Showing posts with label Into Kildare. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Into Kildare. Show all posts

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Kildare's the place. Mum's the word!

Mother's Day Press release 

Kildare's the place. Mum's the word

Lawlor's Hotel

If you’re looking for the perfect Mother’s Day present, then don’t forget it’s your presence that makes the difference! So why not spend a precious afternoon with your Mum this year and get her a wonderful gift of afternoon tea. Into Kildare, Kildare Tourism Board has identified some great Afternoon Tea venues in Co. Kildare that offers a really sweet treat for your Mum.


Lawlor’s of Naas

Sit back and enjoy a splendid Afternoon Tea served in the lobby of Lawlor’s of Naas Hotel, exclusively on Saturday and Sundays.  If you fancy swapping tea for their “Tipsy Tea” why not upgrade to their refreshing pink prosecco and make it an afternoon to remember.

From €30 per person


The Court Yard Hotel

Indulge in a unique Afternoon Tea experience at the Court Yard Hotel, in Leixlip, County Kildare.  The cosy surrounds of the Court Yard Hotel's riverside lounge area of Steakhouse 1756 offers the perfect spot to relax and enjoy their afternoon tea which includes a wide selection of gourmet sandwiches, freshly baked scones, delicate pastries and desserts. 

From €30 per person

Pippin Tree at Killashee Hotel


Killashee Hotel

Chat over a delicious spread of dainty sandwiches and delightful pastries at the Pippin Tree in the Killashee Hotel located in Naas.  Served from 1-2.30pm daily in serene surroundings it’s the perfect treat for the mum in your life.

From €35 per person



Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort

A quintessential English custom Afternoon Tea has never gone out of fashion.  Nibbling on delicate sandwiches and homemade scones and pastries while relaxing with family and friends in luxury surroundings.  Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort in North County Kildare serves Afternoon Tea Monday to Saturday from 1pm to 4pm.

From €25 per person


Club Hotel @ Goffs

Treat yourself and the mum in your life to the age-old tradition of Afternoon Tea at The Club Hotel at Goffs. Enjoy fresh finger sandwiches alongside deliciously savoury tarts, quintessential homemade scones, and delicately delightful treats including Valrhona coffee mousse choux; Citrus yoghurt tea bread; and Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

From €35 per person

Friday, August 25, 2023

Among the big brands in Kildare Village, I find a familiar name. Crêperie Angelie make an outstanding crêpe with Coolea Cheese!

Among the big brands in Kildare Village, I find a familiar name.

Coolea & Spinach Crêpe

Crêperie Angelie make an outstanding crêpe

with Coolea Cheese!

Thanks to the crepe in my hand, I was thinking of two contrasting villages.

One is Coolea, hardly a village at all, just a scattering of buildings deep in the countryside up in the hills above Ballyvourney in County Cork. Here the Willems family has been making their famous cheese since the 1970s.

Chocolate Block at Lindt

Village mural
What a contrast then with Kildare Village where I was enjoying my crêpe. Here you have an impressive line-up of the biggest brand names in the world cheek by jowl. And there are visitors from all over Ireland and many from Europe and indeed quite a few from beyond.

My crêpe was a beauty and the highlight was Coolea Cheese. I had just ordered it from Crêperie Angelie. The cheese was paired with spinach and all very enjoyable indeed and ideal for a light lunch as a sumptuous dinner was arranged for later on at our hotel, the Clanard Court in Athy.

The Crêperie is one of quite a few food outlets in Kildare Village, so you won't go hungry at all. It is one of the smaller ones. I noticed one doing doughnuts (the Rolling Donut) and Murphy’s Ice Cream of Dingle fame is also there.  If you want something substantial then the likes of Dunne and Crescenzi and Saba will oblige.

Athy's narrow Horse Bridge (1796) at the point where the Barrow River
is joined by the Grand Canal (lock at left)

With the crêpes under our belts, we began walking the village and yet the purchases all had a food connection. The old credit card got a bashing at the tempting Lindt chocolate shop and even more so at Le Creuset.

Later, in Athy, the local Supervalu (Pettitt’s) had a well-stocked craft beer section. I was looking for local breweries and found a few beers from Ballykilcavan, Boyne Brewhouse and Rye River. Happy with that lot! 

And then we headed off to Minch Malt. The brochure claims it is the oldest (opened in 1847) and the largest producer in the country. In its early days, it was one of many malthouses along the banks of the Grand Canal. We returned over Horse Bridge (1796) and walked back to the town centre along the bank of the Barrow (one of the three sisters).

Athy is one of the biggest towns in the county and has quite a lot of history. Unfortunately, the Shackleton Museum is closed for renovations. Next time!

Strong. Ballet dancer with boxing gloves.
An eye-catching mural by Solus on Barrow Quay, Athy
Look closely at the 6 drawings above the "signature"

We also took time to visit Burtown House and Gardens, a few miles away from the hotel. There are over 12 acres of gardens, park and woodland, and 180 acres of remaining farmland from a once 2000-acre estate. There is also a sculpture trail here. 

It was Sunday afternoon and their popular Green Barn restaurant, where the menus are seasonal, was very busy indeed. And they also have accommodation. Our walk around barely scratched the surface so that’s another place, plus the Bog of Allen, that we plan to visit.

Sculpture by Catherine Greene at Burtown House
and below, garden flowers on a woodland path.

in Athy

For any visit to Kildare, the 4-star Clanard Court is excellent, has lovely staff and they’ll feed you well. It also benefits from a central location. Both the M7 and M9 are close by. Newbridge is 26 minutes away, National Stud (20), Naas (32), The Curragh (25), Punchestown (31), St Stephen’s Green (68), Tullamore Dew (58), Ballykilcavan Brewery (18) another must visit, Carlow (27), Kilbeggan Distillery (68) one track mind! From Cork, it is 128 minutes.

Also on this visit (thanks to Into Kildare for helping):

Newbridge Silverware.

Clanard Court Hotel.

Kildare Village - Athy - Burtown House

Recent Visit:

The National Stud & Japanese Gardens 

You're on course for a great time when you stay at Lawlor's of Naas 

Lawlor's Naas is a great base for Kildare's many attractions 

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Hands across the generations the making of Newbridge Silverware

Hands across the generations the making of Newbridge Silverware

The restaurant at Newbridge Silverware. Newbridge pic

Thinking of Newbridge Silverware (after a recent visit), I think of hands. So many hands since the company was founded in 1934. Those hands and the people, from the “raw” apprentice to the managing director, are responsible for lifting the company from its humble beginnings. And as I look at the firm now,  it seems to me that all those hands, all those families, pulled (and still pull) together at Newbridge to bring it to its valued position today not alone in the County Kildare town but in the country as a whole.


Thanks to Aisling Burke, the Visitor Experience Manager, we had a fabulous tour there earlier this month and it was then that I began to “see” hands. Hands at work. Because yes, virtually everything here is done by hand, checked at every stage of production, so that what you get in the blue package, whether it be a modest Christmas tree decoration or a pair of diamond earrings, is just perfect.

At work in the factory, 1958. Newbridge pic

Newbridge Cutlery Company was founded in 1934 and is one of Ireland’s oldest surviving companies. It started in a local army barracks  (ex-British) and a large order from the Irish army gave it a welcome boost in the early years. 

By the 90s, their cutlery wasn’t cutting it anymore and a decision to start making jewellery (using much the same skills) proved a wise one. Cutting edge design and acclaimed photo shoots with supermodels such as Sophie Dahl, Yasmin le Bon and Naomi Campbell, enhanced the company’s brand image. RTE newsreader Anne Doyle was one of the first local personalities to wear the jewellery. 

Great welcome to Newbridge from Aisling (2nd left) and Ronan (left)

In 2007, the Museum of Style Icons was initiated and Newbridge is now associated with the world of celebrity and fashion. Still a lot of hard work here though, lots of manual stuff going on day after day and it still takes years to train a cutler.

It is a company that seems to inspire great loyalty in its workers, many of whom spend decades here, a place where a son or a daughter regularly follows a parent into employment here. You’ll see lots of photos around the place of personalities who are nowadays associated with Newbridge but up there too you notice many pictures of valued employees and there’s a long list of workers named as you enter the building. And even a quick look at their website reveals photos of many of the men and women who made this place. You can view some of their stories here.

Most of the machinery here is old, most of it still going strong

And speaking of families, you just have to mention the Doyles. Dominic Doyle and later his son William helped guide the firm away from its dependency on cutlery (falling out of fashion) and helped refocus the brand on unique and high-quality tableware and silverware. 

This proved to be a wise decision, and Newbridge Silverware quickly became known for its high-quality, cutting-edge designs thanks to those acclaimed photo shoots with well-known international models that included a five-year relationship with Naomi Campbell (despite her turning up somewhat late for the first appointment!).

When you want to cut out multiples of shapes, waterjet's your man!

In 2007, the chance acquisition of an iconic dress belonging to Audrey Hepburn sparked an idea that led to the creation of Newbridge’s next innovation; the Museum of Style Icons. Factory tours started in 2018.

Take a tour through the Museum of Style Icons and you'll come out dripping with nostalgia (if you're a certain age of course). Then again, maybe age doesn’t matter that much as many of the visitors I saw were young and seemed to be well into the celebrities, the fashion and the music.

Princess Di's India dress.

Indeed, the music, or at least those who made it, is quite a large element of the very interesting display. You'll see the Beatles and Bob Dylan (hardly springs to mind as a fashion icon but do look at that jacket). And there is also a Paul McCartney autographed guitar.

Mostly though it is about the film stars (and Princess Di) and the clothes they wore on set and at receptions and parties while promoting their various films.  Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Tippi Hedren are all featured. Liza Minnelli’s costume from Cabaret is prominently displayed.

Olivia Newton-John

You may be a bit cynical about fashion, saying it’s just skin deep. But it is of its time and can sometimes speak of its time, more deeply than you'd think. Take that Tippi Hedren, the star of Hitchcock's film The Birds. She went on to make the movie Marnie for Hitchcock but that was her last film. She wouldn't work again for Hitchcock and he would not release her from her contract. Talk about slavery! You may read more disturbing details about it here.

Newbridge owns most of the exhibits on show but, from time to time, they supplement that with loans and transfers between themselves and other similar exhibitors and collectors. Keep an eye on their website for updates. 

The Beatles' suits, worn on the film promotional tour of A Hard Days Night
Newbridge pic

By the way, the whole exhibition is free to enter. So, whether you’ve called in to do a bit of shopping or for a bite of lunch in the lovely café, do allow time to walk up that red carpet and have a browse!

Carleton Varney has designed the interiors of landmark buildings from Washington to Japan, and in 2017 the world-renowned interior designer brought his iconic style to Newbridge Silverware when the ‘Decorator to the Stars’ was commissioned by to redesign its restaurant.

Good afternoon! Newbridge pic

My first bite!
In that newly expanded restaurant, with its eye-catching decor, we were treated to Afternoon Tea!  But that is just one of their offerings. You may have anything from a  crusty homemade doorstep sandwich with a bowl of chunky soup to a full evening dinner for a family get-together or a business celebration.

We certainly got the royal treatment here, thanks to Aisling and F&B manager Ronan. Our handmade Afternoon Tea was absolutely stunning and simply delicious, elegantly served in the most beautiful Vintage Tea Collection. And what was really excellent about it was the perfect balance between savoury and sweet, one of the best we’ve come across. Next month, the restaurant will be the venue for a special event - see end of the post for details.

Four years ago! This view changes regularly depending on what's happening at the time

Four years earlier we had enjoyed a meal here on a Sunday afternoon and I wrote: “They have a huge selection here and the Sunday lunch was very popular. The staff were friendly and absolutely efficient; the place ran like clockwork but with no shortage of smiles. One of the best of its type around, I’d say….The menu (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea) changes regularly and a board shows a long list of Irish suppliers that they support.”

After the latest factory tour, the Museum of Style Icons, and the Afternoon Tea, we were ready to do a bit of shopping ourselves and we did just that, jewellery and some wine accoutrements in bags and boxes as we said our goodbyes and headed off home.

Coming to a Christmas Tree near you soon!

Actually, during that shopping, we got a further sign of the hospitality element that seems to be natural here. We were finding it hard to make up our minds between various items. But one of the staff gave us a hand and also enquired if would we like a cuppa! Nice touch! Quite a few nice touches actually during a very enjoyable few hours.

By the way, Newbridge Silverware and its multi-faceted offering is just off the M7 and the M9 (less than 10 minutes in each case). Well worth a visit! And, don’t forget the Christmas shop! If you can't make it to Newbridge, you can of course shop online.

Also on this visit (thanks to Into Kildare for helping):

Newbridge Silverware.

Clanard Court Hotel.

Kildare Village - Athy - Burtown House

Recent Visit:

The National Stud & Japanese Gardens 

You're on course for a great time when you stay at Lawlor's of Naas 

Lawlor's Naas is a great base for Kildare's many attractions 



Fashion guru, fashion editor and stylist, Mandy Maher photographed with media personality, Noel Cunningham and celebrity stylist to the stars, Marietta Doran at the announcement.

Newbridge Silverware in Newbridge, Co. Kildare will host a night of autumnal fashion on Friday, 29th September at its newly renovated and extended restaurant, ‘The Silver Restaurant’.  The event will be hosted by Mandy Maher, RSVP Fashion Editor and Ireland AM Stylist and her co-hosts, media personality, Noel Cunningham and fashionista and celebrity stylist, Marietta Doran. This exciting event takes place on Friday 29th September from 6.30pm and includes a drinks reception, dinner and a glamourous fashion show featuring jewellery and accessories from Newbridge Silverware and fashion and style from a host of local boutiques.

Guests can enter a raffle in aid of Sensational Kids with plenty of goodies and prizes to be won. Sensational Kids is based in Kildare Town and is an award-winning social enterprise, that has already changed the lives of over 8,500 children, saving their families over €1.8 million in therapy fees. The registered charity provides vital front-line therapeutic supports for children with additional needs, ensuring that these children in need have access to vital supports when and where they need them. With 45,000 children on waiting lists for speech therapy and occupational therapy the services offered by Sensational Kids offer a lifeline for families whose children would otherwise be waiting 3-4 years to access services and would lose the opportunity for timely intervention and better outcomes for their children.

Speaking in advance of the show, Mandy Maher said, “The show will feature fabulous fashion and looks from some of Kildare’s top boutiques and with looks for both men and women there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Newbridge Silverware has been at the forefront of fashion for decades and the design team have their finger on the fashion pulse of the nation.   Together, with my co-hosts, Marietta Doran, and Noel Cunningham we are looking forward to meeting up with old friends and new and would encourage people to join us for what will be a great night of fashion, food and fun!”

There will be lots of exclusive discounts on offer on the night offering guests a great opportunity to shop for their favourite Newbridge Silverware items.  The evening will also offer visitors the chance to experience the new, light filled restaurant extension which overlooks the gardens at Newbridge Silverware. Tickets cost €69 per person and can be purchased  from the Newbridge Silverware website, at the restaurant itself, or via Eventbrite

For more information see