An appealing daytime spot in the centre of Kinsale, Tracy Keoghan’s lovely Lemon Leaf Café is an oasis of calm in an already cool enough town. It’s casual and relaxing, with lots of comfortable seating to choose from and a bright glass-roofed courtyard area that’s very popular - your small one could end up with his or her own table here, next to yours, and a fistful of crayons to while away the time.
The day starts early and there’s a great choice for breakfast - oatmeal porridge with stewed fruit, the Traditional Irish (with a vegetarian option) and classic brunch favourites like omelettes, or eggs Benedict - and the suppliers are all local too.
Lunch brings all kinds of light bites (nice to see old favourites croque monsieur/madame among them) and gourmet sandwiches (priced to eat in or take away), also attractive more substantial dishes such as sweet potato fishcakes with tomato salsa; goats cheese bruschetta with red pepper and basil pesto; or beef burger with Durrus cheese and red onion marmalade - all served with various baby leaf salads.
While not licensed, the drinks list goes way beyond the usual, offering apple juice, fresh squeezed orange and herbal teas among a long list of options - when was the last time you saw hot water with lemon on a menu? (If you’re coming down with a cold they have just the thing, the traditional remedy being the version with honey.)
And the Lemon Leaf is just the place for an afternoon treat. Along with lots of excellent teas and coffees you’ll all kinds of sweet things - cheesecakes, carrot cake, lemon drizzle slices, chocolate biscuit bar - including some gluten free options. And if you bring a small person with you, well he or she will be well treated, maybe even get his or her own seat, certainly his or her own treat from the friendly and efficient staff.
And if you don’t have time to linger, then just go to the in-house store and buy to enjoy later.