at Fallon & Byrne’s latest outpost in a lovely building overlooking the park. Try its Eggs Benedict with free-range eggs and baked ham (€10.50) or a large pain au raisin from their bakery in town (€2.50).