A Weekend in Kilkenny…

Feeling down after the Christmas and New Year Break, we decided last minute to go away for a last weekend of fun before the January blues fully kicked in! Due to go on Friday 3rd, on Thursday 2nd I came down with a lovely cold, sniffles, headache and all that fun stuff but like the soldier I am, I battled on through!

One of the great things about Kilkenny is how close it is to Dublin (home) and how easy the drive is, mostly motorways all the way! So, not long over an hour after leaving home, we were there, driving into Kilkenny. On this visit we were staying in the RiverCourt Hotel as just wanted somewhere central and easy. The hotel has a great aspect on the river, looking across to the castle and really well located in the town itself. The rooms are quite large (we had a deluxe) but the walls are very thin, you can hear everything from other rooms, the corridors, the extractor systems outside – there was noise nearly the whole time – that was disappointing as otherwise its a nice hotel. This is the view of the castle from our room…

Castle from Hotel

Lautrecs TapasWe went for a wander around on Friday evening, spotted some lovely shops I planned to revisit on Saturday and picked up a couple of coffees in a cute little cafe (more about that later). That evening we had a lovely casual meal in Lautrecs Wine & Tapas Bar… take the tapas word loosely as we did have a pizza as part of our meal! The place is really nice, the food is very good, the wine was great – pretty impossible to fault for a relaxing easy going meal. We shared the antipasto to start, which was pretty huge but we managed to get through it and then for mains, had a pizza along with a couple of tapas dishes between us.

Kilkenny Parkland

Saturday was a cold, clear, blue skied day – perfect for a stroll around. Visiting the castle and the parkland surrounding it, browsing through the design centre and all the beautiful craft shops.

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle BW

We started the day with breakfast and coffee in Cafe la Coco, the cutest of little cafes, decorated beautifully and serving great coffee, what more could you want!

Cafe La CocoCafe La Coco 2Cafe La Coco 3

Across from Cafe la Coco… I fell in love… with a shop, Shutterbug…wow! Amazing vintage inspired clothes, jewelry, furniture too… I loved it.  And spent a while browsing, trying on necklaces and hats, finally leaving with a gold, white and diamondy Folkster necklace and burgundy wine coloured hat.

Folkster Necklace

Then it was more wandering… looking in shops and pottering about. We made our way up to the McDonagh Junction Shopping Centre where we had lunch in The Courtyard Grill, with a bottle of white wine, to while away a couple of hours. The restaurant is located in an area of the centre with other food outlets, coffee and lunch spots with a glass roof and real outdoor feel, indoors. The Courtyard Grill is bistro brasserie style, we enjoyed a chicken caesar salad and chips and a chargrilled chicken burger which was devoured by himself! A lovely place, nice atmosphere and one I’d definitely return to. Didn’t feel like a restaurant in a shopping centre…

CampagneThat evening, we had dinner booked at Campagne and were so looking forward to our visit. The restaurant itself is well laid out and had a lovely ambience… I think a combination of not being in the whole of my health and perhaps the style of food not being for us, meant it wasn’t the highlight of the weekend I thought it would be. The food is rich and heavy, lots of sauces, quite traditional french style and that’s just not really me… I’m glad we went and tried it, and I can see why Campagne was awarded the michelin star if that style is what they are looking for. The menu has good choices – I had the porcini mushroom risotto with caramelised chicken oysters on top, delicious but heavy going as a starter. My husband helped me out with it along with his scallop dish. There was plenty on the plate but they were quite small and not the best, an ok dish. For mains, I decided on the duck and he went for the steak. The steak was drowning in multiple types of sauces and jus so it was hard to know what it really tasted like. My duck was good, a little too salty (and I love salt!) and with maybe one too many flavours going on with beetroot and blackberries…but still overall I enjoyed it. We were so full, we couldn’t even contemplate dessert. I felt that I couldn’t do a full review of Campagne, given  my feelings on it were also influenced by not being well. I’m just not sure though that I would go back based on the food style and types of dishes…

Sunday morning, it was time to bit Kilkenny adieu and head for home…a fun weekend and a revisit soon no doubt! Kilkenny has a special place in our heart, as Mount Juliet is where we got married, 3 and a half years ago…wedding cars at Mount Juliet, June 2010!

Wedding Cars

4 Comments

  1. canalcook says:

    Sounds like a nice weekend. Would love to revisit Kilkenny and this has definitely whetted my appetite.

    1. Thanks! It was a fun weekend … 🙂

  2. kateskabin says:

    I loved Lautrecs too, a little gem!

    1. I thought it was really nice, nice atmosphere,good food and a great spot all round!

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