Very conveniently situated just outside Dublin, between Bray and Greystones, Killruddery has been home to the Brabazon Family (the Earls of Meath) since 1618. The estate was designed on a large scale with a view to impressing visitors and, these days, it is a hive of activity and very accessible to the public.
Most famously perhaps, it is home to one of Ireland’s most renowned gardens, "filled with beautiful planting and wooded areas, water features and distinctive outdoor 'rooms'". Since 2012, there is also a little shop at the entrance to the gardens.
Killruddery House is one of Ireland’s Great Historic Houses; often used as a film location, it's well worth seeing (guided tours daily July-September,1-4pm daily; also by appointment for groups all year).
The extensively operated 750 acre farm is managed by Anthony Ardee, the son of the 15th Earl of Meath offers quality produce (lamb, beef and apple juice) for delivery or collection, and they also sell firewood and garden mulch - and Killruddery chopping boards and writing pens, which are made from fallen timber on the estate.
The Tearoom is run by Anthony's wife, Fionnuala Ardee, and really worth a visit. It's situated in a hexgaonal dairy with stone flooring and stained glass windows which, although highly ornamental, operated as a working dairy until the 1950’s.The menu, which showcases produce grown in the kitchen garden and sourced from local suppliers, offers seasonal soups, salads and sandwiches, homemade treats, a selection of Irish blended teas, locally roasted coffee and refreshing drinks.
The many events held at Kilruddery include a weekly Farm Market (Saturday,10-4), held in the grain store and former horse yard of the Killruddery Estate (free admission and parking); with a focus on farm produce and homemade foods, it also offers local crafts and whole host of other things - and on the first Saturday of each month the market is themed (apples; flowers and plants; poultry...) so there's always something new and fresh in the offing.
As a venue, Killruddry is available for weddings and other events, and also hosts a diverse range of events from Great Music in Irish Houses and big name music stars to Botanical Drawing Courses with artist Holly Somerville and pop up restaurants - check the website for upcoming events.
Kilruddery Gardens are open in season; the Tearoom serves light meals and afternoon tea (garden entrance ticket required).