Set well back from the road and just a few minutes walk from Kenmare town, this neat bungalow set in landscaped gardens has been well known as a B&B for many years - and the current owners Vladimira and Jerome Barbe do still offer (unregistered) accommodation.
But Jerome is a pastry chef and The Rose Garden’s USP is the seriously delicious food they serve in their café and also the patisserie that’s on sale out front at very reasonable prices. What may well be Ireland’s best baguettes are made in batches as required through the day and sold at just €1, for example, and all the other delicious treats they have on offer are similarly keenly priced.
The display that greets arriving customers is jaw-droppingly impressive for a small owner-run bakery, ranging from large cakes and tarts – such as almond & pear, or lemon - sold by the slice, to individual tartlets. Bitter orange and chocolate is a fast seller, also meringue with chestnut, and almond or walnut and toffee. And there are savoury items too, including a choice of excellent quiches.
A godsend to visitors (especially people self-catering in the area), both the café and shop are also very popular with locals. The easy parking is a boon, and the café offers everything from breakfast (full Irish or continental), to lunch or afternoon tea.
Try classic French treats such as freshly baked croissants or petit pain au chocolat as a snack with a cup of coffee or, for something more substantial, Jerome’s tasty take on traditional Croque M’sieu or Croque Madame, perhaps: served with freshly prepared carrot & celeriac remoulade and pommes frites, it’s a real treat that will see you through a busy Kerry day.
And if you fancy a drop of wine with your meal, it will set you back just €3 a glass.