If you are going to write a blog post about a food establishment it is, I think, a tad unfair to rock up to check it out just as it opens. But that’s exactly what I did this week when, having spotted on Twitter some details of a new food venture in County Wicklow, I visited ‘The Delgany’ for breakfast in its first week of trading. Twice!
‘The Delgany’ is in Delgany, a small but perfectly formed and charming heritage village that’s about a forty minute drive from the centre of Dublin. Total kudos to the visionary who decided to transform an old and closed-for-a-while pub, in the heart of the village, into a cool foodie destination. And kudos also for bringing together a number of separate but interrelated businesses because they are a combustible combination that spark a synergy that makes ‘The Delgany’ a want-to-return-to spot.
I was never in the building that houses ‘The Delgany’ during its previous incarnation as a pub but it has obviously had a no expense spared makeover. The tasteful transformations majors on natural wood and a very cool collection of eclectic lights. And there is an ocean of comfortable seating and thankfully given the unseasonable chill in the air a few cheering wood-burning stoves dotted about to warm up in front of.
The four businesses that make up the ‘The Delgany’ are: Romany Stone, a restaurant on the top floor open for breakfast and lunch (dinner opening coming soon); The Firehouse Bakery, a bakery and coffee shop on the ground floor; The Delgany Grocer, an excellent food hall; and The Bungalow a florist cum gift shop.
On my first visit, which was also opening day, I had breakfast in the Romany Stone to wit some coffee and a stack of rather nice buttermilk pancakes topped with bacon and accompanied by a jug of maple syrup. And when I returned a few days later I tried the Firehouse Bakery café where I had coffee with a divinely buttery baked-on-the-premises almond croissant. I enjoyed my breakfasts and the service was good and genuinely friendly. One teeny tiny thing – I wasn’t sure that the coffee-making has yet reached tip-top form, but it’s very early days.
I was glad I got the chance to chat to the very busy Jackie Spillane who runs The Delgany Grocer because she is so extraordinary passionate about food. She was previously the market manager for Marlay Park markets. She knows her stock so well and much of what she sells comes from local or local-ish (Wexford) suppliers. And she can give chapter and verse on the origin of all The Delgany Grocer’s fruit and vegetables most of which comes from growers who farm in a sustainable way. She was adamant that she is not an overpriced posh food hall and that what she stocks is sold at comparable prices to supermarkets. Sadly my images don’t do justice to her shop or show the breadth of items that it’s possible to buy there.
The last business that makes up ‘The Delgany’ is the florist/gift shop in a separate building just outside the main complex as you head to the car park.
I can’t help thinking how lucky the denizens of Delgany are to have all this on their doorsteps but I suspect that many will travel to ‘The Delgany’ from further afield. It’s definitely worth the trip.
PS: See also this more recent post about a bread making class at the Firehouse Bakery.