Sunday, October 27, 2013

Áras an Uachtaráin

Apologies for the major hiatus this month. You would think that finishing my Master's thesis (and college altogether) would bring some serenity but every day this month has been jam-packed! I've been to Northern Ireland for a residential camp, I've had job interviews, presented a paper based on my thesis at the International Committee of the Red Cross annual conference, and oh, I just visited the President, as you do... 

Since I was a member of Team Ireland at the First Aid Convention of Europe last summer, I was invited to attend a reception at Áras an Uachtaráin. (This also entailed wearing a not-so-flattering uniform, you've been warned!)

What exactly do you eat at the Áras? Well to start with a mini-pint of Guinness, a glass of wine, or orange juice cleanses the palette before aperitifs. The savoury nibbles were delicately assembled from bruscetta to miniature cones filled with pesto and olives to curry marinaded chicken on skewers. Everything was painstakingly arranged and presented on an artist's easel (very cute!)

I'll be honest, I didn't have many aperitifs- there were desserts to be had!Miniature scones were stuffed with clotted cream and a sheath of raspberry- afternoon tea at it's best!

Wafer-thin vanilla pod speckled shortbread was cut into leaf shapes. Wow! Definitely the best shortbread I have ever tasted!! It was so delicate but packed a serious punch- sublime!

My personal favourite had to be the teeny chocolate cups, piped full of chocoalte mousse, sprinkled with glittered lustre dust. So intricate and decadent!

Obviously tea was had (it is Ireland after all) in pristine fine bone China cups with the Irish Harp gilt on the edge, also emblazoned upon the napkins.

Here's a great shot with my sister and President Michael D. Higgins!

The building itself was beautiful, and its esteemed residents charming. The experience bordered upon the bizarre and other-worldly but was impossible to forget!

Stay tuned for some fab Halloween recipes!

Stay sweet! x