UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT - AWAITING RE-ASSESSMENT
This attractive café-cum-bakery makes a good stopping off point for visitors to coastal Connemara situated, as it is on the Galway side of Spiddal village on the main road west. The craft and design centre features local artisans, some of whom work on site: potters, weavers and jewellery makers.
Builin Blasta - The Tasty Loaf, in Irish - is a simple café seating about forty at solid pine tables and chairs; breads, scones and cakes are homemade and the quality is excellent: multigrain loaf, focaccia, baguettes, muffins and scones are all gorgeously wholesome, alongside a range of tempting cakes and desserts.
There is talent in the kitchen and the familiar café fare of soup, sandwiches, pizzas, stews and desserts is far above the usual standard; the talent in question is the owner-chef, Jamie Peaker (he spells it J-me), who is a New Zealander and has been running the café with infectious enthusiasm since 2009.
Unsurprisingly, word of this little gem has spread, and there may well be a queue at lunchtime - but tables are turned over quite quickly, and there is a sense of everything being under control at this well-run business.
Although the menu appears to be made up of familiar dishes, there are some nice original touches and the high standard of cooking - and pleasantly gentle and caring service by local girls - make for an experience that ensures plenty of returning customers.
For an enjoyable light lunch you might try a delicious filo vegetable tart (€8.50), and a strawberry crumble, served warm in a ramekin (€4.50). Takeaway lunches are also catered for.
A long list of beverages includes good coffee and pots of whole leaf tea, also a short list of wines by the bottle and glass. Baking is a genuine forte here, and there is also a selection of House chutneys, jams and dressings for sale.
All round, it's just the kind of place that every visitor to Connemara hopes to happen on.