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The Courtyard Café

Buy & Eat

Café / Speciality Store

Denotes genuine Irish food culture, ie special Irish food products/companies/producers, and highlights the best places to shop for regional and artisan foods; the selection excludes obvious 'non-Irish' elements regardless of quality, eg ethnic restaurants and specialists in coffee, wine and other drinks, unless relevant to local production or history. Eat & Stay establishments are chosen for their commitment to showcasing local produce and Irish hospitality.
Address:
The Courtyard Café
Birr Castle Demesne, Birr Co Offaly
Contact The Courtyard Café
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75%
4 votes
Tel: +353 57 916 9735

Please mention ireland-guide.com when enquiring.

Birr Castle is a brilliant place to visit at any time and, tucked away in the entrance courtyard, is a gorgeous café that’s a destination in its own right
  • Location - Scenic
  • Café
  • Al Fresco
  • Artisan Beers
  • Buzzy Atmosphere
  • Daytime/Coffee
  • Informal
  • Sunday Dining
  • Vegetarian Friendly (always at least 1 starter & 1 main course)

The Courtyard Café

Birr Castle is a brilliant place to visit at any time and, tucked away in a restored stable block in the entrance courtyard, is a gorgeous café that’s a destination in its own right and it's accessible to all, i.e. you don't have to pay the entrance fee to the grounds in order to eat there.


A stylish cream awning and big parasols over the picnic tables in the outer courtyard will catch your eye on arrival and it will be hard to resist popping in to have a look - and, once inside the handsome high-ceilinged room, the chances are you’ll be smitten and want to stay.


Simple with a lovely understated style, it’s dominated by big menu blackboards offering tempting seasonal dishes and proclaiming in no uncertain style the food philosophy upheld by Manager Mary Walsh-Kinsella and her team since opening here in spring 2013: One board states that “Everyday we cook fresh Irish chicken and ham, make our soup, deli salads & savoury tarts, bakes scones, breads, cakes & biscuits”.


Another blackboard declares: “We promote and celebrate local producers and suppliers - we would like you to know where our food comes from”. And it comes from some very good places indeed, as it happens, including the Haslam family’s renowned organic Mossfield Farm, Ciara Morris of Slieve Bloom Foods, Gareth Keogh of the independent wine company Wines Direct, and Bo Bristle craft beer from Banagher, among others.


All good to know, especially as all this good homemade food not only goes into the delicious plates served in the café, but many of the items offered can also be bought to take away. Picnics can be pre-ordered for a day in the grounds too, and cakes can also be baked to order.


It really is a lovely place and the keen young staff do it proud. Although mostly a daytime destination for lunches, afternoon teas and snacks, they also sometimes do pop-up tapas evenings at weekends or when there are events on at the Castle, and the catering style - slated charcuterie selections - is delightfully rustic.


Well worth a visit.

Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-5pm in summer. (Closed late Sep- mid-Mar. Check hours off season). MasterCard, Visa abbreviations
Last Updated: 08-08-2015
Author: Georgina Campbell

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Comments

3rd August 2015
Nora
Very expensive Cafe. I had a pulled pork ciabatta which had no pork in one half and very little in the other half. It was mainly relish. A large tea pot with one tea bag which meant no decent cuppa. Disappointing, The gardens are lovely and there is a great play area for the children.

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