Holly’s Café, a new coffee shop offering a sophisticated array of ‘to die for’ desserts created by two chefs that have worked in Michelin star kitchens in the UK and Ireland, has recently opened by the sea in Kilkee, Co. Clare.
The café, whose eye-catching pastries, cakes and cookies along with their scones and soda bread are all freshly made in house each day, has initially opened for takeaway only in line with COVID-19 restrictions. Once it’s safe for them to do so, the café will have the capacity to comfortably seat thirty people inside and a further twenty people outdoors.
Having spent years mastering their trade at luxury five-star hotel, The Ritz London, and honing their skills in the likes of Adare Manor’s Michelin-starred The Oak Room restaurant, in Co. Limerick, it comes as no surprise that Co-Owners, Holly Kelliher’s and Jon Butler’s picture perfect pastries are as enjoyable to eat as they are pleasing to the eye.
All of the café’s French-style patisseries are painstakingly hand-crafted on-site daily and created using premium ingredients from the likes of Valrhona Chocolate, Cocoa Atelier, Callebaut Belgian Chocolate, and Ponthier (fruit purees).
Visitors can expect to choose from a list of signature pastries including a Manjari Chocolate Mousse with Chocolate Cremeux and a Caramel centre, a Passionfruit Mousse – White Chocolate & Passionfruit Mousse, Passionfruit centre and Coconut Sable, a Vanilla Choux Pastry filled with Madagascan Vanilla Creme Diplomat, and Pistachio Macaroons filled with Chocolate Ganache and Raspberry Gel. Counter Cakes include a Hazelnut Gianguja – Hazelnut Sponge with Chocolate Chips & Hazelnut Chantilly.
Commenting on the recent opening Co-Owner, Holly Kelliher, said: “The pandemic has given both Jon and I the chance to press pause, reflect and take stock. It was always our dream to open our own business and the current situation has accelerated our long-term plans. Kilkee has always been a home away from home so when the opportunity arose to put our own stamp on the place and offer something completely new here we didn’t need to think twice.”
The breakfast, brunch and lunch menus include a wholesome selection of homemade breakfasts, salads and sandwiches that will change weekly. These are served alongside specialty coffees made using beans from the Burren-based coffee roastery, Anam Coffee, and loose leaf teas from fellow Co. Clare business, Guru Tea House.
There is a real focus on, and passion for, using and showcasing locally sourced and organic produce as much as possible. The lunch menu includes a Ham & Cheese Toastie featuring Limerick ham paired with cheese from Mossfield Organic Farm in Co. Offaly alongside Ballymaloe Relish, and the sausages for their Breakfast Bap come from Kelly’s Meat Store, just down the road in Kilrush. The café also uses Ballybrisk brie in its sandwiches and salads, and stocks products from popular Limerick-based Chocolatier, Braw, among others, in their retail section.
Ever since returning to Ireland from London in the summer of 2018, Holly and Jon, who met whilst working at The Ritz, had been on the lookout for the ideal spot to open their own café and showcase their combined skills. They previously viewed potential premises in Adare, Co. Limerick and Co. Kerry, without success. However, it was Holly’s (originally from Fenit, Co. Kerry) affinity with Kilkee, formed while spending many a summer as a child holidaying at her grandparents mobile home in the seaside town, and a visit to her aunt there during the first COVID-19 lockdown, that led to a chance viewing. The space at 39 O’Curry Street matched their joint vision for a coffee shop that could act as the perfect foil for their elegant brand of desserts, and within twenty four hours the pair had jumped at the opportunity and signed the lease.
Not only have they opened their first business in Kilkee, the couple have also taken the decision to buy a house and relocate there permanently. This commitment will allow them to open the café throughout the year, not just seasonally.
Holly’s Café is open six days a week (closed Mondays), Tuesday to Saturday, 9.30am to 5pm, and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.