How does Louis Mulcahy’s Caifé na Caolóige manage to seem so vibrant?
We arrived here on a pitch-perfect late-November afternoon whilst touring Slea Head, and the pottery beckons to the traveller like a siren. It felt like we had found Arcadia. Inside, the light-filled rooms in the shop and the caife offer the gorgeous pottery that has made Louis Mulcahy’s work world-famous, so first of all you admire the plates and cups and vases and amphorae, and then you pick something delicious in the caife and eat and drink using the pottery. But what makes the Caifé special is the beauty of every plate, the colourful and careful composition and creation that you see in a dish of homemade fishcakes with lemon and herb mayonnaise, or roasted vegetable and goat’s cheese tart, or some smoked mackerel paté on toasted seaweed bread, or the dark chocolate and raspberry brownies. The effect is art, on art. Emer and her team orchestrate the charming upstairs room, and the lovely cooking serves a dual purpose: it invigorates you after you have had a go at fashioning a pot on the wheel downstairs in the workshop, and it then gives you new energy to shop carefully for the numerous exquisite pieces in the Mulcahy family’s range. A proverbial beacon of goodness on Slea Head and, because they are actually only closed for 3 days of the year around Xmas, one of the most vital destinations on the peninsula.
Clogher Strand, Slea Head, County Kerry + 353 66 9156229 www.louismulcahy.com open day time.