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Fingal County prepares for Outdoor Summer

Fingal County prepares for Outdoor Summer

A French expat has created an interactive map to help foodies pinpoint outdoor eateries across Ireland

With the Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme underway and the catchy, government-propelled motto Think Safe, Think Outdoors” gaining prominence across Ireland, Fingal County Council has unveiled plans for its own Outdoor Summer. The plans are tied to the announced reopening of hospitality businesses throughout the country for outdoor eating and drinking on 7 June, Ireland’s June Bank Holiday.

Outdoor dining, active travel

At their recent monthly meeting, councillors have focused on measures to allow residents and guests to enjoy an expanded and safe access to the public realm in some of the county’s major towns, informs the municipal website. Among them are supports put in place to facilitate Outdoor Dining in Swords, Blanchardstown, Skerries and Malahide, which have clusters of dining businesses.

The measures envisage New Street in Malahide to be made pedestrian-only from 6 June and a walkway to be introduced on Harbour Road in Skerries. Outdoor dining areas are also being set up on Main Street in Swords and Main Street in Blanchardstown.

Public Information Leaflets outlining the measures for Swords, Skerries and Malahide are now being distributed to all households in those areas, prompting residents to complete a survey on the proposals as part of a non-statutory public consultation that is open until 21 May.

Outdoor Dining will also be facilitated in other parts of those towns through the issuing of licences, grants for outdoor dining furniture and a Parklet Partners scheme which helps convert on-street parking spaces into dining areas.

The measures will also include changes to the county’s Casual Trading By-laws and installing additional garbage bins, public benches and public toilets (at Millennium Park, Blanchardstown and at Ardgillan Castle). A separate set of measures will promote Active Travel by extending the Bleeper Bikes scheme and providing additional bike parking facilities.

Interactive gourmet guide

The grand reopening of outdoor catering areas on 7 June is eagerly awaited by hospitality businesses and foodies. Among the latter is Katia Valadeau, an expat hailing from Paris who works in financial services, acts as a social-media consultant to food industry clients, and writes a food blog.

Katia’s labour of love is an interactive map listing more than 700 food venues with outdoor dining facilities across Ireland, which she has compiled and made available on her website properfood.ie.

”As we emerge out of lockdown, many of us are looking forward to dining out again,” Katia Valadeau told the Irish Times. “I decided to put this map and list together to help people think ahead and organise their days and evenings out, for when it is safe to do so...They are not all necessarily well-known places, but they are spots where you can grab a bite to eat and be served your order at a table outside, or places where you can have a full menu, again served to you outside. It includes small cafes and fine-dining venues and a wide variety of restaurants in between, on the whole island of Ireland.’’

Katia says the response to her idea was overwhelming, so she will keep updating the original map and list.

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