This week we’re delighted to have a guest blog post from friends of The Happy Pear, Tommy & Vicky, who came and visited our cafe in Autumn of last year! Tommy teaches English and Special Education at The International School of Basel and is currently studying for an MA in English.
This is a gorgeous account of this couple’s first trip to Ireland, and Greystones, this story was shared around our office and put a big smile on all our faces, hopefully it might put one on yours too!
Before we moved to Switzerland early last year, I ate rice and beans three or four nights a week, while my wife Vicky, working late at her office, ordered takeout. For us, food was more for sustenance than anything else. However, after settling into our new home in Basel, Switzerland last March, Vicky, on account of the cost of dining out and a growing interest in food, started cooking.
After a rainy weekend reading David and Stephen’s bright yellow book, The Happy Pear – Recipes and Stories from the Last Ten Years, Vicky quickly became a zealous follower. Her new excitement landed a Happy Pear Moussaka and Happy Pear White Lasagna on my plate the following week.
During dinner, Vicky often tells me about each ingredient in our meal, some of which (tamari and aubergine come to mind) I have never heard of, and a snippet of the brothers’ story. Soon, David and Stephen became regulars in our lives and their cookbook has taken up residence in our bedroom where Vicky often lulls herself to sleep reading recipes.
Last August, while we were planning our fall vacation, Vicky proposed a trip to Dublin. When I asked why, she coyly revealed that the Flynn brothers’ café and shop was in the small town of Wicklow, some 30 minutes south of the city. And, since Vicky is such a dutiful ski spouse in winter, I figured I could return the favour and support her new adoration of the Flynn brothers.
As we crested a small hill on Church Road and The Happy Pear’s bright orange sign came into view, I realized that my wife was not the only fan of the Flynn brothers – a line of devotees snaked down the street. We took our place at the back of the line and moved quietly towards the front door.
After a few minutes, we reached the café, and after ordering porridge with compote and an avocado toastie, we headed out back to a pebbled patio, dotted with wooden tables and benches surrounded by a turquoise painted wall. While serene, the fact that the Irish Sea loomed just a quarter of a mile away had me itching to move, but Vicky’s desire to catch a glimpse of the twins kept us at the café.
After perusing The Happy Pear shop, we grabbed coffees and headed for a stroll on the Bray Head Cliff Walk where we enjoyed unencumbered views of the sun-speckled Irish Sea.
Upon returning to Wicklow via a stunning train ride along the coast, we headed back to The Happy Pear for lunch and another visit to the store. We stuffed our two new The Happy Pear tote bags to the brim and drove back to Enniskerry on what may be the curviest road in the world – the fact that I was driving on the wrong side of the road with an overly excited passenger who had no interest in helping me navigate, only made the experience more nerve-racking.
Day two found us back at The Happy Pear for a late lunch of Buddha Bowls (rice, sweet potato fries, a portion of dahl, kale, kimchi, dukkha and avocado) and Sweet Potato, Lemon, and Ginger Soup and to take in the 9th annual Apple Pie Baking Competition.
The highlight of the day, however, was when one of the Flynn brothers, we still aren’t sure which one, walked towards me and Vicky. I told him that my wife was a huge fan and would love a photo with him. Vicky sheepishly smiled but couldn’t muster much in the way of words. Our last day had us returning to the café for lunch, afternoon snacks, and takeaway dinner for our flight back to Switzerland.
Our house is now dotted with mementos from our trip to The Happy Pear: Raw Energy Balls in the cupboard, “Soulful Single Origin” hand roasted Cattura coffee beans from the Las Brisas region of Colombia on the counter, and a Cool Jim’s Granola on the kitchen table.
And, just in case we wake up with a sudden urge to eat crap all day, Vicky has placed both The Happy Pear – Recipes and Stories from the Last Ten Years and the Flynn brother’s latest book, The World of the Happy Pear – Simple, Exciting, Delicious Food for a Happier, Healthier You on her bedside table so that David and Stephen can remind us to “EAT MORE VEG.”
If you’d like to contribute a guest blog to our website – we’re interested in all things health, food, cooking and community – please email [email protected]!