Right in the centre of Mullingar, opposite the Tourist Information Office, this stylish bakery, café and food hall was opened by former Cuisine de France boss, Mark Gavin, in spring 2013 and quickly established itself as a regular haunt for food lovers in the area and a must-visit destination for visitors to the town.
Located in a former bank - one of the lofty old-style ones, which gives it great atmosphere - it’s a very large premises, running right through the block from the main street to a rear entrance and customer car park at the back.
‘Local Goodness’ is the admirable motto of this vibrant young business and it’s to be seen in action everywhere, from the speciality bakery, to the fresh meats from local suppliers, to the range of Irish deli products and salads displayed and the many artisan food products on the shelves - including a good choice of gluten free foods. There’s also a carefully selected wine section, and even the coffee for the specially imported coffee machines is roasted and ground in Mullingar.
Just inside the main entrance there’s a very agreeable open plan café, which offers plenty of opportunity for people watching and is the perfect spot for a tea or coffee and a cake or a casual bite to eat.
At the far end, just inside the back entrance (and with convenient access to parking at the rear), a second eating area is set up in a more organised way, making it ideal for families to eat in comfort - and it’s handily placed near the in-house pizza oven.
As they say themselves, Miller & Cook is ‘upmarket but accessible’ and it’s certainly brought a new kind of quality food shopping and casual dining to the midlands.
Developing the first floor of this capacious building is the next challenge, and a pop-up restaurant has opened upstairs. It will be fascinating to see how this works out, but everything they do is stylish - and involves serving plenty of local food, which augurs well.