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Evie and Eliza Ward, co owners of Nutshed

Bite-Size: the latest food and drinks news

Exciting collaborations, award-winning peanut butters and a chance to enjoy cocktails under the stars


There's a real sense of optimism around at the moment, from businesses re-opening (or opening for the first time) to exciting collaborations in all sorts of areas. 

Nicola Halloran, of The Wonky Spatula food blog fame, has teamed up with Hush Rathmines for a limited-edition collaboration for a good cause, while Nespresso has its own collaboration to bring some colour to your life this month. Plus we have news of an incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience that combines the magic of Ireland's dark skies with whiskey cocktails. What could be better?

New kid in town
Billed as the "sassy little sister" to Ballymena’s renowned Galgorma Spa & Golf Resort, The Rabbit Hotel in Templepatrick, which opened its doors last month, looks set to be a new favourite for locals and visitors to Co Antrim.  Located 20 minutes from Belfast the hotel is home to Hunters Bar and The Rabbit restaurant, which offers a grill room menu with an Italian-American influence and focuses on fresh, local ingredients. There are gluten-free and vegan menus available and you might find it the perfect place for a spot of Sunday lunch (there’s a menu for that too). To book or for more information see the website.  

Absolutely nuts 
Sisters Evie and Eliza Ward have added a trio of new flavours to NutShed, their award-winning range of peanut butters. Then new arrivals are a versatile and slightly smoky Harissa Chili peanut butter, a Chocolate peanut butter and a Very Crunchy peanut butter, priced at €5.60 each. It’s been a big couple of years for the Tipperary-based brand. It picked up two Great Taste Awards in 2020 and launched into Dunnes Stores earlier this year, meaning NutShed peanut butters are now available in over 260 shops around Ireland. You’ll find a full list of stockists here.

A great cause
Nicola Halloran author, chef, and creator of The Wonky Spatula,  an award-wining food blog has teamed up with Hush Rathmines for one of its Hush Cooks collaborations. This monthly series sees Hush Rathmines team up with friends of the restaurant to create unique sandwiches with proceeds going to charity.  

Halloran’s offering is the bangin’ chicken sandwich which will be available for the rest of June. It features soy and chilli shredded chicken teamed with a spicy satay sauce, pickled cucumber and shredded iceberg lettuce. Halloran’s chosen charity is the Parkinson's Association of Ireland,  a cause that is very close to her heart. Keep an eye on Hush Rathmines' social media for future collaborations. 

By design
Nespresso has teamed up with Chiara Ferragni, an Italian entrepreneur, for a collection that should bring a splash of fun and colour to your daily espresso or latte. Ferragni has transformed some of the brand’s coffee machines and accessories with her trademark vibrant designs. There’s a limited edition Vertuo Next machine, an Essenza Mini for the espresso fan and an Aeroccino 3, for preparing hot or cold froth. The collection also includes a coffee mug and a travel mug. Plus you can head to the Nespresso website to check out Ferragni’s signature coffee recipe. The limited-edition collection is available from nespresso.com and in selected boutiques. 

Andrew Seaman/unsplash
Andrew Seaman/unsplash

The trip of a lifetime
If you’re looking for something special to do this year how about embarking on a trip that combines cocktails, gorgeous hotels, and the chance to experience the darkest skies in Ireland? The Sexton Irish whiskey has partnered with Travel Matters, a luxury travel agency, for The Sexton’s Destination: Darkness. Along with stays in some of the country’s top luxury destinations  (Liss Ard Estate, Park Hotel Kenmare and Ashford Castle), there’s nocturnal cocktails and kayaking under the stars. You'll also have the chance to visit the Kerry International Dark-Sky Reserve, the only gold tier Dark Sky Reserve in the Northern Hemisphere. Prices for the trip start from €5,059 for two for a basic self-drive package, with a luxury, chauffeur-driven option available for €13,594. You can find more information and book the trip here