Friday, July 04, 2008

After the Gardens...

Okay, enough flowers. After all that walking, we were hungry and we knew we'd need to we stopped in the Avoca store which was in the Powerscourt Mansion. Avoca has stores all over Ireland and they are known for their knitwear and souvenir items as well as food items. They are overrated. I didn't find anything there that I had to have. However, we did think some of the food items looked interesting. We picked up a loaf of Irish cheese soda bread, a tub of herb butter, a tub of smoked salmon and trout spread, and a jar of tartar sauce, which Jess thought looked good. We also picked up a couple of chocolate bars - one was an Irish Coffee Truffle, one was a Key Lime and Black Pepper bar.

We put the items in the trunk and headed back for the hotel.

On the way home, we passed the mall, where the Marks & Spencer was, and I asked Jess to drop me off so that I could run in and get some M&S food stuff (if you are ever in the UK or Ireland, you MUST go to Marks & Spencer and buy some food). It's a bit weird walking into a clothing store and seeing a supermarket in the back. But trust me, it's very good. At any rate, I picked up a package of Chocolate Rolls and a package of Chili Lime Chicken to go with our bread and salmon spread and other goodies.

The bread and spreads.

And the Chili Lime Chicken Mini-Fillets, Chocolate Mini-Rolls and sodas.

The spread. It was quite smoky and salty...and fishy.

The bread. While it was supposed to be cheese bread, it wasn't really that cheesy. But it was moist, cloud-like and unlike any soda bread I'd ever had before. Too bad the trout and salmon spread wasn't better, because it disgraced the bread. And can we talk about the herb butter? It was horrible. It tasted sour. We read the ingredients and found out why: lemon juice. Who puts lemon juice in butter? It curdles it! So the butter was useless, too. I was mad. I wanted something good on the bread! So I opened the M&S Chicken Mini Fillets. They were terrific, and I should have expected no less. Marks & Spencer saved the day.

Butler's Irish Chocolate bar. Like Avoca itself, overrated. American chocolates are much better than these, folks. The "truffle" center was almost dry in texture and fairly tasteless. When we were in Dublin the next day, we happened by a Butler's store, where they insisted on giving us a free sample - we chose Raspberry Truffle. It was as underwhelming as the Irish Coffee Truffle bar we had tried the day before. Don't waste your dollars.

I am all for trying the new and unusual, but this...this...thing was positively horrible. The key lime flavor was cardboard-tasting, and the bits of black pepper were off-putting. Red pepper would have been much better. This was just nasty.

Thankfully, I had the good sense to buy these babies while in M&S. We had them when we were in London, and it was love at first bite. Absolutely fabulous. Dessert was successful after all! These also come in mint, orange, and other fab flavors.

So, would you like to see the room? I took few shots. I didn't shoot the sitting area, where there was a table and another TV, so the room was bigger than it appears here. it was a lovely room (the hotel was new), but the bed was torture. Like sleeping on concrete. No, wait...concrete would have probably been more comfortable.

The tub. The tile job was very attractive.

Here's a close-up of the tile detail. The accent tile was a glass tile...really pretty.

Nice shower. I liked it, it had very nice pressure.

Okay, that's it for today. More tomorrow.


At 7:30 AM, July 05, 2008, Blogger ATG said...

Too bad the bed wasn't more comfy because the hotel is very cute.


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