Christmas Baked loin of Bacon

Baked Loin of Bacon

Winter is a time for comfort, good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and a talk beside the fire…it is the time for home and family. The fondest memories are made gathered around the kitchen table! There are few sights more seasonally cheering than Christmas bacon! Make some fond memories this Christmas with all the family with this decorative delicious baked loin of bacon recipe from Chef Miriam Harte…

1.5kg Bacon loin
1litre Cider or apple juice
1table spoon Whole grain mustard
1 table spoon English mustard
2 tablespoons Brown sugar
10 Cloves
1 Orange
1.Soak bacon in cold water for 10 minutes discard water

  1. Place in deep enough dish with lid (or use tinfoil to cover)
  2. Pour over cider and water if needed to cover bacon.
    4. Bake in oven at 180 degrees for 1 hour 20 mins
  3. Drain off most of the liquid (keep for cooking sprouts)
  4. Score the fat in a diamond pattern.
    Spread mustards on top of fat stud with cloves (optional) dust with brown sugar place slices of oranges on sides and a few on top.
  5. Bake with lid off for 15 mins until nicely golden brown.
  6. Leave to rest in juices.

Enjoy it hot or cold!!


Riverside Traditional Plum Pudding 


Christmas is a time for family, and making a traditional Christmas Plum Pudding at home is the perfect way to get the entire family involved in the festive preparations! If you don’t feel brave enough to tackle your own Plum Pudding, call in to the Riverside Hotel and pick up Chef Miriam’s Traditional Christmas Pudding, freshly baked breads, homemade Granolas and other seasonal baked treats for your table this Christmas!

To make the Riverside Traditional Plum Pudding at home, here is our recipe!

For the Fruit mix you need:

  • 250g raisins
  • 250g sultanas
  • 50g cranberries
  • 100g mixed peel
  • 100g  chopped cherries
  • 1 lemon zest & juice
  • 1 orange zest & juice

For the Dry mix, add the following to a large mixing bowl:

  • 100g self raising flour
  • 200g breadcrumbs
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Wet mix
  • 350 ml stout
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 melted butter


  1. Mix fruit ingredients together
  2. Mix stout & eggs together
  3. Add to fruit mix
  4.  Mix dry ingredients together and add to above mix
  5. Add the melted butter
  6. Leave overnight
  7. Keep with Christmas Tradition and make sure everyone gives a stir and makes a wish!

Don’t forget to grease your pudding bowl and line base with grease proof paper

Fill bowls and cover with lid.

To cook

  1. Steam in saucepans of water for 4 hours – keep water topped up!
  2. Or place in oven in pot or deep tray with water to come up to within inch of lid
  3. Bake/steam at 150 degrees for 2 hours.

This receipe makes 3x1lb puddings.

For more fantastic receipe’s, monthly cocktails and things to do in Sligo visit our blog on!

For more fantastic receipe’s, monthly cocktails and things to do in Sligo visit our blog on!

Homemade goodies at the Riverside Hotel


Eat in or Treat yourself at Home!

Did you know we bake all our own breads and cakes at the Riverside Hotel? Our Chef Miriam Harte is passionate about home baking and wouldn’t have it any other way!  In the mornings our guests are treated to their hot breakfast served to them at their table, but most spend lots of time enjoying the selection of home baked treats on offer at our baked buffet!

Here is one of Miriam’s favourite seasonal recipes, for a Tea Brack, which is the prefect winter treat! It’s a simple recipe so give it a try at home, or pop into The Riverside to pick up one Miriam has made for you!


  • 375g sultanas
  • 375g raisins
  • 400g brown sugar
  • 600ml strong black tea
  • 600gm Self Raising Flour
  • 2 eggs

Dissolve all of the sugar in tea then add the fruit and leave to soak overnight. Beat two eggs and add them to your tea, sugar and fruit.

Then simply fold in 600g of self-raising flour.

Line two, 2lb loaf tins with grease proof paper and place in a pre-heated oven. Bake at 150 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes.  Then turn out onto wire rack. This seasonal treat is best enjoyed with a hot cup of tea or coffee, in front of the fire!



If you love home baking, come in and check out our seasonal selection for takeaway at the Riverside Hotel!




Saucy Cranberry Margarita!!


november-cocktail-of-monthIt’s that time of year again when we are getting close to xmas dinner – but for me, Thanksgiving in the States was always a favourite holiday of mine. Fresh cranberry sauce is essential for that Turkey dinner so using that as my inspiration I chose to do a riff on a classic cocktail that is sure to warm your bones – the Margarita.
Using agave syrup which is a mild sweetener made from the same Mexican cactus-like plant that tequila is made from along with 100% blue agave tequila, fresh lime juice, brown sugar and freshly made cranberry sauce from our chef Miriam here at the Riverside Hotel – we have created the ‘Saucy Cranberry Margarita’.
50ml 100% blue agave Patron Tequila
25ml lime juice
15ml light agave syrup
Brown sugar
1 heaping spoonful of cranberry sauce.
You can have this straight up or on the rocks – as seen in the picture, I chose straight up.
  • First I take a chilled coupe glass and rim the outer edge with a lime wedge and dip it into a plate of brown sugar.
  • Now in a cocktail shaker I fill with ice, add the tequila, lime juice, agave syrup & cranberry sauce and vigorously shake it for 10 seconds.
  • I then strain it into the chilled, rimmed glass and voila – you’ve got a ‘Saucy Cranberry Margarita’.

Let us know how you got on shaking yours up!!! :)


The Mill Bar Sligo

The Mill Bar Cocktail Corner!

passion-fruit-caiproskaPassion fruit Capiroska

by Sean O’Reilly, F&B Manager and Cocktail Maestro @ The Mill Bar

Everyone loves a good cocktail, and while the weather might be getting colder here in Sligo, our featured cocktail this October is the Brazilian favourite “Passion fruit Capiroska “. This cocktail is a treat full of summer sunshine to remind you of your beach holiday!

To make at home follow The Mill Bar Recipe:

  • Take 50mls of vodka, at The Mill Bar we love the handcrafted quality of Dingle Vodka made in Co. Kerry.
  • Place some fresh passion fruit in a blender with a little cane sugar and spring water and blend until pureed.
  • Add a generous measure of Dingle Vodka, and your pureed passion fruit along with some freshly squeezed lime juice to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.
  • To prep your cocktail glass, chose an Old Fashioned glass if you have one, but any tall glass will do. Fill the glass with crushed ice, (for stress relief, I find using an ice mallet to crush the ice is very therapeutic!)
  • Pour the contents of your cocktail shaker over the crushed ice and add a generous wedge of lime.
  • Dress with maraschino cherries and some lime weevils.

Then put on some salsa music on and enjoy with sunglasses and a sun hat! If that sounds like too much work, come along to the Mill Bar and we will shake and stir your cocktails for you while you enjoy live music at weekends and a fantastic bar food menu daily!

Pan seared scallops & black pudding

The combination of seafood and pork is traditional here in Ireland, and it is a combination that I love. I am always looking for great locally produced produce for all my dishes and to add to my seasonal and specials menu at The Conservatory Restaurant at the Riverside Hotel.scallop-1

As part of this search, I came across one of the best black pudding’s I have ever tasted; O’Doherty’s of Fermanagh produce a black pudding that is among the very best you can get anywhere in the world. I also love the black pudding by Kelly’s of Newport in Co. Mayo. Both are example’s of the excellent Artisan products we are so lucky to have easily available to us in Ireland. We are blessed also with the quality and abundance of our natural produce, and restaurant menus throughout the country should proudly showcase this. Here is a recipe for what I consider the king of seafood with a traditional Irish black pudding that will guarantee the success of any dinner party!

Don’t forget to let me know how you get on trying this dish, send your photos, queries or comments  to me at

RECIPE for – Pan Seared Scallops, Butternut squash puree, Fermanagh Black Pudding and

hollandaise Sauce

Ingredients for 4 people:

12 to 24 scallops (as a starter allow 3 scallops per person, or a main course allow 6 scallops each)

1 garlic clove

100g butter cut into cubes

400g O’Dohertys Fermanagh black pudding (you could use any black pudding of your liking)

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed

500ml cream

Sea salt

Ground pepper

2 tb spoon of Sugar

Hollandaise sauce

50ml vegetable oil for frying

Chives or edible flowers for decoration.


Butternut squash puree:

  1. In a pot, put in the butternut squash and the cream.
  2. Bring it to a boil and lower the heat on the pot, keep cooking until the butternut squash is very soft.
  3. Place the soft butternut squash in a blender or use the hand held blender to transform itin  a puree.
  4. Season to taste, adding the sugar if necessary.
  5. Keep it warm until serve.

Black pudding:

  1. Here you have 2 choices. The first to simply slice it and fry normally in a pan or you can crush it and fry in a pan like a hash sort of mixture.
  2. Keep it warm until serve.


  1. After clean you scallop (removing the coral and the muscly part on the side) season it with sea salt and pepper;
  2. Heat a frying pan (could be non-stick) to very, very hot;
  3. Pour the vegetable oil.
  4. Sear the scallops until golden brown on one side. Flip it;
  5. Add the butter and garlic clove. It will start to melt and foam. Use the foam to baste the scallops.
  6. After a minute or so the scallops are ready.

Plating tip:

In a large plate, place 2 spoon full of puree. With the back of the spoon run it across the plate to make a mark with the puree.

Place the black pudding slices or hash, in the middle and display the scallops on top of it. Pour a bit of the last column hollandaise sauce on top of each scallop.

Place some edible flowers or chives to give some c olor to your plate. Serve it and enjoy.

Sligo Baroque Music Festival. 

Sligo Festival of Baroque Music


Sligo Festival of Baroque Music is a weekend feast of memorable illuminating and fascinating baroque music which has risen to new heights over the past twenty one years and now attracts the very finest Baroque musicians to an exciting programme of event. Sligo is renowned as home to many different types of music, notably its Irish Traditional heritage and booming rock industry, but it is equally happy to take its place as a leading light in Baroque and Early Music.  Many local musicians and enthusiasts


Calling all music lovers!  Sligo offers a unique weekend of music for all Baroque enthusiasts.  For those of you who are unfamiliar, Baroque is a style of western music composed during the period of 1600 to 1750, approximately. This era followed the Renaissance music era, and was followed in turn by the Classical era. The word “baroque” comes from the Portuguese word “barroco”, meaning misshapen pear.  The Baroque Music Festival celebrates a period when composers experimented with form, styles and instruments. This was a precursor to the development of opera and instrumental music. Some notable composers during this period were Bach, Vivaldi and Handel.

Sligo is the perfect setting for this music festival.  All venues are accessible on foot and the town offers many fine places to dine and imbibe of a drink or two, while the surrounding beauty of the countryside will make your heart sing for joy. A friendly and well organised event, The Sligo Festival of Baroque Music attracts visitors, musicians and fans, and it is advisable to book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.   There is always a mix of performers, some with an enviable international reputation and others at an early stage of their careers. A feature of the festival has always been an attempt to foster the development of young performers – who work under an experienced and renowned performer in the Baroque Youth Orchestra, to recently formed ensembles of young professionals or third level students. The opening concert is specifically designed as an introduction to Baroque music for schools.

The Music of Handel will feature strongly in the Sligo Festival, with the welcome addition of the London Handel Players as an “ensemble in residence.” The London Handel Players are a world class ensemble, bringing together leading period-instrument specialists in the field of baroque chamber music.  They perform regularly at Handel’s church, St George’s Hanover Square, and at the Handel House Museum and Wigmore Hall in addition to music societies and festivals worldwide and this is an unprecedented opportunity to enjoy and admire these world renowned musicians in the intimate settings of the Sligo Festival.   They will perform two concerts during the Sligo festival, as well as an intimate instrumental programme, featuring Handel sonatas and trio sonatas, the London Handel Players will perform and orchestral programme devised for the festival by violinist/director Adrian Butterfield featuring young soprano, Raphaela  Papadakis.

They weekend’s festivities will be brought to an amazing crescendo as  Camerata Kilkenny, an ensemble of renowned and respected musicians who are old favourites of the festive perform a closing concert,  with a very intriguing programme based on fantastical literary works from the 18th century – including, of course, musical responses to Johnathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.


For more information and bookings: or Sligo Tourism


Golfing in Sligo – Links to Heaven.


“I had such a great time playing golf in Ireland that I have been coming back ever since

Tiger Woods


Ireland is an amazing place for golfers and offers some of the most beautifully situated links courses in the world. Sligo ranks highly in this regard and boasts a number of welcoming golf courses, including links course.   Links golf courses are the oldest style of golf course and are usually beside the coast and incorporating undulating hills, sand banks and good firm turf.

Ireland boasts a third of the word’s links courses. Naturally, the wind swept coastline and the rugged natural conditions of the Wild Atlantic Way is home to many amazing links golf courses. Sligo is proud to have a number of challenging and stunning links courses with dramatic breath-taking seascape backdrops.

Enniscrone Golf Club  (The Dunes course), County Sligo

“I challenge anybody to name holes, including those at Ballybunion, where the dunes are more of a feature than at Enniscrone… When you go into ground like that; there is a feeling of grandeur.” ­– British golf course architect Donald Steel in Links Magazine.

The scenery at Enniscrone course is incredible. Situated on the Mayo/Sligo border and hugging the broad Atlantic with the Ox mountains to the rear, this is an outstandingly beautiful place. The golf is pretty awesome too.  Twelve of the 18 holes wind through some of the tallest, wildest dunes on the coast. Unsurprisingly, the two-time Masters Champion, Bernhard Langer stopped off to practice his game in Sligo and ended up staying for a week at Enniscrone.  Don’t miss the challenge of the legendary 17th hole at the Dunes, Enniscrone which proves testing to even the most hardy golfer.

The County Sligo Golf Club at Rosses Point, County Sligo

  “A tremendous test for the highest quality player and great fun for the modest competitor, Rosses Point stands at the very top of the list of Irish courses.” Peter Alliss, Professional golfer, television presenter and commentator, author and golf course designer.

Rosses Point, The County Sligo Golf Club lies amid a particularly spectacular setting on the Atlantic coastline just a few miles North of Sligo town.  Benbulben Mountain and the hill of Knocknarea provide the backdrop to this renowned golf course. Enjoy the scenic views of five counties from the third tee.   Open to visitors seven days a week, all year round. This course also has floodlit driving range. The seventh hole is a tough one, long with a cross-cutting creek 10 yards short of the green and provides an extra challenge.

Strandhill Hill Golf Club  Strandhill Sligo.

Situated just 5 miles west of Sligo town in the picturesque sea side village of Strandhill, this enticing is an 18 hole links course of undulating fair-ways and unforgiving short cuts.  that never ceases to surprise and delight.  Nestled under the majestic Knocknarea, this 5,675 meter, par 70 course is a joy to play and a delight to behold.  Check out the views on a short video here, and we guarantee you will be walking the course before long.

Ireland can take its place proudly as one of the leaders in golf course management and innovation. Sligo is amongst the jewels in that particular crown. It is the perfect place for a golfing break, providing scenery, good accommodation, delicious food and entertainment and mostly… great golf.  Your hotel will be happy to organise bookings for you and can provide all information on green fees, opening times etc. Alternatively, you can contact any of the golf club websites directly.

At the Races in Sligo


‘Although situated remarkably close to Sligo town centre, Sligo Racecourse is a particularly scenic racing venue in the northwest. Traditionally a summer venue, the majority of meetings at Sligo are held in the evening time making the racecourse a huge hit with locals and tourists alike. Many of the bigger races at the course are on the flat and over hurdles and are often fiercely competitive affairs.  The two-day meeting in early August comes hot on the heels of the Galway Festival and are the track’s busiest days.’  Horse racing Ireland.

Horse racing in Sligo is something absolutely different. In a warm and welcoming atmosphere, this centrally located racecourse is the perfect place for the expert horse fancier and for the novice race goer. It is a family fun day out with a relaxed and chilled atmosphere.  There is no dress code at Sligo Race Course. Wear whatever you find comfortable, although it is advisable to check the weather forecast before you leave your hotel as weather can be temperamental.  A light jacket for evening meetings is a suggestion.  Of course, Ladies Day in August is a highly fashionable and upmarket affair.  Hats, fascinators, stunning outfits and beautiful accessories are the norm on that day. This is optional and is as much fun for the regular punters as for the fashionistas themselves.

On May 20th 2015, Prince Charles and Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall enjoyed an evening at the Sligo races as a finale to their two day trip to Ireland.  They were reportedly in great form and completely relaxed as they soaked up the atmosphere and presented the prizes to the team of the winning horse, Mollyanna. In the weeks that followed the Royal Visit, it emerged that the Duchess of Cornwall purchased Mollyanna. An incredible transaction was set in motion just five minutes after the six-year-old won the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall Mares Maiden Hurdle at the Sligo Races. Mollyanna is now among Camilla’s horses in the stables of Jamie Snowden in Lambourn.

When not entertaining royalty, the Sligo race course meetings are an eclectic mix of local townspeople, dedicated punters, tourists and visitors of all kinds. The views over the town and out to sea are breath-taking and the hospitality at the facilities are legendary.

This is a Grade 2 racing venue with a quality of racing which exceeds its appeal as a local, country racecourse. The most famous horses making their mark at this course were Jazz Princess who won here before going on to become one of the best two year olds in Ireland with successes at the Curragh and in 2005, Brewster, one of Britain’s best novice hurdlers, also made a mark at Sligo. The exciting racing encourages some lively betting and makes for a memorable day out for groups, families and anyone who loves the intimacy of local racing punctuated with the thrills of a challenging race track.


 Families can make the most of free child admission and there are special prices for group bookings.     So join the buzz at the next racing meeting!

The ideal staycation : Enjoy Summer in Sligo at the Riverside hotel in the heart of lands’ desire


Sligo is the perfect place for a staycation. Yes, a staycation. Which, in case you are wondering is the fancy new name for a stay at home vacation.  Staycations are perfect for families who cannot face the trauma of long hot journeys, of crowded airports and ‘are we there yet’ children. A holiday at home in Ireland means that your beloved family dog can tag along. It means no passports and currency conversions. It means not worrying about finding acceptable meals for fussy little eaters and it brings a chance to hook up with old friends and distant family.

Summer in Sligo is magical and is the obvious choice for a home holiday. No other place in Ireland offers such a wide range of blue flag beaches, mountain trails, forests, lakes and rivers to explore.  No other County has surfing, golf courses, angling, river fishing, supping and flying lessons.  Sligo offers art and culture, shopping and fine dining, within walking distance of the town centre.   Sligo is welcoming and friendly. But there is more, much more for any family contemplating a holiday in Sligo. Here are some examples of little known treasures, ideal for family fun times.

Eagles Flying:  An amazing day out for the whole family.  A wild life sanctuary with a real difference. This little hidden gem is an incredible sanctuary for raptors or birds of prey, just South of Sligo town. (Just follow the signs from the N17)  Here, you can see owls, buzzards, vultures and eagles in their natural habitat.  Eagles Flying is also home to a delightful pettings zoo and you can meet many animals with their own unique characteristics. A racoon who picks pockets, and  Rosie the big big but gentle pig.  Flying Demonstrations share the biology of the raptors and their important role in nature in an engaging, amusing show. All questions are cheerfully answered by friendly enthusiastic staff and photo opportunities abound.

Bodaborg:  A very challenging and exciting fun filled activity for adults and older children awaits at the shores of Lough Key in Roscommon. Just a short drive from Sligo town. Here is the perfect answer to a board teenagers afternoon.   A two story building, where each room is a puzzle or a quest to be solved in teams. It presents physical challenges combined with mental wit, creativity and collaboration. At Boda Borg, only teamwork, ingenuity, trial and error will get you through to the final room.  If you want to get the children off the Ipads, tablets and mobile screeds this is a perfect spot.  Check out the zip-it lines when you are there… zippitydoodah-awesomeness

The Devils Glen:  Only locals know the best places in Sligo and chief among these is the Glen. You may have to ask directions of these self-same locals, but it will definitely be worth it.   A magical journey for all the family and a brilliant place for imaginative play. Words are not enough, so check out the pictures on this site:

‘The Glen is one of the most interesting natural phenomena on the Coolera peninsula: a narrow, deep and long chasm on the south face of Knocknarea. This cleft in the mountain runs for about three quarters of a mile and is more or less uniform in depth (60ft) and width (40ft). If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of life with a step into nature, the Glen is a must do in Strandhill. The vegetation in the Glen is luxuriant and its flora has made it an attraction for botanists from near and far. The sycamore, the beech, the Scots pine and the oak all flourish here. The hazel, the holly, the honeysuckle and the bramble-bush also thrive between the cliff faces. There is an abundance of ivy throughout, whilst one of the most striking features of the vegetation is the extreme heights attained by both the fern and nettle families.’

There is more, so much more to explore in the area.  Here the Wild Atlantic Way brings effortless delight in the most amazing scenery, friendly people, traditional music and craic.
Stay at home this year. Enjoy your Staycation in Sligo and make memories to last a lifetime.