Visitors to Adare will be more than surprised to learn that they can spend hours of enjoyment just pottering around our art galleries and antique shops. So why not book in to one of our renowned hotels or comfortable B & Bs this winter for a few days or a weekend and enjoy a laid back cultural experience. If you are into art you should start by visiting Draíocht, the home for contemporary art and crafts in County Limerick. Here you will see works by contemporary artists with established national reputations and an ever increasing growing international audience worldwide. You will view paintings by Jennifer Allen, Aílbhe Barrett, Louise Barrett. James Brohan, Deborah Donnelly, Jaclyn Hargreaves and Charles-Harper, to mention but a few, and sculptures by Ester Barrett, Richard Gough and Liz O’Kane. When it comes to ceramics the works of Ian Carty, Liz Burgess , John Sherlock, Cyril Cullen, Sarah McKenna, Eithne Hehir and many more are in constant demand and there is always something beautiful and ephemeral to suit every taste in the gallery.
You must drop into George Stacpoole (yes, you’ve seen him on TV) who displays antiques, 18th 19th century furniture, pictures & prints, porcelain, glass, old and new books, Objet d’art and costume jewellery & accessories. And while you are there you must experience the warm and cosy dining room in Stacpoole Coffee House, serving great coffee with a selection of light lunches, scones and cakes! While you sip your coffee or a glass or two of wine you can throw your eye over the many paintings and other antiques that adorn this little gem in the heart of Adare. You are now moving along nicely!
Just across the road from Stacpoole’s you can visit Manor Antiques, which was founded by the late Simon Quilligan, and is now operated by his son Michael, and the shop has been supplying antiques to the trade and interior decorators worldwide for many years. Manor Antiques is a “must visit” antique shop for visitors to Adare and for collectors of fine furniture and quality antiques. The shop stocks Victorian mahogany dining chairs and tables, bookcases, Regency brass inlaid cabinets, oak Welsh dressers, a wonderful selection of Belleek pottery and Staffordshire ware, Victorian gilt over mantle mirrors, a selection of English and Irish grandfather clocks, glass chandeliers, oil and watercolour paintings and antique Irish silver, books, toby jugs, etc.
A relatively new historical display can be viewed at the Adare Courthouse. In 2018 Charlie Chawke took the abandoned Adare Courthouse under his wing, annexing it to Aunty Lena’s Bar and completely refurbished an historic building so linked to Adare since 1836, but forgotten for over 30 years. Adare Courthouse also doubles as a bespoke ‘court’ themed function room. The museum affords visitors to Adare a wonderful opportunity to learn about the Dunraven family, going back many generations, as the museum has on display some historic accounts and photos of past Earls of Dunraven, giving visitors an insight into the Wyndham Quin family. A visit to the museum is an absolute must for any history enthusiasts.
Last but not least you should visit Adare Heritage Centre and step back in time and take a journey through the historical exhibition, a reconstruction of Adare’s unique past from the arrival of the Normans to the ancient abbeys of the middle Ages. You can then view the exhibition of paintings by local artists which adorn the walls of the Dovecote Restaurant, which serves great food throughout the day. These paintings are for sale.
Adare is certainly an ideal winter break for those who love art and history.
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