Husband and wife team, Ray O’Callaghan and Myra Ryall have taken what was once The Commercial Hall in the heart of Doneraile and turned it into something wonderful, which perfectly marries the charms of the past with the comforts of the present.
Formerly, the building hosted a myriad of businesses over a 130-year period. The building dates back to the 1870s and has seen the ins and outs of many specialities, including unique millinery, stylish tailoring, fine furnishings, haberdashery and welcoming hospitality, as a guesthouse for travelling sales persons.
“Today the café is decorated with furnishings and ornaments that were once purchased in the same building!” And the café is not just a place to grab a lovely cup of coffee and a delicious slice of cake either. The couple also run an interiors business from the same building, so you can be assured of a beautiful venue in which to sit back and relax.
“Our diners see it as a unique visitor experience. We are also Ireland’s leading curtain shop with thousands of fabrics to chose from in our showrooms. We design, measure and manufacture each piece. We have our own curtain and upholstery workshop, so any project, large or small, is catered for and provided at a very competitive cost.”
The venue perfectly marries the aesthetics and charm of the past with the warm welcomes and flavours of the present. Inside you will find the perfect atmosphere in which to attend high tea; it’s a great alternative to a bachelorette party, bridal or baby shower!
One Facebook reviewer said: “We arrived on a very hot Saturday with two small babies and a double buggy. The staff were so accommodating and showed us to a lovely table in the café. The garden was too hot for us. We enjoyed a lovely lunch, the staff swiftly arrived with two high chairs for the babies and even put our buggy in the shade, so it would not be not too warm when we were leaving. Five-star baby changing and most obliging staff. Can’t wait to return!”
Outside you will find an open and airy courtyard with beautiful seating areas. And it’s doggy-friendly! It’s the best place to enjoy the Summer heat, sip a cold drink and bask in the shade of one of their patio parasols.
Their food too is second to none and never feel guilty about treating yourself to a bite out when you’ll be buying local. “We buy our food produce locally with most coming from neighbouring farms and prepared by our in-house kitchen.”
Tripadvidor is littered with five-star reviews for Café Townhouse Doneraile, all of which we’d wholeheartedly agree with. “I absolutely love this place; the food is five-star and fantastic value for money. I took my staff for a work lunch. All seven of us ordered something different and everyone was very impressed. They also do the best coffee for miles around. Yum yum! The staff are so welcoming and helpful and always have a smile on their faces. The atmosphere is wonderful and the décor is so luxurious, it really feels like a treat to go there. Can’t wait to find time to return!”
Munster Vales is a new inland tourism destination – much like the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland’s Ancient East – and aims to promote the area domestically and internationally. Ray and Myra attribute part of their success to the great work of Munster Vales. Myra has been instrumental in increasing visitor numbers to North Cork and the rest of Munster through her collaboration with these initiatives. Her contributions have included guided tours and dramatic events, each attracting tourists and locals alike.
“We are going from strength to strength with new staff members joining our team regularly. The main motto at Café Townhouse is to hire locally and this proves to be a massive success with many proud to say their ancestors worked at The Commercial Hall previously and are willing to talk to tourists about Doneraile, as they are locals.” So, visitors truly are getting a unique and wholesome experience; a welcoming café, a comfortable interiors store and a heritage and history guide too!
People have come from far and wide to check out this unique coffee spot and eatery, including Fionn Davenport, Outsider Magazine, Sunday Independent, Fáilte Ireland, Nationwide and so many more, each of which have only been delighted to recommend the wonderful place to their readers and followers and we’re delighted to count ourselves among the rave reviewers!