down home: Nenagh

On my last visit down home, myself and Maman schlepped to Nenagh for a look around, and I have News(TM) to report:

There’s a wool shop! On Kenyon St!

The proprietor, Sinead Lee, has chosen a lovely mix of yarns, and stocks a full range of notions including some very cute buttons- I love a woman with taste. If you’re in the area, walk down Kenyon St until you see a basket of wool on the pavement and go through the corridor to your left. It’s a small shop in behind Lee Auctioneers.

On a related gratuitous plug woolly note, I am delighted to see Hanly’s Woollen Mills going strong. I’ve noticed their range of blankets, throws and scarves have been receiving plenty of attention of late. It’s hardly a surprise, really- if you take a look at design blogs and magazines, the desire to create a cosy, intimate space has never really left, even if all those minimalist, biscuit-coloured apartments got all the headlines :). You can take a look at their shop here. I am really tempted by the mohair blankets, myself!

Life in Tipperary continues apace. Like everywhere else in the country, it has taken a battering, but Tipperarians are full of good humour and great ideas, and they will make it through. It felt good to see that contrary to reports, rumours of rural Ireland’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.

So, if you’ll pardon me putting my Discover The Feckin’ Fabilis Mid-Wesht Tourist Board: North Tipperary Division hat on, if you’re in Nenagh and have a few hours and/ or shekels to spare, give the following a try:

I am a Tipperarian and as such, I run best on a decently full stomach. Foodwise in Nenagh, you can’t go wrong with The Pantry in Quentin’s Way (just off Pearse St). Order yourself a Veggie Hot Belly. And by the way, you’re welcome ;). I also love Cinnamon Alley for a quick bite- the squidgiest cakes this side of the Danube! Country Choice is a lovely spot- it gets totally jammed in the afternoons but is well worth it. Take a look at their beautiful artisan products while you’re at it. If you still have room, try Quigley’s Bakery on Kenyon St for their white chocolate and raspberry muffin with a pot of tea. In the evening, give Roots a try- their apple, walnut and goat’s cheese salad is heavenly.

Otherwise on my travels, I noticed a new shop called Eclectic Mix open in Kenyon St, which stocks the loveliest range of clothing, children’s toys, jewellery, pottery and other bits, and I cannot forget my favourite old reliable The Watch Centre, the place I’ve gone to since I was a wee wain for presents and the like. McCarneys is an absolute treasure trove- it’s been a ritual since I was a young ‘un to press my nose up against the window and gaze in at their new finds. And in fairness, they only had me arrested once for doing that, and a lot of that was my own fault.

If you’ve got longer to spend in the area, take to the hills- Silvermines, I mean. The views are balm to a weary soul. The castle is still under scaffolding, alas, but once it’s done, it is well worth a look. If you’re a walker, you are in luck in this part of the world- no savage hills, but plenty of amazing views. Slightly further afield you have Terryglass, Garrykennedy and beyond that Killaloe- well worth your time.

By no means is this an exhaustive list- more like the edited highlights. Still though, they always say to ask a local, don’t they?


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