Great places to unwind, wine, dine and stay in County Carlow
Time to go on a road trip of County Carlow and stop off in a wonderful selection of eateries, offering a wide variety of delicious dishes for you to choose from. There’s so many options such as a 17th century former coaching inn, a beautifully restored 18th century mill house or a vibrate bar full of atmosphere and warmth.
Explore picturesque villages, small towns or the vibrancy of Carlow town itself. Wherever the sat nav brings you, you’re sure to find an eatery to delight your taste buds and here’s some examples:
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Sha-Roe Bistro has rave reviews and all those who dine say it is a treasure of gastronomy. A multi award winning bistro with a simply beautiful and elegant approach to food. This husband and wife duo have built a fantastic reputation for not just award winning food but also their friendliness and professionalism. Nestled in the beautiful village of Clonegal close to Huntington Castle, Sha-Roe Bistro is located in an 18th century restored house.
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Your home and garden heaven. The Arboretum at Leighlinbridge is an absolutely wonderful location to spend the afternoon browsing through the home and interiors section or considering a complete redesign of your garden when you fall in love with the beautiful outdoor furniture and numerous plants, shrubs and flowers. When you’re ready to drop from all your shopping, it’s time to relax and unwind in Rachel’s Garden Café, called after the entrepreneurial owner Rachel Doyle. The cuisine is delightful and there’s a strong emphasis placed on sourcing ingredients from local suppliers. There are several dining areas here including set aside with colourful couches and relaxing furniture that makes spending time with friends over cake and coffee a delight. Another is within the outdoor garden area space where you can bring your dog. Following a walk on the River Barrow you can all troop in and have a delicious sweet treat and even the dog is welcome!
Once you start to explore Carlow and realise that this small county packs a mighty punch and offers an abundance of places to visit, you might find yourself very tempted to stay a few nights. The only difficulty will be where to choose as you will be spoilt for choice, with a wide selection of privately owned, hugely characteristic properties on offer.
Step back in time and experience the 19th century Ballykealey House Hotel. Built out of love, arising from a marriage proposal, it was once the home of the Lecky family. Today it offers a unique setting for guests to stay and dine. The house retains many of its original features from the Tudor period.
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Stay in Carlow town and join the team at the Seven Oaks Hotel. Conveniently located just a 3 minute walk from the town centre, the Seven Oaks Hotel offers a traditional Irish welcome. Built in 1820, Seven Oaks first opened its door as a hotel in the 1950s.
Another option is the Woodford Dolmen Hotel with its idyllic views of the River Barrow and Killeshin Hills. It sits on the outskirts of Carlow town. Their Plum Tree Bistro was awarded Best Hotel Restaurant in 2018 by the Restaurant Association of Ireland.
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Looking to stay in a picturesque village? Then nearby Borris, located at the foot of Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs mountains, is the perfect answer. The Step House Hotel offers a warm welcome. With delicious home cooked breakfast and classic French style cuisine by evening, you will truly relax and unwind in this beautifully quaint property.
As you linger for longer in Carlow, the county will keep surprising you with additional dining options.
Located on the lower ground floor of the spectacular VISUAL Carlow centre for contemporary art you will find Lennons. Simply fantastic food is served by a truly amazing team. The food is dynamic, mouth-watering and simply delicious. A favourite off the menu is their Lemon Posset, followed very closely by their baked cheesecake.
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Very close to the charming scenic village of Borris is Clashganny House. Be sure to arrive that little bit early as the setting will take you by surprise. Set in a beautifully restored 1830s millhouse, Clashganny is a gem to behold. The cuisine is excellent and the setting truly memorable. You have to experience Clashganny House for yourself.
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Back to Carlow town and it’s time to add a little spice to your palate with Shapla Indian, a mouth-watering take away option for those thinking of a night in. Relax over traditional Indian food packed with flavour and the freshest, natural ingredients.
Ready for a night out again? Then off to the Teach Dolmain, a busy atmospheric pub and restaurant serving fantastic food in a relaxed setting. Teach Dolmen has built up a fantastic relationship with locals and holiday makers for serving great food in a wonderful environment.
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Another for your list Corcoran’s Bar. Corcoran’s Bar is the oldest original bar in Carlow town and showcases some of the best examples of Victorian hand carved mahogany and ebony in the country. Enjoy a craft beer or a fine Irish whiskey.
Down the road in nearby Bagnelstown you will find the family run bar and restaurant, The Pint Depot. With food served all day, a beer garden, live music at weekends and a guarantee that all sports matches, sports events and horse riding will be showing on the screen.
That’s just a little taster and roundup of the many options available in Carlow town and county. Carlow offers so much choice and as a county it’s fair to say we have been perfecting our hospitality skills and extending a warm welcome to all who visit for generations.