“Named after the previous owner, Helen Mullane and Armel Whyte’s café-bar seems much older than it is, as the whole interior was reconstructed with salvaged materials (the flooring was once in the London Stock Exchange). It is brilliantly done, with the long, narrow bar divided up in the traditional way, with oilcloth-covered tables, now extending into a restaurant in the house next door. It is the type of contemporary, self-confident Irish eating house that visitors hope for but do not always find in every provincial town.

Helen is an impressive hostess, buzzing about, dealing with orders and queries with grace and efficiency, backed up by an organised kitchen playing to it’s strengths: great raw materials, careful cooking by a mix of old hands and new recruits, well led by Armel.

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