Bank Holiday Dining

Bank Holiday Dining

May Bank Holiday dining is all about relaxed food with minimal effort. We’re supposed to be celebrating the start of the summer, no more slaving over a hot stove, etc.

It’s time to get so laid back in the cooking department this weekend you’re almost horizontal. We’ve got a few ideas for casual dining early summer dishes that will feed the gang without a whole load of effort.

But first, let's get this party started!


We have a few nifty cocktails to kick things off this weekend. Get ready to become a mixologist in your own home!

Rhubarb Martinis
First up, Rhubarb Martinis from Ballyvolane House. This recipe uses vodka, but Ballyvolane now makes Bertha’s Revenge Milk Gin, which you can also use here. Seasonal rhubarb is plentiful now for the syrup.

Scarlet Harlet
A great recipe from Malcom and Fiona Falconer of Wild About. Scarlet Harlets are made with Wild About Raspberry Syrup and a decent measure of white rum or vodka. Yummy.

Bank Holiday Dining

Wild Mojito
Also from Wild About, a fantastic Mojito made with Raspberry, Nettle or Rhubarb Syrup, light rum and soda water, flavoured with mint leaves. Decidely summery.

Raspberry Wish
Use Wild About Raspberry Syrup topped up with sparkling wine, Prosecco or even Champagne, for a very delightful and graceful fizzy Raspberry Wish cocktail. Champagne flutes are a must for this. Looks lovely with a fresh berry floating in each glass.

Beer and/or cider is also good to have in the chill box over Bank Holiday. Check out or craft beers and cider makers here.


If your barbecue is still a 2017 virgin, it’s time to light her fire! May Bank holiday is the traditional weekend to delve deep into the back of the shed, dig out the barbie and dust her off for another season of outdoor cooking. Be a firebug this weekend!

Here are a few recipes perfect for the coals:

Marinated Barbecued and Smoked Irish Salmon. Sounds like a mouthful, and we can promise it delivers a mouthful of taste! From the chefs at Burren Smokehouse. Delicious.

Chilli Beef Burger with Chilli Jam comes from Donegal Rapeseed Oil’s recipe collection. The recipe states cooking your burgers conventionally in a pan but you can use the barbecue just as easy.

Chilli Beef Burger from Donegal Rapseed Oil

Homemade beef burger with Ballymaloe Relish is a little video instruction on creating great burgers with this all time favourite relish as a flavouring.  In the video, the burgers are cooked in a pan, but again, they work very well on the barbecue too.

Butterfly Leg of Lamb with Raita is a great crowd pleaser from the barbie. Follow Tara Walker of the East Coast Cookery School’s easy recipe and you’ll be wowing the folks this weekend. This recipe contains pomegranate, which is out of season now. So choose passionfruit or even chopped fresh ripe pink grapefruit segments instead.


We’ve got some great salads to compliment your barbecue. Try these:

Potato Salad Ballymaloe Relish Dressing – Classic Irish

Roasted Nectarine Buffalo Mozzarella Walnut Rocket Pesto from Dublin Cookery School – Mediterranean chic

Blackcurrant, Coriander & Tomato and Salad – colourful and zingy

Superfood Salad – energizing!

Bank Holiday Dining


After the savoury comes the sweet! This delicate Lime & Basil Posset, Strawberries and Shortbread from The Butler’s Pantry can also be made with seasonal rhubarb this time of year, when Irish strawberries are not quite ready. We’ve seen a few very early ones but they are few and far between! So go with the rhubarb and think pink!

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