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Monday, 23 December 2013

BAD WEATHER AND HOME MADE CANDLES

So we had decided to have a couple of nights in Daisy Cottage before Christmas and set off after lunch yesterday.  Driving along we were chatting about what we would do once in Dunkineely: have a couple of meals out at any of the great restaurants we love there, maybe have a nightcap (or three!) in Mac's Bar beside Daisy Cottage and of course get out and about with our cameras.

Snowy Donegal!
However all our plans were dashed a few miles out of Letterkenny when we came upon dreadful weather!  To continue or to return home, that was the question: We could have continued but for two factors, I was a bit worried about going through Barnesmore Gap in such conditions; and two, Christmas Day is fast approaching and we didn't want to miss Christmas Day with our family.

So we turned around and came home.  Naturally we were disappointed but as I had nothing else planned I decided I would try making the home made candles I had planned to make after seeing Kirsty Allsop make them on one of her Christmas shows recently.

I searched the charity shops for an antique/vintage cup and saucer but not one of them had any!  I have vintage tea sets but of course didn't want to break up a tea set for one cup and saucer.  We were in Dunnes Stores getting some messages when I spotted a cute little cup and saucer that I knew would do the job perfectly.

My first home made candle!
I have been intending to make candles for ages and so have been gathering up used candles so I would have the wax.  These big fat candles we buy tend to become useless after a few uses and we are left with a big candle that no longer does what it should.  But this is good because it saves having to buy wax.

I had already bought wick and little wicks with the metal on the end (like the ones you get in tea lights but with a slightly longer wick).  I also chose some red wax dye, being Christmas and all that.  I tried to do the candle using the little wicks with the metal on the end and carefully suck the metal to the base of my cup with sticky tack as advised by our local craft shop owner.  I did as she advised and added a little of my melted candle wax to the bottom of the cup and allowed it to set.  All well and good so far.


But that was as good as it got!  When the base wax had set I slowly added more wax to top it up to the desired level and the wick went all silly on me.  I tried holding the end of it but honestly I would have had to stand there until the cup full of wax set and I had no intention of doing that!  That idea was scrapped and I cleaned my effort out of the cup and started again with the length of wick I had bought and then things sailed along perfectly.

Before I list my How To here I would just point out that the little wicks with metal on the end worked out for me today making tiny candles (I attached the top of the wick to a pencil above the glass with a bit of sticky tack).  Clearly they don't work as well in a bigger container like my cup.

So, here it is: How to make a home made candle:

Before we begin, and this is VERY IMPORTANT: DO NOT HEAT THE WAX IN A SAUCEPAN OR IN A MICROWAVE.  The wax heats and does not throw out smoke as oil would and so it may overheat and explode into a blaze causing dreadful damage.

UTENSILS
~ A medium sized saucepan
~ A heatproof bowl that will sit on the top of the saucepan
~ A large metal spoon
~ A heatproof jug
~ Candle wax or an old candle
~ Candle wax dye if using
~ Wick
~ Sharp scissors
~ Sharp (small) knife
~ A pencil (preferable with ridges so that it doesn't move about on candle vessel.  If you haven't one a bit of sticky tack will hold a smooth pencil in place)
~ A utensil to set the candle in or a dish or cup and saucer if desired

METHOD

1.  Put boiling water in the saucepan and set the heatproof dish on the top of it (make sure it is not touching the water).

2.  Switch on the ring on the cooker below the saucepan to a low setting and allow the wax/candle to melt in the bowl.  (I put the whole candle in but you can chop up your old candle and put the bits in). By the way, if you are using an old candle cut the used (black) wick right in as far as you can before putting into the bowl so that you don't get black bits in the wax.


3.  While the wax is melting get your candle container ready.  Drop your wick into the cup and allow extra so that you can tie it onto the pencil still allowing the wick to go all the way down to the bottom of the cup.  Centre it above the cup as I have done in the picture to the left here.








4.  Keep an eye on the bowl and pan until the wax has melted.  Add the wax dye if using and stir in.  You don't need a lot of the wax dye and I just shaved bits of the block of it I had bought with a sharp knife and stopped when I had reached the shade I wanted.

5.  Scoop some of the hot wax into your small heatproof jug and carefully pour into the cup to nearly the top making sure you have enough room between the top of the wax and the knot in the wick (remember you will have to have enough wick to light once the knot is cut).








6.  Retain some of the hot wax in your bowl as when the wax in the cup sets, there will be a slight dip in the middle you will need to fill when it is set.

It will set in a couple of hours.






7.  Once set, gently pull the pencil from the knot of wick.  Hold the loop and cut just beneath it with sharp scissors.












Not too difficult at all eh?  Mind you, the MESS I made!



Wednesday, 8 August 2012

DAISY COTTAGE INSIDE AND OUT

This post is to gather together for the reader all the information about Daisy Cottage ~ inside and out.
Daisy Cottage Donegal
We have made every effort to make Daisy Cottage one of the best equipped and most comfortable holiday homes available and we place particular importance on making Daisy Cottage as child friendly as possible too.  Daisy Cottage is in the centre of a small Donegal village with shops, pubs and diner within a few steps from the front door of the house.  There are many sandy beaches nearby and you can read more about them on the link below here.

We supply our guests with comfortable beds with good quality matresses and pillows and the beds are freshly made up for your arrival.  We also supply bath sheets, hand towels and face/wash cloths for our guest.  Rental fees are listed at the bottom of this blog post.

So what is in Daisy Cottage?


DOWNSTAIRS/GROUND FLOOR

LIVING ROOM
The living room in Daisy Cottage

~ Open fire
~ Flat screen TV, DVD player and DVDs, CD player & CDs
~ Board games, books and wii console.









KITCHEN/DINER
The kitchen/diner of Daisy Cottage
The kitchen/diner is large, airy room measuring about 20 feet by 14 feet approximately and with one window to the front of the house plus a second window at the back looking out over the yard and garden.  In the room there are the following:

~ Large table to seat up to 12
~ Electric stove
~ Large side by side fridge/freezer which dispenses ice and chilled, filtered water
~ Electric ceramic hob & fan assisted oven
~ Dishwasher
~ Toaster (4 slice), kettle & microwave
~ Matching white dishes, cups & mugs
~ Large selection of glasses (wine, beer, Irish coffee, champagne, brandy etc.) & champagne bucket
~ Main course & starter cutlery & corn on the cob spikes
~ Serving dishes, baking dishes & trays
~ Granite worktops
~ Filter coffee maker, foamer (for cappuccino), coffee pot, cafetiere, teapots
~ Baking/cooking equipment including bowls, jugs, hand blender, electric mixer, sharp knives & colour coded chopping boards, electric vegetable/fish steamer,
~ Extras such as popcorn maker, toasted sandwich maker, salad spinner, cheese grater,
~ Large selection of cooking pots (with lids), frying pans, wok
~ Large selection of cooking utensils
~ Tin opener, bottle opener, wine opener

DOUBLE BEDROOM
Downstairs bedroom of Daisy Cottage

~ Double bed (with electric blanket)
~ Wardrobe, 2 bedside tables, 2 bedside lamps
~ En suite wet room with shower, loo, sink.  

Suitable for those with limited mobility as we have a shower seat and a grab rail at the side of the loo

Read more HERE




UTILITY AREA
~ Washing machine
~ Two tumble dryers
~ Clothes airer
~ Iron and ironing board
~ Outside washing line plus pegs

UPSTAIRS/FIRST FLOOR

MASTER BEDROOM 
The master bedroom in Daisy Cottage
The master bedroom in Daisy Cottage has a king size bed with electric blanket, a dressing table with large mirror, a chest of drawers, two bedside cabinets and two bedside lamps.  It also has an en suite with electric shower, loo and sink.










DOUBLE BEDROOM
With double bed, wardrobe, 2 bedside cabinets and 2 bedside lamps, chest of drawers.  En suite with electric shower, loo and wash hand basin.










TWIN BEDDED ROOM 
One of the twin bedded rooms in Daisy Cottage
With 2 single beds, wardrobe, chest of drawers, one bedside table and bedside lamp.












TWIN BEDDED ROOM 
The second twin bedded room in Daisy Cottage

With 2 single beds, wardrobe, 2 bedside cabinets and 2 bedside lamps











BATHROOM with bath, loo and wash hand basin

All of our bedroom wardrobes have at least 16 good quality wooden hangers and every bedroom has a high powered hair dryer.

OUTSIDE
Covered patio and garden of Daisy Cottage

~ Private parking for 2 cars (guests can also park at the front of the house)
~ Ramp into downstairs of property
~ Large, covered patio with tables and benches to seat up to 12
~ Large garden (adjoining the large patio) with trees
~ Small patio area with table and 2 chairs
~ BBQ (fuel for which can be bought in the village store a few steps away)


GAMES LOFT
Daisy Cottage Games Loft

~ Pool/air hockey table
~ Darts board
~ Football table










EXTRAS
~ Free broadband access
~ Laptop
~ ipod docking station
~ wii console
~ High powered hairdryer in each bedroom (5 in all)
~ Beach towels supplied
~ Fishing rods (2) plus landing net
~ Pop up tent for use in the garden or to keep babies protected from the sun on the beaches
~ Gold panning dishes (2)

FOR BABIES
~ Travel cots (2) (Guests bring their own bedding)
~ Pushchairs (2)
~ Sturdy high chair
~ Baby gates (for top and bottom of stairs)
~ Socket covers
~ Electric steam steriliser
~ Baby walker
~ Baby seat
~ Changing mat
~ Potty
~ Books
~ Plastic building blocks

FOR CHILDREN
~ Books, board games and DVDs
~ Blow up bed (bring your own sleeping bag)
~ Fold down bed (€20 extra to cover laundry and extra cost)
~ Kiddie baking set & cookie maker
~ Little aprons (2) for baking
~ Toys for the beach including buckets & spades & kite

We are totally child friendly in Daisy Cottage and you can read more HERE.  We can also arrange babysitters if required.

Daisy Cottage is located in the centre of a small village and in the village there is:

~ Village store (which sells fuel for the fire, wines, food, newspapers, etc)
~ Butchers shop (which sells homemade sausages, fresh eggs and very good steaks for the BBQ)
~ Four small pubs/bars one of which has live music twice a week
~ Hairdresser/barber
~ Florist
~ Post Office
~ Fishing supplies store
~ Diner/take away
~ Restaurant (at St. John's Point)
~ Car hire
~ Bus stops with buses runing regularly to Killybegs and Donegal Town
~ Taxi service

So mostly all our guests needs are within a few steps walk of Daisy Cottage.

There are many sandy beaches within minutes drive of Daisy Cottage and you can read more about our beaches HERE.

Dining out is a real pleasure in this area as there are plenty of restaurants, pub-diners, and cafes within minutes drive too.  In the village itself there is Baskins Diner which is hugely popular with both locals and visitors and serves real chips and fresh fish in batter along with all the other foods you would expect in a diner (they also do take-away).  Sarah Jessica Parker who has a holiday home in a nearby village called Baskins "The best fish and chip shop in Ireland".

Most of the restaurants source their food locally and so the standard is very high and seafood is usually fished off our own shores around Donegal.  Fresh fish can also be bought on the pier in nearby Killybegs.

So that's most of what is inside and out of Daisy Cottage!

WEEKLY RENT
~ July and August €800 per week
~ All other weeks of the year €700

SHORTER STAYS
Outside of July and August we offer shorter stays (minimum 2 nights) and the rent is as follows:
TWO nights using ONE bedroom (for 1 or 2 guests): €300
TWO nights using TWO bedrooms (for 3 or 4 guests): €350
TWO nights using THREE bedrooms (for 5 or 6 guests): €400
TWO nights using FOUR bedrooms (for 7 or 8 guests): €450
TWO nights using FIVE bedrooms (for 9 or 10 guests): €500

EXTRA nights are charged at €75 (up to a maximum of €700 outside of July and August).

BOOKING
A deposit of €200 is required with the balance due six weeks prior to arrival.  Deposit and balance can be paid by paypal, bank transfer, bank draft or cheque ~ whichever best suits our guest.
Email enquiries to: DaisyCottageDonegal@gmail.com 
Telephone: +353-74-9125942 or +353-87-6188340

PETS
By prior arrangement we allow well behaved pets and they must be house trained and fully inoculated.  Pets are NOT allowed into the bedrooms nor onto the furniture in the living room.  Guests must also undertake to clean up after their pets outside.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

GOLD PANNING

A new activity for guests has been added this year ~ gold panning!

It's great fun and something all the family can join in with and we even supply two gold panning dishes in Daisy Cottage.  (Extra ones can be bought in the village if wanted).

Here's a link to our day out gold panning: GOLD PANNING IN DONEGAL

Monday, 18 June 2012

BEACHES NEAR DAISY COTTAGE

I am often asked if there are beaches near Daisy Cottage and the answer is yes, there are quite a few! They are all beautiful sandy beaches, some small, some very large, many not generally known about by a lot of people from outside the area, and some are Blue Flag Beaches ("Beaches are awarded the Blue Flag based on compliance with 32 criteria covering the following: 1) Environmental Education and Information  2) Water Quality  3) Environmental Management  4) Safety and Services.  All Blue Flags are awarded for one season at a time.  If the criteria are not fulfilled during the season or the conditions change, the Blue Flag may be withdrawn." )


So in this post I am gathering together a number of beaches you can easily visit from Daisy Cottage.


NEARBY BEACHES


CORAL BEACH, St. John's Point
The Coral Beach, St. John's Point (at high tide)
The Coral Beach is a pretty little beach on the peninsula of St. John's Point which extends out into Donegal Bay from Dunkineely and Daisy Cottage.  The beach is a curve of pinkish sand and with a high tide can at times be fairly narrow and at low tide, wide.  There is limited parking along the edge of the beach.  The road along from the beach is popular with walkers who can walk all the way down to St. John's Point lighthouse.  To read more about the Coral Beach and view more photographs, click HERE.


INVER BEACH
Inver Beach (taken from the road to nearby Port)
Inver Beach is in the small hamlet of Inver about 5 km from Daisy Cottage on the Donegal Town road.  It is a real hidden gem and rarely has many people on it.  Guest of Daisy Cottage who have been there just love it and love the fact that at times they have the beach to themselves.  There is a small bar in the hamlet called "The Rising Tide".  There is also the ruins of an old church and a surrounding graveyard, now no longer used, but with some very nice old gravestones (for those, like me, who are interested in such things).  There is a small pier where boats can be tied up.  


MOUNTCHARLES BEACHES
Mountcharles Pier and seats
The village of Mountcharles is about an 8 minute drive from Daisy Cottage and often times visitors to the village don't realise there is a beautiful shore road walk, pier and two sandy beaches at the bottom of the hill through the village.  This means that it is rarely very busy down there other than with locals who know how beautiful it is.  Guests can park either near the pier and use the small beach there or park at the start of the shore road walk and use the small sandy beach there.  Guests to Daisy Cottage can also fish off the pier if they wish (we supply two fishing rods plus a landing net in Daisy Cottage).
To read more about Mountcharles and view more photographs, click HERE.


FINTRA BEACH, Killybegs
Fintra Beach, Killybegs
On the far side of Killybegs, about 9 km from Daisy Cottage is Fintra beach.  The road down to the beach offers absolutely stunning views of the beach and Donegal Bay as far as Benbulben mountain in County Sligo.  There is a car park beside the beach and a few steps down to it from the car park.  To read more about Fintra beach and view more photographs, click HERE.  Fintra beach is a Blue Flag beach 2012.


BEACHES A LITTLE FURTHER AWAY


A little further away from Daisy Cottage than those beaches above but nonetheless still within a short driving time, there are numerous other sandy beaches including:


MURVAGH BEACH
Murvagh Beach, Donegal Town
Murvagh Beach is just past Donegal Town on the Ballyshannon road and about 15 minutes drive from Daisy Cottage.  It is a large sandy beach with a forest backdrop which is a conservation area.  There is car parking beside the beach and for those interested in golf, Murvagh Golf Course is nearby.


ROSSNOWLAGH BEACH
Rossnowlagh Beach
Rossnowlagh Beach, about a twenty minute drive from Daisy Cottage, on the other side of Donegal Town, is one of the largest beaches in Donegal.  It is a vast expanse of sandy beach measuring over 4 miles long so an ideal beach for people who enjoy a walk.  It is also a beach used by surfers and there is a surf shop in the village.  A little trivia: when Woody Allen and Mia Farrow were together they often holidayed in the hotel beside the beach.  Rossnowlagh Beach is a Blue Flag Beach 2012.


THE SILVER STRAND, Malinbeg

Silver Strand, Malinbeg
The Silver Strand at Malinbeg is a spectacular beach on a horseshoe cove.  The only downside to it is that there are many steps down (and back up!) to it.  If you don't mind that, then it is definitely a beach worth visiting.  There is a large car park at the top of the steps.


NARIN BEACH
Narin Beach
Narin beach, a short distance from Ardara (which is 17 km from Daisy Cottage is yet another large sandy beach.  There is an island off Narin, Inniskeel, which can be walked to at low tide.  (IMPORTANT: if you are doing this you MUST ask locally the best way to get there and the best times).  On the island there is an old graveyard where one of the tombstones has a cross and skulls.  For the golfers, Narin and Portnoo Golf Course is nearby.


A LITTLE FURTHER BUT WELL WORTH THE EXTRA DRIVE


CRUIT ISLAND
One of the twelve sandy beaches on Cruit Island
Cruit Island is a small island approached by a bridge.  It is about an hour's drive from Daisy Cottage but well worth a visit as it is so very beautiful.  It has 12 sandy beaches ~ most with not a soul on them.  For those interested, you can walk (at low tide) from Cruit to the little church where the singer Daniel O'Donnell married his Majella.  For those interested in golf, there is Cruit Island (9 hole) Golf Course there.  And maybe even take the short boat trip to the neaby island of Owey.  Click HERE to read my blog post on our trip to Owey Island.


So there you have it, just some of the beautiful beaches waiting for you in south/s.w. Donegal!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

CHILD FRIENDLY DAISY COTTAGE

Daisy Cottage, being a family home, is a place where children are always welcome.  We strive to make it is easy as possible for parents to holiday in Daisy Cottage with their children from babies up. 

Children are always welcome in Daisy Cottage
We know from our own experience all the paraphernalia that must be taken when going anywhere with babies and toddlers.  Even the shortest journey involves a lot of carrying so a holiday of course requires much more and this is why we try to have most of what parents need for their children already in Daisy Cottage for their arrival and to lessen the load carried by them to holiday with us.

We can offer, on request, a travel cot and a push chair/stroller.  The travel cot fits easily into the master bedroom but can also be put in either of the other two doubles or one of the twin bedded rooms.

Other things we offer in Daisy Cottage, on request and totally free of charge (are the travel cot and stroller), are:

HIGH CHAIR


When choosing the highchair for Daisy Cottage we were very aware of the need for a highchair that was extremely sturdy and easily cleaned and so when we saw the Rubbermaid one with it's wide leg base (making it less likely to topple over), and it's strength and it's easy to keep clean surfaces together with no nooks and crannies where little items of food might get trapped, we had found the perfect highchair for Daisy Cottage.  After each baby guest leaves we scrub it down in the shower in the wet room and leave it to dry in the fresh air outside thereby ensuring it is pristine for our next baby guest.

BABY GATES

Baby gates for the bottom of the stairs ...

... and baby gates for the top of the stairs
Obviously, Daisy Cottage having stairs, baby gates were an absolute necessity and we can fit our baby gates on request.  We can also remove them quickly when people without children with them are staying.  We have a gate for the bottom of the stairs and a gate for the top of the stairs.  At the top there are another few steps on the return but the space between the wall and the banister is too wide for a gate but it has never been a problem as there are just the few steps and there is a landing below them and then the top gates.

BABY SEAT

Comfortable baby seat for tiny guests in Daisy Cottage
Our little baby seat is perfect for your child to relax beside you.  It is slightly padded and fairly large and has a safety belt fitted.  The covering comes off completely, ensuring it is always kept clean for each new baby guest.

BABY/CHILD PLATES, CUPS AND CUTLERY

Colourful little dishes for babies and young children in Daisy Cottage
In Daisy Cottage we have a range of little plates, cups and cutlery for babies and young children.  These are safe and clean for young guests and almost unbreakable.  We also have lots of plastic beakers which are perfect for either drinking juices outdoors in Daisy Cottage ~ or even indoors ~ and great for taking to the beach as the stack easily.

ELECTRIC STEAM STERILISER

Electric steam steriliser
We all know how important it is to keep baby bottles, soothers and dishes as clean and germ free as possible and anyone with a baby knows just how bulky a steriliser can be to pack in for a holiday and so we have one at your disposal in Daisy Cottage.  It is light and quick and easy to use and with ample space inside to steriliser a number of items at one time.

CHANGING MAT

Comfortable changing mat in Daisy Cottage
To make changing nappies somewhat more comfortable for babies, we supply a padded mat.  The mat is vinyl covered and therefore easy to keep clean and safe for your baby.

BABY WALKER

Whizzing about in Daisy Cottage!
Daisy Cottage, with it's spacious and tiled kitchen/diner and hallway is the perfect place for a baby to let off a little steam and get about quickly in the baby walker we supply.  The walker is sturdy, with a very wide base, and easy to fold down when not in use.  The top of the walker has little knobs and buttons to press to keep baby entertained and the padded seat and surround is comfortable and easily cleaned.

PLUG SOCKET COVERS

Keeping little children safe in Daisy Cottage
Every parent knows that little fingers find the most dangerous places to probe ~ electric sockets being one of them.  We supply a box of 12 of them for parents to fit wherever they see fit and yes, they are not heavy nor bulky but we supply them as they are just one more thing our parent guests need not worry about packing.

EVEN A POTTY!
Potty Daisy Cottage!!!
We like to go the extra mile in Daisy Cottage and of course having that ethos meant we just had to have a little potty for our baby guests.  The potty is very sturdy and has a wide base and is easily cleaned.

ENTERTAINING BABIES AND CHILDREN IN DAISY COTTAGE

We supply lots of relaxation and entertainment things for our adult guests (DVDs, CDs, books, board games, a games loft, etc.) so why not for baby/child guests too?  Even on holiday, children get bored and we supply some bits and pieces to alleviate those times when a child wants to be entertained.  For older children we have a wii console and for younger guests we supply:

BUILDING BLOCKS

Colourful building blocks in Daisy Cottage
We know from experience that all children just love colourful building blocks and of course had to have these in Daisy Cottage.  From babies up they seem fascinated with attaching the colourful bricks and trying to build something, often the most bizarre things!  Our building bricks are in a large zipped bag and can be tipped out onto the floor for a child to enjoy and then gathered up and placed back in the bag so they are out of sight once not needed.  The added attraction with these building blocks is that they are easily washable and so can be kept clean for all our baby/child guests.

LITTLE COOKS

Daisy Cottage ... perfect for budding cooks and chefs!
Our little cooks basket holds two pretty red and white polka dot aprons which are easily wiped clean, a cookie making set complete with instructions and lots of different fittings for different shaped cookies, two tiny whisks, heart shaped and star shaped cake dishes, biscuit cutters in all sorts of shapes including letters and animals, colourful tiny jelly moulds, and a little recipe book for cupcakes.  We know previous guest which young children really loved having these items and reported back that their children had just loved having items tiny enough for their hands and we hope future guests with children will make full use of them.

BATS AND BALLS


The enclosed and private walled garden of Daisy Cottage is the perfect place for little guests to enjoy a game with bats and balls and so we leave them there for all our little guests to enjoy.  The village store always has a selection of colourful bats and balls too so you can buy extra should you need the.

CARD GAMES

Card games in Daisy Cottage
On holiday it is a great time to get back to some old fashioned family interaction and what better way than a game of Snap sitting around the large table in the kitchen/diner of Daisy Cottage.  The children will love it and in truth, at least for the first oh, five or six games, most adults will too. 

BOOKS AND DVDs

A selection of the childrens' books and DVDs in Daisy Cottage
Children love a story at bedtime and so we have a number of books in Daisy Cottage for you to read to them.  We also have a selection of some of the most popular childrens' DVDs which can be watched either in the living room or in the kitchen/diner thereby giving the parent the freedom to decide where the children will sit to watch their DVDs.  Maybe while you are cooking you would gather them around the kitchen table and let them watch a DVD to let you get on with whatever you need to do.  On our sky TV we have the Kids Channel which shows all their favourite shows.

BEACH TOYS

Happy beach days in Donegal
There are many sandy beaches near Daisy Cottage and so it is only right that we have a big box of beach toys for our little guests.  The box, which is lidded and can easily be transported from Daisy Cottage to your beach of choice, is filled with buckets, spades, forks, a little tipper truck and other bits and bobs for children to make the very most of our beautiful Donegal beaches.

We supply beach towels in Daisy Cottage to save you carrying them to holiday here and we have now also added a pop up tent.  This can be used for playing in the private, walled garden of Daisy Cottage but more importantly it can be taken to the beach and used as a shaded place for baby out of the sun or to have a quiet, undisturbed snooze.

BABYSITTING

The village bars are child friendly too and welcome little ones during the day and early evening but there may be nights when you want a child-free night out, let us know in advance and we can arrange a local babysitter for you.  The fee for babysitting is between you and the babysitter and we take no % from the babysitter.  The village bars are child friendly too and welcome little ones during the day and early evening

So, that's our child friendly Daisy Cottage!  If there is anything vital missing, we would very much appreciate hearing from you with your suggestions.  You can email us at daisycottagedonegal @gmail.com (don't forget to close the space after daisycottagedonegal and before @gmail.com!).

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

EATING OUT ~ BASKINS CAFE, DUNKINEELY

In the village of Dunkineely and only a two minute walk from Daisy Cottage is probably one of the busiest little diner/take-aways in Donegal.  The ever popular Baskins Cafe is a family run business which has been feeding the people of the area together with many of the visitors, for many years now.

Baskins Cafe, Dunkineely

The only day Baskins Cafe is quiet is a Sunday, the only day they close.We drive past there at various times of the day and evening coming and going to Daisy Cottage and every time there are customers, which isn't at all bad, especially in the current economy.

Yesterday we were in Daisy Cottage: my husband doing some work, fixing part of the terrace which had been damaged in recent high winds and me taking lots of photographs of all the equipment and extras we have in the house for our baby and child guests.  One of our friends from the village dropped by for a cup of coffee and as we were chatting we got around to chatting about Baskins ~ which planted the seed in my head for later, fish and chips before we headed back home.

So later, work and photography done, we locked up and walked over to Baskins.  For the first time ever, we were lucky enough to arrive and the place not busy which gave me the perfect opportunity to get a shot of the interior without disturbing other diners.

Baskins
As usual the service was quick and friendly ~ it doesn't matter which member of staff you are served by in Baskins, each one is a friendly as the other.  I ordered one fish and chips, one plate of chips and tea, bread and butter for two.  I love this old fashioned style "tea" now and again.  The reason I ordered just one fish and chips and one plate of chips is that the portions are so large that you get two large bits of fish per portion so we shared that. 

The fish they serve is fresh, real fish, none of that frozen pre-prepared stuff here.  Yesterday the fish was haddock but it varies with what is available any day.  And the chips, as you might expect with fresh fish, are real potatoes cup and fried by Baskins in Baskins.  Their fish and chips is obviously one of the reasons the place is so busy.

However, they have another secret weapon I hear spoken of ~ their chicken kebab.  Now neither of us eat kebabs but now and then in pubs in the village you will hear people talking about Baskins chicken kebabs.  I overheard a conversation one night between a group of lads and smiled when I heard one of them, talking about some take-away he had gone into on holiday somewhere.  He said "their chicken kebab was bigger than Baskins!".  Now were I a script writer, at this juncture I would have had the entire bar fall into stunned silence.  I'm not, and it didn't but the guys in the conversation all expressed surprise at this news.  A bigger chicken kebab than Baskins ... somewhere!  Mind you, it is not only locals who speak highly of Baskins.  Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband Matthew Broderick have a holiday home a few miles away and SJP apparently called Baskins the best fish and chip shop in Ireland.   

I notice too in our guest book in Daisy Cottage, Baskins often gets a mention.  Here's a couple of examples: "Pubs in town were great and fish and chips from Baskins were yummy." and: "Macs Bar is an unreal wee pub and Baskins Cafe is so nice, the food is amazing."

Before our food arrived, people started arriving in and by the time it arrived, the place was filling up nicely.  As usual there was a run of people calling to collect pre-ordered food ~ Baskins let you ring in your order which is then ready for collection when you call.

Baskins perfect fish and chips!
Our food arrived and we tucked in.  As usual the batter was crispy and perfect and inside perfectly cooked haddock, steaming hot and super tasty.  For me lashings of vinegar enhanced the already great chips and like two hungry hounds, we polished off the lot, me showing super table manners by mopping up some vinegar left on my plate with a triangle of bread and butter.  The perfect, old fashioned "tea".

DETAILS

For one fish and chips, one plate of chips and tea, bread and butter for two we paid €14.70

Together with fish and chips they also serve burgers (from €2 for a "regular bun burger" to €5.80 for a "double quarter pounder with cheese and bacon", chicken kiev (€3.70).  There are various other chicken dishes too.  There are a choice of "Specials" which includes "Steak Special" (peppered steak served with sauteed onions and peas €9.50), scampi (€4.20), steak and kidney pie (€2.20) and their kebabs (doner or chicken) are €4.70. 

They also do an all day breakfast type dish called a "Fry Special" which consists of 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausages, 2 eggs, sauteed onions, beans and chips and this comes in at €6.90.  I have seen this served on earlier visits and it is HUGE.  We have had the smaller breakfast (without the onions, chips and beans and the extra egg) and it is still plenty, believe me!

OPENING HOURS: Monday ~ Saturday 12 noon until 11.30 pm

CONTACT
Baskins Cafe, Main Street, Dunkineely  TEL: +353-749737340