Archive for March, 2014

3 Night Easter Break 18th – 20th April 2014

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Easter Special Logo 2

 3 Night Easter Break

  Friday 18th – Sunday 20th April

 €290pps

  • 3 Nights’ Accommodation with Full Breakfast.
  • Dinner on one evening in La Taverna Armento.
  • Dinner on one evening in The Wild & Organic, Strawberry Tree Restaurant, Ireland’s only certified Organic Restaurant.
  • As residents you can enjoy complimentary use of The Thermal Suite in The Wells Spa.
  • A sharing plate of Organic Easter Chocolate Treats from The Strawberry Tree delivered to your room.
  • Wellies and Mapped Walks available from reception to enjoy the countryside around Macreddin Village or why not take a packed lunch with you?
  • Music Entertainment in Actons Pub for a “resident’s private session” on Good Friday.
  • Some fresh eggs from Macreddin Village’s hens to take home on Monday morning (Ask when you’re checking out if there’s any left?)

Make Easter Eggstra Special (to be booked in advance):

  • Upgrade to one of our fabulous Suite for €25pp per night.
  • Arrange for bottle of bubbly on ice served to your room on arrival for €42.
  • Take home a Hamper Basket filled with Organic goodies €75.
  • Avail of a 30 minute Treatment in The Wells Spa – Aroma Pamper Facial or Back Massage €35.
  • Macreddin Village Back Pack €15pp or Macreddin Village Picnic €30pp.

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Irishconsumer.com Review

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

The editor of Irishconsumer.com, a website dedicated to all consumer issues recently stayed with us, see below her review in a piece on Affordable Luxurious Hotels.

”  This hotel rates 4 stars however, in my opinion would give alot of 5 stars a run for their money. Customer service is outstanding, the best I have experienced to date in a hotel in Ireland.”

Irishconsumer.com – Affordable Luxurious Hotels

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The Strawberry Tree’s Wild Garlic Pesto

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Macreddin Logo

 It’s March and it’s the start of another year of Wild Foods. Wild Garlic is in huge supply and is available from now up until late April.

Check out our famous Strawberry Tree recipe below.

Wild Garlic Pesto

WHAT GOES IN

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 Coolea Farmhouse Cheese

Organic Black Pepper and Sea Salt

HOW IT GOES

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

HOW TO FINISH

Pour into sterilised Kilner Jars and keep in the fridge or a really cool, dark pantry. More so than with Basil Pesto, there is a reaction between the Wild Garlic, Oil and especially metal lids…hence the Kilner.

WHAT YOU GET

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 you are able!

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!

WILD GARLIC PESTO & LEAVES

WHERE TO FIND GARLIC

It’s a common plant all over the island and it thrives in mixed woodlands and other damp, shady places like country lanes and near streams. In the right place it will be widespread and easy to spot.

 HOW TO PICK

Do not dig up the bulbs and never strip a plant of all its leaves or remove all the flowers or plants in a small area. Pick mid-sized to larger leaves and flower heads that have blossomed. Baskets are ideal for gathering (particularly for the flowers) but if you plan to preserve the leaves choose roomy plastic bags. Pack loosely and do not press down or you may bruise the tender leaves and flowers.

Growing from a surprisingly small translucent bulb, broad, pointed, bright green leaves push up through the soil to gradually form a multi-leaved bunch and are followed by a single flower stalk bearing several small white blossoms. Most years the harvest begins in mid-March and continues until mid-April. This period may vary according to local conditions or a spring that arrives early or late. Usually you can harvest over a month.

Some people prefer the young milder leaves; others wait until the plant flowers, and the flavour is stronger, and gather leaves and flowers at the same time.

The flower of the Wild Garlic is highly identifiable and for the first time forager this is when this wild food should be harvested. Prior to this, it might be mistaken for the leaves of the Wild Lily of the Valley, and other wild plants.  Some of these are, of course not pleasant to eat or indeed poisonous.

A good means of positively identifying Wild Garlic is grinding the leaves between one’s fingers, which produces a pungent garlic-like smell. The leaves of Lily of the Valley come from a single purple stem, while the Wild Garlic leaves have individual green-coloured stems. Remember when our foraging if in doubt don’t…

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