Best Shops in Ireland 2013

Your responses this week


Mr Middleton’s Garden Shop on Mary Street in Dublin has been getting readers’ votes this week in our continuing search for the Best Shops in Ireland 2013. “There should be a preservation order placed on the shop”, says Thomas Murphy, “It’s real old world with its wooden floor and smells of perfumed plants, mixed with seaweed, which they sell loose as a fertiliser, and the grass seed you buy by the pound, not your modern kilos.”

In Sligo town, Lisa Lomax nominates The Italian Wardrobe boutique. “It feels like you are entering a boutique on Bond Street in London, with a huge chandelier reflected in a glass showcase of jewellery and designer clothes all around.” Brennan’s Cook Shop on Oliver Plunkett Street in Cork is described as “one of those been-there-forever old-world-look shops”, writes Orna Comerford. “You pop upstairs and and automatically feel like a pro baker, and feel that with the help of Pat and Mary you are capable of anything.”

Cinnamon Cottage cakeshop, deli and sweetshop in Rochestown, Cork, is nominated by Jude Russell: “As soon as you walk through the door you feel like a child again. The cakes are delicious and all based on medieval recipes since the owner’s background is in history studies.” In Waterford city, Lloyds hair salon is getting lots of praise for its cool decor and competitive prices, while in Dublin the Jim Hatton Hair Salon on Dunville Avenue, Dublin 6, is getting good reviews for its friendly service that involves a lot of teas and coffees and everyone on first name terms. Says Maeve Wright, “you leave feeling great, looking forward to repeating the visit.” “The place is a good humour retreat,” says Lisa Fitzpatrick. In Westport, Co Mayo, Maura Horkan nominates The Gaiety Antique and Vintage store, where owner Clodagh O’Connor “has such a love of old things and always wants to know the story behind something.”

In Cork city, Devilish Designs by Gina, which is “nestled into the English Market” is a vintage shop that is getting votes from readers for its quirky stock and atmosphere. According to Rosemary O’Shea, it’s a “vintage and rockabilly fashion shop. Glamour meets candy skulls, 1950s decor, and an owner (Gina Carley) who walks the walk. Also in Cork, Café Cois Laoi is celebrating its first year in business and is much admired by Deirdre Ní Chuanchain who has this to say: “It is Cork’s first bilingual cafe where those with Irish can meet up for coffee, delicious cakes and sandwiches, and chat.”

Morgans of Portnoo in Donegal is an old-style grocers that for years, according to reader Derek West, was known simply as “Inan’s” , after “an indefatigable and totally dedicated old-style grocer.” It is now, he says, gradually becoming known as “Brian’s” for the same reason and he nominates Brian Morgan as best shopkeeper.

Two farm shops have had several nominations: Tinahely Farm Shop in Co Wicklow and Kildare Farm Foods which, says reader Veronica Brennan, is family-friendly in the extreme with “an open farm where children can feed the animals and I can do the shopping while they are busy.”

In Glasthule, Co Dublin, Cavistons is nominated by Elizabeth Kiernan, who says that she has driven long distances over the years to buy fresh fish and organic vegetables there, and finds that “standards are maintained . . . nothing is too much trouble for these people, may they reap the rewards.”
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