It’s my birthday. I woke up to blazing sunshine and the smell of coffee. Can birthdays actually get any better than that? We just had the most beautiful evening out on the Blackwater (read all about it here). So, after a little stroll at the pier we decided to leave early and stop for coffee and cake on the way home to West Cork. We stopped at Carewswood Garden Centre Cafe and I want to tell you all about it.
Castlemartyr was the 1st choice but as we drove into the village, we saw a sign for a garden centre cafe. This sounded like it might be a better option to let the kids stretch their legs, so we took the turn. Coffee, outdoors, surrounded by luscious greenery and flowers should always be a 1st choice!
Carewswood For Kids
My crew are that little bit older and happy to sit and eat without causing holy war, but if your monkeys are high energy and eager to keep moving, then this spot is absolutely perfect.
They have a lovely playground surrounded by picnic benches. Off to one side is a hen house full of clucking chucks to keep smallies entertained. There is also a little playhouse for the kids to hide away inside. When coffee is life, benches next to the playground are sacrosanct – am I right?
Let’s get down to business – Can the kids eat here? Well, if we hadn’t eaten our own body weight in croissants and avocado toast about an hour previously, we definitely would have. The selection was lovely and certainly looked appetising. “Patatas bravas” style potato salad, lush greens and a series of fresh tarts were making my mouth water as I stood in the queue oogling the cake selection. The breakfast menu is always a good barometer for good food and while I would love to see a veggie option other than porridge or granola, I can understand why it is often best to keep things simple in a busy restaurant.
The bread was proper doorstep style and the selection of salads was impressive. Probably best of all was the outdoor wood oven for making pizzas. We will definitely go there hungry next time as there is nothing quite like eating a fresh pizza sitting out in the sun.
Cave of Treasures
I got so excited when we walked inside. The amount of green was overwhelmingly beautiful. Plants just feed the soul and this was so evident in the atmosphere in the cafe. All the staff were all smiling, very kind and patient and just in good form. This really lends itself to a positive experience and many establishments could learn a lesson (or seven) from the staff at Carewswood.
I loved the artwork, the pottery and all the trinkets in the cafe. I had intended to buy a fishy pot for my plants at home but I got too carried away with taking photos and I left it behind. That will be remedied very soon.
I should probably have prioritised this topic in the grand scheme of things. I love ‘green bean’ coffee – it is rich and smooth. But all good coffee depends on the barista and the equipment. I would give it an 8/10. I think the machine may be set a little hot as there was a slight bitterness to the coffee. That’s me being very critical (I pay the same attention to my coffee as I do my wine). Overall, I would absolutely go back for the coffee and I certainly would not turn my nose up at it.
Planning A Return Visit
In short, this was a beautiful environment to sit with anyone and eat cake or have lunch. The next planned visit will be by bike. I P=plan to cycle from Clonakilty to Castlemartyr and on to the Blackwater Eco Pods. These are in Villierstown at the foot of the Knockmealdown mountains. We will make sure to stop in to Carewswood Cafe on the way for our coffee stop.
This is a highly recommended spot for a Sunday visit. The best thing is that you can go there and browse for free while the kids play. The option to have coffee or lunch is always a bonus.
If you head there, let me know what you think …and don’t buy my fishy pottery…I’m on the way back for it 😊Follow Me Here