Shoptalk: Naas

Beautiful boutiques and good seafood in this Co Kildare town

 

In Naas, the thoroughbred county’s key shopping town there’s an air of expectation about next month’s Aintree and Punchestown festivals, the finales to National Hunt’s season of racing.

Emporium Kalu (045 896 222, emporiumkalu.ie), one of the town’s best boutiques, is housed in a former pub. The stone-fronted shop has beautiful windows and interior architectural elements, including deliciously decorative wrought ironmongery retained by owners Kate O’Dwyer and Louise Flanagan who had fellow Naas interior business Skii Interiors (045 874 970, skiiinteriors.ie), Unit 27-28 Naas Town Centre, do the fit out.

The boutique stocks a healthy mix of casual weekend and occasion wear and clothes many race meet attendees for whom a key purchase is a beautiful coat. Chic designs by Goat include the Washington, a black design with white piping recently worn by Kate Middleton, €859.

Along with really good investment pieces, the boutique also stocks the kind of fripperies that will turn any girl’s head. A lace parasol by Chantal Thomas, from €139 to €149, for a My Fair Lady moment or a more modern giant bow-shaped headpiece by Lucy Gilmore Murphy, in a sequined or lace finish, €259, that has winner’s enclosure written all over it.

Gallery 9 (045 901 981, no website), 2 Poplar House, is another must-visit boutique whose edgy edit includes Joseph, Paper London, Stella Jeans and, stop the presses, comfortable yet cool sandals, €355, and slouchy suede mules, €375 by Austrian-engineered Puro.

Daly’s Pharmacy (045 897 239, no website), 17 South Main Street, is a great place if you fancy treating yourself to a new make-up look. On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays make-up artist Khindra Cummins is in situ and will do your face for a price that is redeemable against any Clarins purchase.

In a town almost 50km inland East Coast Seafood (087 125 5833), Unit 8, Friary Business Park, is one of Leinster’s finest fishmongers. Run by former fisherman James Kirwan, who grew up in Clougherhead and has fished all Irish waters and as far as the Azores and the Bay of Biscay, he knows exactly what fish to select at market and can even tell by looking at the stock how it was caught.

Nolan’s Butchers (045 876 861), Poplar Square, stocks Dan Donnelly worthy t-bone steaks and steakettes, beef burgers made only of meat and herbs that suit the gluten intolerant. He also sells natural sheepskin, €55 and cow skins, from €100.

VDC at Home (045 889 200, viedechateaux.ie) serves delicious bites to eat on the hoof while no epicurean should leave town without paying Swans on The Green (045 876 544), the county’s finest food hall cum cafe, a visit. Alanna Gallagher

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