In a scenic location overlooking Oysterhaven Bay, near Kinsale, Paul and Janis Rafferty’s lovely old house is a listed building dating back to 1645. Following years of restoration, it’s home to a number of activities and events – and the courtyard conversion now includes an atmospheric café, which is open to the public and a very useful place to know about if you are holidaying in the area.
With a high raftered ceiling, traditional woodblock floor, and sage green bentwood chairs at marble-topped tables sporting fresh flowers, it’s a very attractive spot – and weather-proof too, with both a cosy stove for colder days and patio doors overlooking an outside seating area for fine weather bedecked with flowers and greenery. But perhaps the best is saved for the walls, which are hung with interesting artwork and a series of blackboards listing all the temptations of the day.
Home baked breads and cakes (also on sale at the counter to take away) are made with organic flour, and the main menu board offers the freshly baked breads in various combinations. Wholemeal slices come with soup of the day (roasted vegetable, perhaps), for example, and in open sandwiches such as smoked salmon with capers, or fresh crab (which, unusually, includes some brown meat as well as white); alternatively, delicious, crusty ciabatta features in hot sandwiches such as the Tuscan, with aubergine, olives and melted brie. There’s also a dish of the day – a beef & Guinness pie, perhaps – and a choice of really delicious salads from a wide selection on display.
Desserts listed on yet another board include irresistible ice creams from Thomas Baldwin’s West Waterford farm - there are various flavours to choose from, but you won’t beat the vanilla partnered by Walton Court chocolate brownies warm from the oven...
A wide range of drinks includes wines and beer – and you’ll find local specialities as well as international names, including beers from the Dungarvan Brewing Company – and the drinks menu also features Eric van der Kroon’s Kinsale Roastinghouse coffee alongside traditional thirst quenchers like elderflower cordial and lemonade.
A delightful place to linger awhile.