Friday, May 27, 2005

The Charm of the Irish, to be sure

Ireland Avoca at Powerscourt, Enniskerry, Wicklow Tel: +353 1 204 6066 Cafe:+353 1 204 6070, the answer to Quiz Question #3

photograph picture of Powerscourt House, Enniskerry, Wicklow, Ireland
This is a photograph of Powerscourt House, just south of Dublin, the back of which overlooks the Sugarloaf Mountain and the Wicklow Hills. When my little sister, Beccy, moved near here over ten years ago to raise her young family, this Stately Home, ravaged by a 70's fire, was no more than a shell. The estate would always attract visitors, though, for it's beautiful gardens.

photograph picture of Powerscourt House, Enniskerry, Wicklow, Ireland, entrance
As Beccy's family has grown, so Powerscourt House has been rebuilt. Every time I visit, I am happy to spend some of my time in this place. I love it. It has many happy memories of me watching my nephews and niece as they grow up. And just in case you think I've forgotten what this blog is meant to be about, let me tell you the the Avoca Cafe, inside the house, has some quite stunning food on display.

photograph picture of a huge pie in the Avoca Cafe at Powerscourt House, Enniskerry, Wicklow, Ireland
It's huge! Just look at the size of that pie. Click on the picture to get a full faceful.

photograph picture of massive desserts like banoffi pie in the Avoca Cafe at Powerscourt House, Enniskerry, Wicklow, Ireland
If nothing else, I would take a dessert over savoury at the Avoca Cafe. Look at the banoffi pie in the middle. It's enormous, the biscuit crust is almost as deep as a regular pie. These dishes make American-sized portions look wimpy in comparison.

photograph picture of mars bar cake and shortbread in the Avoca Cafe at Powerscourt House, Enniskerry, Wicklow, Ireland
They even sell Mars Bar Cake which just happens to be one of Beccy's favourite things to make at home. I haven't cooked it, myself, in a while, although I made quite a few friends with it when I first came to the States. I'll ask her if she'll mind me sharing her recipe with all of you some time. Perched on top, there is a little shortbread-man...

photograph picture of my little nephew in the Avoca Cafe at Powerscourt House, Enniskerry, Wicklow, Ireland
...which, despite his trying to hide the fact, my youngest nephew seemed to quite enjoy.

Avoca is a family-run company that started as a Mill over 280 years ago. Read their history here. Today the company is still thriving and in addition to the Cafes, they have the most wonderful array of small boutiques. At Powerscourt, the shopping experience is unique as Avoca spread into a maze of rooms inside the house, each one dedicated to a different collection.

One room is filled with soaps and things that smell nice. Others sell beautiful clothes. The largest room sells their signature handwoven rugs and beautiful baskets. My sister sent me a gorgeous orange basket last Christmas which I use every time I shop at the farmers market.

photograph picture of my beautiful orange basket from Avoca  at Powerscourt House, Enniskerry, Wicklow, Ireland

There is a room full of things for the children and another that sells candies, chocolates and Jams like the one I brought back as a gift for Alice. Although Avoca don't make everything they sell, the goods they source are all top quality and usually colourful. It took a lot of willpower for me not to buy everything on display in their kitchen accessories section, there wouldn't have been enough room in my suitcase. Still, I couldn't resist finding space for this vivid little set of egg cups.

photograph picture of my beautiful orange basket from Avoca at Powerscourt House, Enniskerry, Wicklow, Ireland

If you find yourself in Ireland, and you are looking for a decent Cafe lunch and a wide range of gifts for others or, more importantly, yourself do try and find time to visit Avoca in at least one of their locations.

posted in and and and
The Charm of the Irish, to be sure


  • At 27/5/05 17:21, Blogger shuna fish lydon said…

    Whilst in Ireland last summer with my family I came across the AVOCA cookbooks and could kick myself for not buying them, especailly since I am warmly reminded of their character here. Thank you. They have such a warm and earthy aesthetic.

  • At 27/5/05 18:04, Blogger Sam said…

    My sister was just raving about the books to me on the phone the other day as she just got a copy of the second one.
    I think it's down to earth food that normal people can enjoy cooking and eating without too much difficulty. Hopefully Beccy will chime in and let us know what she thinks of them.

  • At 27/5/05 22:53, Blogger Nick Hawes said…

    I have both the books, and they're awesome! The first one has amazing salads, whilst the second one excels for starters and dips. Yum!

  • At 31/5/05 09:00, Blogger Beccy said…

    Actually Sam I have the first book and have made some delish salads, a yummy Italian chicken dish and banana bread which the males in the house love - I still can't stand bananas. Prehaps Santa will bring me the second book!!!

  • At 1/2/06 05:25, Blogger said…

    I love Powerscourt and am a regular visitor there, although I must admit to just calling in for some of that yummy Avoca food the last couple of times! They also have a shop and café just outside the town of Kilmacanogue in County Wicklow and, most accessible of all, their Suffolk Street shop is situated in Dublin city center - I especially love their soups and scones...

  • At 11/3/07 12:50, Blogger Diane said…

    I've just discovered your blog while doing a google search on Avoca. I just moved to Dublin and I am still exploring. Very nice blog...I've bookmarked it so I can stop by for some culinary inspiration.

  • At 28/5/07 12:49, Blogger Amanda at Little Foodies said…

    Oh. I love that place. My Indian sister-in-law is from Dublin and got married at P.Court. They did an amazing multi-cultural wedding with so many beautiful touches and the food was absolutely gorgeous! Glad I clicked on this. It's great that your blog has reminders of past posts. Very cool!


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