Sweets in West Clare and Cookbook Signings

I’ve been pretty busy lately!  As I mentioned, I spent a weekend in West Clare and I’ve been doing a bit of a tour of various book signings (as you’ll know if you read my blog, I’m kind of obsessed with cookbooks and so I’m always eager to attend a cookbook signing).

So just so you can follow my recommendations, I thought I’d let you know some of the particularly lovely foods and places that I’ve been lately.

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Doolin, a popular surfing spot, is the home of The Doolin Chocolate Shop, an outlet for Wilde Irish Chocolates.  Clara (Beardy Boyfriend’s sister) was telling me that she’s really enjoyed their stall in Dublin.  Clara loaded up on their artisan chocolate bars while I tried one of their chocolate kebabs (chocolate covered marshmallows on a kebab stick, doused in sprinkles.)  It was absolutely delicious and if you’re in West Clare and a chocolate fan (and really, who isn’t?), I’d make sure to call back.

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We also bought some Wilde fudge in the chocolate shop of Lahinch, another Clare surfing area.

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Definitely worth snarfing down if you’re in Clare!  This week, I went to two book signings as well: the first was to the book launch of John Whaite (winner of last year’s Great British Bake Off) at Waterstones Piccadilly for his new book, John Whaite Bakes.  I’ll be reviewing the book over the next several week, but I found the Q&A session to be really interesting.  He was obviously asked about the Bake-Off (it seems to have been very enjoyable but very intense, but Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry become a lot less intimidating as you get to know them).  He’s currently working on a course in patisserie from Cordon Bleu and hopes to run his own cake shop, but remains really committed to the idea that anyone can bake – with a good recipe and the right ingredients.

What I liked most about him was how down to earth he seemed.  Very friendly, very approachable, and seemed to just be a very genuinely nice person.  I was very nervous meeting him, but he was so kind and set me right at ease!  He did say he wasn’t the biggest fan of cupcakes, however (so on that, we’ll have to disagree!)

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In a further theme of Great British Bake-Off  books, Mary Berry was signing copies of an updated version of her classic cookbook, At Home (a British baking classic, even for people like me, who are absolutely terrified of the Aga!) at Waterstones High Street Kensington.  She didn’t do a Q&A session (which was disappointing), but I had really enjoyed her at the Taste of Christmas Festival (she’s very easy with the crowd) and so it was so exciting to get to meet her.  Embarrassingly, however, I totally froze…she had to ask me if I wanted her to sign my book!

2013-04-20 12.56.15Something tells me we will not be collaborating any time soon!

I’ve also been working away on stuff for Food Blogger Connect, the annual London blogging conference.  I’m really excited to be helping out with their website and hearing about all the cool workshops they’ll be having.  If you’re not currently registered, I’d definitely think about booking in for the weekend – it’s going to be a great learning experience?

So what has everyone else been up to foodwise?

 

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