I have been feeling the need to travel these past few weeks. It could be the slowly approaching summer months or it could be the need to stumble across a new restaurant. In lieu of my wanderlust thoughts, I started looking back at old travel photographs from my semester abroad in Dublin, Ireland.
As I was browsing, I came across some amateur food photographs of my meals at The Cake Cafe, my favorite hidden gem in Dublin. When I say hidden, I literally mean you have to walk through a paper store and a small woodsy like path to find the cake. However, the extra trek just aids to the cafe’s charm.
Image from Emma Kenneally: lovindublin.com
Michelle Darmody opened The Cake Cafe in 2006 with the intention to re-create the smells of home cooking and home made cakes in a cafe setting. In an article posted on her.ie she says, “I grew up in a family with a keen interest in food and how it is made. There was always bread going into the oven and buns coming out.”
Everytime I walked into the cafe, I was greeted with a smile, smells of cake batter and baking bread, and pops of bright colors from the table cloths and flowers. I always felt like I had driven hours to a sunny, tropical place when really I had just walked up the road from my dorm, probably in the rain.
Michelle focuses on using local ingredients including free range eggs and real Irish butter. She keeps the recipes simple and local. The first cake I had was the Orange slice, it is addicting. Served on dainty plates that add to the quirky mis matched textiles in the space, I always felt like I was eating cake at Grandma’s house.
Besides cake, the cafe offers lunch and soon will have a dinner menu. The sandwiches are made on homemade bread and super fresh ingredients. The smoked chicken with basil mayonnaise and roasted red peppers was a delicious go to as well as the egg and toast breakfast.
Since opening the cafe, Michelle has written a cook book called The Cake Cafe Bake Book, opened a new restaurant called Slice, and partnered with the Irish Museum of Modern Art to organize events that link food and art. She focuses on growing every part of your experience at the cafe, combining home made food, bright colors and personalities, and culture into one.
If you are also having travel withdrawals, making a new recipe at home may just hold you over till your next adventure. Better yet attend some upcoming cooking classes at The Chopping Block. Our May calendar goes live this Friday, April 1st!