Monday, 21 April 2008

A Crafty Lunch, Dachshunds & Ponies

After leaving Rossnowlagh on Saturday afternoon we made our way back to Donegal Town for lunch. Along the road in a field to my left I spotted some cute little ponies but as himself was starving, stopping to see the ponies was not an option. Well, at that moment anyway, but I knew of course I'd get back to them later. Of course I chose not to share this knowledge with himself just then. So, undecided where to eat we thought we would see what the cafe in the Craft Village had to offer.

The Craft Village is just on the fringe of Donegal Town and was set up in 1985 to lease units to local artists to make, display and sell their works. There are units with crafts such as bog oak carvings, paintings, hand woven clothing, jewellery and so on but we were there to dine not shop so we quickly dragged ourselves away from the window displays and found the cafe, Aroma.

It was busy when we arrived but we were greeted straight away with a friendly welcome and offered seating on one of the high stools or perhaps share a table with someone. Not being budgies we opted for the share a table option. Our waitresses asked a man dining alone if he minded sharing and he graciously agreed. The place is very clean and welcoming and all food is made on the premises - and I had a quick peak into the open kitchen and am glad to report that that too is clean. The cafe sells a variety of breads, scones, and other delictibles to take home too. And, deservedly, they got a good write up in the Bridgestone Guide.

We were brought glasses of water immediately and sipped these while checking out the blackboard menu. Lots on offer, with all main courses coming in at €11.50 which is perhaps expensive for lunch but it turned out to be worth every cent.

Himself had the "Oven baked chimichanga with spicy mince topped with tomato salsa, cheddar, served with basmati rice and sour cream" and declared it good - not as spicy as we would make ourselves, but still very tasty and filling. I opted for the "Asparagus and avocado salad with honey & mustard dressing with brown bread". I counted at least 6 different leaf varieties in my salad all coated with a tangy honey mustard grain dressing. The asparagus was fresh and perfectly cooked and the salad was scattered with cherry tomatoes and red onions along with slivers of creamy avocado. Delicious.
While we were waiting to pay I noticed the waitress delivering two paninis to another couple of diners and the presentation looked excellent - the panini cut in half and overlapping on the plate which also had a fresh salad accompanying the panini. The bill for our two meals, one cappuccino, one large sparkling water and one large still water came to €31.50. And we'll definately be back.

Outside the cafe on the way back to the car we met a collegue of himselfs who had also attended the course in Rossnowlagh that morning. He and his wife were heading to their holiday home in Portnoo, another beautiful beach area. They have long kept Dachshund dogs and they proudly introduced us to their furry family of two gorgeous, red, long haired Dachsunds and the little old lady of Dachshunds who is the grand old age of 16 years and looks very delicate and they told us is treated like an invalid with every comfort offered her in her golden years.

Into the car again and himself assumed we were heading to Daisy Cottage and that area but first I had to get back to see the ponies! Satisfied by the hearty lunch he agreed on this mission and was reasonably happy to comply. Until that is we ended up driving for miles and miles trying to find the field of ponies again. Eventually I spotted them and we pulled over and got out, me with camera in hand. How glad was I to see not only the ponies but the cutest little foal too.

The ponies were obviously curious about these two humans crawling under barbed wire and stumbling over the lumpy ground to see them and came cantering down their field for a closer inspection. I was so sorry I hadn't thought to buy some carrots to bring - they were so friendly, pushing their little heads forward to nuzzle up. The mare and her foal approached too but more hesitantly and did not come near enough for us to pet, a good mother protecting her baby. I reluctantly bade them farewell and we continued on our journey

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