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Thursday 22 February 2018

Travel a mere eight miles and go 50 years into past

Not far off the N11 is the thriving village of Cabinteely, and it's well worth a visit, writes Lucinda O'Sullivan

PEOPLE sometimes forget, in the great urban sprawl that is modern Dublin, that at the heart of many suburban areas are the old villages that once lay on the outskirts of the city. Places like Raheny, Glasnevin, Finglas and Sutton on the Northside, and Glasthule, Ranelagh, Rathfarnham, Ringsend, Dundrum, Dalkey and Sandymount on the Southside.

It is vital that the community spirit of these Dublin villages be nurtured and not allowed to get lost within a great urban mass. Cabinteely is one such village.

The focus of the village is a crossroads with an old-style garda barracks on one corner, and the Horse & Hound pub on another. There is a distinctive atmosphere when you swing off the N11 into Cabinteely -- it's a bit like going back 50 years.

Established village traders include Pattaya Thai restaurant, which has recently been enlarged and had a makeover, Trentuno Italian restaurant, Sam's Barbers and The Garden shop. The newest addition to this little coterie is the enchanting Cloudberries Deli Cafe Occasions, located in a quaint old house on the main street. This is the venture of brother and sister John and Suzy Pierce. Suzy, a Ballymaloe-trained chef, has been in the outdoor catering business for 15 years or so, while John has just returned after a spell living in the French Alps, where he cooked for paying guests using local produce.

"I went to Savoie in the lower Alps originally not to work, but I got quite bored and started doing bed and breakfast. Basically, the 'Good Life' got boring, so we came home," he says.

Cloudberries has a range of foods freshly prepared every day, with lovely salads including Panzanella Tuscan bread salad, spicy chickpea, oriental noodle, and three-bean. It also has scrummy cakes. You can buy takeaway meals such as beef and Guinness stew, lasagne, lemon and coriander chicken and more.

'Occasions' in the title refers to its outdoor catering arm: parties, communions, weddings, divorces and so on. It also stocks artisan products like Badger & Dodo coffee from Fermoy, Suki tea, Glor peanut butter, and Pandora Bell nougat.

Cloudberries can be contacted on (01) 285-9004;

Another bright addition to the village is an old-style, pretty sweet shop called La Creme Bon. It is just the cutest place, with rows of jars of old-fashioned sweets sold by weight.

"I was going to do a deli here but it would have required all the old atmospheric red bricks being covered up," says owner Paul Mahon. "Ninety per cent of the sweets are made in Dublin, the same as they have been for the past 70 years, by Waverly."

The rows of jars containing bull's eyes, clove rock, sherbet, chocolate satins, liquorice torpedoes, etc, appeal to both kids and adults.

La Creme Bon also has smoothies and milk shakes, and real Italian Gelato icecream by the scoop, as well as gold medal award-winning Italian coffee, Cafe Agust.

Paul Mahon can be contacted on 087 6876180; La Creme Bon is also on Facebook

Hargadon's Pub & Wine shop is a very well known spot in Sligo. Not only do owners Ray and Eileen Monahan do delicious pub grub and tapas, they also have their own vineyards in the Languedoc, and now a new Hargadon's Wine Shop in Cabinteely village. The shop is staffed by Daragh Cassells and John Dowling, who are both experienced wine-trade professionals.

Having their own vineyards means the owners can offer wines that are exclusive to Hargadon's, and cut out the middleman. The shop carries an expanding range of about 300 different wines from all over the world, to suit every occasion, taste, and budget. It also stocks Sheridan's cheeses and artisan chocolate by ChocOneill.

Hargadon's Wine Shop can be contacted on (01) 284-8836;

Joining the restaurant community in the village a few months ago was the colourful and welcoming Las Tapas restaurant, owned by Sinan and Yvonne Osan, which has proven popular with locals.

As well as opening in the evenings from Tuesday to Saturday, it caters for the lunchtime brigade seven days a week, with a range of reasonably priced tapas platters, such as a meat tapas platter with jamon Serrano, chorizo fritto, meatballs, and marinated chicken wings. The fish tapas platter has fried calamari, prawns pil pil, light crispy battered cod, and garlic and white wine cooked mussels. Both come with mixed salad and bread, priced at €7.95/€8.95.

More robust dishes include Albondigas a la Jardinera -- Spanish-style meatballs in a tomato sauce, served with mixed salad and fried potatoes; or Estofado Vasco -- a Basque-style beef stew with potato, tomato, red pepper and paprika. Ole!

Las Tapas: (01) 236-9869;

The village has recently seen the addition of Colin and Teresa Pielow's eponymously named restaurant, Pielow's, located on the first floor near the garden shop.

Colin and Teresa are well known in the restaurant business, having originally had the very popular Curtlestown House restaurant outside Enniskerry some years ago.

They then moved down to Cobh in Co Cork, where they had a guest house and restaurant, before then upping sticks for South Africa where they had a restaurant and a vineyard in the Tulbagh Valley in the Cape Winelands. When the lease on their restaurant in South Africa ran out, they came home for a while -- and when they spotted the vacant premises in Cabinteely, they opened up here again.

They still also have the vineyard in the Tulbagh Valley.

Pielow's: (01)284-0914;

Also new is Urbun Cafe, next door to Hargadon's. It's quite a big place, with long refectory tables, uber-cool lighting, and a retro feel.

Breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea, are on the menu, with homemade cakes, bakes and buns as well as soups, pies and stews.

Urbun Cafe: (01) 284-8872

Traders have ploughed a lot of money and soul into Cabinteely, a village of hope. let's keep the light burning.

Sunday Independent

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