24 Hours in Carlow – Food and Drink Travel Guide

This month we are bringing you 24 hours in Carlow. Based in the sunny south east Carlow has many beautiful sights and is bursting with historic scenes. It may be one of the smallest counties in Ireland, however, it still has a dazzling nightlife and food scene. Here are some of our recommendations to make the most of your time in Carlow.

Restaurants

Sha-Roe
Tucked away in Clonegal, the multi award winning restaurant continues to wow their customers. Henry Stone and his wife, Stephanie Barrillier spotted the 18th Century house in Clonegal while looking for a venue for their new restaurant. They then renovated Sha Roe into a Bib Gourmand venue. Dishes such as 7 hour slow braised beef cheek and Pan fried fillet of hake with West Cork chorizo, their flavours and presentation overwhelm your senses. Visiting Sha Roe is essential while in Carlow.

Lennons @ Visual
Located on the lower ground floor of the VISUAL Arts Centre in Carlow. This award winning restaurant and cafe have beautiful surroundings including St. Patricks College. They have carefully crafted menus that suit all preferences and dietary needs including gluten free, vegetarian & healthy options. With a beautiful exterior and a cool, rustic interior, Lennons have great food and scenery to offer.

Pimento
Pimento, voted the best casual dining in Leinster in 2017 by YesChef Awards, is based on Kennedy Avenue. A tapas restaurant in a picturesque setting overlooking the river. Inside surrounded by stone and wood it has a contemporary and modern vibe. If dining with a group of 6 or more you can avail of the party package, which includes a complimentary glass of prosecco on arrival and the group chooses 6 tapas from their menu. This offer is 20 euro per person. With a varied selection of dishes to choose from ranging from vegetarian, vegan and gluten free, there is a dish to suit everyone!

Bars

The Terrace
Part of the Dinn Ri, The Terrace won The Best Outdoor Space in Ireland in the Sky Bar Awards. This shabby-chic space is ideal for sipping the night away in their dreamy terrace. The French vintage décor gives a rustic feel and at a comfy 20 degrees all year round it is a perfect space for drinks and a chat. During the day it’s a charming place to relax and unwind. At night it transforms into one of Carlow’s most popular hotspots, with live music and an extensive drinks menu. If you only visit one bar in Carlow it has to be this.

Carpe Diem
A large stone building on the outside and the inside is a traditional old man’s pub with an old world charm. There are two cosy fire places that invite you to linger over a pint of the black stuff. Carpe Diem has plenty of character and is perfect for anyone who loves a traditional pub.

Cava Gastro Pub
New to Carlow, having opened just 2 months ago, Cava Gastro Bar is already a strong contender. Stone walls and a dark lighting all add to the décor of the building. The bar positioned in the middle of the room and is a hive of activity at weekends. Their drink menu is quite diverse and they carry an impressive range of Gins, Whiskeys and Wines from around the world.

Hotels

Step House Hotel
In Borris, a small town in Carlow lies The Step House Hotel. A fabulous restaurant, friendly staff and a variety of rooms to choose from this boutique hotel will overwhelm you. A small house with only 20 rooms this charismatic building has lots of hidden charms to be discovered. The perfect escape-it-all destination, yet only 20 minutes from Carlow Town. End your day in the Cellar Restaurant for a stunning meal created by award winning chef Alan Foley. Top tip, opt for a room with a balcony overlooking the manicured gardens and the unrivalled backdrop of the Black Stairs Mountains in the distance.

Mount Wolsley
Tucked away in Carlow’s lush countryside and discreetly set into the landscape Mount Wolsley is surrounded by a Champion Golf Course and a beautiful private garden. A perfect location for a relaxing getaway. With an award winning spa and many leisure facilities there are endless ways to unwind. The interior and exterior of the hotel are equally beautiful. After a day of relaxation, you can dine in Fredricks Restaurant. Overlooking the garden Fredricks offers a flawless view and mouth-watering food for a wonderful dining experience.

Lord Bagenal Inn
Beginning as a restaurant in 1979 The Lord Bagenal Inn has transformed into a 4-star family run hotel. Located in the scenic town of Leighlinbridge, it sits on the banks of The River Barrow. Hidden away from Carlow Town, you can appreciate the wonderful countryside. Inside The Lord Bagenal also houses an Art Gallery, which has showcased many contemporary artists and continues to do so. The hotel also has International Award Winning Wine List, and is the ideal location for wine lovers to sample an eclectic mix of new and old world wines.

ARTICLE BY ROISÍN FLYNN

Growing up with her mother as a chef, Roisin has always had a passion for food. After obtaining a degree in Media and Public Relations she managed to combine her love for food and media. Working with TheTaste allows her to do that and gain a greater insight into the food industry in Ireland.

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