Showing posts with label Newbridge. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Newbridge. Show all posts

Monday, August 26, 2019

‘Decorator to the Stars’ Designed Newbridge Silver Café. Museum of Style Icons, Factory Visit, Shop!

‘Decorator to the Stars’ Designed Newbridge Silver Café. Lots More to see Here !
Museum of Style Icons, Factory Visit, Shop!

The café - pic via Newbridge website

Didn’t know I was going to lunch in a space designed by the “Decorator to the Stars” when I pulled off Exit 12 on the M7 on a recent Sunday, planning to visit the famous Newbridge Silverware facility. 
A vintage piece

After a two hour trip from Cork, the café was our first stop. It sure is a stylish one. Carleton Varney has designed the interiors of landmark buildings from Washington to Japan, and now the world-renowned interior designer has brought his iconic style to Newbridge Silverware.  The ‘Decorator to the Stars’, who is also known in the USA as ‘Mr. Colour’, was commissioned by Newbridge Silverware in 2017 to redesign its restaurant, which is now known as ‘Café Carleton’.

The big bright and airy café uses what seem to be the official colours, blue and white, and lots of silver too of course! With a big dinner ahead that evening, I settled for a wrap, a good one too and well priced. They have a huge selection here and the Sunday lunch was very popular. 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.

Rose was our welcoming guide on the factory tour and she told us the history of the place as we walked around. Newbridge Cutlery Company was founded in 1934 and is one of Ireland’s oldest surviving companies. It started in a local army barracks and a large order from the army gave it a welcome boost in the early years. 

In the 90s, their cutlery wasn’t cutting it anymore and a decision to start making jewellery 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. 

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 three years to train a cutler.

I won’t bore you with too much detail but terms such as Coining Machine, Linishing Machine, Cross Roller, Coining Machine were all new to me. Then there was Pronging, Vibration, and Clairpols. Hafting was another one, an old cutler’s term for joining a blade to a handle! Antique terms in a very modern company.

Yet a company that seems to inspire great loyalty in its workers, many of whom spend decades 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.

We saw the result of their hard work in the shop, including in the Christmas shop. Better not say anything about the latter - don’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone!

All in all, we enjoyed our few hours here even if we had been on our feet for most of it. Soon, we were putting them up at the Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort about 20 minutes away at the other side of the motorway. Read my post about the hotel here.
Display detail in the Christmas shop

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware

Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware

Come up and see me sometime

Take a tour through the Museum of Style Icons at Newbridge Silverware 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.
Olivia's shoe

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) among others but the largest space is reserved for the musical Grease. Indeed, that film was playing in one of the rooms as we walked around.

Olivia Newton-John's dancing shoes are displayed, with her autograph. And there is also a Paul McCartney autographed guitar.

Mostly though it is about the film stars and the clothes they wore on set and at receptions and parties while promoting the various films.  Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and Tippi Hedren are all well featured.

Marilyn and her dress
And Lisa Minnelli’s costume from Cabaret is prominently displayed as is Elizabeth Taylor's ample kaftan from Boom. I certainly remember Cabaret but Boom not at all.

The exhibition ‘Fashion and Fantasy – a Lifetime Curation of Haute Couture’ contains a collection of one off or extremely rare designer pieces which date from the 1950’s to the 2000’s. Curated by international fashion collector, Gottlieb, it includes rare and one of a kind pieces by Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Lacroix, Givenchy, Balmain, and Hermes among many others.
Paul's left-handed Hofner bass

From time to time there are special exhibitions mounted. Keep an eye on their website for updates. 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 go up the red carpet and have a browse!

See also:
Decorator to the Stars Designed Newbridge Silver Café
Dining at Russborough House

Tulfarris Hotel & Golf
Dylan's fancy jacket

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Golf for sure at Tulfarris but Wine and Dine Scores Well Also

Golf for sure at Tulfarris but Wine and Dine Scores Well Also
Toons Bridge Fior di Latte Mozzarella

Attention of golf fans will be focused on Tulfarris Hotel and Golf Resort at the end of the month, when The PREM Group Irish Masters takes place there from the 28th to the 30th. The Sky Sports cameras will be present, filming the action on the spectacular golf course and no doubt taking in the lovely Wicklow countryside. With the package being screened in 138 countries, the event should prove to be a major boost for the hotel and its golf course and also for tourism in the area and indeed in the country.

The course and hotel are looking splendid as I found out on a recent visit, arranged to highlight the golf tournament. PREM have spent some six million here in recent years and the majority of it has gone into improving the hotel and surrounds. And it shows. It is already a popular place. When we arrived late on a Sunday afternoon, we walked into the bar for a cuppa and were amazed at the buzz there. By the way, they have their own Tulfarris ale and it’s a pretty tasty drop.
Breakfast view from the restaurant

Thinking about it afterwards, the Tulfarris hotel is quite a handy base, not just for golf (by the way admission is free for the tournament at the end of the month) but also for visiting attractions in the area. It is just about twenty minutes from Exit 12 on the motorway and we used it to visit the Newbridge Silverware Visitor Centre and enjoyed the factory tour, the Museum of Style Icons, the shop (of course) and also a light lunch in the busy café, a stylish bright and airy place. 

The following morning, we called to Russborough House, just a few minutes away from Tulfarris, and did the full tour there. Finished up with a cuppa and pastry in the house café and, just over two hours later, were back in Cork.

Other places to visit with Tulfarris as a base, include Kildare Village, Punchestown Racecourse, the Wicklow Mountains (including the Sally Gap) and Glendalough. Of course, the Blessington lakes and the Poulaphouca reservoir are close by.

After all that mountain climbing, walking and shopping, you’ll need to refuel and Tulfarris will sort you out in the Lime Tree Restaurant which has great views over the golf course. Here, they promise a mix of world cuisine with the best of Irish. Indeed, Irish producers and suppliers are used as much as possible.

And I was able to check that out straight away with my starter: Toons Bridge Fior di Latte Mozzarella (Peas, mint, pea-shoots, Wicklow Rapeseed oil and crispy bread). Delicious. Meanwhile, CL was singing the praises of her Vine Ripened Tomato Terrine (Heritage tomatoes, basil emulsion, olives), quite different and also very tasty.
Elderflower semi-freddo

We were onto the wine now. Butterfly Ridge blends went down well. The Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon was vibrant, fruity and soft on the palate while the Riesling Gewürztraminer was a perfect match with the fish dishes on offer.

One was the Pan-roasted fillets of plaice with hazelnut, charred cauliflower and spinach, quite a delicious combination. Being in Wicklow, I couldn’t resist the local lamb served with courgette, goats cheese and elderflower. Another winner, especially with that red wine.
Wicklow lamb

Sleep well!
Would we have dessert? Of course! And they had some tempting ones of offer, including Eton Mess, Hazelnut mousse, Pannacotta. I choose the Baked Raspberry and White chocolate cheesecake while CL’s pick was the Elderflower semi-freddo (with gooseberries, oak crumb and elderflower jelly). Both were excellent but I think she may have picked the better one! 

Happy out with that, though we did have time enough for a few more chats, not all of them golf related, before the enjoyable evening came to a close!

We had a terrific ground floor room here, with lots of space and comfort (bed and armchairs), and everything we needed, including hair drier, iron, safe, coffee machine, large TV and faultless WiFi. The bathroom too was spacious, very well lit, separate bath and shower and excellent Elemis toiletries.

For more on The PREM Group Irish Masters, please check here.
See also: Museum of Style Icons
Decorator to the Stars Designed Newbridge Silver Café
Dining at Russborough House