A few weekend's ago, we took ourselves up the North Coast to visit a few spots we had always intended to go (but not having driven until recently, we had never had a chance!)... We wanted to stop in Coleraine at Lost & Found, the often raved about coffee shop, but it was, alas, closed on a Sunday. MAJOR bummer.
Anyway, off up the road we went, heading to a baking demonstration being held later that evening at Babushka cafe in Portrush. We arrived quite early, well, lunchtime, really, so we walked the dogs on the beach for a while and then grabbed some lunch in Babushka which was, by the way, absolutely delicious! I had the BiBimBap steak on a brioche bun and Ryan had the grilled Halloumi bagette. So good.
We hung around until the baking demo as we had been hearing ALL GOOD THINGS about the lovely baking duo, and husband and wife team, Dara and Ciara, owners of Ursa Minor Bakehouse. We couldn't wait to try their amazing bread and sample some sweet treats, and it was so great to get a chance to meet them in person and coo over their adorable five month old son Cillian - actually the cutest wee bean...
We learned all about what Ursa Minor do - from their sourdough starter, the types of flour they like to use, and where Dara learned his baking technique - and it was a fantastic wee night. We also heard more about their plans to open their own permanent bakehouse space and their Kickstarter campaign to help them get their dream off the ground... after sampling their gorgeous bakes, this is definitely a dream we can get behind! ;)
The bread was incredible - flavoursome, with a beautiful crumb structure and deep savoury taste. Just divine. And Ciara's sweet treats? Well, let's just say we make it our mission to go to the very best bakeries when we travel - be it Tartine in San Francisco, Pierre Hermé or Laduree in Paris, Almondine in New York, Paul Rhodes in London... the list rambles on and on (so does our waistline)... BUT, the Friands that Ciara had baked - little oval heavenly bites - so rich and moist, not too sweet, with homemade lemon curd and raspberry on the top? I can honestly say they were the very best baked goods we have ever eaten. EVER. They are the stuff of dreams. I can't applaud them enough, and the rest was spectacular as well!
I can't wait to see what the future holds for this genuinely talented and lovely pair, and I would love it if anyone who can would support their kickstarter campaign or go and buy their lovely bakes and support them that way, too. It's so wonderful to see truly world class food being created here in Northern Ireland... stuff that's not just 'good' by local standards, but worthy of the accolade on an international stage. I see great things ahead for these two. Exciting times!
We really enjoyed photographing their lovely produce, even in the low evening light, it was so pretty...
Can't wait to visit them in their bakehouse one day very soon. It will be a delicious day, for sure.