And the award for the most perfect food in the most perfect space goes to.....

I doubt that the owners of The Green Barn knew about my constant frustration about the lack of meeting points half way between the capital and my hometown of Kilkenny. Since I moved home it's been a source of constant, if at times irrational, frustration. So it is with utter delight that I can tell you that for me The Green Barn may well be the most exciting restaurant to open for a long time. It's located just outside Athy and more importantly less than five minutes off the M9 motorway. I don't think I'll be reserving visits to The Green Barn for when I'm looking for a half way point to meet Dublin folks; I have a feeling I won't need that excuse to pop up here on regular occasions.

The Green Barn restaurant is located in a Scandinavian style barn decorated with hints of New England inspiration. If you are an interiors junkie, visit here and while you enjoy lunch, take inspiration from the enviable and eclectic decor; nothing matches, but everything works wonderfully well together. The owners of The Green Barn have created a beautifully decorated light-filled space, that oozes relaxed vibes from every corner.

The Green Barn is very much in the "Farm to Fork" stable of eateries. They serve the freshest possible seasonal produce most of which comes from their organic kitchen garden each morning. It is the diner that ultimately wins when a restaurant embraces the farm to fork philosophy. The dishes are simply, but the quality of the produce shine through. I had one of their Barn Boards which had garden vegetables, hummus, pesto, mozzarella, olives and bruschetta. It was light, fresh and full of flavour. My only regret was that I wasn't able to have a beautifully chilled glass of while wine to accompany it. Next time, I will make sure to bring a driver with me and schedule an extra long lunch. My dining companion had the burger and gave it ten out of ten. If cakes are your thing, there are plenty to chose from and I can report that they all looked divine.

For shopping lovers, bring your credit card. There is an eclectic range of furniture and merchandise by French antique dealer Josephine Ryan for sale. It’s also a book lovers haven with books covering Irish heritage, architecture interiors, design, photograph, gardens, plants, art and food. You will find it hard to leave empty handed.

The Green Barn is located just off exit 3 of the M9 motorway and is open Wednesday – Sunday, 11am to 5.30pm and on Saturday nights for dinner.

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DESIGNED BY Frances Walsh 

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