Located in the former Delgany Inn, this stylishly renovated complex houses complementary businesses in one place – the Firehouse Bakery, The Delgany Grocer and, most recently, The Pigeon House Café – that have banded together to make The Delgany a go-to destination.
Patrick Ryan’s brilliant flagship Firehouse Bakery caught the national imagination when it opened on Heir Island off West Cork in 2012 and this very welcome bakery café is its first mainland outpost, where you’ll find artisan breads and pastries served with tea and coffee.
As on Heir Island (where there’s also a bread school; classes at both venues are very much in demand) the wood-fired oven is at the heart of the open plan operation, where you can watch the bakers at work producing their superb sourdough breads and other treats while enjoying the fruits of their labour. There’s also outdoor seating on a small patio where you can relax in fine weather.
And Jackie Spillane’s The Delgany Grocer is more than just a ’boutique grocer’, his aim is to offer a reasonably priced alternative for the weekly shop, with an emphasis on good-quality, seasonal and local items. They carry a good selection of well-sourced pantry staples, fresh fruit and veg, meat from the local Farrelly’s Butchers, Irish cheeses, Irish-made fresh pasta and more. Breads are made on-site by Firehouse Bakery and there's a deli with Laragh Stuart fresh meals among the temptations on offer.
Upstairs, The Pigeon House Café (01 2877103; www.thepigeonhousecafe.ie) opened in October 2014, and fans of the late lamented Downstairs @ Gilbert & Wright in Clontarf will be pleased to find chef Brian Walsh has relocated here. Better still, you can expect not only his great modern cooking (backed up excellent, well motivated front of house staff) , but also the very reasonable pricing that was an especially attractive feature of a meal out in Clontarf.
Located just a few minutes’ drive off the N11, The Delgany is a terrific place to know about when visiting beautiful County Wicklow, or to visit as a destination in its own right. Unsurprisingly it’s a big hit with locals, so it’s a good idea to book ahead if you want a meal here.