We love the story of Nick and Susan : Over 55 years ago, Nick Mosse, the son of a flour merchant, was captivated by the sensuous beauty of clay and over time he developed a genuine passion and devotion to shaping pieces that felt beautiful. He met, married and fell in love with an American Botanical artist, who had been drawn to Ireland by her love of the Irish countryside and the beauty of the Burren, Co. Clare.
Drawn together by their craft and their shared love of nature, in 1976, Nick and Susan, based in a small shed on the Mosse family land in Bennettsbridge, Co. Kilkenny, formed their family business Nicholas Mosse Pottery.
Nick and Susan say that they love their craft and to this day, make every single piece of pottery they produce by hand.
They apply the patterns using an age-old tradition dating back to the 18th century. Using cut sponges, they individually sponge dab the patterns onto each piece of pottery. In fact, every piece of Nicholas Mosse undergoes a 20 step, handmade process. and Nick personally trains every individual decorator that works at Nicholas Mosse.
This little love heart plate put a smile on our faces. Tea break just got even better.
The Cow Book - John Connell, from a farm in County Longford.
We first learned about The Cow Book whilst watching the '2018 An Post Irish Book Awards' and we knew straight away that it was once that would appeal to us. It won the Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year award that night. Over the next week or two we must say we found it difficult to purchase the book as every shop we entered had sold out! When we did eventually read it, we found ourselves carrying it everywhere - relishing any opportunity to dive right in to the Connell’s farm lives.
This is a lovely story capturing John Connell’s relationship with his home, the farm animals and his parents…in particular with his father. We note the dedication, hard work, often daunting weather conditions, the love of the farmer for the animals and the sadness at losing one, the joy, frustration and gratification in working the farm. Cleverly, John Connell manages to teach us all about the history of the cow in a page turning manner, slots in some very interesting and important elements of Irish history and all the while bringing us all on to the farm with him whilst he carries on with his difficult daily chores. We felt like we were there with him all of the time…and we missed it when the book ended.
What was most definitely not lost on us was a simple message we took from the book - enjoy the little things in life. A recent Irish Times article aptly reads that “This is a book which pauses regularly to savor life’s tiny nows – a newborn lamb’s head, a cup of hot tea pressed into a cold hand..”. It is the little things in life that should be savored and after a very hard slog on the farm, the tea break was treasured.
The Irish Times article went on to read that “With 139,600 farms in Ireland and a whopping 4.4 million hectares of the country’s 6.9 million hectares used for agriculture, the Connell family’s lifestyle and work must echo that of thousands of others around the country. But this is a personal story. An honest, vivid reckoning of what it’s like to simultaneously belong and not belong, The Cow Book becomes John Connell’s meditation on the real meaning of home and place.
Lismore Food Company Biscuits - Lismore, County Waterford
The Three Biscuiteers - Beth-Ann Smith and Ken and Owen Madden
Can’t stop eating these! They are melt in the mouth delicious! We adore the packaging also and we reuse some of ours to store pens and kids coloring pencils. They are truly little nibbles from heaven.
The Lismore Food Company brings together three artisans who share a love of fine ingredients and a lifetime of experience in food. Beth-Ann Smith’s family history in food stretches back to Smith’s Stores, a fine food delicatessen and bakery on Cork’s Patrick Street. Having trained at the infamous Ballymaloe Cookery School, she is now the head chef at Lismore Castle. Brothers Owen and Ken Madden’s family opened a bakery and public house on Lismore’s Main Street in the early 1800’s. Now called ‘The Summerhouse’ and home to The Lismore Food Company, they continue this rich tradition of baking in the same historic location.
Barry’s Tea – County Cork
The name, the smell, the boiling of the kettle, the pouring of the boiled water in to the cup, the stirring of the tea spoon and the inevitable sigh of pleasure after the first sip. Memories…bringing us straight back in to the room to where our loved ones (some now gone) sat. We will always love Barry’s Tea.
Barry’s was founded in 1901 by James J. Barry, grandfather of current Chairman, Peter Barry and the family have spent years perfecting their blends that have been passed on through generations. In turn, these blends have been passed down through generations of most families on the Emerald Isle and to those living abroad.
Master Blender, Denis Daly, has been blending Barry’s teas for nearly 40 years and he tastes the blends three times a day to ensure that every moment you spend with their tea is as rewarding as the last.
Through word of mouth alone, the reputation of Barry’s Tea has continued to grow to become a much-loved Irish brand, a fact which makes the team incredibly proud.
Barry’s Tea most definitely is an institution and we were delighted to send it to our subscribers this month to accompany the delicious Lismore Biscuits!
Soilse candles – Dundalk County Louth
How could we not send to subscribers the natural sweet scent of an Irish meadow after a summer shower? It is a wonderful idea to light this candle whilst reading The Cow Book!
Karen Lavelle is the maker, an Irish designer who recently returned to Ireland after 11 years in New York. On her return, Karen was inspired and overwhelmed by the outstanding beauty that she re-discovered living in the Irish countryside with her husband and family. This is something that she wanted to capture and share with the world, combining light, warmth and comfort with memory, inspiration and home.
Every Soilse Irish Candle awakens a particular landscape and memory, the scent being a wonderfully tantalizing and evocative fragrance inspired by the natural beauty of the Irish outdoors.
This candle was lovingly hand poured and made from 100% soy wax, infused with a unique blend of essential oil-based fragrances that are all naturally produced and environmentally friendly.