Pork Fillet with mash and veg (Bray, Co Wicklow)

Pork Fillet stuffed with Prunes, served with a mustard mash and minty vegetables.

Nikki’s Pork Fillet stuffed with Prunes, served with a mustard mash and minty vegetables

Tastes Like Home with Catherine Fulvio


Pork loin
1 small packet of stoned prunes
5 sprigs of sage
Pint of cream A dash of whiskey to sear the pork and a good dash in the sauce
1 x Onion
Lemon Juice
1lb Butter

Method To Make the stuffing Saute the onions and then add to a bowl with breadcrumbs, lemon juice, butter (melted), sage & three quarters of the prunes. Stuff the pork loins with the stuffing and tie up with string. Sear in the whiskey until the out sides are coloured and place in the oven to cook for 1 hour.

For the sauce Use the pan that the pork loins were seared in to make the sauce. Add the prunes, cream, pepper and a dash more whiskey, Let is simmer until the cream turns a golden colour.



Medium bag of Potatoes
1 x Leek
Wholegrain Mustard

Method Boil up potatoes 15mins approx. Chop and sauté leek, 5mins approx. Add the leek to cooked potato and mix through butter, milk, leek and mustard and cook for another 5 minutes.


Ingredients 1 Bag of Carrots
3 packets Petit Pois
Jar Mint Sauce  (3 tsps of mint sauce to taste)

Vegetables Method

Cook petit pois and carrots (3 minutes) so they are still crispy. Add a little mint sauce through them.

Downloadable link

Season 3 Episode 4 – Contestant Info

Our contributors are sisters Nikki and Jill. Jill has been living abroad since she was 18.  She lives in Gran Canaria with her daughter Carolina.

Nikki is married to husband Niall who is the 2nd youngest of 14, lots of nieces and nephews. My sister Jill firstly lived in Majorca then moved to Ibiza where Nikki and Jill ran an Irish Bar called Finnegans Wake and we had another bar and Restaurant, after divorcing she then moved to Gran Canaria, over 20 years ago now, where she settled.  Nikki opted to return home to take care of their parents and she currently runs a B&B where she enjoys meeting people from all around the world.

Jill finished school and wasn’t too sure what she wanted to do so took up a job working as an au pair in Spain, and has lived abroad since she was 18,  she is now longer living away from Ireland than she ever lived in Ireland. Jill and her daughter Carolina own and run a legal  & consultancy firm in Las Palmas, the Capital of Gran Canaria and when she is not at work Jill enjoys the outdoors – she goes walking and enjoys a round of golf from time to time.

In this episode, we first meet Nikki at the Powerscourt Gardens to find out who is the family member living away from home.  Later Nikki rustles up the dish that reminds Jill of home in Bray, a Pork and Prunes dish.

Catherine then travels to Anfi Tauro in hope to replicate Nikki’s dish and bring a taste like home over to Jill.

Gran Canaria is one of Spain’s Canary Islands, off northwestern Africa that has a population of 847,830. It’s known for its black lava and white sand beaches. Its southern beaches include bustling Playa del Inglés and Puerto Rico as well as quieter Puerto de Mogán and San Agustín.  The island’s interior is rural and mountainous.  In the north, capital city Las Palmas is a major stop for cruise ships and duty-free shopping.

A tiny continent where you’ll find plenty of experiences that make every day special: golden beaches, stunning landscapes, and a big city full of fun things to do.

Discover beaches as diverse as the landscapes of Gran Canaria. Almost 60 kilometres of beach on 236 kilometres of coastline, all bathed in gentle sunshine that fills you with energy.

From the second half of the 19th century, Gran Canaria started gaining popularity in European circles as an attractive base for recreational holidays; a place for people in need of a rest. Shipping companies soon took advantage of this development and equipped their vessels with cabins for the transport of passengers. These companies would go on to build the first hotels on the island, one of which was the Hotel Santa Catalina (1890) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This is the only hotel dating from the early beginnings of tourism that still remains open.

In 1912, the Island Council Law was brought into force and the foundation stone for the development of the tourism industry and its related services was laid. This led to a number of infrastructure projects such as the construction of the airport, water reservoirs and the principal motorway network of the island.

During the first half of the 20th century a number of wars (World Wars I and II and the Spanish Civil War) impeded further growth. Not even the opening of the then-called Gando Airport (Gran Canaria’s first airport) in 1930 could spark a new boost to the tourism industry. It was only in 1957 when an aircraft from the Swedish airline TSA landed on the island with all of its 54 seats completely booked that tourism really starting taking off. This was the first of many charter flights to arrive on the island from that date on.

Eventually, building on the boom of the 1960s, tourism became the main source of income for the island, making Gran Canaria one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world.

Today tourism in Gran Canaria is divided between the North and South sides of the island with tourists coming to the southern sandy beaches and dunes have brought more wealth to Gran Canaria than banana plantations could ever have done – tourism has grown from less than a hundred visitors a year at the end of the 19th century to 11 million visitors per year in the beginning of the new millennium.

The north of the island is more orientated to the business visitor, hosting all sorts of facilities for the organisation of conferences, seminars and business meetings. This is also the area where you’ll find the cosmopolitan city of Las Palmas, the island’s business centre, and the busy port Puerto de la Luz, one of Europe’s most important harbours. The sandy beaches of Las Canteras and Las Alcaravaneras, flanking the city of Las Palmas, account for a stable income from tourism in this north-eastern area.

But if you want to get away from it all, Gran Canaria provides the perfect destination for a holiday. It’s easy to get off the beaten track when there are over 300km of footpaths and head to the mountains or nature reserves. Rural tourism has become increasingly popular with the renovation and improvement of facilities available at casas rurales (rural houses). These include cave houses where you can get as close to nature as is humanly possible.  Gran Canaria is also attracting more and more visitors for golf or wellness holidays or rural tourism, adding even more attractions to this already eclectic destination and making it one of the most accomplished in Europe.

Information care of http://www.spain-grancanaria.com/en/discover/facts/tourism.html


Anfi Tauro

Tauro valley is an idyllic place with a climate of eternal sunshine. Cocooned between majestic mountains the championship golf course (Anfi Tauro Golf Course) gently rolls down towards the crystalline Atlantic Ocean, providing you with a perfect location for your dream holidays.

In this episodes we visit a rum distillery that is over 100 years old and learn about the whole rum processing followed by  tasting a variety of rums and liqueurs.  We find out about Gofio at Molino de Fuego, one of the most  ancestral foods of the Canary Islands since its origin goes back hundreds of years ago. We visit a   restaurant in Puerto Rico to sample some of Gran Canaria’s best local cuisine, we visit the biggest Cactus Park in Europe, Cactualdea Park and find out about some of the plants culinary uses such as the Tuno Indio which is a red cactus that is used in juices, also at the Park we get to taste some local delights such as papas  arrugadas (Canarian potato’s) and tomato’s as that is the area that produces the tomato’s for the island.

We visit Los Berrazales (La Laja Farm), which has the only Coffee Plantation in Europe and we also pay a visit to the Tropical Fruit Plantation on the farm.


Destilerías Arehucas (Arehuas Rum Distillery)

On 9 August 1884, the Fábrica de San Pedro Factory was officially opened in Arucas, on the Canary Island of Gran Canaria. Although sugar was the main product, sugar cane distillates and rum were also produced at this forerunner of the modern-day Destilerías Arehucas Distilleries. The artisanal process to turn sugar cane into rum and the use of modern stills led to the early success of the distillery, popularly known as La Fábrica.

In 1885, the first 5,619,540 kg of sugar cane were milled. The quality of the resulting liqueurs was deserving of the Vaso de Plata y Bronce silver and bronze trophy and the title of Purveyors to the Royal House and Court of Spain, granted by the Queen Regent Maria Christina of Austria.

Today, Destilerías Arehucas is over a hundred years old and has a rich history. The distillery, located in Arucas (Gran Canaria), is a testament to this fact, welcoming more than 45,000 visitors every year.

Arehucas is an established and prestigious trademark, thanks to the quality and history of its spirits. It has successfully become a benchmark brand in the Canary Islands, a vital launch pad from where to showcase the image of our products to the world, rooted as they are in the culture and traditions of the region.

Catherine’s Tour

  • Origin of Arehucas
  • Visit to the Cellar where the ageing process is carried out.
  • Learning about the rum processing and visit to the mil, the fermentation and distillation rooms.
  • Bottling plant.
  • At the end, taste a variety of our rums and liqueurs.

Contact Person: Cesar Arencibia

Phone No: 0034 928 624 900

Email: cesararencibia@arehucas.es

Address: Calle Era de San Pedro, 2, 35400 Arucas Las Palmas, Spain

Website: http://arehucas.es/en/about-us/


Molino De Fuego (Mill where they make Gofio)

Gofio is one of the most ancestral foods of the Canary Islands since its origin goes back hundreds of years ago. Currently, it continues to be the food base of the Canaries, although its reputation has been revalued; especially since 1994, when the Designation of Origin was granted. It is a roasted cereal flour that is presented in many dishes and that you can include in your recipe book today.

History and tradition, the gofio was brought to the Canary Islands by its ancient inhabitants and that was centuries ago. Since then it has been part of their most basic food and came to Latin America from the hand of the Canarian emigrants. Thanks to that, today it is part of the Venezuelan, Uruguayan and Brazilian gastronomy. It started as roasted barley flour, but nowadays we find it of different types; of wheat, of millet or corn, of cosco, of beans and rye.

It comes from a roasting and grinding process. Formerly they were elaborated manually, with the help of some stones destined to this work; the millstone. Today, electric mills are responsible for their production although, in some areas, old water mills are still preserved.

Contact Person: Gonzalo Suárez

Phone No: 928691225

Email: gonsuasan@hotmail.es

Address: Calle María Encarnación Navarro, 25, 35200 Telde, Las Palmas, Spain


Rincón Canario Restaurante

Rincón Canario Restaurant serving local foods typical of Gran Canaria.

Catherine + the contestant tasted the following –

  • Caldo de Pescado – A clear fish soup made with seawater, usually served with coriander
  • Gofio escaldado – “Scalded Gofio” – a kind of thick porridge made with the stock from the soup and a flour of roasted grains, typically wheat or maize.
  • Ropa Vieja (Literal translation “Old Clothes”) – a dish made of shredded or pulled beef, pork & chicken with chick peas, potatoes & other vegetables.
  • Octopus – cooked in water for 1.5hr with an onion
  • Mojo rojo y mojo verde – Traditional sauces, the green made with coriander and the red with chilli peppers.

Contact Person: Paco

Phone No: +34 928 76 15 63

Address: Edificio del Águila, Calle los Pinos, s/n, 35100 Maspalomas, Las Palmas, Spain


Amadores Beach Club

Amadores is the great reference in terms of CHILL OUT’S in EUROPE. Located on the island paradise of GRAN CANARIA in the Atlantic Ocean.

Stunning views over the sea, relaxing music, cozy atmosphere and a very refreshing menu: Unmistakable signs that we are in the best CHILLOUT 5 estrelas on the island.

A meeting point day and night where you can savor an extensive variety of cocktails such as: Mojitos, Daikiris, Piña Colada, Combined and Natural Juices. The Restaurant of AMADORES BEACH CLUB will surprise you for its careful details, for its select atmosphere, for the fusion of flavor, color, texture and presentation that coexist in harmony in a varied and creative seasonal menu.

Phone: +34 928 56 00 72

Address: Playa Amadores, s/n, 35140 Mogán, Las Palmas, Spain

Email: info@amadoresbeachclub.com 

Website: http://amadoresbeachclub.com/


Cactualdea Park (Cactus Park)

As its name suggests, Cactualdea shows to the visitor a great variety of cactus. There are about 1,200 different species of cactuses, some brought from some remote places such as Madagascar, Bolivia and Guatemala. There are dragoes, palm trees and aloes. This park also contains a model of a Guanche Cave. Our park also has a beautiful restaurant where you can choose between typical Canarian dishes or a selection of it´s international dishes. All is designed for you to relax besides having the possibility of going for a walk and visiting it´s animals and birds, which includes peacocks and donkeys among them.

Six metres, this is what the tallest cactus in Cactualdea measures and it is undoubtedly the star of the best photos in this incredible garden. When you go into this, the largest cactus park in Europe, you will be amazed by the huge size of many of the species of the more than 1,200 to be found here.

Cactualdea offers a lot more that just spiny plants, brought from exotic places like Madagascar. Amidst babbling water and just past the amphitheatre, the eruption of an artificial volcano leads to steps taking us to the beautiful garden. A long stone path around the cactarium allows us to discover more and more cacti surrounded by palm trees, aloe vera and Canary Island Spurge. Under the unworried attention of peacocks, ducks, tortoises and donkeys, all of which are oblivious to everything and just doing their own thing. Visiting the cave, having some tapas in the outdoor bar and buying souvenirs are all activities to be enjoyed.

Make sure to try the red cactus juice made from the  Prickly pear’ cactus plant it makes for a refreshing drink. We also ate “Canarian wrinkly potatoes Papas arrugadas which is a traditional boiled potato dish eaten in the Canary Islands and is usually served with a chili pepper garlic sauce, called mojo rojo, or as an accompaniment to meat dishes.

Contact Person: Leticia del Toro García

Phone No: +34 928 89 12 28

Address: Calle Tocodomán, 35470 La Aldea de San Nicolás, Las Palmas, Spain

Email: cactualdea@gmail.com

Website: http://www.cactualdea.es/


Los Berrazales (Coffee Plantation)

Bodega Los Berrazales is located at the foot of the cliffs of Tamadaba and under hundreds of Canarian Pine Forests. Located in La Laja Farm, famed for its oranges, coffee and its wines. A farm more than 200 years old. It has a banana plantation, wine cellar, coffee plantation and tropical fruit plantation at the Farm.

Contact Person: Victor Lugo

Phone No: 628 922 588

Email: lugojorge3@hotmail.com

Address: Calle De Los Romeros s/n, Valle de Agaete, Las Palmas, Islas Canarias, España

Website: http://www.bodegalosberrazales.com

Tourist Board of Gran Canaria Contact Details

Contact Person: Juana Rosa Aleman

Email: jaleman@grancanaria.com

General Views

  • Amadores Beach Club
  • Destilerías Arehucas
  • Cactualdea Park
  • Los Berrazales
  • Molino de Fuego
  • Rincón Canario Restaurante
  • Playa de Puerto Rico
  • Puerto de Mogán
  • Mogán Beach
  • Las Palmas

Bray, Co. Dublin

Bray is known as the Gateway to the Garden of Ireland and is the longest established seaside town in Ireland. It is only 19km (12 miles) south of Dublin and is reached by DART, Train, Bus or the N11 road.

There is a safe beach of sand and shingle to walk on and there is a spacious esplanade. The scene is dominated by Bray Head. The scenic Cliff Walk on the eastern side of Bray Head, which continues, into Greystones offers walkers a feast of views on the way.

To get some of the most stunning views of Bray, look no further than Bray Head. The hill dominates the end of the promenade and the stone cross atop the hill is an iconic feature of the town. While the climb is not particularly daunting, some parts can be a bit of a challenge and require some scrambling. But if the hike up doesn’t leave you breathless the views sure will! To start the climb, follow the promenade up towards the hill. The real climb begins at the steps; from here there is a well worn path straight up to the cross. The path will bring you up through trees and on a dirt path. Be prepared for a bit of a scramble up rocks at the top. The path can get quite mucky when it rains so dress appropriately.

At the top of Bray Head there is a stone cross which was placed there in 1950 during the Holy Year. From here you get a magnificent panoramic vista of Bray, North East Wicklow and Dublin Bay. You can also see some of Bray Head’s neighbouring mountains, the Great and Little Sugar Loaf and Carrickgollogan, locally known as Kathy Gallagher.

Bray Promenade starts from the harbour near Martello Terrace, the childhood home of James Joyce, and ends at the base of Bray Head. The Promenade is a mile long walk along the seafront and commands magnificent views of Bray Head, The Sugarloaf and The Wicklow Mountains. The Promenade dates back to Victorian times when William Dargan, the man who brought the rail to Bray, built it as part of his plan to turn Bray into a popular seaside resort. His endeavours earned Bray the title ‘The Brighton of Ireland’.

(information care of http://www.bray.ie/bray-head-walk/)


Powerscourt Estate, House and Gardens

Powerscourt is one of the world’s great gardens and is located 20km south of Dublin City Centre. Set against the backdrop of the great Sugarloaf Mountain, Powerscourt is stunning in every season.

From the ornate Italian Gardens, to the formal walks of the Rose and Kitchen Gardens, there are many hidden treasures to explore. With over 200 varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers this 47 acres has something for everyone.

The Gardens were laid out over a period of 150 years and were designed to create a garden that was part of the wider landscape, creating one of the most majestic vistas in Ireland. Fine statuary and ironworks collected from across Europe adorn these magnificent Gardens.

The 1st Viscount Powerscourt was keen to make his mark and assert his position as one of importance in society, so he set about transforming the medieval castle at Powerscourt into a grand mansion. In 1730 he commissioned the German-born architect Richard Castle to build Powerscourt House, a 68 room mansion which was completed in 1741. The mansion was designed around the medieval castle in the style of Palladian architecture and featured baroque dome-roofed towers on either side, giving it in the words of one architectural historian, “The massive dignity of a great Italian Renaissance villa.”

The North front was adapted to present a grand entrance in the Palladian manner, while the South front faced the gardens and was initially only two storeys in height. An extra storey was added in 1787 and further major alterations were made in the late 19th century. The house contained some of the finest 18th century interiors in Ireland and was one of the country’s most beautiful mansions. In 1961, the Slazenger family purchased the Estate from the 9th Viscount Powerscourt.

In 1974 a major refurbishment of the house was completed in preparation for it joining the gardens as a visitor attraction. Tragically, in the early hours of November 4th a fire broke out on the top floor of Powerscourt House and by the morning the main part of the house was a roofless shell. No-one was injured, but all of the principal reception rooms and bedrooms were destroyed. The walls of the main house, revealing stonework dating back to the 13th century, stood as a stark reminder of the fire for over twenty years. In 1996 the house was re-roofed and it was opened to the public by President Mary Robinson in 1997.

Powerscourt House today is home to the best of Irish design in gifts, clothes and furniture. The Avoca Terrace Café offers the finest Irish artisan, freshly prepared food. Visitors to Powerscourt can experience Tara’s Palace, a unique and magical hand crafted doll’s palace. Powerscourt House was recently voted as One of the Top Ten Houses and Mansions Worldwide by the Lonely Planet Guide. It is wonderful to see Powerscourt House thriving today as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland.



Powerscourt Gardens were recently voted No.3 in the World’s Top Ten Gardens by National Geographic.The Gardens stretch over 47 acres and offer visitors a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping terraces, statues and ornamental lakes, secret hollows and rambling walks. Managed by Head Gardener, Alex Slazenger and a team of four gardeners, Powerscourt Gardens were designed from 1731 onwards, with the desire to create a garden which was part of the wider surrounding landscape. Powerscourt Gardens include The Walled Gardens, The Italian Garden, The Dolphin Pond, The Japanese Gardens, Pets Cemetery and Pepperpot Tower, among other features and attractions.

Opening Times:  Daily: 9.30am – 5.30pm (Last entry 5pm)

Gardens close at dusk in Winter (Last entry during winter is 30 minutes before dusk)

The Gardens are open year-round and only close December 25th & 26th

Ballroom & Garden Rooms:  Sundays 9:30am – 1:30pm – All Year; Mondays 9:30am – 1:30pm – May to September

Contact Person: Jill Robins (Powerscourt House Manager)

Email: jill.robins@powerscourt.net 

Website: https://powerscourt.com/


Local Landmarks

  • Bray – Greystones Cliff Walk
  • Harbour Bar
  • Bray Seafront

Catherine’s Tour

Catherine had a private tour of the auction with the Market Tour Guide Alex, looking at various species of seafood and getting an explanation of the Dutch auction clocks. They then went to Peter’s seafood, tried a Moreton Bay Bug on the boardwalk and then visited Claudio’s, tasting a fresh prawn.

Contact Person: Emmy Gargiulo

Phone No: +61 2 9004 1100

Email: emmyg@sydneyfishmarket.com.au

Address: Pyrmont Bridge Rd, Sydney NSW 2009, Australia 

Website: http://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au



Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo is just 12 minutes from the city by ferry, with breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour.

Divided into eight zoogeographic regions, the 28-hectare (69-acre) Taronga Zoo Sydney is home to over 4,000 animals of 350 species. There are over 20 keeper talks and shows a day, tours, events & concerts at the Zoo.

The Red Kangaroo is an iconic Australian animal of the outback and the world’s largest marsupial.

The Red Kangaroo is nocturnal and largely spends the daylight hours sleeping or resting in the shade of trees. Red Kangaroos hopping can reach speeds of up to 64 km per hour! They can reach a height of 1.8m and travel up to nine metres in a single hop!

Balancing act – When moving fast roos hop on their hind legs, using their tail as a counterbalance, and when moving slowly they use their tail as an extra limb, taking their weight on their front limbs and tail while hopping their hind feet forwards.

My mob – A group of kangaroos is called a mob. Red Kangaroos usually hang-out in a family group of about 10 animals but some males will lead a solitary life. The Red Kangaroo is nocturnal and largely spends the daylight hours sleeping or resting in the shade of trees. Being a marsupial, Red Kangaroos give birth to underdeveloped young, about the size of a jellybean, that continues development whilst suckling milk inside the mother’s pouch. The joey will leave the pouch around 235 days old, but will continue to suckle until 12 months of age.  Female kangaroos can delay giving birth if conditions in their current environment are not ideal eg. Food is scarce and there is drought or they already have a joey in their pouch, this process is called embryonic diapause. As a result of this process, when conditions are good the female can simultaneously support a suckling young outside the pouch, a suckling young within the pouch, and a dormant or developing embryo, and any young lost during drought can quickly be replaced when conditions improve. The Red Kangaroo has the ability to survive through drought when water is scarce. The grasses and foliage that the kangaroo eats provides them with their water needs as well as their nutritional requirements.

Mostly Red Kangaroos are not aggressive or territorial, however, Red Kangaroo males (boomers) ‘box’ each other when fighting over female mates. They stand in a tripod position using their back legs and tail and jab their opponents with their front paws. If the fight escalates, they can deliver a powerful kick with both hind legs, using their tail as support. This is where the phrase ‘boxing kangaroo’ comes from.

The Red Kangaroo: Found throughout central Australia in semi-arid and arid regions. They inhabit grassland, shrubland, desert, woodland and open forest, and are most common in open savannah woodland.

Life span: In the wild: up to 20 years. In captivity: 23 years  Size: 1.25-1.8m. Males tend to be orange red in colouring while females are often blue grey. Both males and females are a lighter whitish colour underneath.  Tail Length: About 1m. Weight: Males 65-92kg, Females 25-30kg Diet: Herbivore: native grasses and small green vegetation Mating: Reproduction is very sensitive to environmental conditions. The Red Kangaroo breeds all year round, however spring and summer tend to be times when most young joeys are born.  Gestation: 31-36 days  (https://taronga.org.au)

Contact Person: Greg Mills, Senior Media Relations Officer

Phone No: P +61 2 9978 4752 M +61 436 469 576

Email: gmills@zoo.nsw.gov.au

Address: Bradleys Head Road Mosman NSW 2088


Sydney Swans Aussie Rules Football Team

The Sydney Swans is a professional Australian Rules football club, which plays in the Australian Football League (AFL). Established in Melbourne as the South Melbourne Football Club in 1874, the Swans relocated to Sydney in 1982, thus making it the first club in the competition to be based outside Victoria. Initially playing in the Victorian Football Association (VFA), the Swans joined seven other clubs in founding the breakaway Victorian Football League (now known as the AFL) in 1896. 1909, 1918 and 1933 saw the club win  premierships before a 72-year premiership drought—the longest in the competition’s history. In 2005 they won again and again in 2012. The club has proven to be one of the most consistent teams in the nationalised AFL, failing to make the finals in only three seasons since 1995. The Swans’ headquarters and training facilities are located at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the club’s playing home ground since 1982.

Colin O’Riordan

From the green hills of county Tipperary to Sydney’s Harbour City, it’s been some journey Colin O’Riordan. The 22-year-old took out Gaelic football’s 2014 young player of the year, twice earned junior All-Ireland honours and was also a star hurler in his youth.

The 10th of July was the day Colin O’Riordan would play his first AFL match as a Sydney Swan and start to make make a name for himself in the AFL, following in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Tadhg Kennelly and Tommy Walsh. The rebounding defender will look to continue his memorable debut season as the Swans push towards another finals campaign in 2019.


Contact Person: Jordan Laing, Media + PR Manager

Phone No: M: +61 (0) 422 074 191

Email: LaingJ@sydneyswans.com.au

Address: Moore Park Rd, Moore Park NSW 2021, Australia (Sydney Cricket Grounds is their home ground).

General Views

  • The Rocks area
  • Maroubra Beach
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Sydney Opera House
  • Sydney Tower Eye
  • Queen Victoria Building
  • Darling Harbour
  • Chinatown
  • Sydney Cricket Grounds

Sydney is a city teeming with attractions and tours, start your journey at Circular Quay with the Sydney Opera House and unforgettable views of the World Heritage-listed building beside Sydney Harbour, with it’s sparkling blue harbour, a great waterway for sailing and cruising.

Sydney the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia’s east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and sprawls about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north and Macarthur to the south. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as Sydneysiders. As of June 2017 Sydney’s estimated population was 5,131,326.

The city is amongst the top fifteen most-visited cities in the world, with millions of tourists coming each year to see the city’s landmarks.

Stroll to the western side of the quay for The Rocks, the oldest part of Sydney, where cobbled laneways of the convict colony remain. You’ll find plenty of things to do and see in The Rocks walking tours. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb Sydney. In Darling Harbour meet penguins and sharks at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and get up close to koalas and a giant saltwater crocodile at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. Amble across to Pyrmont for blockbuster shows at Sydney Lyric in The Star and the freshest seafood at Sydney Fish Market.

Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, the 2018 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living, making it one of the most livable cities.

We visit the many world famous sites such as the Sydney Opera House, the Rocks area, we sample some local cuisine such as the famous Chicken Parm which is a favorite of our Irish contestants Sarah + Aaron, we visit the famous Sydney Fish Market, we learn about Indigenous cuisine from the head Chef at 12-Micron Restaurant, we learn about Aussie Rules Football from Colin O’Riordan, who hails from Co. Tipperary and now a member of the Sydney Swans Aussie Rules Football Team. And we learn about Australia’s wildlife at Taronga Zoo.


The Rocks Walking Tours

Join Sydney’s Original Walking Tour, established 1978, as our professional guides take you on a 90 minute leisurely walk through Sydney’s colonial district, The Rocks. Hear the story of Sydney’s convict past as you stroll along the shoreline of Sydney Harbour with views of the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, past Cadman’s Cottage, Sydney’s oldest cottage built 1816, Campbell’s Cove and the hidden Foundation Park. Wander down hidden alleyways, into shady courtyards, along cobbled laneways as you hear the story of Australia’s first British settlement. Be amazed with stories of The First Fleet 1788, Nurses Walk, The Rum Rebellion 1808, the Argyle Cut 1840, Suez Canal, the plague 1900, the Harbour Bridge 1920’s, the diabolical 1970’s plan to demolish The Rocks and the Green Bans that saved it. And of Course the characters and rogues who called it home.

Today The Rocks is renowned for having the oldest streets in Sydney, dotted with beautifully restored nineteenth century buildings.


Tour Highlights:

  • The shoreline of sparkling Sydney Cove 
  • Harbour views of Sydney’s Opera House and Harbour Bridge
  • Cadman’s Cottage, Sydney CBD’s oldest surviving cottage built in 1816
  • Campbell’s Cove; is a beautiful, intimate cove offering fantastic views of Sydney Opera House,
  • Harbour Bridge and Campbell’s Cove wharves 
  • Awe inspiring Argyle Cut; was begun with convict labour in 1843 
  • Within The Rocks historic precinct we will wander through George Street, Greenway Lane, Kendall Lane, Rocks Square, Playfair Street, Foundation Park, Suez Canal and Nurses Walk and much more!

Contact Person:  Michael Collins (Tour Guide)

Phone No: 0419 578 678 or +61 419 578 678

Email: info@rockswalkingtours.com.au

Website: https://www.rockswalkingtours.com.au


The Erko Hotel (Erskineville Hotel)

The Erskineville Hotel, or the Erko as it is affectionately called by the locals, is a hearty pub right in the centre of Erskineville, Sydney. It’s hard to shake the classic pub feel the Erko, there’s a wide variety of craft beers from local brewers that sit on the taps alongside your staple Aussie beers like Carlton, Victoria Bitter & Resch’s. The food does not deny it’s roots; it stays true to the classic pub menu but adds a signature touch to it. The Erko won TimeOut’s  Sydney’s ‘Pub Food of the Year’ Award in 2017, and it’s not hard to see why. Schnitzels & Rump steaks that are as delicious as they are mouth-watering, the Cheeseburger Quesedilla is an immediate winner to any yet to try it & daily specials from the Erko’s Smoker Menu. But other than that, there is an undeniable friendly vibe and atmosphere that never wavers. Family & Dog friendly, the Erko proudly welcomes locals and visitors alike. At the Erko, it’s everyone’s pub and there’s no denying it.


Catherine + the Irish contestants tasted the following:

Whether you call it Parmi or Parma, there’s no running from the Erko’s most popular item on the menu. It’s not hard to see why the Erko’s Chicken Parma is so well known. The 300g crumbed chicken fillet is not only topped with a delicious layer of tomato sugo & cheese, but also features a layer of smoked pulled pork. Unlike any Parma you’ve yet to try, the Erko’s is not one to miss when in Sydney.

Contact Person: Nick Cerone

Phone No: +61 2 9565 1608

Email: Nick.Cerone@solotel.com.au

Address: 102 Erskineville Road, Erskineville,NSW 2043

Website: https://www.theerko.com.au/


12-Micron Restaurant

Executive Chef Justin Wise (The Press Club, The Point Albert Park) sources predominantly Australian ingredients from a range of producers and a collective of foragers to create a refined but still relaxed menu inspired by the earth, ocean, land and air.


Catherine + the Irish contestant’s tasted the following:

Wallaby carpaccio, rosella and raspberry sorbet, chocolate oil.

The wallaby lion are sealed and rubbed with native Tasmanian pepper berry, mountain pepper and aniseed myrtle

Garnish with confit rosella petals, bronze fennel and sorrel

And a quenelle of rosella and raspberry sorbet

Dressed with Chocolate oil


Tuna tartare, beetroot, dashi, rainforest lime (Mixed together)

Diced albacore tuna, pickled beetroots, pickled shallots and rainforest lime dressing.

When assembled- garnished with beetroot gel, sea urchin and dashi mayonnaise, native furakaki, beetroot powder, shaved golden beetroots.


Pineapple, smoked maple, coconut cloud and aniseed Myrtle

Diced pineapple infused with smoked maple syrup, coconut sago – both encased in a black and white cocoa shell, frozen aniseed myrtle and coconut clouds, black and whit isomalt shards, pineapple gel. Plate blown with black shimmer powder.

Contact Person: Justin Wise

Phone No: +61 2 8322 2075

Email: Justin.Wise@ausvenueco.com.au

Address: Tower 1, Level 2/100 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo NSW 2000

Website: https://12micron.com.au


Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

It is one of the 20th century’s most famous and distinctive buildings.

In 1956 the New South Wales Premier, The Hon. Joe Cahill, announced an international competition for the design of an opera house for Sydney which attracted more than 200 entries from around the world. After having won a number of smaller architectural competitions, Utzon submitted his vision for the Sydney Opera House.

The architect of Sydney Opera House, Jørn Utzon was a relatively unknown 38 year old Dane in January 1957 when his entry was announced winner of the international competition to design a ‘national opera house’ for Sydney’s Bennelong Point. His vision for a sculptural, curved building on the Harbour broke radically with the cube and rectangular shapes of modernist architecture. The building transformed his career and, in turn, transformed the image of an entire nation.

Jørn Utzon was born on April 9, 1918 in Copenhagen. He grew up in the town of Aalborg, where his father was a naval architect, engineer and director of the local shipyard. A keen sailor, Utzon originally intended to follow his father as a naval engineer, but opted to study architecture at the Copenhagen Royal Academy of Arts. After graduating in 1942 with a Diploma in Architecture, he worked in Sweden until the end of World War II.

Fusing ancient and modernist influences, and built on a site sacred to the local Gadigal people for thousands of years, the sculptural elegance of the Sydney Opera House has made it one of the most recognisable buildings of the twentieth century, synonymous with inspiration and imagination.

Today it is Australia’s number one tourist destination, welcoming more than 8.2 million visitors a year and one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres, presenting more than 2000 shows 363 days a year for more than 1.5 million people, from the work of the seven flagship arts companies to which it is home to First Nations’ arts and culture, talks and ideas, theatre and dance and the superstars of classical and contemporary music.

But while the tale of the Opera House is one of breathtaking triumph, it is also one of personal cost. The building’s design was inspired – entirely unlike anything that had been seen before. Pressures piled upon its architect, Jørn Utzon, who left Australia midway through construction, never to return to see the building completed. Nevertheless, Utzon’s masterpiece would define his career, and redefine the image of Australia both to itself and the world.  https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com


Catherine’s + the Irish contestants Tour

1) Concert Hall.

2) Concert Hall Northern Foyer.

3) Joan Sutherland Theatre –

Contact Person: Danielle Edwards, Communications Specialist

Phone No: T +61 2 9250 7209 / M +61 418 417 241

Email: dedwards@sydneyoperahouse.com

Address: Bennelong Point, GPO Box 4274 Sydney, NSW 2001

Website: https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/


Opera Bar

Situated right by the waters edge, Opera Bar is often described as the best beer garden in the world. Be swept away by the panoramic views of the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, CBD and beautiful Harbour. Whether it’s breakfast, a lazy lunch, a pre show dinner date or simply a cocktail; Opera Bar is truly perfect for any occasion.

Curated by the renowned Chef Matt Moran, our menu offers a wide range of options, appealing to all palates. Enjoy weekend breakfast; watch as chefs shuck fresh oysters at our Raw Bar; indulge in locally sourced cheeses and meats sliced to order in our Meat & Cheese Room; or simply choose a meal off our All Day Menu. Opera Bar also has live entertainment daily.

Inspired by fresh seasonal produce, Opera Bar’s cocktail list is updated quarterly to ensure that your taste buds are constantly tantalized. Why not try our Sydney Sling No. 2: four pillars gin, st germain elderflower, mint, lime, ps smoked lemonade, topped with bitters. Our wine list boasts grapes from all over the world, and if beer is your preference, you can’t go past our very own Opera Bar Pale Ale.


Catherine + the Irish contestant’s tasted the following:

  1. Charcuterie – selection of three cured meats, preserved vegetables, mustard, sourdough
  2. Drink – the bar’s Signature Drink. Sydney Sling No.2: four pillars gin, st germain elderflower, mint, lime, ps smoked lemonade, bitters

Contact Person: Sammy McPherson

Phone No: +61 2 9247 1666

Email: Sammy@operabar.com.au

Address: Opera Bar, Lower Concourse, Sydney Opera House

Website: https://operabar.com.au/


Maroubra Beach / Maroubra Coastal Cliff Walk

The word ‘Maroubra’ comes from an Aboriginal word meaning ‘like thunder’ – an apt description of the sound of the waves pounding on the shoreline. These waves have made Maroubra one of the most popular surfing locations in Sydney and Australia’s second only National Surfing Reserve. The beach is serviced by two surf life saving clubs, and is patrolled all year by Randwick City lifeguards. Volunteer lifesavers patrol the beach on weekends and school holidays during daylight saving months.

Maroubra Beach is popular with visitors given its easy access and large kilometre-long expanse of sand.

There’s lots to do at the beach with a free outdoor gym, a skate park and a large kids playground. Free BBQs are located in the central part of the beach and towards the south of the beach near South Maroubra Surf Club. There are outdoor showers, a large changeroom and toilet and lighting.

There is also a cafe/kiosk area at the centre of the beach and more restaurants and cafes are located in Marine Parade directly opposite the beach.

There is free parking surrounding the beach, including a car park adjacent to the main beach, a car park north of the beach at Jack Vanny Reserve and a car park at South Maroubra Beach.

The beach is patrolled year round by Randwick City Council Lifeguards and is serviced by two surf life saving clubs during daylight saving months.


Maroubra Coastal Cliff Walk

Starts at the beach and you walk towards the Cliffs, which takes about 5mins. The Coastal Walk from Maroubra can take you towards Clovelly Beach, Gordan’s Bay, Coogee Beach + Bondi Beach.

Contact Person: Nerida Ayshford, (Randwick City Council)

Phone No: T +61 2 9250 7209 / M +61 418 417 241

Email: Nerida.Ayshford@randwick.nsw.gov.au

Website: https://www.randwick.nsw.gov.au


Sydney Fish Market

Sydney Fish Market ( SFM ) as a tourist attraction is a feast for the eyes – from the fishing fleet outside to the most extraordinary seafood on display in the market halls, there is quite a lot to take in that you wouldn’t normally see on an ordinary day. Plus, you can combine a visit to the Fish Market with a stroll along the beautifully restored harbour foreshore towards Balmain.

SFM is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. A working fish market, SFM sources product both nationally and internationally and trades over 13,500 tonnes of seafood annually – with up to one hundred sustainable seafood species traded every day and approximately 500 species traded annually. SFM employs approximately 65 staff to organise the weekday wholesale auction, promote Sydney Fish Market as the centre of seafood excellence and operate the Sydney Seafood School.

Since opening in 1989, Sydney Seafood School has played an important part in persuading Sydney residents to eat more fish. The School is considered to be one of Australia’s leading cooking schools. Over 12,000 people come to classes each year.  Visit the SSS pages for more information or to book a class.


Until 1945, the marketing of fish in New South Wales was conducted by licensed fish agents operating out of Haymarket fish market, or by unlicensed operators elsewhere in the state. Two years later in 1966, SFM moved from the Haymarket area of Sydney to its current location at Blackwattle Bay, Pyrmont.  In those days, fish were sold using the labour intensive, traditional ‘voice’ auction system. This system saw buyers assemble outside the sales bay fence, where inside an assistant would hold up samples of fish from each box for buyers to bid until the highest price was reached.

SFM introduced a computerised Dutch auction in October 1989, dramatically evolving the way fish was to be sold.  Modelled on the ‘reverse’ auction system, which has been used for over 130 years to sell tulips in Amsterdam, SFM’s auctioneers set the price approximately $3 higher than the assumed market price.  The clock then winds down at a rate of $1 per revolution and the price drops until a buyer stops the clock by pressing a button.  The successful buyer then selects a number of crates from the ‘lot’. In February 2004, state-of-the-art digital video projectors were installed to enhance the auction clocks. These large screens face toward around 150 to 200 buyers each day.

Through this reverse auction system, SFM can now offer buyers the fastest and most efficient method of trading seafood, whilst still ensuring the best possible price in open competition. Approximately 1,000 crates or 20,000 kg of seafood are sold every hour during SFM auctions.  That’s an average of 2,700 crates, or 50 tonnes of fresh seafood, traded every day.

In 1989 SFM established Sydney Seafood School. The School now attracts 12,000 participants a year and hosts an enviable list of Australia’s finest guest chefs. In 2001, SFM launched its innovative new online-based seafood trading system, SFMlive that operates in addition to the Dutch auction.  SFMlive now provides traders with advanced facilities for direct online seafood sales including wild harvest, aquaculture and frozen products, taking fish trading to a new level.   https://www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au

Lusk is a small town in Fingal, County Dublin, Ireland. The town is located about 23 km (14 mi) north of Dublin city centre. The name “Lusk” is said to date back to Saint MacCullin, who founded a church there c. 450. Oral tradition suggests MacCullin may have either lived in or been buried in a cave and that the name “Lusk” derives from an old Irish word Lusca meaning ‘cave’ or ‘underground chamber’. MacCullin died in c. 497 and his feast day was the 6th of September.

The area was known as Bregia in pre-Christian times and is known to have been birthplace to Cú Chulainn’s wife, Emer. Thus we find a 20th-century tradition among old Lusk families of naming daughters Emer.



Lusk Round Tower

The only remnant of an Early Christian foundation is the Round Tower. It stands about 27m high and retains its original conical cap. There are nine storeys including the basement. The flat-headed doorway is now less than 1m above ground level. The Round Tower is attached to a square tower built in the 15th or 16th century with three matching round towers at its corners. The large tower houses several medieval tombs including that of James Bermingham (1527) and the double-effigy tomb of Christopher Barnewell and his wife Marion Sharl (1589). The monastery itself had a violent history, having been pillaged and destroyed in 835 and burnt in 854. In 1089 the church was burnt again with 180 people inside and the abbey was devastated yet again in 1135. Austin Cooper first mentioned the tower in 1783 as being in good condition, though there were no floors or ladders at that time. These were fitted in the 1860s, along with a wood and cement roof by the rector, Dr. Wm. Reeves. He also filled up a breach in the second storey that led to the square medieval bell tower, and possibly another at the level of the belfry battlements. Metal grills were fitted into the windows in 1977. The present church was built against the east wall of the belfry in 1847 after a storm damaged the former (and much larger) building in 1838. The belfry is thought to date from approximately 1500. Other Items of Interest: The church on this site houses the Lusk Heritage Center and is currently underwent restoration.

Lusk Heritage Centre comprises of a round tower, a medieval belfry and a 19th century church. They form a unit, although they were built over a period of almost a thousand years. The belfry now houses an exhibition on medieval churches of North County Dublin and also the magnificent 16th century effigy tomb of Sir Christopher Barnewall and his wife Marion Sharl.

In the 2000s, Lusk had an exploding population. The Central Statistical Office notes that 62% of all private dwellings in Lusk were built in the five years between 2001 and 2006. Census figures for the same period show a population boom from c. 2500 to over 5200.

During most of the 20th century, the population remained fairly static. Census returns for 1901 and 1911 show a population boom from about 300 to 600. In the early 1950s, the Survey Gazetteer of The British Isles quotes a population of 513 for the village. Due to massive emigration in the 1950s and 1960s the later population actually declined. In the mid-1950s for instance, the total number of children in the old NS, boys and girls, hovered around 120.   The present NS opened in 1956 with about that number.

Fingal is a very old district being about 4 thousand years older than Dublin City. Lusk was the capital of Fingal and was an important village over a very long period. There were originally five provinces in Ireland, the four current ones being Leinster, situated on the eastern area of the island, Munster to the south, Ulster to the north and Connaught to the west. The fifth province was royal Meath, so called because the
high king of Ireland had his castle in Meath. In banter the present Meath men would on occasions brag that Meath was a province and Dublin never was,would get the reply ,When Meath lost fingal they lost their provincial status. The flag of Fingal is a black raven on a white background. This emblem was adopted as Fingal’s flag after the Battle of Clontarf, now part of Dublin City, in 1014. Brian Boru the king of Munster gathered an army from all over Ireland and finally defeated the Vikings. The black raven standard was captured at the battle, and this was a decisive act in ending the battle. Alas, as one Viking, “Brudar” by name, was leaving the battlefield he saw King Brian praying in his tent and the last to die was the king. Brudar hit him on the head with a battle-axe. Lusk was a very old religious area with a round tower built circa 9th century. This round tower was built to look out to sea as Vikings raided Lusk on many occasions and burned the Village. The pickings were good in Lusk as the monks had gold and silver chalices and other religious objects. The round tower built of stone could not be burned. The monks would take refuge in this tower with their valuables. The entrance to the tower was 15 feet above ground level. Ladders were used to reach the entrance and pulled up by the monks. Lusk had a monastery founded by St MacCullin, which was older than St Mobhi’s monastery in Glasnevin. At one time, Rush, now a much bigger town, did not exist but was part of the parish of Lusk.

The Port of Lusk:
In the olden day’s Lusk was a port. This is surprising as Lusk is not on the coast. The story harks back to the Viking days when small boats could sail into Rogerstown estuary. When a boat was spotted with a black raven on the sails the alarm would be raised. Panic would ensue and the monks would take their valuables up into the tower and sit it out. They would wait there until the danger passed. There was a strong culture in Lusk from the turn of the century and one man who was foremost in promoting this was Thomas Ashe. Thomas was from Lispole, Dingle, Co Kerry and he came to Lusk as headmaster of Corduff primary school. Thomas was founder member of the round towers GAA football and hurling clubs founded in 1906 and the Black Raven pipe band in 1910.

Information care of http://www.luskparish.ie/parishhistory.html

Season 3 Episode 3 – Contestant Info

Sarah is 27 years old and lives with her partner Aaron. Sarah works for a global company called DXC Technology within the insurance vertical. She is based in the CBD in Sydney and has been working there for the last 2 years. When they first came to Sydney, Sarah and Aaron both joined the Young Irelands GAA team to make new friends, a great way to get to know people and have a sense of home when abroad. Aaron is a personal Trainer so fitness is important to them both.

Parents Kate and Noel live in Lusk. Kate works as a Legal Secretary. She is married to her husband Noel and has two grown up children, Conor and Sarah. She lives with Noel and her three doggies Molly, Charlie and George in Lusk!

In this episode, we first meet Kate at Lusk Round Tower where we soak in the surrounding views and to find out who is the family member living away from home.

Later Kate rustles up the dish that reminds Sarah of home in Dublin, Homemade Vegetable Soup + Homemade Soda Bread.

Catherine then travels to Sydney in hope to replicate Kate’s dish and bring a taste like home over to Sarah.

Surf ‘n’ Turf Salad with citrus dressing (Serves 4) (Sydney, OZ)

For the dressing:

1 medium lemon, juice and zest
1medium orange, juice and zest
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp chopped chives
150ml extra virgin olive oil

For the steak:

3 x 120g fillet steaks
300g raw prawns
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 lemon, zest and juice of ½
1 tbsp chopped parsley

For the salad:

100g watercress
100g mixed salad leaves
1 cucumber, deseeded and sliced
7 to 8 mint leaves
1 mango, peeled and sliced
2 avocado, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp macadamia nut, toasted and roughly chopped
Chive lengths, to garnish
Oil and butter, to fry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the dressing, add the lemon and orange juices and zest into a bowl together with the vinegar and sugar. Add the chives and pour in the olive oil and whisk very well. Check the seasoning, add salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To cook the steak, heat a large frying pan with butter and oil over a medium high heat.

Add the steak and leave to sear, basting from time to time. This will take about 2 to 3 minute on each side depending on the thickness of the meat and cook until how you prefer your doneness. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, leave to rest, covered to keep warm for about 3 to 4 minutes.

To cook the prawns, in a second frying pan, heat butter and oil, add the garlic, chilli and lemon juice and zest and sauté for 1 minute.

Add the prawns and cook for about 2 minutes or until they are pink and cooked.

To serve, arrange the watercress, mixed lettuce leaves, cucumber and mint leaves on a large serving platter.

Spoon over a little dressing and arrange the mango and avocado slices over the top.

Slice the steak at an angle into strips and place on top, spoon over more dressing.

Arrange the prawns on top, garnish with chive lengths and sprinkle over the toasted macadamia nuts.   


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