Shoptalk: Greystones, Co Wicklow

The seaside town offers up plenty for your garden, kitchen, and relaxing reads


On a sunny day, a visit to Greystones can feel like you’re on holidays. Indeed since the investment in the marina, Kay Desmond at Brooke & Shoals candles on Church Road remarks that 80 per cent of weekend visitors are daytrippers, including rising numbers sailing across the bay from Howth and Malahide to explore the Co Wicklow town. The men spend the day afloat while the women go shopping before they meet for lunch in one of the town’s many eateries.

Notables include The Happy Pear, already a legend in its own lunchtime, and fashion boutique JuJu, overall winner of The Irish Times Best Shops in Ireland fashion category last year.

So where else is worth a look?

A standout shop is Floral Art located in the otherwise less-than-ambient Meridian Point Centre. Run by Brazilian Marta O’Kelly and Hungarian Adrienne Eber, it is a class example of how merchandising can turn a drab and personality-less unit into a beacon of delightful things you didn’t know you wanted to buy.

Inspired by their many visits to Amsterdam, the shop sells flowers, bouquets, plants, vases and garden and interior-related accessories including very cool wire plant domes that keep slugs at bay, from €35, fashion coloured votives from €4.50 each ,and lavender plants in black glass fishbowls, €30, that anyone – even those without green fingers – would love to receive. Another florist worth visiting is Flowers by Lynda at Ireton’s, Killinincarrick Road, a grocery that has been in business since 1904. The shop still sells tins of peaches, washing up liquid and lovely pots of jasmine, €18.

Carnivores can be found licking the front window of Fleming’s Butchers, a very swish front filled with slabs of beef dry-aging before your very eyes thanks to the blocks of Himalayan rock salt in situ which extract the moisture to turn it a deep red. The shop is also a fishmongers which sources its catch from Kilmore Quay, and is certified by the organic trust. The gorgeous fit out by Brill includes geometric tiles, copper and reclaimed wood. Barbecueists love its rib eye steak burgers, four for €10 and the Namibian braai charcoal, €7.49 for a 5kg bag.

Recommended reading for Greystones many book clubs is The Village Bookshop whose current bestsellers are Green Road by Anne Enright and Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins. It also has a sizeable children’s section.

If you want to take the kids fishing on the rocks Gotcha Angling is the place to go for fresh and frozen bait and minnow-size fishing rods from €20.

If your hair is a tad windswept then head to Zero One, a relatively new hair salon that has taken its decorative cue from France’s sun god, where a glossy blowdry costs from €20.