Shoptalk: shopping in the ‘other’ Dundrum

Are you being served? The column that looks at stock, style and service in shops around Ireland

When you say “Dundrum” these days, most people associate it with a large self-contained destination shopping centre. But

Dundrum was a proper suburban village in its own right long before the Town Centre was built, and it still is. Dundrum village, for instance, retains its post office.

The original modest shopping centre in the village also still exists. A new arrival there since last autumn is Take Me Home, a well-stocked wool shop run by husband and wife Aine and Sean Carey: there are even crochet hooks in different metallic colours. "There was always a wool shop in Dundrum, and it was sorely missed," says Aine, who is knitting a navy and white striped jumper for her little boy as she talks.

There’s a big table on the shop floor, and this is where regular knitting classes are held. There are classes for children, newly enthused by knitting after the loom-band craze, as well as adults who are trying out craft knitting. “They say knitting is the new yoga,” says Aine. “It’s a great stress reliever.”

The quaint Moss Cottage is located in one of the redbrick houses on the main street. Owner Jen Cleary says it's called after her grandfather, Mossie. Open three years, Moss Cottage stocks the Annie Sloan range of chalk paints that are apparently liquid magic. They also stock Irish-made Irish-language cards and a range of unusual wedding decorations, including those for same-sex partnerships, such as signs saying Mr & Mr and bonbon dishes printed with Mrs & Mrs.

"The paint is holding it together," quips Paul Campbell, who owns Campbell's Corner, which has the oldest shopfront in Dundrum. The front window displays old photos of the village. Paul mends shoes, as his father and grandfather did before him. No 77, he has been working there since he was 16. "As long as I can wave a hammer, I'll stay in business," he says. He thinks he is one of the few remaining people in Dundrum to live over the shop. It opens from 2pm-5pm, Tuesday to Friday, and attracts loyal customers from all over Dublin. Apart from the usual heeling and soling, Paul can tailor the fit of women's long boots to the width of their calves.

The Dundrum Village Charity Shop often gets quality local donations. A pair of new men's white golf shoes were on offer for €20, and a Karen Millen turquoise silk suit was also €20. Very close to Dundrum, at Windy Arbour on the Dundrum Road, is the recently opened Thru the Green. This is apparently Dublin's first drive-through coffee shop, and it's located in an old shipping container.