As summer kicks in, it is a great excuse to make a road trip to Kerry and visit some of our customers. Last week I headed to Kerry which is one of my favourite parts of the country. The scenery is amazing and everyone takes the time to stop and have a chat.
Here are some of the places I visited…
Kingdom Food and Wine Store – Tralee, Co. Kerry
Pat and Maeve are a husband and wife team who run a thriving business, Kingdom Food and Wine Store which is located on the Listowel/ Limerick road into Tralee.
Set in an old church, the store is crammed with exquiste foods such as cheeses, wines, asian products, pastas, homemade desserts, chocolates, scones, breads, sandwiches and ready to go meals. All deli food is prepared on site and is available for take out or can be enjoyed in the outdoor seating area. They also offer a bespoke hamper service for private or corporate use. You will also find a range of our coffee blends here – Fixx, Cubita and Santiago.
I picked up a very interesting bottle of wine which caught my eye, “Women in Wine 2009″ - my way of supporting the World Cup in Africa…:-)
Well done Pat and Maeve on receiving the prestigious Bridgestone Best in Ireland Plaque and Award 2010
“Local heroes like Piog Pies, or West Cork heroes such as Glenilen dairy products, are just some of the choice things that navigate their way to Maeve Duff’s fine deli and wine shop, a lovely space that is crammed choc-a-bloc with fine foods.”
They have a very busy sandwich and food-to-go offer, and whatever deli or cookery product you could imagine or desire will be found in here, making it Tralee’s one-stop-solution-shop.”
Denny Lane Cafe
Denny Lane Cafe is now in its 2nd year of operation and is run by Julianne Reen, owner and chef. Julianne is a native of Tralee although I first met her while she worked in a cafe in Cork. After taking a year out to travel, Julianne travelled around the world before deciding to set up in her home town. All the food is cooked on site and offers something for all palates. I can highly recommend the delicious Bubble Cake, a perfect choice with a cup of coffee. Denny Lane stays opens in the evenings. Housed in a beautiful historical building, Denny Lane is often booked for private functions and events and recently played host to a fashion show as the floor space lends itself to a perfect catwalk.
Denny Lane pour Cubita Coffee
Opened in December 2005, Chapter Forty is a joint business venture by Mark Murphy and Bridget Tangney. The chef is Simon Regan who was named Le Router Chef of Year 2004 and Bord Bia Chef of Year 2002. Amongst many other accolades he has worked in a range of 5 star restaurants in New Zealand, Australia and the Middle East. The cuisine is described as contemporary Irish with a hint of fusion.
I didnt have the chance to stay and have dinner on this occasion but from previous experience, I can certainly say that the team go out of their way to look after you and desserts are simply impossible to resist.
Glad to see that the “T” from “Forty” was still in situ as mysteriously someone keeps robbing the “T” quite regularily. Very strange indeed. ….”T” to go perhaps ….
Killarney Park Hotel
I popped into say hello to Niamh and the team at Killarney Park Hotel. Great to see the place so busy as the Killarney Races were in full swing, so there was plenty of life and activity around the hotel. I treated myself to lunch in the bar and did some people watching. I must admit I found it hard to tear myself away from the luxurious surroundings…
This little gem is hidden away in Kenmare Shopping Centre so do take the time to seek it out on your travels. The food is exceptional and the ice-cream is simply divine. This business is ran by Rose and Margaret who both bring their own unique set of skills to the business. Rose’s background is in baking, and Margaret’s expertise is in coffee. Margaret had a mobile coffee unit that travelled the length and breadth of Cork before she settled down and took roots in Bia Bia. They decided to add ice-cream to their product line and went to the UK to gain the necessary skills. It has been a great success and they are proposing a Cuban ice-cream in the future …..we look forward to it ladies…. They also invite customers to invent their own flavour and run monthly and annual competitions whereby customers can win supplies of ice-cream.
For the homeward journey, I decided to buy one of their giant cookies (the size of a pizza) and it certainly made my trip much more pleasurable!
Bia Bia pours and stocks Cubita Coffee.
Vanilla Grape Wine and Gift Store
This store is an absolute treasure trove of goodies – here you will find the local newsagent, fine wines, cigars, cards, chocolates and much more. Proprietors Christine and Alain take great pleasure in sourcing quality products and all wines are handpicked on taste by Alain. Both Christine and Alain have a great relationship with their customers and there is always time for some pleasant banter. I would highly recommend you pay a visit to this store which is located in the heart of Kenmare on Henry Street. Everytime I visit I love to get recommendations from Alain to try some new wines.
Vanilla Grape Wine and Gift Store stock Fixx, Cubita and Serrano Coffee.
Avoca – Molls Gap, Co. Kerry
Part of my trip took in the beautiful Molls Gap on the Ring of Kerry and I stopped off at Avoca to break the journey and visit their cafe and enjoy the scenery. Our Fixx and Santiago are coffees available at Avoca Stores around Ireland.
This was a great way to finish a busy day and I am planning to return again before the summer ends.