As a practicing father, The Menu is forever reminding his progeny how lucky they are to have him and, come Father’s Day (this year, June 20), they are blessed with the opportunity to express their gratitude. And for The Menu that invariably means finest foods and beverages, with a particular emphasis on Irish fare, even if he invariably winds up footing the bill, but such is the nature of the parent-child relationship.
Ely’s Restaurant and Wine Bar in Dublin, has over the years earned a thoroughly deserved reputation for the quality of its wine list and some impeccable sourcing of produce to serve up alongside. A a recent and excellently provisioned hamper emphasises just how well Ely sets about its business, the kit features excellent cheeses, charcuterie, crackers, some cracking condiments, including figs in Pedro Ximinez, and two very decent wines. The range also includes select and stylish homewares for indoor and outdoor dining at home — a greatly reinforced Covid habit that won’t be lost any time soon. Nationwide delivery service available. elywinebar.ie
For those fathers still trailing through the detritus of the toddling years and that particular hinterland, the estimable Shells Cafe, in Sligo, offer Shells Cafe Father’s Day Cookie Boxes, which doubles as a children’s activity kit, to decorate and personalise delicious shortbread cookies with coloured icing tubes, sprinkles, stick-on eyes and flower decorations before presenting to beloved pater. The Shells Treat Box, goes further, offering a selection of baked treats including their famous Bakewell tart and Shells Coffee (from McCabe’s, in Wicklow) shellscafe.com
Whereas it once would have been a surfeit of socks, the gift of glug appears to be a very popular choice of late and The Menu is all for receiving presents of finest Irish craft beers, distillations and good wines to wet the paternal whistle.
A Mead Gift Box from Kinsale Mead allows the imbiber to roam through the range of styles and flavours available in these iterations of a classic Irish alcoholic beverage as delivered impeccably from Ireland’s first meadery in over 200 years. kinsalemeadco.ie
Teeling’s Distillery has a range of suitable gifts including Personalised Whiskey Labels, Hampers, Distillery Tours with free worldwide delivery on orders costing more than €100. The Father’s Day Hamper includes a bottle of newly released Virgin Irish Oak Distillery Exclusive Whiskey with personalised label, World’s Best Dad Glencairn Whiskey glass, beer collaboration with DOT Brew, Teeling Whiskey Hip Flask and Paddy Cap. Though the distillery recently reopened for tours, more cautious or still housebound souls might prefer a virtual online 6th birthday party cocktail masterclass (June 12) for the Dublin-based distillery, each Teeling Distillery Birthday Cocktail Kit containing Birthday Gift, 3 x Teeling Whiskey 50ml bottles and all ingredients and garnishes to make Teeling cocktails at home. Event Packs and Zoom links sent out in advance. teelingdistillery.com
Cork’s Metropole Hotel’s Father’s Day Man Box carries a range of edible treats including 10-hour braised feather blade of beef; Matt O’Connell’s smoked salmon; The MET house jumbo sausage roll; Sweet double chocolate and Beamish cookies; local craft beer; Yorkie bar and Cork-themed socks, €40. Delivery within 15km range for €10 or collect from hotel. themetropolehotel.ie
The ever-popular Dawn Chorus Walk Weekend at Longueville House (June 18/19) is an especially appealing prospect, commencing with 4am gathering with expert ornithologist guide to roam the delightful country house’s 400 acres in quest of nature’s most beautiful music. After birdsong, it is back to base for a Q&A session and a gorgeous breakfast, perhaps followed by a swift snooze. Accommodation packages include two dinners and full B&B. longuevillehouse.ie
Should your vacationing see you anywhere in the vicinity of the beautiful Burren, in Co Clare, do check out the Burren Smokehouse picnic box, including smoked salmon, cheese, homemade brown bread and butter, serving accoutrements, with the luxury hamper adding Moet et Chandon (750mls) and Galway Crystal champagne glasses. Also available is the Irish made and extremely tidy Flying Elephant picnic table (€50), with built-in wine glass holders, easily dismantled and stored in its own tote bag. Picnics start from €10. burrensmokehouse.ie
As evident elsewhere in these pages, The Menu has been busy in the lab, rectifying and greatly improving on the inherent design flaws of US campfire favourite, The S’more (contraction of ‘some more’), a sandwich of Graham crackers, industrially-produced marshmallow and Hershey ‘chocolate’ bar. Reasoning that principles were sound but ingredients not, The Menu substituted them with superior Irish versions for what he is trademarking as his patented NíosMó (the Irish for ‘more’).
Employing West Cork Biscuit produced Kilbeggan organic oat cookies (or to further amp up the pleasure factor, Kilbeggan Dulce de Leche cookies), Wilkie’s Tumbes 64% Organic Dark Chocolate (or any premium bean-to-bar chocolate with The Chocolate Shop in the English Market a good place to source) and very excellent marshmallows from Donegal-based Mallow Mia.
Carrying a good range of flavours and hand-produced in small batches, these pillowy-soft confections are possessed of extraordinary lightness and finely calibrated flavours, including chocolate, pink gin & lemon, Nutella swirl, salted caramel, Madagascan vanilla and toasted coconut. For those allergic to the great outdoors and the mere concept of roughing it around the campfire, a gorgeous gift box not only contains three bags of Mallow Mia mallows in a choice of flavours but also bamboo skewers and a re-usuable marshmallow table top burner with 2.5 hours’ burning time. mallowmia.com