Online Christmas Guide 2020
Carlow Tourism members
As Christmas 2020 approaches, our shopping experience – just like our experience of this unprecedented year – is a different one to years past. A click of a mouse replaces the open door and browsing takes place on our screens instead of our shops. Visions of sugarplums still dance in our heads and hopes for happy faces on Christmas morning still abound. From the safety and comfort of our homes, we can however shop local and support our local tourism economy – both are needed now more than ever. Here’s a selection of some great Christmas experiences available this year from Carlow Tourism members:
Food and Craft
A & K Real Food: Home-made and healthy, these healthy snack alternatives are based on local, naturally grown ingredients and their extensive range includes kombucha, raw vegan breddies, energy bars, wheatgrass, sauerkraut and a range of traditional sourdough breads. View the full product list available for sale at https://anlarshop.ie/product-category/ak-real-food-products/
Arboretum Home & Garden Heaven: The staff at Arboretum are determined to make sure that your Christmas on-line shopping experience is every bit as exciting and fun as usual. How they achieve it will be different this year, that’s for sure, but the end result will be the same, they hope: a happy Christmas. Make yourself a hot chocolate (not necessary, but definitely recommended) and browse the Christmas gift section at your leisure. In no time at all you’ll have worked through your list. There is something here for just about everyone in your life. Search by price bracket, by brand or by product type but start off with their carefully curated gift guides at https://www.arboretum.ie/enchanted-christmas-at-arboretum/christmas-gifts/ It might feel good to know that by shopping with Arboretum you’re supporting an Irish family business that’s rooted in the community and employs hundreds of people in Carlow and Wicklow.
Ballyshane Studio: Woodturning has always been a burning passion for William McCutcheon and he has spent the last 14 years honing his craft, working with some of Ireland’s leading companies along the way. One can’t help but be immediately drawn to the objects he makes, the incredible craftsmanship, and obvious love for the material. He works predominantly in native hardwoods, reclaimed when possible and cites a particular fondness for Irish beech. Visit https://www.ballyshane.com/shop to browse the selection of cheese boards available.
Carlow Brewing Company: From hats to glassware, t-shirts to tin signs, Carlow Brewing Company has a range of merchandise on sale that reflects the fun of this thriving brewing company’s ethos. Go to https://www.carlowbrewing.com/shop/ to buy.
Coolanowle Food Hall: Coolanowle Foodhall is a family owned and managed foodie haven, situated on Dublin Street in Carlow Town with a strong ethos on local and sustainable food production and farm to fork approach. With free delivery if you spend €100, check out https://coolanowlefoodhall.ie/shop/ to browse online from an impressive range of local produce for the foodie in your life.
Malone’s Fruit Farm: Malones Fruit Farm is a family run business growing a variety of soft fruit. The farm shop sells a large selection of artisan food and gifts with particular attention to local and Irish products, and the farm itself produces a dazzling array of jams, chutneys and more delicious delights – Malone’s Fruit Farm hampers are a favourite throughout Carlow and beyond, particularly at Christmas time. Impress your discerning foodies with hampers available at http://www.malonefruitfarm.com/index.php/products2/view/category/virtuemart_category_id/1
The Chocolate Garden of Ireland: Wow friends and family with these award-winning chocolates and hampers this Christmas. For a really tasty gift, check out their range of beautiful hampers, delicious award-winning chocolates, novelties and bars at https://chocolategarden.ie/store/ Their gluten free chocolates are hand made to guarantee the best taste and quality.
Cushendale Woollen Mills: Cushendale represents the highest quality bespoke textiles made from Irish wool, lambswool & mohair. Crafted with six generations of knowledge and finished using their very own 800 year old natural soft water source, each creation exudes a special and distinct softness which is a signature of Cushendale’s marque. Visit https://cushendale.ie/shop/ to view their beautiful scarves, wraps, yarn and more for the special person in your life this Christmas.
Duiske Glass Gift Shop: Duiske Glass is a handcut glass and crystal brand that enjoys significant success in Ireland and globally. The brand is particularly well known for its grapevine cut which is still handcut at Duiske Glass in High Street Graiguenamanagh. There is an abundance of gift ideas available at https://duiskeglasskilkenny.ie/product-category/christmas/ – snap up the items on sale online now!
Turra Crafts: Turra Crafts is a small, family-run business specialising in handmade framed prints, based in Carlow. Their collections have been designed to fit occasions from birthday gifts to weddings, family occasions and anything in between. Order today to include a hand-written Christmas card, delivered directly to your loved one in time for the holidays. Visit https://www.turracrafts.com/store/c5/All_Products.html to browse these exquisite crafts.
NicAngels Candles: NicAngels Candles are individually hand marbled, fragrance-free Irish-made dinner candles, perfect to adorn your Christmas table this year. They also hand-paint glass candle holders to accompany their candles and offer a bespoke service for a truly unique and original Christmas present for the candle enthusiast in your life. Please visit https://www.nicangelscandles.com/shop to order yours now.
Silver Spear Gin: The award-winning Silver Spear Gin has gained the reputation of being a high-quality premium gin, which is proudly pouring domestically and internationally. It has a wonderfully aromatic nose, with pronounced notes of coriander and fresh lime with undertones of juniper and hints of spice at the finish. This delicious gin is created to impress – browse https://www.silverspeargin.com/buy-now/ to get yours!
Discover Carlow this Christmas
VISUAL & GB Shaw Theatre Carlow: VISUAL Carlow have a fantastic range of art books for both children and adults. There are toys and puzzles for all ages by makers such as Orange Tree, Fiesta, Goki, Dr. Baffler, Kikkerland, Dynomighty and more. Just new in are the famous, Irish designed and made, Rory’s Story Cubes and their new Design Studio game, Extraordinaries. Also in stock are pens, posters from shows and exhibitions and a beautiful range of greeting cards and postcards. Gift vouchers are also available; online, over the phone or in person and can be used both for shows and shop purchases. Visit https://www.
Hotels & Restaurants
Step House Hotel: The Step House Hotel is located at the centre of the pretty heritage village of Borris and is a delight to discover at Christmas time when inspirational Christmas decorations makes this four star boutique hotel a joy to discover. Bar 1808 consistently serves a combination of local produce with French flair. Enjoy the best of Carlow’s produce from locally sourced beef and pork to locally crafted gins. Treat someone special to a Step House Hotel gift voucher – the perfect gift this Christmas. https://secure.stephousehotel.ie/bookings/vouchers
Mount Wolseley Hotel Spa & Golf Resort: Ideally located within an hour from Dublin, Kilkenny, and Waterford this majestic Resort offers a perfect setting for all occasions. With a sweeping tree lined drive, beautiful private garden, and a tranquil lake, this resort provides a captivating backdrop for business, leisure, and that special celebration. Complete with a championship golf course, the award-winning Wolseley Spa and extensive leisure facilities, this unique location offers the perfect escape. Browse an impressive range of vouchers for the resort at https://secure.mountwolseley.ie/vouchers
Seven Oaks Hotel and Leisure Club: An ideal base from which to explore the beautiful surroundings of Carlow, Seven Oaks is a welcoming four star hotel, ideally located just a 3 minute walk away from Carlow town centre. The Seven Oaks Hotel offers T.D. Molloy’s Restaurant, serving modern international and Irish cuisine, using fresh local produce. Alternatively, the Oaks Bar offers a relaxed setting, with food options also available. Each classically furnished room has a private bathroom, with a TV and wireless internet access. Browse the selection of gift vouchers available at https://secure.sevenoakshotel.com/bookings/vouchers
The Talbot Hotel Carlow: The Talbot Hotel pride themselves on their reputation for delivering excellent service, dining and accommodation. The Talbot Hotel Carlow is home to the vibrant Corries Bar and Bistro which is loved by locals and hotel guests alike. The hotel offers extensive facilities and is a local favourite venue for weddings, civil ceremonies and other special family occasions, offering a range of vouchers at https://secure.talbotcollection.ie/bookings/vouchers?group=Carlow
The Lord Bagenal Inn: Family run since 1979, the Lord Bagenal Inn is a 4 Star hotel located on the banks of the River Barrow in the heritage village of Leighlinbridge. Offering the highest of standards in both accommodation and dining, The Lord Bagenal Inn and its dedicated team will endeavour to surpass every expectation. Plan a break now or visit https://www.lordbagenal.com/gift-cards.html for gift card and voucher ideas.
The Green Barn at Burtown House & Gardens: The Green Barn is located just inside the front gates of Burtown House, Athy, Co. Kildare and is set in the front parkland overlooking the walled kitchen garden. It is easily accessible as a quick lunch stop, fr a more relaxed luncheon style affair or for dinner on Friday and Saturday night. The Green Barn serves the freshest possible seasonal produce that comes straight from the organic kitchen that very morning, and has to be tasted to be believed. Check out https://burtownhouse.ie/green-barn-shop/ to buy a voucher for the Green Barn today!
Lennons@VISUAL: Dynamic and eclectic food is served in this contemporary and award winning restaurant and café located in the VISUAL Arts Centre in the fabulous surroundings of Carlow College. Lennons are committed to providing good honest food produced with passion and attention to detail while using only the finest Irish meat, sustainably caught fish and locally sourced ingredients. Find out what makes Lennons@VISUAL so popular with locals and visitors at https://lennons.ie/gift_vouchers/
The Woodford Dolmen Hotel: Set on the beautiful banks of the River Barrow you’ll feel right at home at this charming Carlow hotel. Their 81 bedrooms are decorated in a modern style, perfect for a good night’s sleep after a day exploring, attending a meeting or shopping until you drop in Carlow or Kilkenny. There is a wealth of offers and deals for the hotel at https://secure.woodforddolmenhotel.ie/bookings/specialspage – guaranteed to have something for everyone.
Lemongrass Carlow: All food is prepared by Asian chefs using all natural ingredients – no MSG preservatives or artificial colourings. Lemongrass is the healthy option, and as a lot of the food is wok fried, not only is it non-fattening, it is also coeliac friendly. Tempted your tastebuds? Then go to https://lemongrass.ie/ and scroll down to “Gift Vouchers” to buy yours!
The Merry Tree Restaurant, Rathwood: Afternoon Tea at The Merry Tree in Rathwood is the ideal way to relax with a group of friends this Christmas, celebrate special occasions, or even just as a treat for yourself and a loved one. Enjoy a mouth-watering array of sandwiches, freshly made scones, delicious baked mini treats and fresh fruit, accompanied by your choice of tea or coffee. Afternoon Tea is served Monday – Saturday from 2 pm – 4 pm and must be booked before 10 am on the same day. Kids Afternoon Tea is also available. Click on https://www.rathwood.com/specials/ to book this delicious treat.
Christmas Experiences – from December 1st 2020 – SUBJECT TO COVID RESTRICTIONS
|Date||Location||Festival||Find Out More|
|Mid October – 24th December 2020||Arboretum Home and Garden Heaven, Leighlinbridge,
|ARBORETUM HOME AND GARDEN HEAVEN
For a complete festive day out this Christmas, head to Arboretum Home and Garden Heaven where you can explore the Christmas shop and savour the delights of the stunning in-store Christmas décor. Browse beautiful gifts, festive lights, striking decorations and Christmas trees of all sizes. This five-star garden and lifestyle centre offers a free viewing of Santa’s two real reindeer Donner and Blitzen daily from mid-November. Go to www.arboretum.ie or call 059 97 21558 for more details.
|T: 059-972 1558
|26st November – 24th December 2020||Rathwood,
|SANTA VISITS THE BIG TOP
The original home of the Santa Train once again has come up with an original idea for these unusual times! You’ve been invited on board the Rathwood Express train for a magical journey through Rathwood’s festive forest.
Staying safe together is all part of the experience as you make your way to Fossett’s Big Top to see Santa, Mrs Claus & their elves as they perform a phenomenal show.
Please visit www.rathwood.com for pre-booking and instruction on Covid-19 safety measures for this event.
Admission: Child – €23.95 Baby – (12 months and under) €12.95 Adult – €14.95
|T: 059-915 6285
|From 17th November||Delta Sensory Gardens,
|CHRISTMAS BAKING & CHRISTMAS LIGHTS 2020
The Delta Centre will be taking orders for their delicious Christmas cakes, pies and puddings from Tuesday November 17th. Sizes and prices will be posted on Facebook on Tuesday November 17th – don’t miss out on these popular Christmas favourites! Subject to restrictions, the famous Christmas Lights display in the gardens will be shown from 5th – 20th of December, it never fails to sprinkle Christmas magic and usher in some good cheer! The Christmas stalls take place on the 12th and 15th of December, selling seasonal fare and tasty treats. Café Thyme will be open for refreshments.
|December 2020||Huntington Castle & Gardens, Clonegal, Co. Carlow.||CHRISTMAS AT THE CASTLE 2020
Huntington Castle sets the atmosphere during December – come and walk the fields to select your own Christmas tree! Open weekends during December, subject to Covid restrictions, the gardens and tearoom will be open and castle tours will take place during the weekends. Please check www.huntingtoncastle.com for final details.