Movie Date Ireland

St Patrick’s Day is a no-brainer to do a Movie Date Ireland—but really, any time is perfect. Fresh salmon, tons of greens is good, a boozy chocolate mousse, gorgeous scenery, real or animated, and those accents and…can we just go already? 

We’re gonna start with some food ideas; or, jump straight to the movies.

Movie Date Ireland: Quick Cuisine Overview

FISH: To paraphrase Irish national Colin Farrell in In Bruges, “It’s a big f*&%ing [island].” (He says it about canals, and if you haven’t seen In Bruges, just stop everything you’re doing and watch it now.) The fish in Ireland is, naturally, super fresh and thus extremely tasty. I greatly prefer salmon or fish and chips to the stereotypical corned beef and cabbage. My recipe for the Easy Sheet Pan Roasted Salmon with Tons of Greens, aka, the Emerald Island Bowl, is based on how Steve and I ate when we had home swap outside of Dublin. Bonus: My recipe page has a movie made with my new Jumprope app! More on that below.

easy roasted salmon with fresh greens

My other favorite fish dish: This gluten-free fish and chips recipe from Clean Eating

But, if you insist on corned beef and cabbage, at least do it right following this recipe from Dinner at the Zoo.

BAILEY’S and GUINNESS: The BEST use for these two potables is this chocolate mousse I made from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest.

dinner and a movie ireland

The Jameson’s Chocolate Mousse recipe page is complete with an adorable little movie I made using the awesome Jumprope app. Full disclosure: I’m working with them through August to create travel and food content; that said, I do not get anything from you clicking on the link, because….The App Is FREE! I’ll be writing more about Jumprope in an upcoming post; for now, enjoy my movies (on the linked recipe pages), and consider making your own if you get the app.

Movie Date Ireland: Choose Your Picture

I had recently read this really lovely article from The New Yorker about Cartoon Saloon, a Dublin-based animation studio. I had long meant to see The Secret of Kells, hearing it was super special. Filmmakers Tomm Moore and Aidan Hart had wanted to make a movie based on the Book of Kells, a heart-stoppingly beautiful medieval manuscript, since high school. Moore and Nora Twomey ended up directing it. It reminded me a great deal of the classic animated The Thief and the Cobbler; turns out that was an influence. The hand-drawn backgrounds are breathtaking, and the story—of a gifted young apprentice trying to finish the manuscript before the Norsemen destroy the Kells abbey—is simple and thrilling.

Kells is short, so we watched our first episode of Derry Girls on Netflix. In Bruges is written by the brutally funny Irish playwright Martin McDonagh; Derry Girls, in its brio, headlong speed, and marvelously inventive profanity had me laughing as hard as In Bruges.

More Inspiration? Here ya go:

  • CLASSIC, Technicolor, American in Ireland: The Quiet Man, John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. The Technicolor was necessary to properly document Ms. O’Hara’s hair. It’s mighty old-fashioned.
  • CLASSIC Irish: Odd Man Out, Carol Reed’s gorgeous, moody, mournful study from 1947 at the conflict between Irish Nationalists and the British; starring James Mason. Criterion’s “3 Reasons” series are a nice alternative to trailers.
  • A LENGTHY AND GORGEOUS SOAP OPERA: Ryan’s Daughter, shot on the raw and glorious shores of western Island, is David Lean’s version of what happens when Irish girls have sexy times with British officers. Another one with mournful heft, and a very good snuggly movie that feels like a mini-binge (it’s 3.5 hours). The 3-minute trailer is sort of the binge version of a trailer.
  • EVERYBODY LOVES: The Commitments. When I worked with Alan Parker (on Evita), he got a little misty-eyed over this movie, his favorite of all those he’d made. It continues to hold up as a group of scrappy Dubliners come together to make an R&B cover band. They’re actually good, too.
  • THE COMMITMENTS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: Sing Street is completely sweet, and features a song called “Drive It Like You Stole It.” Young plucky 80s kids rebel against their crappy repressive schoolmasters and less crappy, unhappy parents. In an unbelievably fun fact, Maria Doyle Kennedy, the sexy brunette from The Commitments, plays the band organizer’s mom.

Do you have go-to Irish recipes—your own or someone else’s? How about viewing recommendations? That includes series as well; we’ll be sure to add them to our Ireland: Go Deeper page. And if you do your own Movie Date Ireland, take notes or pics, please. Post pics on twitter and/or insta with the tag #moviedateireland and tagging me @headroamer. I’ll retweet you for sure.Share with us in the comments, please!