Le Vin et Le Fromage et Le Trip Down Memory Lane

A very simple, humble supper of cheese and wine - the setting is breathtaking. A stone cottage towards the end of Bolas head, Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry. We walked to the top of Bolas head earlier to fill our lungs with fresh, salty, sea air and now back at the cottage by the fire we fill our bellies.

Re-tracing my childhood memories yesterday we jaunted to Kenmare town - it was more beautiful than I remembered - although it has been 20 years! Some of it remained the same, but the food culture had well, let's say become multi-cultural. We ate lunch in The Bakery Vegetarian Cafe, it's owner is a half Isreali/ half Irish woman with staff from France, Germany and Spain. Taking a stroll down Henry St was a little like a magical mystery tour. A great little healthfood shop The Pantry, http://www.kenmare.eu/thepantry/ , a brilliant hardware store called Hallisseys, with amazingly good value in the kitchen section - where amongst other things I bought a giant wooden spoon for €5.50! We sniffed our way into The Truffle Pig, http://www.trufflepigkenmare.com/ a cafe/deli which offers a small but tasty and tempting variety of cheeses and meats, as well as handmade chocolates, cakes, savoury snacks and mains. We got some chocolates and cheeses... Comte and Bleu D'Auvergne.

Next serendipitous stop was The Vanilla Grape wine shop, http://www.vgwines.com/about ,  where we met the most helpful and sweet French owner Alain Bras. While watching A Very Hungry Frenchman recently, I had taken note of Raymond Blancs suggestion or rather 'order' that you must drink Vin Jeune with Comte cheese - malheuresment Alain didn't have any as it's quite a specialised, local wine. However he did offer us a glass from a different bottle which he had in the back, it had oxidised slighty - Alain said Vin Jeune has a similar taste. In the heel of the reel, after a nice chat we went with Alains suggestion of Chiroubles a Cru Du Beaujolais, to balance the strength of the Bleu D'Auvergne. En route home we stopped in Caherciveen at the fantastic healthfood shop The Aquarian, http://www.fororganichealth.com/about_us.php , where I couldn't resist getting a slice of a German goats cheese with fenugreek seeds running through it.... We feasted on the three cheeses with some Matzo crackers, occasionally drizzling them with some honey and washing it down with the Chiroubles ....(inhale slowly ...and ...exhale slowly...and ...smile...)

The view from the cottage...aaaahh sigh!
Sometimes the simplest of meals offers the most satisfaction - especially after a hard slog up and down a big hill!
Bleu D'Auvergne -it's craggy landcsape mirroring that of our surroundings