Visit the Tower of London, the ancient stones reverberate with dark secrets, priceless jewels glint in fortified vaults and ravens strut the grounds. Despite a grim reputation as a place of torture and death, this powerful and enduring fortress has been enjoyed as a royal palace, served as an armory and for a number of years even housed a zoo!
In the early 1080s, William the Conqueror began to build a massive stone tower at the centre of his London fortress. Nothing like it had ever been seen before. Immense, the Tower of London dominated the skyline for miles around. The Tower was protected by Roman walls on two sides, ditches to the north and west up to 25 ft wide and 11 ft deep and an earthwork topped by a wooden palisade. Although many later kings and queens stayed at the Tower, it was never intended as the main royal residence nor was it meant as the first line of defense against invading armies. The Tower’s primary function was as a fortress-stronghold, a role that remained unchanged right up until the late 19th century.
The Tower of London holds some of the most remarkable stories from across the centuries. Gaze up at the massive White Tower, tiptoe through a kings’ medieval bedchamber and marvel at the priceless Crown Jewels. The famous Yeoman Warders have bloody tales to tell; stand where heads rolled and prisoners wept. The Tower held many famous prisoners, from the highest levels of society; some in astonishing comfort and others less so… Visit the places of their confinement and read the graffiti left by prisoners from over 500 years ago.
Want to take a cooking class on your next vacation to Ireland? There are many to choose from with classes ranging from traditional Irish cuisine to fusion cuisine.
Rory O’Connell Cookery School
Snugboro, Ballybraher, Ballycotton, Co Cork
Things are cooking nicely in Ballycotton… Rory O’Connell, ex-Head Chef of Ballymaloe House and one of the principal teachers at Ballymaloe Cookery School, has struck a serious culinary note with his new Bespoke Cookery Classes. Classes at Snugboro are designed for groups from two to twelve people, which gives a really intimate feel. A sample menu: Spicy Moroccan Lentil Soup, Risotto of Autumn Greens, Roast Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Herb mayonnaise, creamy Colcannon and a superb Chocolate Meringue Roulade with Blackberries and Sweet Geranium.
Dublin Cookery School
2 Brookfield Terrace, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
It is hard not to be affected by Lynda Booth’s enthusiasm. Her passion for food and teaching is apparent immediately and what better place to combine these two loves than in a cookery school? Housed in a dazzling purpose-built premises, the bright, spacious kitchens of the Dublin Cookery Schools are the perfect setting for novice cooks and seasoned chefs alike. With 12 fully-equipped workstations, complete with hobs and ovens, students learn tricks of the trade in a supportive and challenging environment. As they say themselves, ‘serious food in a relaxed atmosphere’. The course list is extensive, including fish and bread courses, barbecue, entertaining, Californian cuisine, teen friendly courses and many more. This, combined with Lynda’s exuberant style and the fabulous space makes for a seriously fun learning experience.
Donnybrook Fair Restaurant, Food Hall & Cookery School
89 Morehampton Road, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.
This urban restaurant, cookery school, deli and foodstore has everything a food lover will need from all over the country and even further a field. The extensive food-hall is stocked to the rafters with a mixture of fine artisan and gourmet speciality items and store-cupboard essentials. A dedicated butchery, fish counter and wonderful freshly baked breads, pastries, cakes and take-out hot and cold lunches, and not to mention the wonderful contemporary restaurant upstairs with menus that combine the finest seasonal Irish ingredients with flavours from around the world.
Tannery Cookery School (The)
10 Quay Street, Dungarvan, Co Waterford
Over a decade after Paul and his wife Máire opened their uber-stylish Tannery Restaurant, taking a high end food experience to a small Waterford town, they have now successfully opened, the Tannery Cookery School in pretty Dungarvan. Featuring a state of the art demonstration kitchen and with cookery courses for everybody, whether you are looking for a course to improve your home cooking skills, a short cookery course with friends or a tailored course to suit a corporate event The Tannery Cookery School is for you!
Ballyknocken House and Cookery School
Glenealy, Ashford, Co Wicklow
Set in private tranquil gardens in the heart of the glorious Wicklow countryside you will feel the stresses and strains of your other life melt away as soon as you arrive at Catherine Fulvio’s romantic Victorian country house. Catherine’s real passion is for local produce and this is reflected in the stunning breakfasts and dinners served and in the state of the art Cookery School, which is perfectly located in a renovated Milking Parlour. With seven beautifully decorated period bedrooms with Victorian baths and brass beds and a warm welcome awaiting you what better place to re-discover the joys of cooking than at Ballyknocken House and Cookery School.
Orchard Acre Farm
36 Moynaghan North Road, Lisnarick, Irvinestown, Co Fermanagh, BT94 1LQ.
Right at the very heart of Orchard Acre Farm’s success and certainly central to its charm is Teresa O’Hare. It is she, together with husband Hugh who is the driving energy of an operation so diverse in its offering that is hard to confine its labeling to any one category. It is a cookery and training centre, a gardening and vegetable hive, a wedding, conference or party venue, a voluntary work opportunity and most of all a sanctuary. Orchard Acre is a world of possibilities with one warm and very dynamic woman at its heart.
Information provided by: Good Food Ireland