Father Ted & Co The Dinner show

Barry is a massive fan of Father Ted so for Christmas, his sister Clara bought us tickets to see a Father Ted & Co show at the Grand Opera House. I’d never been to a dinner at the Opera House so I wasn’t sure how it would work, particularly because of the interactive nature of the show.

So, off we went on St Patricks Day to experience the parody dining experience! When we arrived we were treated to a wine reception in the bar before we heard lots of shouting and commotion. I turned round to see none other than “Father Ted” and “Mrs Doyle” walking around the crowd, joking, taking the mickey out of people and of course, offering cups of tea! From that moment on, I knew this would be no ordinary show!

It was then time to be called into the auditorium, where we spotted the body of “Father Jack” lying in the middle of the room. Suddenly I was chosen as one of the ladies who were made to sit beside and ‘mind’ the body! I had no idea what was going on, but for about ten minutes five of us sat in mourning, and were scolded by Mrs Doyle if we let out a giggle! I think this really set the theme for the night!

So it was back to my seat for dinner- a three course meal was on the cards. For starters we had home-made butternut squash soup, for mains we got chicken wrapped in bacon served on a bed of mash with green beans, and for dessert we were treated to white chocolate cheesecake. The meal was lovely, particularly the cheesecake, but I think you were constantly aware that you could have been pulled away from your dinner at any time (and really, for any reason!)

In between courses, there were things like a singing competition, Irish dancing and a raffle, as well as the performers interacting with each table. At one point I turned round and Barry was being lifted up on the air by Father Dougal! Why? I honestly have no idea!

It was funny, it was wild and it was a bit mad! I think if you let yourself go with the flow, you came away entertained and baffled in equal measures!

The body of Father Jack

Father Ted

Father Dougal and Mrs Doyle

Father Jack and Barry

Barry and Father Dougal

Eoin and the priests!

 

A night of comedy and weekend in Donegal

This week I attended an old favourite, the Empire, for its weekly Comedy Club. I have to admit, despite the many times I’d been in the bar for food or a night out, I’d never been to the Tuesday comedy evening. It’s hosted by either Colin Murphy or Jake O’Kane every week, with slots from various different acts including the brilliant Micky Bartlett, Ron Vaudry and Ruairi Woods to name just a few! We were treated to Colin Murphy as our MC and even had Eleanor Tiernan who I subsequently found out is Tommy Tiernan’s cousin! (Well there you go!) A great night if you’re wanting a good bit of craic in a nice relaxed bar!

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Empire Belfast

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Colin Murphy

On Thursday we headed to Spice Indian restaurant in Templepatrick. There was 13 of us, so a big crowd to cater for, but having been with this same large group this time last year, we knew the food was going to be top notch! A great deal meant we all got 2 courses and a glass of wine for just £12.95 each. (It was a special ‘deal’ menu with about 5 or 6 different starters and mains to choose from but a good mix.) I selected the Aloo Tikki for starter which is a fried flat potato mixed with Indian spices and mint chutney, and for mains, I chose the Chicken Kurchan which is sliced chicken tossed in mixed peppers, tomatoes and onion, crushed black pepper and finished with coriander. Delicious! I’m not too good with extremely spicy food so this was perfect for me- just a little kick! Everyone really enjoyed the meal so no doubt we’ll be back in the not too distant future.

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Starter selection from Spice Templepatrick

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Starter selection from Spice Templepatrick

Finally, I took the day off work on Friday as myself and Barry headed up to Belleek for a wedding followed by a reception in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal. We decided to make a weekend of it and stayed in Ardara (about 25 minutes outside Donegal town.) Our hotel was the Nesbitt Arms which is right in the middle of the main street. To be fair, Ardara is a wee small town so there really only is the main street! It’s a homely hotel with a busy bar/restaurant. We had booked with a Groupon deal which consisted of 2 nights’ bed, breakfast, €15 dinner credit and a glass of wine each for just £73! Sure you couldn’t beat it! It had been a while since we had headed away for the weekend, so we wanted it to be fairly relaxed- which it was. It was great to get away and see what Donegal has to offer!

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Ardara, Donegal

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Ardara