Canal Cafe, Vicarstown – on the banks of the Grand Canal
Sunday is family day in our household. We love to spend time with family and friends or get on the road and explore. Earlier today we took a mini road trip along the Grand Canal from Athy in Kildare across the Laois border and stopped at Vicarstown to look at the scenery, boats and barges. The weather was threatening rain but we escaped it as the wind blew the grey clouds away and left us with blue skies and sunshine. While there we happened upon a cafe called Canal Cafe and we are glad we did. People, especially us bloggers like to spread the word about little unknown gems and Canal Cafe is certainly one. (as with most photo’s here on The Life of Stuff … click to zoom!)
Only opened a wet week (last Sunday to be precise) the cafe is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will be for the summer months. It’s owned by the lovely Elaine who not only bakes the fresh bread, cakes, pies and treats but also runs the place with a friendly smile.
Canal Cafe was, up until recently, an old shed that back in its hay day held local dances, wellies permitted. Scrubbed and painted the Cafe still has that the charm of a barn but with fresh flowers and vintage furniture, your more inclined to think shabby chic rather than shaggy sheep.
Outside the Cafe you’ll find a seating area that allows for canal views and sunshine, weather permitting.
The menu is small but as they say perfectly formed. Fresh, french pressed coffee, tea, juices and water are available to quench your thirst. To feed your hunger, you can choose from scrumptious homemade brown bread, mature cheddar cheese and delicious homemade rhubarb chutney; freshly baked scones, jam and cream or a selection of cakes, pies and treats. The later changes depending on what Elaine has baked up. Elaine’s homemade chutney and jams are available to buy by the jar and having tasted both, they’ll be a massive hit.
Elaine’s price list does not reflect the quality and presentation of her wares. €2 for two generous slices of brown bread, four slices of cheese and chutney … €3.50 for fresh coffee (the french press it was served in could have served four), scone, cream and jam … I felt like I should have been wearing a balaclava. On top of this Elaine does special value (how much more special could you get) children’s offerings of juice and bread for only a couple of euros … Elaine decided this because she knows the expense bringing children out with you can mean. Thoughtful.
Canal Cafe is going to be our little summer-time haunt. I wish Elaine and family all the best and I’ll be back to try that famous carrot cake really soon.
Canal Cafe can be found on Facebook here … go on and give them a like!