Surf Cafe Living by Jane and Myles Lamberth is a lovely book which was recently sent to Erisea magazine for us to review. After leafing through the pages, which include home decorating tips as well as recipes for delicious food, we decided to have a chat with Jane and Myles to find out a bit more about what influenced them and the book.
And at the weekend we’ll be sharing some of the delicious recipes from the book, so come back and take a look then.
What made you both decide to settle in Strandhill, and how long have you been there now Jane?
It’s the kind of place that once you visit it, you just have to be there. It is so beautiful and surrouned by amazing surf and rolling hills. We felt drawn to it as a place but also needed the right opportunity to live there. Luckily for us that came up. We got our hands on a cafe situated right on the ocean. Between the amazing opportunity to own a cafe on the beach and the lifestyle attached to living in a strong community with great outdoor lifestyle the choice was easy. We have been there 5 years now and haven’t looked back.
Obviously the weather’s quite different in Ireland from South Africa – do you ever miss the regular sunshine Myles?
Oh for sure. I have adjusted to the erratic climate here. Sunshine one minute and rain the next. It is worth it for the surf. But I miss the guaranteed sunshine and the strong heat. One of my favourite places in the worlds is the Namib Dessert- so you can probably tell I like dry heat which doesn’t exist in Ireland. I just make sure we take good holidays and get my fix that way.
In your book Surf Life Living, there’s a gorgeous recipe for Koeksisters which we are desperate to try – do you have much South African influence in the dishes you make Myles?
I think everywhere I lived has influenced the flavours and styles of my cooking. any time I go home the first thing I do is buy a sticky sweet Koeksister and sit by the surf and gobble it up. That’s why I put it in there. In Shells Cafe we use this awesome local honey which is like nothing I ever tasted before. I knew it would be perfect on this dish- so it just HAD to go in.
You clearly make the most of lots of local produce in your recipes, including local honey. What’s been the best local ingredient or product you have discovered?
Well that’s funny, I should have read this question first. One of the biggest things for us is fresh free range eggs. We get them minutes after they are laid. Working with eggs that fresh really enhances our breakfast dishes. Also Sligo has great shell fish- we recently did Sligo Lobster Eggs Benedict as a Sunday Brunch Special and wow did that taste good.
For me food is about quality and flavour- you really get that from using local, fresh products and artisan producers that love the quality of their produce over their bottom line profits. They are the people we work with and it pays
Myles, as a South African, what’s the biggest quirk of Ireland (food or not) that you just can’t get your head around?!
The talking! All the time. There is never a silence when you are sitting with a group of Irish. That said they have a great sense of humour. I don’t think I have laughed so much anywhere else.
In your book you make several recommendations about places to stay locally and things to do – what would be your top tip for people who are thinking of making a trip to the area?
Top Tip- is to come! You won’t regret it!
Start in the Strandhill Lodge and Suites- high end super comfortable accommodation with views to the sea.Enjoy a Guinness and some trad in the Venue next door.
Brunch in Shells Cafe, of course and get in the water! That’s the best part. We have surf, kayak, sup a and diving schools here so there really is something for everyone. One of my favourite family friendly trips is the seal kayak trip with http://sligokayaktours.com/ that’s a must.
Climb knocknarae- and see Queen Maeve’s Grave on top, make a wish and take in the view- don’t forget a flask of tea and a sandwich from Shells to enjoy on the way
See you in the water xo
Surf Café Living by Jane and Myles Lamberth is published by Orca Publications, £17.99,www.thesurfcafecookbook.com.