June 6, 2011

Surround Yourself in Gluten Free & Dairy Free Cakes, Beauty and Art at IMMA

If you were in Dublin this past weekend I have no doubt that you are a little browner than you were on Thursday. It was SO amazingly beautiful on Friday and Saturday. The sun was shining, people were smiling and the parks in the city were swarmed with sun bathers and worshippers, of the non-pagan variety!
Personally I took the opportunity to cycle out to the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition in the Irish Museum of Modern Art which also included a visit to the perfect Royal Hospital Gardens and the Itsa@IMMA café which serves gluten free cakes. They are labeled as ‘Flourless’ and rumour has it that they taste pretty damn amazing.

On Friday there were two options on the cake tray:
Flourless Orange & Almond Cake
- Gluten free
- Wheat free
- Dairy free / Milk free
- Lactose free
- Corn free
- Potato free
- note: contains almonds and eggs
and the
Flourless Chocolate Cake which looked like a large brownie in the shape of a cake!
- Gluten free
- Wheat free
- Corn free
- Potato free
- note: contains almonds and eggs

The staff was extremely helpful and friendly and actually got the full ingredient lists (which were surprisingly simple) so I could tell exactly what was contained in the delectable treats on display.
There were also, of course, salads and hot dishes. There was a sign that read ‘Gluten Free Bagels stocked here’ and the hot dishes were labeled with Vegetarian (V) or Gluten Free (GF) markings where appropriate.

On the menu for this past Friday afternoon was :
- Gluten Free Chilli con Carne
- Gluten free & Vegetarian Chunky Veg and Lentil soup
- Vegetarian Lasagne
among others.

The café is located in the basement of the Royal Hospital, which is a beautiful building to visit whether you are an art lover or not. You can take your tea up to the courtyard and sit out in the sun or enjoy it in the café itself. Then, an absolute must for every visit to IMMA, especially if the sun is shining, is to take a walk around the grounds and stroll through the magnificent formal gardens. I love IMMA and I really love that the cafe is coeliac aware, with a side of dairy free!

I’m not much of a fan of Frida Kahlo but I love her life story and find her iconic status very interesting. Thus, I didn’t run to the exhibit but was actually quite intrigued to see that special something in some of the original works. The highlight for me were definitely the self portraits by Frida Kahlo in the 2nd room on the ground floor and the architectural photographs which display stunning technical ability by Frida’s father, Guillermo Kahlo, as well as the photographic colour portraits of Frida in New York by Nickolas Muray, both located in the basement of the exhibition space.

The Frida and Diego exhibition is running until June 26 2011 and has an admission of €5.00 (concession: €3.00) but is free for under 18s, full-time students and free to all on Fridays. The main Museum is always free admission.

Itsa@IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art)
Royal Hospital
Military Road
Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Tel: (01) 612 9900
IMMA web: www.imma.ie
Itsa web: www.itsa.ie
IMMA Opening Hours: Tues, Thurs-Sat 10:00-17:30; Wed 10:30-17:30; Sunday & Bank Holidays: 12:00-17:30 (last admission 17:15)
Itsa@IMMA Opening Hours: Mon 10:00-15:00; Tues-Sat 10:00-17:00; Sundays & bank holidays 12:00-17:00

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