Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Athavallie House

THE LYNCH-BLOSSE BARONETS WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY MAYO, WITH 22,658 ACRES

The family of LYNCH was of great antiquity in the province of Connaught, being amongst the very early settlers, denominated the Tribes of Galway.

In an old manuscript in Ulster King-of-Arms' office, William le Petit is stated to be the common progenitor of all the Lynches of Ireland.

The founder of the honours of the family, however, was

HENRY LYNCH, Mayor of, and MP for Galway (eldest of twelve sons of Nicholas Lynch, also Mayor of Galway).

Mr Lynch was created a baronet in 1622.
This gentleman was the son of Nicholas Lynch fitz Stephen (Mayor 1584–1585) and great-grandson of Mayor Arthur Lynch (died 1539); land agent for Richard, 4th Earl of Clanricarde; mentor to Patrick D'Arcy and Richard Martyn, later senior political figures of Confederate Ireland.
He was stepfather to D'Arcy and married to an aunt of Martyn. He was among the first of his family to become a lawyer, and several of his younger sons followed him into this profession, as did, under his influence, D'Arcy, Martyn, Geoffrey Browne and subsequent generations of The Tribes of Galway.
Sir Henry married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Martin, and widow of James D'Arcy, by whom he had three sons and three daughters.

He died in 1635, and was succeeded by his eldest son,

SIR ROBUCK LYNCH, 2nd Baronet, who represented Galway in parliament in 1639 and 1641, and was resident counsel for Connaught during the rebellion.

He wedded Ellis, daughter of Sir Peter French, Knight, by whom he had two sons, and was succeeded on his decease, 1667, by the elder, 

SIR HENRY LYNCH, 3rd Baronet, a lawyer of eminence, and one of the barons of the exchequer, in 1689.

Sir Henry wedded firstly, Margaret, daughter of Sir Theobald Bourke, 3rd Viscount Mayo, but by that lady had no issue; and secondly, and had (with a younger son) his successor,

SIR ROBERT LYNCH (-c1720), 4th Baronet, who espoused Catherine, daughter of Henry Blake, of County Mayo, by whom he had, with two daughters, a son and heir,

SIR HENRY LYNCH (-1762), 5th Baronet, of Carracastle, who married Mary, daughter of John Moore, of Brees [sic], County Galway, and had one daughter and an only son, his successor,

SIR ROBERT LYNCH-BLOSSE, 6th Baronet, who wedded Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Francis Barker, heir of Tobias Blosse, of Little Belstead, Suffolk.

He assumed the surname of BLOSSE, in addition to, and after, that of LYNCH.

It was a condition of the marriage that Robert would assume the additional surname of BLOSSE and conform to Protestantism.

The issue of this marriage were, HENRY, who succeeded to the title; and Francis, who wedded Hatton, daughter of John Smith, and had issue, Robert, who, succeeding his uncle, became the 8th Baronet.

Sir Robert died in 1775, and was succeeded by his elder son,

SIR HENRY LYNCH-BLOSSE, 7th Baronet (1749-88), upon whose demise, without issue, the title reverted to his nephew, 

SIR ROBERT LYNCH-BLOSSE (1774-1818), 8th Baronet, who wedded firstly, Elizabeth, daughter of William Gorman, of Carlow, by whom he had FRANCIS, the next baronet, with several other children.

He married secondly, Charlotte, daughter of John Richards, of Cardiff.

Sir Robert  was succeeded by his son,

THE REV SIR FRANCIS LYNCH-BLOSSE (1801-40), 9th Baronet, who wedded, in 1824, Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Lord Plunket, and had issue,
ROBERT, 10th Baronet;
William Conyngham, b 1826.
*****

Sir Richard Hely Lynch-Blosse (b 1953), 17th and present Baronet, lives in Oxfordshire.


ATHAVALLIE HOUSE, near Castlebar, County Mayo, is a long, low, plain, two-storey residence, its main block of five bays, with an entrance door set in a broad stone arch.

The front is extended by a four-bay range of the same height, though set back.

In 1894, Athavallie House was recorded as the seat of Sir Henry Lynch-Blosse, 11th Baronet (1857-1918), and most likely the last of the family to reside there.

In 1920, the Sisters of St Louis founded a school which catered for girls only.

It was a boarding school-cum-day school until the St Louis Sisters left in 1978 and the school became co-educational under the control of the local community.

Balla Secondary School is based here now.

Athavallie House still stands but is no longer used for educational purposes.

It was used as a military hospital during the 1st World War.

Other former seat ~ Castle Carra, County Mayo.

First published in April, 2013.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Crom: Walled Garden

Although it's one of the most remote parts of the Province and almost as far from Belfast as you can get, I've been to Crom Estate in County Fermanagh many times.

I first visited it in about 1977, when the estate manager took us on a guided tour of the Castle - I'd written to Lord Erne in advance, requesting a visit.

The Walled Garden lies deep within the grounds of Crom.

You cross the White Bridge and walk several hundred yards until it appears, the former head gardener's lodge being opposite it.

Its old, red-brick walls are in good condition, the National Trust having re-built at least one side some years ago.

It extends to roughly three acres in size; and it has been utterly overgrown since its demise after the second world war.

I've no doubt that the Trust intends to revive this magical place as and when funds become available.

Many fruits and vegetables were grown here for the big house.

Exotic fruits, which are nowadays taken for granted, were a rarity then and only the wealthiest families could afford to cultivate them.

In fact many people may never have seen a pineapple or a peach or known they existed.

On one side of the Walled Garden there were raspberries; and strawberries on another.

Heated glasshouses contained peaches, nectarines, pineapples, grapes and tomatoes; not to omit lettuce, marrows, cucumbers and orchards with apples, plums, pears and greengages.

There were also beehives, sweet-pea, daffodils, dahlias and magnolias.

In the middle of the garden there was a large palm-house, now sadly gone, about thirty feet high, where the weather-reading was taken every morning.

The whole garden swarmed with butterflies, bees and other wild insects; birds flitted in and out to help themselves to Nature's goodness.

It must have been heavenly.

Of course the main purpose of the walled garden was to maintain an abundant supply of produce, including flowers, for the Castle: a barrow was wheeled manually up to the Castle with fruit, vegetables and flowers twice daily.

When the family were staying at their London home, the freshly-picked produce was loaded on to the train at Newtownbutler station and taken to Belfast or Dublin; then put on a ferry for its long journey to the metropolis, where it would have been delivered to the Ernes' house the next day; and that was in Victorian times!

I have been in the Walled Garden and my imagination always escapes to those halcyon days, dreaming of what it must have been like.

My fervent hope is that the enchanting walled garden of Crom is resurrected back to life again some day.

This piece was first published in August, 2008. It is thought that the intention is to utilize part of the Walled Garden as community allotments.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Avenida Salmon


I revisited another old haunt last night, the Avenida Restaurant.

It's situated on a back street in Corralejo by the name of Calle General Prim.

Heard of this cove, Prim? I thought not.

Avenida is one of the most popular restaurants in town, particularly with inhabitants.

I was greeted cordially and sat at my usual table, a sturdy, simple, heavy, square, wooden affair.

The chairs are equally robust.

This is an unpretentious place.

Patrons return for good, authentic grub; and it's terrific value, too.


The waiter brought me a little basket of fresh bread and some of their delicious, strong alioli.

Real alioli is almost pungently strong, in my book.

I ordered a soft drink and the grilled salmon.

A word of advice: unless you're the build of Bertie Wooster's acquaintance, the Right Honourable A B Filmer, order a half-portion.

Heaven knows what size the full portion would be.

My salmon duly arrived, with those small Canarian potatoes and salad.

The fish seemed to be cut like a steak, and was served with a considerable number of bones and skin.

However, I have to say that it was a good flavour and succulent.

At the conclusion of my dinner they offered me a local liqueur called Ron Miel, served in a tiny "shot" glass, topped with whipped cream.

The entire bill came to €8.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Citrus Revisited

Nasi goreng 

The climate in this part of the Canary Islands is usually agreeable.

Whereas many of the cafés, bars and restaurants have outdoor seating, heavy blankets are provided if necessary for cooler evenings.

I often bring a V-neck sweater with me.

It hasn't rained in Corralejo for weeks.

I revisited Citrus Café last night.

In fact I've been revisiting Citrus a number of times.

I've found a seat tucked into a corner, tucked away, which is usually available; so I settle myself there.

At about nine o'clock a crowd of a few dozen young surfers arrived en bloc.

They ordered food and drink, and all moved into the garden behind the café.

There is, I gather, live music on Tuesday evenings.


I'd already had a restorative in my apartment, so I ordered one of their lovely milkshakes and the Nasi goreng.

To the best of my knowledge I've never had Nasi goreng before.

Its ingredients sounded tasty on the menu, and I was not disappointed.

After dinner I ambled in to the back garden, though there was no sign of a musician.

The tables all seemed to be taken.

Presumably the music did start a bit later.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Betancuria Trip


I spent Saturday in the picturesque and historic village of Betancuria, which nestles in a valley high up in the mountains of Fuerteventura.

Two buses pass through this village daily.


The main attraction is the Casa de Santa Maria, a cluster of religious buildings with a cathedral.


Today the buildings have been transformed into a centre for tourism, with restaurants, souvenir shops and museums.


Santa Maria is a place of remarkable beauty and charm.

However, I lunched just outside Santa Maria, at the Bodegón Don Carmelo.


These premises, at Calle Alcalde Carmelo Silvera, have belonged to the Silvera family for four centuries.

I sat at a table outside and had some tapas and a Bacardi and Coke.


After lunch I strolled up the hill to the cemetery, about half a mile outside the village.

The Silvera family plot is here.

I departed on the last bus, which arrived about four thirty-five.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Citrus Café


You might recall that I mentioned the topic of kerbs in Corralejo not very long ago.

Corralejo is a small town and tourist resort in the north of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.

Whereas I apprised you that the mere kerbs were being replaced, this was not the full story.

The true subject ought to have been Footpaths, because it appears to me that the entire central footpath infrastructure in the town is being widened and improved; thus narrowing certain sections of the roads.

It's really all quite impressive.

I have found another little juice-bar and restaurant in Corralejo.

Citrus Surf Cafè is located at Calle Anzuelo 1, near a mini-roundabout off the main street in the resort.

It's predominant colour appears to be lime green.


There's a mixture of plastic chairs, tables and trendy sofas where you can take advantage of their free wifi over a milkshake, fruit juice or smoothie.

Citrus is very good indeed for vegetarian consumers, with a strong emphasis on salad ingredients, fruit, vegetables.

However, they also have beef burgers, chicken and even duck on the menu.


Last night I went up to the counter, ordered a Bacardi and Coke, and settled myself on a sofa.

There was a good, strong signal from their wifi.


Having already enjoyed their "Fuerteburger" the previous day, I decided to have the Chicken Fajitas with a side portion of onion rings.

I could hear my chicken frying in the kitchen and it arrived freshly: a bowl of chicken pieces stir-fried with peppers and onion, three small tortillas, shredded lettuce and cabbage, little ramekins of sauces.


This little place might well be underrated.

It features on Tripadvisor, though perhaps ought to be a bit further up the list.

Readers, have any of you knowledge of Indonesian curry?

Citrus serves these, too.


By the way, they have a lovely, quiet, discreet garden terrace at the back.

You can place your order at the counter and walk through, though the wifi signal was too weak for me there, so I moved back to the front of the café.

You haven't heard the last of this place.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Corralejo Breakfast


The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union; so how do our health and safety standards compare with the Continent?

I took a photo of the seafront walk in Corralejo, Fuerteventura, this morning.

As you can observe, there is a precarious drop from this busy walkway.

Contrast this with, say, the exemplary Connswater Greenway Project, Belfast, which is very close to completion.

There are innumerable walls and railings running the entire length of the river Conn's Water.

Touché, what?

I've been coming to the Canary Island of Fuerteventura for about twenty years, specifically to Corralejo.

I enjoy the casual lifestyle and the fine beaches.

For breakfast I usually have a glass of fruit juice and a toasted sandwich comprising two slices of buttered wholmeal bread, a thin slice of cheese, honey, and a fried egg; with a sliced tomato.

I drink it all down with coffee.

Occasionally I vary the routine with some plain yoghurt, honey, fruits of the forest, muesli, bran, sultanas etc.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Single Fin Burgers


VPNs (virtual private networks) are apps that enable users to view television from the home country in another country.

For instance, I subscribe to a VPN called Tunnelbear for a month on my iPad (£4.99 at the moment) to watch a series or regular programme that is on at a certain time on ITV Hub or BBC iPlayer virtually live.

It's a useful tool if you are on your own or want to keep up to date with a regular show of some sort.

I was sitting at my usual table, ordered a Tanqueray Ten from Mara, the owner of Bar Bouganville in Corralejo, and set up my iPad.

Mara also left a complimentary bowl of crisps on the table.

Bar Bouganville is probably my favourite bar in the resort.

When I'd finished my drink I felt a bit peckish, despite emptying the bowl of crisps, so I settled my account and moved off.

In the town centre, at 2, Calle Hernán Cortés, there's a diminutive burger bar called Single Fin.

This Single Fin also specialises in veggie burgers.


If you've been following my narrative so far, you'll know that I'm not averse to vegetarian food; indeed I'm keen on it.

Accordingly, I perched myself on a stool inside Single Fin, overlooking the galley kitchen, observed three young fellows contentedly cooking burgers.


The very amicable young waitress, adorned with innumerable tattoos, took my order, the veggie El Capres burger and chips.

One of the chefs sang as he cooked, so naturally Belmont felt the urge to join in by exercising his considerable vocal chords; and treated them to a brief rendition of Puccini's Tosca song, #Vittoria#.

Alas it didn't work for a free meal, though I repaired to a seat outside and tucked in.

Little wonder Single Fin is popular. They are passionate about it and the care taken in wrapping my burger in tin foil said it all.

Great little place.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Agua Bar


During my morning constitutional yesterday I passed a tiny bar - one of several - on the beach promenade at Corralejo, Fuerteventura.

I have walked past Agua many times.

I stopped and had a brief chat with the staff, who were preparing to open Agua.

I studied the menu on a blackboard.





It displayed many cocktails, about four salads and numerous baguettes.

Agua is a popular spot and I was curious to discover the secret of its popularity, so I decided I'd pay them a visit in the evening.


So I duly walked back to Agua at about seven yesterday evening.

It was busy already so I squeezed past two tables and inserted myself beside two young ladies on a sort of bench seat at the side of the little bar.

The staff were prompt and brought me a menu.

I noticed that the Tanqueray Ten cost €11, considerably pricier than Bar Bouganville's €7 which included tonic-water.


I had the smoked salmon salad and a Beefeater gin and tonic with fruits of the forest (!).



The G&T arrived first, already poured, and a complimentary tray of artful or even gourmet tapas.

The staff spent some time explaining its constitution, though alas I cannot recall exactly what they told me.

An image will have to suffice.

The salad arrived shortly in a deep bowl: abundant lettuce, shavings of carrot, red onion, cucumber, tomato, and a fair amount of smoked salmon.

A kind of wheaten bread was served in a ramekin.

It was utterly delicious.




I enjoyed it.

I drizzled some balsamic vinegar over it all and, needless to say, the trusty old nosebag was in top gear (Clarkson Version, of course).

I think the popularity of this place is due to an amalgam of several factors, including very good, innovative, well-prepared tapas; a welcoming ambiance; coziness; the impressive range of cocktails; good, healthy food; free wifi.

My bill came to €14.

I'll probably be back.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

The George


CLICK TO ENLARGE AND READ

The George at Clandeboye, County Down, was a hostelry I frequented often in my younger days.

I have found a little leaflet entitled The George.



Many's a Saturday night was spent here during the seventies and eighties.

Incidentally, the George's postal address was Crawfordsburn Road, Clandeboye, County Down.

It now forms a part of the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel.

First published in June, 2011.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Bodeguita Revisited


I dined again this evening at La Bodeguita tapas bar and restaurant.

The sun was still shining when I sat down at a small table outside, though it got cooler.

Today I decided to refrain from alcohol, so ordered a large glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice instead.


I might have mentioned a certain item on the menu the last time I was here, viz. the battered cod with creamy rice.

It sounded interesting, so that's what I went for tonight.

While I waited the waitress brought me a bread roll and some alioli.

Eventually the main course arrived.

I say "eventually" because it took ages, even allowing time for preparation and so on.

They knew they were slow because she came out and apologised about the delay.

The cod was slightly disappointing, I'm afraid.

The piece of cod - if that's what it was - had about four or five large bones on top.

Perhaps this was due to the way it was cut.

The skin was at the bottom; no sign of any batter!

Perhaps it was battered with a mallet (!).

The rice wasn't creamy at all.

Four or five of the little baked potatoes came with a red, piquant sauce.

To its credit it was a fairly healthy meal, though just not to my taste, especially served with the bones.

I saw Tom Kerridge reproaching a chef on television about bones in his fish.

Nevertheless it's generally customary to serve fish and seafood on the bone here, so either we accept it or don't order fish.

I'd intended to order the Brazilian Quindim dessert, though decided to ask for the bill which came to about €18.80.

Thence I repaired to Bar Bouganville for one of their "virgin" cocktails, the non-alcoholic San Francisco number.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Photo Transfer

I'm finding it practically impossible to transfer images taken on my iPad to the blog.

When I take a photograph on the iPad at home, I simply email it my myself and transfer it to Photos.

Of course the system the iPad uses (iOS) operates differently.

Images taken on the iPad will transfer to the blog, though they are the original size, far too large, and simply don't work.

Until the issue can be rectified, I'm afraid none of my articles will have photos.

While I'm on this issue, can I request readers' forbearance should there be any typographical errors?

I can run the blog with my iPad, though the Mac desktop is easier.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

La Bodeguita


Corralejo's kerbs are being replaced.

I suppose the original ones are the age of the streets themselves, because this town is not ancient by any means.

However, it's a major operation and must be costing a small fortune.

Who's paying for it all?

The local taxpayer I imagine; or is it yet another costly EU Project?

On the positive side, it's keeping contractors in business.

Last night I dined at a little bar restaurant I've never been to before, called La Bodeguita.

They offer "tapas, wines, and much more" according to their menu.

I settled myself at a table outside and, observing the world passing by, perused one of their menus.


I ordered the Norwegian Salmon with Wild Asparagus and Ginger Mayonnaise.

It sounded appetising enough.

When it arrived the cooked salmon came with a number of vegetables, though no potatoes.

At home we're accustomed to having some form of potato with almost everything, though I didn't miss it on this occasion.

There were a few thick, grilled slices of large white onions.

The meal was sufficiently enjoyable to merit another visit.

On the menu I noticed battered cod with creamy rice which I might try; though I'm not well disposed to fish bones.

Local establishments tend to serve fish on the bone here.

The word for boneless is Sin Espinas.

The salmon cost €13.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Señor Tapón

Prior to my flight to Fuerteventura yesterday morning I breakfasted at the Fed & Watered Café Bar at Aldergrove airport, now known as Belfast International.

I had the scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and granary toast.

 It was rather enjoyable.

The flight was uneventful.

I'd made up a round of smoked salmon sandwiches and I resisted the temptation to have a G&T on the flight, opting for a beaker of tea instead (don't sound so surprised).

I arrived at my apartment later in the day.

One idiosyncrasy of my apartment is that the rooms don't have plugs in the sinks.

I've encountered this matter before: remedied by stuffing the plug-hole with toilet tissue or placing the plastic top of a shaving-foam can on top.

However, I thought I'd invest in a plug so I looked the word up and ENCHUFE or some such Spanish noun appeared.

In the nearest supermarket I enquiried for one and the assistant showed me electric plugs.

She hadn't a clue what I meant.

Henceforth I made a beeline for the hardware store.

The Merchant knew what I meant and produced a box of them.

TAPÓN is the word, and it cost €2.

Back at the supermarket I dangled my new plug at the assistant and we both laughed.

I told her I was now called Señor Tapón.

I think I've discovered a new restaurant popular with the locals, so I shall likely report back on that.

By the way, I had a delicious Tanqueray Ten, beautifully served at Bar Bougainville last night. €7.