Trip to Kilkenny

Kilkenny castle

I am back. Back blogging that is. I am also back from Kilkenny a lovely and vibrant inland city in the south-east of Ireland. And no, I was not sequestered in Kilkenny for the duration of my blogging break, just for a few days last weekend.


I went as part of a small group of friends, just four of us in all, to celebrate (belatedly) the birthday of one of our number – the lovely M. I drove down to the Marble City (Kilkenny is thus called because of the local black limestone which looks like a slate-colored marble) on Friday morning, ahead of the others who were arriving early Saturday afternoon. This gave me extra time to look at and admire the city’s many majestic and historic buildings and to drink in the creative atmosphere that wafts scent-like in the Kilkenny air. Kilkenny, you see, is the de facto craft capital of Ireland.


I stopped, on my way down, a few miles shy of Kilkenny in Bennettsbridge a small village on a pretty stretch of the river Nore. I only intended having a short coffee break but in the end it was two hours or more before I got back in my car to journey onwards (more about my Bennettsbridge stop in another post).

National Craft Gallery

It was mid afternoon before I finally reached my destination. And my did the next few hours whizz by. The highlight of my afternoon was a visit to the Future Beauty exhibition in the National Craft Gallery.

Joe Hogan - Baskets

Baskets by Joe Hogan

The Gallery’s website says about the exhibition that “Future Beauty? is an exhibition of everyday and extraordinary objects – pots, jewels, sculpture and furniture … the show invites us to consider the current shape of art and design in Ireland, and, to consider the ways in which the thinking and the objects from these makers may influence our understanding of art and design in the future”.

Paula Stokes - glass

Glass by Paula Stokes

Ceramics by Susan O'Byrne

Ceramics by Susan O’Byrne

I love craft so seeing so many beautiful pieces by such a talented troop of makers under the one roof was a real treat. The exhibition continues until the 18th March and it will be in the Farmleigh Gallery at Farmleigh House in Dublin later this year – from the 2nd August to the 29th September. If you have an interest in craft and beautiful objects it is so worth seeing.

campagne killkenny

So how did the four-go-to-Killkenny-to-celebrate-a-birthday trip go? Wonderfully well. We had the main celebration on Saturday night starting with an early meal in Campagne restaurant and then we headed to Kilkenny’s Watergate Theatre where we saw the travelling London Classic Theatre company perform Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and we topped off the evening with a celebratory night-cap in a local bar.

Incidentally should you be in Kilkenny searching for good food Campagne is first-rate. Campagne’s owner Garrett Byrne was in a previous foodie life head chef at the excellent Chapter One, a one star Michelin restaurant in Dublin. As an added bonus Campagne has a very good value early-bird menu.

The good things in life are often soon over and so it was with my Kilkenny visit but conversely some of the best things in life can endure and one of them is friendship.


Filed under Craft, Ireland, Travel

18 responses to “Trip to Kilkenny

  1. Yay, good to see you back, B! 🙂
    Nice photography and commentary too!

  2. Kilkenny looks lovely. I once played Lady Gwendolyn Fairfax in an am dram production of The Importance of being Earnest – lovely play 🙂

  3. B, first of all welcome back. We missed you. Second of all, what a wonderful time you must have had! The craft objects are marvelous.
    Every time I read one of your post, I have this urge to buy a ticket to Ireland and visit all the gorgeous locations you are talking about. I’ll do it …one of these days. 🙂

    • Thank you Francesca for your kind comment. Hopefully you will come to Ireland one day! I love craft and this was an especially good exhibition, sadly many of my photos didn’t work too well so I was only able to show a few items on the post. 😉

  4. SurreyCousin

    Lovely to see you back, B. Oh, and the Paula Stokes glass!!

  5. Welcome back and what a nice time you must have had! Between your exploration of the city and fun with your friends it sounds just about perfect… 🙂

  6. Nice to have you back. Kilkenny looks great.

  7. Welcome back from your break…I know you had a lovely holiday.

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