Do you know that feeling of finding a place you really like, be it a shop, cafe, theatre or garden, and hoping it will never ever change? That’s the feeling I have about one of my favourite places to visit when I am home in Ireland – The Brown Hound Cafe in Bryanstown, Drogheda. I love everything about this cafe. I mean, just look at these cakes!
But quite apart from the cakes, breads and coffee, what really appeals to me is the decor and the style of the cafe. The walls are clad in wooden panelling painted teal, giving a cosy effect, and the seating is a mix of deep window seats, benches and vintage chairs set around worn old tables.
Little touches like silver teapots and jugs, vintage china, silver teaspoons and butter knives with ivory resin handles add something really special to the overall feel of the place. Meeting here for coffee or even popping in for a cuppa alone with the newspaper feels like a bit of an occasion.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I had become a bit of a lousy bridesmaid to my sister in the run up to her wedding. Just before flying to Ireland, in an effort to improve, I sent her a gorgeous bunch of flowers in colours to match her wedding theme. I planned to follow that up with treating her to coffee and cake at The Brown Hound when I arrived in Ireland. Sadly the last minute wedding preparations took a lot longer than we anticipated and it looked like we weren’t gong to get a chance to have that coffee after all.
It sounds a bit selfish I suppose but I had been really looking forward to an emotional, sisterly chat and bit of pre-wedding excitement. Maybe I’ve seen to many soppy films in my time, but then again it is not every week that you are helping your little sister prepare for one of the biggest and best days of her life, ist it? Feeling a mixture of self-pity, selfishness, guilt and indulgence, I decided that if I couldn’t take the bride-to-be to the cafe, I’d take the cafe to the bride-to-be.
In between wedding chores I popped into the Brown Hound and got a selection of goodies packed up and brought them to my sister. She made tea, I unpacked the cupcakes and together we made lists, packed bags, ran last minute errands, baked the wedding cake (yes, the afternoon before the wedding) and, in hte midst of it all, had that sisterly chat. It was a lot less like a film than I imagined it but it was a lot more like us.