From Dungloe to Kenmare: Eight Irish Tea Rooms

Irish Tea Rooms

Adare's Old Creamery

Never heard tell of the Adare Old Creamery store until a recent visit. Now feel like I should tell you all about it. It is just a few hundred yards from the County Limerick village and it quite fascinating.

Maybe you want to buy a doll’s house or furniture for it. Some beautiful scented candles perhaps. Maybe high quality china such as Aynsley or Belleek. Well, this is the place to check out – see it on Facebook.

Downstairs there is an old style sweet shop (including ice-cream) and upstairs a gorgeous tea-rooms (with the best apple pie ever!). Fun animations all over the store. Books and clothes and much much more in this treasure house. And later in the year it turns into an incredible Christmas store. A must visit.

Three Tea Rooms: one in a church, one in a churchyard and one in a "big house" kitchen.
Drumcliffe Tea House (Sligo)
Ben Bulben

“Under bare Ben Bulben’s head” sits Drumcliffe church and the churchyard where poet William Butler Yeats is buried. “Horseman pass by” is the last line of the famous epitaph.

Today’s horseman though is more likely to sup at the Drumcliffe Tea House, also in the church grounds, before turning the key in the ignition.

Here, just outside Sligo on the road to Donegal, they serve good teas and coffees (Bewley’s), “mouth-watering cakes and desserts” and good “wholesome food”, including soups and tarts.

There are Yeats and Irish interest books to browse through and a selection of good quality original souvenirs. Plenty of parking for the churchyard and there are well kept toilets in the tea rooms.

Scrummylicious Bakery and Tearoom (Dungloe, Donegal)
The old chapel in Dungloe
Another famous Irishman, happily still with us, Daniel O’Donnell, famously used to serve tea to the world and mainly to the world’s wife. That function has now been taken over by the unusual Scrummylicious Bakery and Tearoom in Dungloe, County Donegal.

You’ll find this friendly place in the old chapel at the top of the main street.  Not alone does the cafe offer teas and coffees (Robert Roberts) but they also have a full bakery service. The products can be taken home to enjoy or enjoyed in the unique tearoom within the old church building.  “Our tearoom has a select menu of gourmet sandwiches, wraps, bagels, light meals and delicious homemade soups”.

The converted building also hosts the tourist office, the library and other local services, and, yes, toilets!

Doneraile Court Tea Rooms (Doneraile, Cork)
Doneraile, with outside eating area.

Tea Rooms in the old kitchen, open daily, and a Farmer’s Market  are among the recent attractions added to Doneraile Court in North Cork. The old pile itself, just off the main street in Doneraile, is surrounded by hundreds of acres of parkland where you have a great selection of walks.

Called in there the other day for a sandwich. This was filled with real ham, cut from the bone, and was a bargain at four euro. A toasted sandwich, packed with chicken and served with a salad, came to €4.50. But there is quite a menu here. Soups, sandwiches and curries and also breakfast dishes and a specials board for during the day. You can even order some items to take away. Lots of picnic tables scattered around the park also.

Four Tea Rooms: Town, city, coast, mountain.
Jam and cream in Bandon

Lovely scone and  gorgeous plate at the Duchess.

Never really associated myself with tea rooms but I’ve been in at least four over the past few months.

Began with a call to the lovely Tea and Garden Rooms in Ballyvaughan (Co. Clare); next up was the Phoenix Park Tea Rooms; up the Kerry hills next to the Pancake Cottage before the most recent call to the Duchess Tea Rooms in Bandon.

It was a bitterly cold morning in Bandon and after a visit to the local Farmers Market a hot cup was required. Just happened to be passing the Duchess Team Rooms and popped in. Nice bit of heat there and three or four welcoming sofas, just like home.

Sat myself down and soon I was tucking into a really well made fruit scone with no shortage of cream or jam. Coffee was excellent but next time, I must try the tea as they have a massive selection.

There is great degree of comfort here, lots of calming colours all around and perhaps the ideal place for afternoon tea with a wide assortment of finger sandwiches, scrumptious mouth-watering delicate pastries, little cakes and scones to choose from.

It is the best part of two years since I indulged in the full afternoon tea. Wonder if the Fota Island Resort Hotel are still doing it.

Just like the Duchess Rooms, you may enjoy a little lunch or a light meal in all the tea rooms. Had a great Fish Pie in the well situated Tea and Garden Rooms in beautiful Ballyvaughan. This is a lovely spot, right alongside Galway Bay, and with gardens front and rear. But if you go here, you will not be able to avoid the sweet cakes. As you go in, you’ll see them in all their tempting colours, the table groaning underneath.

The Phoenix Park Tea Rooms, just across from the entrance to the Dublin Zoo, looked splendid under the Autumn colours of the many nearby trees and, as we ate, the squirrels were hopping around outside.

They are open all day long and include some terrific organic stuff on the menu, including the coffee and tea. All the vegetables, salads and fruits are from Kinneden Organics in Roscommon, the chicken is from Cootehill in Monaghan. And their sourdough is by Arun Bakery.

On the road from Sneem (Co. Kerry) to Moll’s Gap, there is a place called A Strawberry Field  where you will find Pancake Cottage, which is open all year round. The views from the garden are splendid, weather permitting!

While you may enjoy a cuppa here, maybe with a Dutch Apple Pie, their speciality is the pancake. The selection of pancake toppings just goes on and on, sweet and savoury, and also a kids menu.

Another tea room well worth a call, just like the other three.


Next time you're in Clonakilty, head into Spiller's Lane - Lovely tea room with a separate sort of sitting room opposite; also I keep meaning to check out Apple Betty's in Skibbereen - perhaps we could make a date!
Cork Billy said…
Thanks for the tips Avril. Will keep those, and you, in mind, next time I'm in the west!