The famous Louis Mulcahy Pottery is just off the road on Dingle’s gorgeous Slea Head Drive – you’ll spot a garden containing some examples of the trademark ceramics and a large carpark to the front of a house that looks as if it may once have been residential (and is in keeping with local architecture). And here you’ll find the workshop, shop and café.
You might plan a stop for the children to have a go at the pottery and then feel like a coffee – but what you’ll find here is certain to exceed all expectations, and well worth a special visit.
As you enter, there's a ground floor showroom, reception area and the workshop, where Louis himself may well be at work and visitors can try their hand at throwing a bowl. Upstairs there's a larger showroom area and the café, which is in a lovely light-filled room with about a dozen simple glass-topped tables (sporting small Mulcahy vases with local flowers, and paper napkins) and a counter, where you select food which is then brought to your table.
Everything is homemade and delicious and the Mulcahys’ support for their area, and for artisan producers and suppliers throughout Ireland, is clear to see on the menu, where you are invited to ‘savour a Taste of West Kerry’, and the provenance of all food is listed - local Dingle smoked salmon and mackerel, herbs, salad leaves and tomatoes from staff gardens, Barry’s tea and Maher’s coffee, both from Cork, also organic loose leaf teas from Solaris in Galway, Dingle Peninsula cheese, Lispole eggs and Flahavan's oats, Ventry bread, and 70% cocoa chocolate.
If you fancy something savoury, you might choose between a home made soup (tomato and roasted red pepper, perhaps), a smoked salmon and Dingle Peninsula Cheese platter, and a pretty peppered smoked mackerel on brown bread served with a lightly dressed leaf salad with nasturtium flowers.
Or you might just have something from their selection of delicious bakes: generous squares of a delicious raspberry and almond brownie, perhaps, packed full of flavour with lots of fresh raspberry fruit inside the moist, warm cake part and a spoon of cream melted on top... or a large square of crumbly and buttery homemade broken biscuit cake, coated with a lovely rich chocolate on top – or a Wellington Square, oozing with buttery caramel on a light crumbly base and again topped with a satisfyingly hard chocolate layer that cracks under the fork...
Everything is served on Louis Mulcahy pottery, of course – the coffees come in large pottery mugs and cakes are accompanied by freshly whipped cream in tiny cute ceramic urns.
Even in a busy showroom service is friendly and prompt - and very good value too, with the bill a pleasant surprise for the quality on offer. A great place to know about for a lovely day out.