Archive for the ‘What’s Happening’ Category

Run The Rock!- 22nd June 2013

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Run The Rock, 11km challenge Start/Finish at The BrookLodge.

Overlooking Aughrim Co Wicklow, Cushbawn Mountain is a 400m high mountain with stunning views over surrounding countryside and hills. This is a run which will test your body and mind. Set your next training goal towards increasing your current distance or aiming to beat your PB at Run the Rock, proudly supporting the Wicklow Hospice Foundation and the Aughrim GAA.

Surround yourself with nature, and like minded individuals, whilst keeping fit and healthy at Run the Rock!

Can YOU run the Rock? Closing date for online entries 20th of June.

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Summer Days & Balmy Nights…

Monday, May 6th, 2013


Summer days and balmy nights, what better way to spend 3 nights than a relaxing break away at the BrookLodge and Macreddin Village

This offer includes 3 nights B&B in the BrookLodge PLUS 1 Dinner each in the renowned Strawberry Tree restaurant – Ireland’s only certified Wild & Organic restaurant, PLUS 1dinner each in La Taverna Armento – our southern Italian restaurant.

PLUS choose either a 30minute treatment Or 18holes on Paul McGinley designed Macreddin Golf Course

Choose from one of the following 30mins Wells Spa treatments:

  • Macreddin’s Signature Dry Float Treatment
  • Aroma Pamper Facial
  • Neck & Shoulder Massage

Begin your chosen treatment with a warm foot cleanse Use of our fabulous Wells Spa Thermal Suite is also included.

Cost of package: Price €295pps midweek. Weekend and Bank Holiday Supplements €20 per person per night.

Available May – August

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A Wild Nettle and Potato Soup

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Well, what a difference a change of wind direction and a week or two makes. Gone are the harsh northerly winds and at last the ground temperature has risen to above the 8 degrees required for growth.

And wow, does nature make up for lost time! We’ve never seen the buds and the blossoms appear so fast. The wild Rowan, Elder, Sloe and more are just bursting. The wild Primrose is splashing its colour everywhere including on our salads and the fabulous nettle plant is at the perfect height for the first harvest.

Here’s one of our recipes for a nettle and potato soup. Perfect time to use up last years potatoes and add a dash of springtime with the freshness of baby nettle leaves…enjoy!


100g Wild Nettle Leaves, picked carefully!

10g Wild Garlic Leaves

350g Old Organic Potatoes, roughly chopped

A Large Organic Onion sliced

2 Sticks Organic Celery, chopped roughly

An Organic Leek, sliced

2 Bay leaves

2 pints Organic Vegetable stock

50 ml Organic cream

Organic Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Black Pepper

In a large pot, heat oil and simmer Onions, Celery and Bay leaves together until soft. Add the Leeks and cook for a few minutes, then Garlic, season lightly, and then add in the Potatoes. Stir everything together clockwise and pour in the Vegetable stock.

Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer, cook until the Potatoes are soft.

When Potatoes are cooked, add in the Wild Nettles and Wild Garlic, cook for a few minutes, remove from the heat and blitz in a processor until smooth.

Pour soup puree back in the pot; add cream to right consistency, warm and season with Sea Salt & Black Pepper as required. Serve with a swirl of Wild Garlic Pesto or cream topped with ground Nutmeg.


Is a perfect transition from the heavy winter-warmer style soups to the lighter style of Summer! Flavoured with the last of the Winter leeks, thickened with fabulous floury old Spuds and combined with the first taste of spring with the baby Wild Nettles and the hint of Wild Garlic, this is a perfect early spring soup.

Recipe: Evan Doyle, Tim Daly, The Strawberry Tree Restaurant, 2013 

Photo’s: courtesy of Evan Doyle 

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The Strawberry Tree’s Wild Garlic Pesto

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

March is here and apparently, Spring has sprung…well maybe! It’s all still a bit haphazard at the moment. Our native Wild greens seem to be much more resilient than the crops we raise…we’ve been out picking the young wild sorrels, both sheep and wood, the herb robert, the fresh sea beets and so much more.

However, it’s the wild garlic that provides us with the first real taste of Spring! This is a big harvest, as big as the elderflower, and as big as the bilberry. We harvest enough to provide every table in The Strawberry Tree with this taste of Spring throughout the year. The kitchens are heady with the scent of wild garlic at the moment and its making cameo appearances all over our menu. Here’s our recipe for our famous wild garlic pesto…enjoy!


50g Fresh Wild Garlic Leaves

25g Pine, Cashew, Hazel or Chestnuts…your choice!

200ml Organic Olive Oil or better still Irish Organic Rapeseed Oil

40g grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano or really mature Desmond

Organic Black Pepper and Sea Salt.


Simple recipes are not always the easiest. It’s taken us years to get this just right. Any of the above Nuts, Oils or Cheeses will make a fabulous fresh spring tasting Pesto…we’re just not saying exactly which go into our Strawberry Tree Wild Garlic Pesto!

So, the easy way is to blitz the nuts and half the oil in a food processor and add in the grated cheese. Then add the wild garlic and blitz with the remaining oil to the right consistency. Then simply season, to your taste. As a fresh Oil Dressing, it’ll work, every time.


Pour into sterilised Kilner Jars and keep in the fridge or a really cool, dark pantry. Pesto is a fresh product, use within three weeks..if you can make it last that long!


Is a serious Pesto; a deep dark green Pesto with attitude, a Pesto that will slap you in the face with the unmistakably strong taste of wild natural garlic and its lush woodland dwellings. What you also get is ‘bottled spring and summer’…to give as a present to your friends. If not, use it to impress as a dressing over salads, bake into your favourite bread dough, add to any pasta dish or mix with butter and slip under the skin of a chicken roast…the list goes on, just use your imagination and go Wild!

Recipe: Evan Doyle, Tim Daly, The Strawberry Tree Restaurant, 2013 

Photo’s: courtesy of Evan Doyle 

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The Foraging Season has arrived in Macreddin Village

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

The Wild Foods Master Class

An opportunity for participants to learn and discover in depth knowledge about Ireland’s abundance of Wild Foods. The Wild Foods Master Class including demonstrations and practicals is the only regular course of its kind in Ireland. The Master Class runs over two days where participants will experience a practical hands-on demonstration by the Chefs of The Strawberry Tree Restaurant. The Class will cover identification as well as instruction on how to gather, cook and preserve using traditional methods such as sugar, oil, drying, vinegars and alcohol.

Class Dates:

March: Tuesday 19th – Fully booked.

Tuesday 26th – Limited availability

April: Tuesday 09th – Available.

Tuesday 30th – Available

More dates to follow.

Call The Reservations Team on 0402-36444 or email for more details.

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Review Sunday Times 3rd March

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Natural ingredients are everywhere and they’re yours for the taking according to Evan & Biddy’s new book.

See articles attached from Sunday Times March 03rd: Evan talks of when he opened his first restaurant and used wild food ingredients to now in The Strawberry Tree, the ONLY Certified Organic & Wild Restaurant in Ireland. Just this week the chefs of The Strawberry Tree restaurant collected 27 black bags full of wild garlic, all of which will be preserved in jars and used in the restaurant.

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Salt Crust Baked Wild Sea Bream

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

February and we’re looking forward to the lighter cooking of Spring and Summer in The Strawberry Tree. However, lots of requests about Salt Crust Baking that we touched upon in last months Turf Roast recipe… so here you go!

This is our take using wild Winter Sea Bream. When Sea Bream re-appears on our menu in July we treat like a summer fish…think of Dorada in a beach restaurant in Spain, Dourada in the Algarve, Daurade on the Riviera and you get the picture. Sea bream is such a fabulous fish. In the Winter months though we like to use this recipe. Salt Crusting Baking is as old as the hills.


4kg Organic Sea Salt

8 Egg Whites

4 Wild Line Caught Black Sea Bream about 400-500gms on the bone, head on.

4 Lemon, Sliced Thinly

2 Fennel Bulb, Sliced Thinly

200 ml Irish Organic Rape Seed Oil


In a large bowl mix together the sea salt and egg whites, and put to one side. With the sea bream, take some of the sliced lemon and fennel, and stuff inside the cavity of the fish.

In two roasting dishes line the bottom with half of the sea salt mixture, place the rest of the fennel and lemon on the top, then place two of the sea bream over in each tray. Drizzle with the organic rape seed oil and cover with the rest of the sea salt mixture and pack down.

Preheat oven to 220° and roast for 30 minutes.


When cooked set aside for 10 minutes, crack open the salt with a rolling pin and carefully lift out your sea bream, take of the bone and serve.


Well the salt crust works really well with whole fish at keeping the natural moistures inside. Bream, because of its size works best, with this method. What you also get is the drama of breaking the crust in front of your friends!

Evan Doyle, Tim Daly, The Strawberry Tree Restaurant, 2013. Photos, courtesy Steve Ryan

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Evan’s Wild Food Book…

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Published by O’Brien Press, Wild Food is a wonderful collaboration between Evan Doyle: The BrookLodge Hotel at Macreddin Village and Biddy White Lennon: food journalist and writer.

The BrookLodge is home to The Strawberry Tree Restaurant. Its Kitchens, have been harvesting and presenting wild foods daily on its menu since 1988 and this year celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary. The Strawberry Tree also hosts Irelands only walk in Wild-Food Pantry for its Guests, but more importantly for its Chefs!

This is the first time, that Evan Doyle has put together the knowledge and the recipes gathered from over a quarter of a century of using these wild foods.

Wild Food is a fantastic new guide to foraging which reveals the secrets of how to identify, pick, preserve and cook the most common wild foods that grow in our hedgerows and woodlands and on our hillsides and seashores. Packed with helpful tips and advice on gathering, preparing and cooking foraged foods, this combined field guide and cookbook was inspired by the growing interest in wild food and foraging in Ireland today and is the perfect introduction to harvesting nature’s bounty.


*Where to look, what it looks like, how to pick

*A guide to foraging through the seasons: nettle, dillisk, carrageen, garlic, sea beet, samphire, St George’s mushrooms, sorrel, hawthorn, elderflower, sea lettuce, strawberries, chanterelles, bilberries, field mushrooms, blackberries, damsons, ceps, elderberries, hazelnuts, rose hips, sloes and more

*How to prepare and preserve your foraged finds

* Over 60 delicious recipe ideas, including dozens of unpublished recipes from The Strawberry Tree at The BrookLodge Hotel

* Traditional uses for common wild foods

*  Great gift ideas for family & friends and lots more

We can arrange for one to be sent to you by post, just give us a call at BrookLodge on 0402-36444 and we can pop one in the post to you.

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Mum’s the word…

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Mum’s the word this Mother’s Day

Sunday 10th of March


(and hopefully Mum will invite you too)

  • Overnight Accommodation with Full Breakfast.
  • Dinner in La Taverna Armento Restaurant (upgrade to The Wild & Organic Strawberry Tree Restaurant for an extra €35pp)
  • A 30 minute treatment in The Wells Spa – 10 different options to choose from.
  • Complimentary Access to The Thermal Suite in The Wells Spa.
  • Selection of Herbal teas to help Mum relax and unwind.
  • If Mum would like, we can run a bath for her in the comfort of her own bedroom any time before 8pm on Sunday evening.
  • Late check out until 2pm on Monday 11th.

What better way to show your Mum you care than to treat her to The BrookLodge for a day and night of Pampering on Mother’s Day. We will ensure that Mum is completely pampered from the moment she arrives. After check in, Mum can check out the facilities then head to The Wells Spa to get pampered for the afternoon. Treatments range from a Hot Stone Massage, Aroma Pamper Facial, Dry Float Relaxation to name but a few. Before getting ready for dinner Mum can request a jasmine bubble bath in the comfort of her own bedroom to give a complete sense of calm and relaxation. Depending on Mum’s choice, dinner will be served in either La Taverna Armento or The Strawberry Tree where Mum will experience many delights. After dinner Mum can retire to the cosiness of The Waterside Lounge before retiring to bed. On Monday morning Mum can have a lie in and relax with breakfast served until 11am or really spoil Mum and avail of breakfast in bed. Before departing BrookLodge Mum can take in some fresh air by taking one of our mapped walks around Macreddin Village. Now who does Mum take with her to BrookLodge…?

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Mazda6 being launched here in Macreddin Village today…

Monday, January 28th, 2013

The new Mazda6 is being launched here in Macreddin Village today.  The reason Mazda chose BrookLodge for the launch was because of our Green Ethos and it’s “Outstanding environmental performance, fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions”

A good day to give this gorgeous car a real test drive in typical January weather!

What Mazda say about their new car….A saloon with exciting driving dynamics and low fuel consumption. The all-new Mazda6 Saloon is the 2nd of our new generation of cars to feature the full range of our pioneering SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’ design. With this new flagship model we’re celebrating the pleasure of exhilarating driving experiences and the importance of emotionally appealing design. And with our SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, this saloon also combines the most advanced safety features with outstanding fuel consumption. So once again we’ve defied convention in achieving environmental and functional excellence without compromising your enjoyment of exciting, powerful driving and eye-catching aesthetics.

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