Gourmet Food Parlour has opened a beautiful new venue right on the seafront in Dun Laoghaire – and, as their almost-next-door neighbours, we couldn’t be more thrilled…
The brainchild of two college friends, both called Lorraine (Byrne and Heskin), Gourmet Food Parlour has now expanded to six venues around Dublin. Moving from its quirky – but for us slightly far away spot on Cumberland Street – this one opened a month or so ago (we won’t say we were waiting outside for the doors to open or anything, but that’s not far off) and has already become a staff favourite here at Image Towers. Scrumptious breakfast choices kick off at 7am, with proper barista (takeaway) coffees, which we definitely vouch for. The brasserie-inspired lunch menu (around the €10 mark), flows into delicious teatime treats. Dim the lighting, and the place transforms into a warm and inviting spot for an evening tapas menu of risottos, paellas and mezze sharing plates. The food is uncomplicated yet delicious and it’s nice to know you’re eating sustainable ingredients and mostly Irish produce.
It comes as no surprise that GFP’s interior was decorated by the Lorraines rather than being the work of an interior designer with a brand image to roll out. Well-dressed chairs sit up to wide, wooden tables and four differing but complementary backdrops frame the open-plan restaurant. We especially like the white utility-tiled wall with the cut-out horizontal window peeking into the kitchen, as well as the floor-to-ceiling shelving for the neatly organised (all labels facing out) wine bottles. They have really hit the right road with spacious ergonomics and a layered lighting scheme, resulting in a bright, lively and spacious mood in the day, and an inviting ambience by night with twinkling lights refracting off the front wall of glass.
GFP’s popularity is also due to its lovely seafront location – a minute’s walk from the DART in Dun Laoghaire. Our beloved DL has been in a visible state of rejuvenation over the past few years as a great area to live and work, and as a family-friendly destination on weekends. Other than high-street cafés and coffee shops, only Fallon & Byrne in the People’s Park would offer a comparable ethos and experience; and so GFP, with its artisan food and chic interior decoration, beautifully takes its place in the area’s smarter future.
By Jessica Elliott