Dinner at Caoilfhionn’s

Dinner at Caoilfhionn’s

“August rain: the best of the summer gone, and the new fall not yet born. The odd uneven time.”

Sylvia Plath

Hello out there and welcome back my swirling leaves for the new season, or the old one, autumn. Wasn’t summer beautiful this year? I have to stay in mourning for a little while but autumn will work it’s magic soon. You know how I am about the seasons. For now I’m clinging to these last bright nights, fading fast and feeling different in the air and breath already. Have you felt it?

Yesterday we had dinner at Caoilfhionn’s, one of our very favourite things. It was a beautiful last days of summer kind of evening with the doors thrown open for a while and the children playing happily in the garden, four children who haven’t been to school yet and by weeks end this will have changed forever too.

We sipped ‘Gin, Rose & Elderflower Cocktails‘ and watched the children playing. These were a beautiful recreation of something similar she’d had in Dublin and wanted to try. The result was a taste of pure exotica…

gin collage

To say that Caoilfhionn is an exceptional cook is an understatement but she’s an inexplicably calm one as well. Inexplicable to me at least! The lack of flushes and flusters just all lovely calm and she’s an artist too. I’ve dotted this post with samples of her work like this one, inspired by a photograph, ‘Cumann na mBan escapees, Carlow 1921‘. Isn’t it wonderful? In subject and in colour…


And then there are these ‘Leitrim Cottages’. Dotted on the wall, their little house like boxes, just like those dotted across the countryside. The colours, a mix of the hectic shades you’ll find in earth and sky in Ireland when the sun comes out after the rain. When you have that mingling of the rainbow with the greens and the browns and the peat…


“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple…”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows

For starters we had a ‘Roast Red Pepper Gazpacho’ with ‘Parmesan Lollipops!’

Can you get over the colours? I just cannot! Can you get over the crispy parmesan lollipop!! This was delicious. Everyone enjoyed it. The soup and pops were quickly demolished…

orange collage




This painting is ‘Dunmanus’s Bay, West Cork’, Caoilfhionn’s home, where her mother still lives…

cork collage

Spoiled again, the main course was a gorgeous ‘Roast Duck & Tangerine Salad’ from Harry Eastwoods book ‘A Salad for All Seasons’…

duck collage

And for dessert…Home Made Raspberry Ice-Cream with a Raspberry Pouring Sauce. What can I say? Creamy, velvety, divine. All is art here.


And there’s more…I know, it’s unbelievable but folks it’s true. ‘Sweet & Salty Crunch Nut Bars’ from Nigella Lawson’s book ‘Kitchen’…


“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
― Humbert Wolfe

12 thoughts on “Dinner at Caoilfhionn’s”

  • Jane, as usual, your blog is just so beautiful and gorgeous, and your friends : well! Art, food and loveliness, you couldn’t ask for more 🙂

  • I really enjoyed reading this Jane. What an elegant menu Caoilfhionn chose. Gorgeous! Is there nothing that girl can’t turn her hand to? Her paintings are lovely, the little cottage boxes are so cute.
    Great to see the leaves back on the blog, but sad to see the gerberas go! As ever, loving your quotes sprinkled throughout, you’ve even given us a Harry Potter quote for good measure. Your take on the forthcoming autumn season so beautifully stated is making even I think again, whose clinging with finger nails & toes to what is left of the summer! 🙂
    K xo

  • I am exactly like you with the seasons, I go into mourning when one is finishing and then when the new season has taken over I am completely in awe of its beauty. So bye bye summer…
    ‘The succession of native plants in the pastures and roadsides, which makes the silent clock by which time tells the summer hours, will make even the divisions of the day sensible to a keen observer. The tribes of birds and insects, like the plants punctual to their time, follow each other, and the year has room for all.’ Emerson ‘Nature’.. P.S Love the blog.

  • I’m not ready to say farewell to summer, but this post has slightly eased the pain. Did I read that correctly… Parmesan lollipops? I would love to go to dinner in this house and the paintings are just so cute!

  • A feast for the senses, Jane! Bring on autumn if it comes with the beautiful images of stunning paintings and parmesan lollipops! I have a cheese monster who will have to have one of the latter.

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