With a beautiful gravelled entrance leading up to the handsome cut-stone building, planted beds and elegant Victorian painted cast iron garden furniture scattered about for al fresco dining Lisa de la Haye’s Conservatory Restaurant and Tea Rooms are wonderfully inviting.
Lisa formerly used the conservatory space for a stylish interiors shop, where she specialised in French country style kitchenware, linens and accessories, and this French country kitchen mood has been carried through to the The Tea Rooms - and indeed, the rest of the house, with beautifully crafted antique pieces enhancing each room.
The Tea Rooms in the Conservatory space are as pretty as a picture with elegant bare, cut-stone walls, marble-topped tables, bentwood chairs, little pots of flowers everywhere and today’s menu displayed on a chalkboard.
In the evenings and on busy days, there are three more adjoining dining spaces to avail of – the conservatory opens into the old country kitchen which has a big wooden table for guests (the commercial kitchen is out at the back), this in turn opens into the more formal elegant dining room and finally an adorable snug/sitting room at the end for after dinner drinks.
And on a fine day guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner out in the garden on any of the painted Victorian cast-iron garden tables set out around the pretty grounds.
Menus change daily and – as Chef Eleanor Murphy has a special passion for pastry and bread making - you can expect an array of freshly baked treats each day to include five types of bread, scones and lemon tarts, apple pies, a seasonal crumble and more.
Her short lunch menu offers a tempting selection of soups and starters (typically carrot and coriander soup; courgette and Serrano frittata; or Greek salad) around €5-10, and main dishes such as beef and Guinness stew with mash; chilli chicken salad; leek and blue cheese tart; and chorizo, roast vegetable & tomato penne in the €12-15 range.
A small but well-chosen blackboard list of wines ranges from about €23 to €27 a bottle.
Eating here on a sunny summer’s day and enjoying every bite of the excellent home-cooked food and friendly service, it can be a hard place to leave.