North Coast

North Coast Love...

A few weeks ago, we were treated to the most epic day up on the North Coast, exploring some secret spots and amazing coastlines. Our guide was the ever awesome Mike, one half of the Bearded Candle Makers and he was kind enough to show us, along with our pooches, Angus & Hamish, some of the most beautiful places we've ever been lucky enough to go in Northern Ireland (or otherwise)...

Having not had a car for very long, we've not explored all that much of this beautiful island... so, if you want to see some incredible hidden beaches, coastlines and scenery? Ask a surfer and rock climber who's made it his mission to seek out these stunning spots! He'll be the best guide (and company!) you could ask for.

The day started out as a perfect Autumn morning, crisp, cool and super misty. The photo's I've shared - just a very small selection of what I shot - track the day as it unfolded... going from misty and moody, to breath-taking sunshine and light moving across rock faces and gleaming cerulean waters. We marvelled all day at how lucky we were to get this stunning day out exploring... it was insanely magical.

We started near Ballycastle - ate fish and chips on the harbour walls, went up the road further to Ballintoy Harbour and Dunluce Castle and then chased the sunset home. It was a pretty perfect day, all in all.

Huge thanks to our fantastic guide Mike - it was the best roadtrip EVER! We had a really fab day with you - Let's go back soon! :)

Ursa Minor Bakehouse - (Not) Your daily bread...


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...

Make sure to follow Ursa Minor, and what they're up to, via Facebook / Instagram / Twitter.

Can't wait to visit them in their bakehouse one day very soon. It will be a delicious day, for sure.

Abigail x