2019 Award Winners A TASTE OF THE WATERWAYS AWARD 2019

Barrows Keep, Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny

Barrows keep

Ireland’s inland waterways are nothing short of a national treasure yet, for most people, they’re very much an adventure waiting to happen. In 1999 GCGuides started an independent Taste of the Waterways guide which, with the support of Waterways Ireland in later years, developed to include accommodation and Things To Do Along The Way as well as the best places to eat and drink. Presenting the waterways as an amenity for all to enjoy and not just boating folk, the A Taste of the Waterways Award is especially dear to our hearts.

Kilkenny or Carlow, take your pick - the picturesque twinned riverside villages of Tinnahinch and Graiguenamanagh (known jointly as 'Graigue' and generally attributed to Kilkenny) flank the old arched bridge across the River Barrow at this historic place - and one of its most recently settled treasures is the serenely atmospheric Barrows Keep. It's owned by Stephen McArdle and Morgan VanderKamer, well known to Dublin diners from their previous business Stanley's Restaurant and Wine Bar (winner of our Wine Award in 2016), and now delighted with their new life. “Our goal at Barrows Keep has been to source as locally as possible and, where possible, organically. We consistently focus on small producers who are making a stamp on the local area. We strive to work seasonally and feature produce on our menus that reflects the season’s offerings.” A wonderful philosophy and one that explains the exceptional flavour of Stanley's beautifully cooked food - not fussy or showy, just thoughtfully created, very seasonal and enticingly presented, it partners perfectly with the lovely room and its many photographs and artworks…

All this and immaculate, warmly professional service - and, for many, the highlight of a visit here (and a speciality that brings connoisseurs from a wide area) is the wine offering. Morgan’s list is carefully selected to encourage guests to try less familiar wines, and she still hosts her Wine Club as often as possible too. A must-visit for any food (or wine) lover coming to this hauntingly beautiful area.

2 votes

Barrows Keep

Graiguenamanagh, Co. Kilkenny
Denotes genuine Irish food culture, ie special Irish food products/companies/producers, and highlights the best places to shop for regional and artisan foods; the selection excludes obvious 'non-Irish' elements regardless of quality, eg ethnic restaurants and specialists in coffee, wine and other drinks, unless relevant to local production or history. Eat & Stay establishments are chosen for their commitment to showcasing local produce and Irish hospitality. Outstanding Location, building or atmosphere Serious About Seafood Previous Georgina Campbell Guides Award Winner The "Best of the Best" - Only the very best establishments across various categories have been chosen for this accolade

Show me all 2019 Award Winners