Monday, September 30, 2019

Perryville House - Guesthouse of the Year Winner

Kinsale's Perryville House is Guesthouse of the Year
Honey in the morning

Beer at night
Congratulations to Perryville House in Kinsale. The splendidly situated house, with excellent views over the harbour, was named Guesthouse of the Year in the recently announced and highly coveted Georgina Campbell Ireland Guide Awards 2020.

By coincidence, I had stayed there a few days before the awards were announced. Most of the guests had travelled much further; this lovely waterside venue is very popular with American and European visitors.

Must say I was very happy indeed to see Perryville win, if only for their support of Irish produce. When we checked in, the first thing I noticed in my room, alongside the Espresso coffee machine, was a pack of shortbread biscuits. No, not those anonymous packs you get elsewhere but the delicious Seymour Biscuits that are made by Philip O'Connor in the neighbouring town of Bandon.

Later that night, much later, I called to the amazing comfortable in-house bar here. I knew they hadn’t draught beer so I enquired about bottles and again they came up trumps with the local Black's Brewery 1601 lager.

Before heading out to dinner that first evening, we were strongly advised not to miss the breakfast. "It would be foolish to do so!" Good advice indeed, not that we had any intention of skipping it in any case.

We weren't disappointed. The breakfast is indeed unmissable and served in a room to match. And the menu is based on local produce and includes Gubbeen cheese, Glenilen yogurt, Barrett butchers sausages and bacon, and Hederman smoked salmon.

The hot menu includes their creamy organic porridge served with cinnamon-infused soft brown sugar. Of course, they have the Full Irish and shorter versions. And they also do a Pan-fried fish of the day. French toast with poached berry compote is a favourite. Pancakes are a favourite of ours recently and theirs, packed with berries, come with maple syrup and few more berries for good measure, nicely presented too.

If you read the reviews, you’ll note nothing but praise for their Eggs Benedict. I tried it and gave it the thumbs up. Two fresh eggs (just delivered by Siobhan from her nearby farm) on toasted sourdough, crispy bacon too and all smothered in sauce. Delicious

The cold buffet is eye-catching and includes fresh orange juice, iced water, granola, boxes of other cereals, a mini-fridge with yogurts, home-made preserves (Lemon Curd, Raspberry, Marmalade), honeycomb from the owners’ bees, their own pastries (include pear/almond scones) and bites sized slice of cakes (eg blueberry).

A big bowl of mixed fruits and other tempting fruit dishes such as poached plums and poached rhubarb in honey. And then there’s all that well-known West Cork Cheese with grapes and chutney. No shortage of anything and great service as well in this friendly place. And lovely too to meet up with Emily at check-out. We used meet her regularly over Karwig Wines. She was helpful there and is just as helpful here, as was everyone one we met in Perryville. 

This is the full citation for the award:
More country house than townhouse, Andrew and Laura Corcoran’s Georgian harbour-front home is the prettiest in Kinsale. Renovated and furnished with style, it is immaculately maintained and offers plenty of relaxing space, including a handsome bar and garden room, as well as outstanding accommodation in generous and extremely comfortable rooms (with luxurious bathrooms). Ten new rooms were added this year - so seamlessly executed that the casual observer would never guess at any recent changes. And, masters of detail as always, they even created a stunning new garden to the side of the building so that rooms without a seaview would have an equally pleasing outlook. All this plus great service and, reflecting the Corcorans’ Slow Food philosophy, carefully considered food. An outstanding destination.

for a full list of the winners and citations please click here

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Superb Cuisine in Capacious and Comfortable Cornstore

Superb Cuisine in Capacious and Comfortable Cornstore

Very much enjoyed the cuisine, not to mention the comfort of the renovated dining room, at dinner in the well-established and hugely popular Cornstore last week. Cold and wet outside but we were cosy and well fed inside.

The Oyster Festival may be over - and we did visit the Cornstore as one of the stops on the previous Saturday’s Gourmet Trail - but there is no shortage of oysters around. And they have quite a variation here with their Hot Grilled Buffalo Oysters, an unusual twist on the classic Buffalo wings that, with ginger beer pickled samphire, gives the molluscs a spicy lift!

There’s quite a choice of starters on the A La Carte here, about ten appetisers plus five small plates and also a special or two on the night. I had been looking at two of the specials - smoked mackerel and lamb kebab - before ordering the oysters. CL’s pick was the Heirloom Tomato Salad with Crumbled feta, red onion, toasted pistachio, shredded basil & organic rapeseed oil.

No shortage of choice either when it comes to the main section,. Here their famous aged steaks have a little section to themselves and, as we’ve found out on previous occasions, are top class. This time though I picked Rack and rolled lamb (Roast rack of lamb & braised shoulder of lamb, rosemary and sweet potato cake, leek fricassee & a mint pesto). The rack is served medium here and was perfect. Hard to beat the tender shoulder, hard to beat the whole combination, the different textures of the lamb, the soft crunch of the leek plus the bread-like feel of the cake. Quite a dish.

CL loves her fish. As this is another speciality of the house, it was with confidence that she ordered the Baked salmon with grilled prawns with Fondant potato, tender stem broccoli, samphire and blood orange hollandaise. And that confidence was well placed indeed and well rewarded too.

Quality all the way at the Cornstore but no shortage of quantity either, so there was some hesitation about dessert before we decided to share the Vanilla Crème Brulée with salted chocolate biscuit. Again a delicious choice, even that biscuit was a beauty!

Whiskeys galore here and the Cornstore cocktails (including dessert cocktails and mocktails) are legendary. An extensive wine list includes whites from light and crisp to rich and elegant, reds from easy drinking to full bodied and robust.You may get craft beers by the bottle - I noticed bottles from Blacks of Kinsale and Black Donkey of Roscommon on the list. And I found another one, a wheat beer, for my non-alcoholic “collection”, a Schneider Weisse by the famous German brewer. Enjoyed that!

Enjoyed the dinner very much indeed and it got even better when a family member texted us with an offer of a lift home. Delighted to accept!

  • By the way, their Christmas Group Festive menus are now available, so you may want to check these out. As you know, the large restaurant is ideal for groups.

Cornmarket Street

Friday, September 27, 2019

Amuse Bouche

The persistent buzz of the apartment intercom pulls me from my thoughts, telling me my takeout has arrived, but as I tip the delivery boy, I decide to make my own discreet enquiries into what else the Handcocks might have been up to in the intervening years. For that I needed someone unconnected to the practice. It’s been a long time since I spoke to Alex, but if anyone is going to find out something that others have missed on the Handcocks, she will.

from The Hiding Game by Louise Phillips (2019). Very Highly Recommended.

Mescan Brewery announces Oktoberfest West

Mescan's Bart (left) and Cillian in lederhosen
Mescan Brewery announces Oktoberfest West
Saturday October 5th 2019, 1 pm till closing time

There’s no need to go to Munich this year to experience the fun of Oktoberfest. Instead try Oktoberfest West in Westport with Mescan Brewery. Enjoy the best of beer, bratwurst and Bavariana in Gracy's Bar, Westport House on Saturday 5th October. 

This is the fourth incarnation of the popular festival which combines craft beer, music and food in an ideal setting. It’s a confident declaration by the artisan brewing company, particularly in the face of both Dublin and Cork cancelling their Oktoberfest events.

Mescan are teaming up with local chefs to bring festival goers the best bratwurst outside Germany to complement their specially brewed Oktoberfest beer. In the best Oktoberfest tradition the beer is served in an array of steins in all shapes and sizes. Mescan plan to keep the dancing going all day long with a great mix of live bands and leading European Oktoberfest DJs, Johan und Paul, flown in specially for the event.

The venue is easily accessed on foot from Westport Town and drivers will be happy to know there’s ample free parking onsite. Gracy’s Bar is a bar and pizza restaurant in converted farm buildings on the Westport House estate.

Oktoberfest West is part of the Fáilte Ireland Taste the Island campaign. Full details will be posted on Facebook leading up to the event. No tickets are required and entry is free. Dirndls and lederhosen are optional but they'll definitely help to get you in the mood for the party!

press release

Thursday, September 26, 2019

High Quality Reds from High Altitudes

Alfredo Maestro “El Marciano”, Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y Leon, 2017, 15%, €19.65

Dark ruby colour. Aromas of dark fruit, cherry prominent. Spicy dark fruit on the palate, fresh powerful acidity, medium to full bodied, deep and generous, a harmonious example of the grape right through to the long dry finish. Very Highly Recommended.

I've seen it referred to as a glowing Garnacha. And why not? Le Caveau tells us winegrower Alfred Maestro’s mantra is:  “Wine made with only grapes, well-kept vineyards, and healthy land.” 

From the  beginning (he started making his own wine in 1998), he farmed organically.  But, in the cellar, he followed the book, followed the herd, until he began to question himself. No additives in the field so why not follow the same guidelines in the winery? And so he began. On his own path, a path that has led to this beautiful expertly crafted wine and others (he makes no less than 11 cuvées).

By the way, the fruit for this one (a great wine with roast pork) comes from 70 year-old Garnacha vines grown on decomposed granite soils at a staggering 1,150 m. elevation in the upcoming region of Gredos mountain range.  

Domaine Bousquet Grande Reserve Malbec (Mendoza, Argentina) 2014, 13.5%, €24.35 Mary Pawle

A violet robe for this organic wine. Strong aromas of ripe red and darker fruits. Fruity and spicy on the palate with rounded tannins. Excellent concentration of pure fruit. Its time in oak (it has been aged in French oak for 12 months) has helped leave it velvety smooth and the finish is long and satisfying. Quite exquisite overall and Very Highly Recommended. 

Now what to match with it? The barbecue would be a good place to start. The label suggests grilled red meats, cheeses as well as chocolate based desserts. Some of you may well notice chocolate notes in the wine itself.

A 1990 vacation in Argentina was all it took. For third-generation winemaker Jean Bousquet, it was love at first sight. The object of the Frenchman’s desire: the Gualtallary Valley, a scenic, remote, arid terrain high in the Tupungato district of the Uco Valley in Argentina’s Mendoza region, close to the border with Chile. 

Here, where the condors fly and not a vine in sight, Bousquet discovered his dream terroir, an ideal location in which to nurture organically-grown wines. From that virgin territory, nothing planted, no water above ground, no electricity, the French wine-making family’s venture is now recognised as the source of some of Mendoza’s finest wines. The vineyard is located in the foothills of the Andes and is an incredible 1200 metres above sea level. Here the thermal amplitude contributes to fully ripened grapes with excellent acidity.


press release

Emer Corridan, GM Cahernane, with Eric Kavanagh Executive Chef at Cahernane
Cahernane House Hotel, Killarney, Co. Kerry has won the title of Ireland’s Best Country House and Guest Experience at the 2019 Hotel and Catering Review Gold Medal Awards which were held on Tuesday (24th of September) at Lyrath Estate in Kilkenny.

With 135 finalists up for honours, the judges achieved a mammoth task of selecting 31 outstanding properties for recognition.

Emer Corridan, General Manager of Cahernane House Hotel said, “We are thrilled with this accolade and it is a testament to the hard work, passion and determination of all of our team.  We have consistently raised our standards at Cahernane House Hotel and we keep on improving our property so that our discerning guests have a wonderful and memorable stay with us. Thank you to the judges, this means a lot to all of us, it’s wonderful.”

Donagh Davern, FIHI and member of the Judging Panel said of the awards, “We are lucky as judges to see the best which the Irish Hotel and Catering industry has to offer and experienced some wonderful examples of guest service.  In a time where we are experiencing tight labour market conditions, we met some fantastic staff who were truly assets to their employers and the reason why guests return to a business.  While product offerings have been enhanced, it is the people that make the true difference to the Irish Hotel and Catering product and the industry needs to ensure that these ambassadors are retained to enhance the industry going forward.  Our congratulations to all the finalists.”
PREM Group purchased Cahernane House Hotel in 2016 and since then has already spent over €7.8 million on the property in a bid to return the luxury mansion house to its former glory.  The initial renovation programme saw all the bedrooms in the original house being renovated as well as the creation of a stunning dining room which is now home to the 2 AA Rosette, Herbert Restaurant. Last summer all 28 rooms in the Garden Wing were redesigned and an eclectic bar, deep in the heart of the building was added. The Cellar Bar is open each evening and also serves evening food for both hotel guests and non-residents. The group also built on another 8 bedrooms in the original coach house earlier this year with more renovations taking place in the elegant Drawing Room, overlooking Killarney National Park, The Library and The Atrium.

The house itself was built in 1877 by Henry Herbert and his wife Catherine. Each of the five main rooms on the ground floor contain historical artefacts and original antiques including items such as the Herbert Family Crest which is depicted above the front door of the hotel and is reference to the original owners of the house. Many of the original pieces from the house remain in Cahernane House Hotel today, including the wooden staircase, the Killarney Davenport table in the lobby and the pillar caps in the lobby, which feature the first letters of each of Henry’s first four children’s names. His fifth child, Gwendolyn, was born the same year the house was built (August 1877) and the story goes that Gwendolyn’s ghost still roams the house on occasion.

The redevelopment of the property has been aimed at attracting clientele from the wedding, incentive and special occasion markets, while the presence of a two AA Rosette winning restaurant ensures that visitors to the hotel enjoy the finest cuisine served up by Executive Head Chef Eric Kavanagh.

The recent renovations at Cahernane House Hotel are just one of the large capital projects being carried out by PREM Group, who also operate more than 38 properties throughout Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK. The group recently finished renovating and extending some of its other properties including The Hoban Hotel, Kilkenny, Tulfarris Hotel & Golf Resort, Wicklow and The Osprey Hotel in Co. Kildare.

The property is a member of Ireland’s Blue Book. The hotel also won an International Gold Award of Excellence for the best 4-star hotel in Ireland from CIE Tours International in January of this year.

Must-see acts and events at this year’s Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

press release

Must-see acts and events at this year’s
Guinness Cork Jazz Festival

2019 Guinness Cork Jazz Festival Programme is officially launched!
Mica Paris

"There is one city to be in this coming Bank Holiday Weekend," declared Michael Lyons, "That is Cork." Michael, On-Trade Sales Manager, Diageo Ireland, was speaking last evening as Guinness launched the full programme of events for the 42nd Guinness Cork Jazz Festival, which takes place over the bank holiday weekend from 24th to 28th October 2019. 

The launch, where the Guinness flowed and the bites by Roots Kitchen went down a treat, was held in the newly revamped Kino.Michael called all music lovers to come and experience the welcoming and party vibe in Cork for this year’s festival. “The festival has always boasted a line-up of music for the soul and we are thrilled to welcome some of the greatest musicians from the Jazz, RnB, Soul and Motown genres again this year. Those looking for a unique party atmosphere emanating from every part of the city have lots to look forward to with free gigs and fringe events for every palette.
Earlier, Councillor John Sheehan, Lord Mayor of Cork, welcomed the continued support of local businesses in 2019, “The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival attracts more than 40,000 people to Cork annually and is worth millions to the local economy. Its continued success is a testament to the fantastic team ethos that has evolved over the years between Guinness, the festival committee, local government and the local business community and I wish it every success once again in 2019.”

Fiona Collins, Chairperson of the Guinness Cork Jazz Committee also spoke: “The festival committee is delighted to work in partnership with Diageo Ireland, Cork City Council, Cork Business Association, Cork Chamber and businesses all over the city to create another fantastic weekend programme to be proud of and it’s a great opportunity to showcase the city and it’s welcoming vibe to thousands of Irish and overseas visitors”.

The Guinness Cork Jazz Festival is one of the biggest and longest running events on the Irish music calendar. Every nook and cranny of Cork City will come alive across the festival weekend to the sounds of over 1,000 musicians and creative artists from more than 20 countries.

This year’s festival will host a fantastic array of top international headline jazz acts, including Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Kurt Elling, The Big Brass Band Explosion, Dr. Linley Hamilton Quintet, Fred Hersch Trio, Mica Paris, and Spyro Gyra.

There’s also a great line up at the Metropole Festival Club, and an exciting fringe programme of free gigs and entertainment in over 70 city venues across the city.

This year we’re also looking forward to the Blaze of Jazz Parade, which will kick off the weekend on Friday 24th in spectacular ‘flare’. This family-friendly parade will feature a mix of red-hot jazz bands with fiery Cork characters in a dramatic musical march full of flaming antics. Other highlights include the Jazz Jamboree, Jazz Food Fair, and The Artistry of Frank Sinatra audio-visual event with more to be announced soon!

You could spend your time wandering from venue to venue, taking in free on-street sessions, but we also recommend booking tickets to at least one must-see acts on before it’s too late…
See you at The Met!



  1. British soul queen and platinum selling artist Mica Paris singing Ella Fitzgerald.  Friday October 25th, The Everyman, 8pm

  1. Booka Brass Band, Ireland's first New Orleans style brass band.
    Friday October 26
    th, Cork Opera House, 11.30pm

  1. Prize winning saxophonist and composer Paul Booth followed by Tudo Bem’s celebration of the Music of Brazil at the much-loved Jazz at the Green Room sessions at Cork Opera House.  Friday 25 October 2019, 10pm and midnight

Spyro Gyra means your Saturday is sorted!

  1. Big Brass Band Explosion – Three amazing brass bands - The OhnO! Jazzband, Hyde Park Brass, and Les FanFlures - will play back to back in a gig guaranteed to knock your socks off. Saturday October 26th, The Everyman, 2pm

  1. 14-time Grammy nominee Kurt Elling will pay tribute to jazz legends like Louis Armstrong, Nat “King” Cole, Jon Hendricks, Shirley Horn and Nancy Wilson.  Saturday October 26th, Cork City Hall, 8pm.

  1. American Jazz fusion band Spyro Gyra whose 30 albums have sold over 10 million copies over four decades.  Saturday October 26th, The Everyman 8pm

      1. Renowned ECM artist John Surman, who is known for expanding the horizons of jazz, will present a special concert with pianist Vigleik Storaas. Saturday October 26th, Triskel Christchurch, 8pm.

Martha Reeves

  1. Northern Ireland’s famous Trumpeter Linley Hamilton is one of the most prolific figures in the jazz scene.    Sunday October 27th, The Everyman, 2pm
  2. Ariellle Besson, Sebastian Sternal & Jonas Bergwinkel Trio – Leading the new wave of young European improvising trumpeters, Airelle Besson will perform with pianist Sebastian Sternal, and drummer Jonas Burgwinkel.
    Sunday October 27
    th, Triskel Arts Centre, 2.30pm

  1. Motown diva and Grammy Hall of Famer, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, who is listed among Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Immortal Artists”.
    Sunday October 27
    th, Cork City Hall, 8pm

  1. 14-time Grammy nominee and 2018 Jazz Pianist of the Year, Fred Hersh, is flying in from the US with his jazz Trio.  Sunday October 27th, The Everyman, 8pm

Also, to mark ECM record label’s 50th anniversary, Triskel Arts Centre has curated a weekend of concerts and cinema during the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival weekend.

  Finally, you can’t miss out on the experience of attending a gig at the Metropole Festival Club, where a host of fresh new international talent will perform from the UK, France, Canada and Ireland. Entry is just €30 per person and will give you access to the entire hotel with jazz acts in four rooms including New York Brass, Pixie & The Gypsies, NC Grey and the Hyde Park Brass Band. The Metropole is also hosting a Jazz Platinum VIP Lounge this year where you can experience smooth purist jazz in an intimate setting with champagne and charcuterie boards, tapas and oysters for €75 per person.

For Guinness Cork Jazz Festival updates and tickets please visit And follow the festival social channels for the latest news  -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Enjoy Guinness Sensibly. Visit 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Taste of the Week. Highbank Drivers Cider

Taste of the Week
Highbank Drivers Cider

Highbank Orchard Syrup is on the table every morning in this house and now another marvellous product from the organic Kilkenny farm is our Taste of the Week.

There was a marvellous lunch recently in Sage Midleton where the guest chef was Sunil Ghai from Dublin’s Pickle Restaurant. We had the car and were wondering what to drink until I spotted this on the drinks list.

It proved so bloody good, I didn’t stop at one! That second glass appeal. No doubt about it. Made from their Cider apples, this gluten free Drivers Cider is a refreshing non-alcoholic drink for the designated driver with no added sugar or chemicals. It is full of flavour and so well balanced, a terrific non alcoholic drink and miles away from many of those tasteless “zero” drinks. Different class, much more than a mere alternative!
Highbank Orchard

Well done to Kevin and Réidin for stocking it and hope other restaurants and bars follow suit! Well done too to Julie and Rob for producing it, along with many other good things.

Co. Kilkenny

Foxford Woolen Mills launches refurbished café to align with contemporary lifestyle brand

press release
Foxford Woolen Mills launches extended and refurbished café
New look aligns with contemporary lifestyle brand

Foxford Woollen Mills has opened an extended and refurbished 

café, bringing it into line with the transformed Foxford brand.

Under the sure guidance of head chef Kathleen Flavin and café manager Rachel Jackson the Foxford Café has evolved into a stylish eatery with an exceptional food offering. Everything on the menu is made in house. Herbs and leaves from their inhouse garden are used where possible and sourced locally.

“Our motivation was to bring the café and the store closer together, opening one into the other and simultaneously aligning the brands”, explained Joe Queenan, managing director of Foxford, “We now have a seamless connection between the two”. The tranquil colour scheme in the café blends with the time honoured Foxford weaves on the floor, clearly inspired by the subtle tones of the Mayo landscape. The extended floorspace includes a new conservatory and seats a total of 160.

The decisions regarding the menu were not taken lightly. “We went right back to basics and made decisions which will dictate our core menus long into the future”, explains Kathleen Flavin, head chef, “We wanted our offering to be more authentic and to be inspired by our West of Ireland surroundings. For example we exclusively use Clare Island Organic Salmon and Irish chicken, which we smoke in house. Our beef and lamb are sourced from local farms by our butcher, Clive, here in Foxford. All the cheeses we use are Irish farmhouse cheeses and we buy directly from a number of local cheesemakers. We have extended our herb garden and it is looked after by our kitchen staff so we all learn to respect where our ingredients come from”. Foxford Café is that genuine combination of quality, creativity and style of which visitors dream.

A new luxury take-home product range is also made in the busy kitchens comprising delights such as piccalilli, maple and tahini dressing, pickled pears, blackcurrant and violet jam, and beetroot and orange chutney. There’s an opportunity to try before buying as they are featured on the menu too. The menu boards change regularly and offer a choice of hot and cold dishes with an outstanding salad selection at prices to make city diners weep. Also on sale is a hand picked selection of cookery books to rival any bookshop in the country.

The historic flagship store in Foxford is truly unrecognisable in every way from a decade ago. Stylish displays blend contemporary interior items and furniture with quality traditional weaves and woollens. The hallmarks of timeless elegance and handcrafted design have been retained but the product range, still manufactured in Foxford, has expanded to include contemporary designs as well as the traditional scarves, throws and blankets. Today, the newly revamped store boasts high end interior furnishings and on trend homeware. The one thing that has not changed is the quality.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Have you been to Doneraile Court and Park? A Very Highly Recommended Visit.

Have you been to Doneraile Court and Park? 

A very popular visit now that the house itself, the Court, is open to the public.  You may make the visit as long or as short as you wish. Perhaps just walk the park. Maybe call to the café for a snack. Visit the recently reopened house.
You'll find the tearooms here - see the rustic seats. Water for the dogs on the left!

On arrival, why not take a cuppa in the park's tearooms. It has an outdoor area for when the sun shines. But do take a look at the dining room itself as it is set in the original kitchen area of the big house and is complete with a row of bells used to summon the servants.
The restored Parterre with the gardeners' cottages at the end.

After your cuppa, take a walk around the park which has no less than 166 hectares! Much of the park was landscaped in the heyday of Doneraile Court when the St Legers (who built the house in the 1720s) were in their pomp and is not as natural as it may appear. Keep an eye out for the "haha". More easily seen are the groups of deer that are kept in the park.
The Battle of the Birds.

After your walk, return to the house for your guided tour, or vice versa. You will need to book in advance during the season. The tour covers the ground floor, going through the various rooms complete with furnishings and decorations, antique carpets, paintings, and sculpture, many of which come from other big houses and quite a few via Cork's City's Crawford Gallery (including the large scale Battle of the Birds in the Dining room).
Dining room
At this point, you may like to visit the café again for lunch. If you prefer a more expansive menu and a bit more comfort, why not visit the Café Townhouse on the main street. You'll soon spot it as it always looks so well - lots of flowers outside. Sink into those soft seats and sink your teeth into their sumptuous pastries, well into one of them anyhow! While you're on the main street why not take a look at the memorial, outside the church, to Canon Sheehan, another of Doneraile's famous writers.

One of the oldest items on display in the house. It was called a court as the St Leger
at the time had the right to hold a court there twice a year.

The Awbeg river, a branch of the Blackwater, flows smoothly into the park where it is then "guided" to create a small cascade and pool.
Chicken wrap in the sun from the tearooms in the park itself.
Tasty stuff, even if service was a bit on the slow side. Fairly priced, just over 20 euro for 2 wraps, 2 teas.
They have full breakfast and lunch menus.

The name lives on

Excellent café on the main street. 

Canon Sheehan, a local writer, is remembered here

Many students were visiting - with a project in hand - on the day we called.

One of the rooms. Do you know the guy with the long legs in the lower middle?
No one can put a name on him. The full length portrait, we were told, came from the
Elizabeth Arden (yes, the cosmetic guru) collection

Not too much beauty here. This is Oliver Cromwell.
Not too sure why he hangs here. But I suppose he did deserve to hang somewhere.

This typewriter, pictured through its glass case, belonged to Elizabeth Bowen, the local Anglo-Irish writer who lived in
nearby Bowen's Court and published ten novels and many short stories. A room here is dedicated to her and there are
quite a few photos of Elizabeth, mostly with a cigarette in hand. One of the later St Legers was also fond of the
smoking habit and usually threw the butt to her pet goat who was allowed graze on the lawn. The cattle couldn't get that far, not because of intrusive fencing (there wasn't any), but because they couldn't negotiate the Haha. Wikipedia defines it as a recessed landscape design element that creates a vertical barrier while preserving an uninterrupted view of the landscape beyond. The design includes a turfed incline that slopes downward to a sharply vertical face. It still exists.
This pic is from an earlier visit.
Check the OPW site on Doneraile here
For a very informative article on the family, the house, and its restoration, read this Irish Times piece here