Fathers Days may have come and gone, but my trip to Strandfield is still fresh in my mind. I had been meaning to write this post closer to Fathers Day however there's been a few things keeping me busy this end; so but I am finally getting around to it. I remember having lunch in the Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill in my hometown of Drogheda a few months back, when Jeni; its owner mentioned to me about this amazing place near Carlingford called Strandfield. It had been on my mind for several months and staying up in Drogheda the weekend of Fathers Day, I decided that the time was right to give this place a go.
Jumping in the car we made our way up the M1, taking exit number eighteen, following the directions to Carlingford. Taking the first exit on the right, its clearly signposted so there shouldn't be any issues finding your way there. A long driveway leads to a rustic, farmyard setting and you are met with a vast selection of flowers and shrubbery that immediately sets the tone for what awaits you inside.
We first entered the grocery section, which also houses the florist's. The grocers was full of all the delicious organic fresh fruit, vegetables and produce one would expect from a setting such as Strandfield. On the particular day that we visited there was a vast array of seasonal organic fruit such as flat peaches, organic violet garlic and ripe avocados (perfect for smearing over freshly toasted sourdough).
Considering we were all quite hungry, we made our way into the cafe section of the building and joined the hustle and bustle which was contained, away from the tranquility of the grocery store. Similar to The Fumbally in Dublin, you order and pay at the counter and then grab yourself a table. On the day we visited the line didn't seem to move for quite some time and I wasn't sure if that was due to the staff being slow on the till or that customers were having a tough time choosing what to order. On a positive note, it gave us the opportunity to look at all the cakes and baked goods that covered the counter top. It was hard not to smell the pear scones, freshly baked brown bread and apple pies on offer, they smelled divine, as if straight out of the oven.
I ordered the French Toast with natural yogurt, maple syrup and mixed seasonal berries. It was sensational. An exercise in how a plate of French Toast should be executed. Sticky and sweet, the bread was perfectly caramelised and the yogurt and berries were perfect for cutting through this richness. Mum ordered the daily special, which was smashed avocado on toast with beetroot and a poached egg. While Dad ordered the lentil stew which had a great kick due to the fresh chilli that was sprinkled on top.
We all ordered coffees and I was delighted to see that the young guy on the machine knew what he was doing. It reaffirmed that these guys are clearly passionate about the food and drink they are serving and it clearly showed in every facet of our meal. We finished off with a single slice of apple pie with fresh cream. It was the type of apple pie that your Nana would have made and it had the crumbliest pastry I'd ever tasted.
Its not somewhere I think I'll be for a while (due to its location), but I've developed a real fondness for Strandfield and I look forward to returning again. I highly recommend you take the trip up the M1 and give it a go yourself. I don't think you'll be disappointed.