An exciting new café and gift shop at Russborough House and Park has opened with exclusive products and décor curated for this historic property by Amanda Pratt, previously creative director with Avoca
The vision was to reimagine the visitor experience at Russborough, starting at the door. Visitors now arrive through the spectacular colonnade to an elegant curved corridor where books and architecture-inspired gifts can be found, and as well as Russborough’s reception.
A second shop has opened at the garden level below, stocking covetable collections of stationery, deco-style china, gardenalia, and edgier homewares. There is everything from milk jugs, chinoiserie-inspired trays and glassware to pretty kimonos, silk scarves, bags made from recycled plastics, and victorian inspired nightdresses. There are floral eiderdowns, cool ceramics and candelabra and decorative interior objects.
A spacious new café has also been created, with a courtyard terrace. The new Russborough Café is a partnership with award-winning Kilcullen company, LoveFood headed up by masterchef, John Couglan. Here the focus is on creating the brightest possible interior for the new extended restaurant space, with chinoiserie type wallpaper, built-in banquette seating and signature trouvé tables inspired by life in the great house, art and the collections at Russborough. Outside in the newly-gravelled, boxwood-edged courtyard, a huge Feijoa tree creates a focal point. Open for breakfast onwards, it’s the perfect destination for a quick coffee or delicious lunches and afternoon teas.
The new shop and café launch coincides with an exciting rebrand for Russborough, giving it a new logo identity and highlighting its “Hidden Treasures”. The statue of Greek goddess, Fame that rests on top of the Tuscan column in the centre of the Park’s maze has been adopted as its new emblem.
Russborough is run by a charitable foundation set up by the Beits to maintain it and ensure public access, so it depends on its own fundraising and commercial activities to survive. This imperative makes the vision for the new Gift Shop and Café all the more vital.
Chairperson of the Alfred Beit Foundation, Judith Woodworth, said, ‘’We have been delighted to work with Amanda on this rejuvenation of our shop and café. By choosing to embrace our shop as a central part of the museum experience, we are demonstrating that it can be a powerful tool in broadening engagement, promoting the museum and giving the public further ownership – both literally and figuratively – over our shared past.’’
Russborough is open daily 9am to 6pm. Self Guided House Tours 11am to 4pm. Shop and Café 10am to 5.30pm. All day Car Park €3. House Tour Admission: €12 | €10 | €6. Group rates available