What a delight it was to come across the fabulous Gallery Cafe in Gort. I had heard about it three years ago, when a friend who knows my taste for gorgeous food served in a charming ambience, told me to call in. After a walk in Coole Park, J and I had a memorable meal and put the Gallery cafe firmly on our destination eatery list.
We have now moved to this beautiful part of the country so pleasurable trips for coffee and scones, lunches and dinners are part of our monthly agenda.It makes perfect sense to feature this excellent spot as the first of my hidden gems here on the Atlantic Coast.
Fate must have played a role here, as the lovely Sarah Harty, the owner, came across the building she now owns completely by accident. She and her Mum took a wrong turning on the way back to Dublin from Galway and ended up parked right in front of it. They stayed over and Sarah returned shortly after as she felt the place held potential. Sarah is an artist and her initial thought was to find a cafe venue that would provide a platform for fellow artists to exhibit and local musicians to play in.
All about Art……
“It was all about Art and less about food” laughed Sarah when we met over a cup of coffee recently.”I think I dived in feet first without thinking about it all too much. Sometimes, that’s not a bad thing”
She fell into the food business by default.
Late nights reading cookbooks and experimenting with recipes sparked the flame which fueled her passion for food and she opened the Gallery in 2005.
It was such a success that she moved to a second larger venue in 2010 where the restaurant flourished. With its unique blend of eclectic decor and creative dishes made from the freshest seasonal local ingredients its reputation grew.
When the opportunity arose to purchase the original building the restaurant had been launched in, Sarah jumped at it and the new Frederick’s Gallery opened in 2013. Frederick was Sarah’s grandfather and she named her restaurant in his honour.
The stone walls provide the perfect gallery to showcase the works of local artists and the natural greys, blues and browns inspired the colour palette for the furnishings. Reels that once were used for electric cabling make perfect wine racks and a massive chandelier which once graced a stately home adds a touch of grandeur.
There is a natural well at the base of the staircase which Sarah has filled with goldfish. When she uncovered this during renovations she knew this would provide a quirky touch which added to the unique character of the “loo” area.