13 July 2018
A late lunch in Bray,
a glass of Sicilian wine
and a walk on the beach
If it was three months or more since I had been in Bettystown and Laytown, Co Meath, for a walk on the beach and lunch in Relish, then it has been even longer since I had been in Bray, Co Wicklow, and five months or more since I had lunch in Carpe Diem.
I was in Saint Vincent’s University Hospital at lunchtime yesterday [12 July 2018] for another procedure on a benign growth on my nose. I thought this might be the last in a series of visits, but I have been told I need to return again in about six weeks’ time. These hospital visits have been easy-going in so far as visits like this can be, and I am constantly reassured by the professionalism and attentive car of everyone I meet.
It was 2 p.m. before we left, and two of us decided to return to Bray for a late lunch in Carpe Diem on Albert Avenue and an afternoon stroll on the stony, pebbly beach.
Carpe Diem is one of the finest, authentic Italian restaurants in this part of Ireland, and with a fine range of Italian wines. On Thursday afternoon I had a glass of Regaleali Bianco from Sicily with my lunch.
This was the first wine produced by Count Tasca d’Almerita on the Regaleali estate. It is primarily a blend of three Sicilian grapes: Inzolia, Catarratto, and Grecanico, with some Chardonnay.
This wine is cool-fermented in stainless steel to create a versatile, refreshing, and delicious white of true Sicilian character. It is straw-yellow in colour, and aromas of green apples and pitted fruits complement undertones of pears and grapefruits. It has a crisp acidity and a rich body that make for an easy-to-drink white wine that is particularly refreshing on a hot summer day.
The weather had picked up as we finished lunch and went for our stroll on the beach. I find Bray attractive for its Italian cafés and restaurants, its long beach, its Victorian and Edwardian architecture, and its harbour and boat clubs.
But I was amazed on a bright summer afternoon that Bray still has many of the attractions that I associate with the childhood seaside towns of my childhood and early teens in the 1950s and 1960s.
At the end of a walk back along the promenade, we sat down to ice cream hand-made in traditional Italian style – and a double espresso.