Madhatter Café in the sleepy village of Castledermot opened in November 2008, finally giving the habitants somewhere really nice to go without leaving the village. Alice Cope, owner/chef took a massive gamble as the minute she opened her doors the whole country started talking about recession and they haven’t stopped yet. But it has really paid off and proven to be the right decision.
Alice, originally from Castledermot travelled extensively in her early 20’s throughout America (North & South) and Thailand working with and enjoying the food everywhere she went. On her return to Ireland she worked in some of the top restaurants in Dublin before following her dream and opening her own café.
This country café offers its customers the best of everything from good coffee, Lavazza to be specific, to all kinds of good food – breakfast, lunches and cakes galore all freshly made on the premises. Alice is passionate not only about her business but more so about her food. Everything is made on the premises without any additives or preservatives. All the ingredients are fresh and locally sourced - as local as the villagers bringing in garden grown lettuce/ marrows or whatever else may be in season at the time.
What Alice wanted to accomplish was to offer real homemade food, excellent coffee in a welcoming environment and that is exactly what she has delivered.
There are three sides to this business, the café which I am a huge fan of and could speak about all day, the retail side where you can bring home jams, preserves and choose from a large selection of scones/cakes etc. and the outside catering side which is the area Alice is really looking to expand on at the moment. No matter what the occasion from communions, christenings, weddings or birthdays Alice will sit down personally and look at everything from waiter or self service to the hire of plates/glasses to the possible foods and of course the budget.
Last time I dropped in they were elbow deep in mince trying to get ahead of themselves for the Christmas rush – they do a range of very popular Christmas cakes, puddings and pies just like granny used to make.
As we enter that time of year again Alice also picks up on her cookery demonstrations which are a real inspiration to watch. Just the pick me up for those cold winter evenings. Watch the website www.madhattercafe.ie for more information on these. Also, keep your eyes open for Alice Copes’ up and coming cookery book promising to be on all good book shelves in the New Year.
Whether you are in the area and looking for somewhere special to meet friends for a good chat and real homemade food or are on your way down the M9 and want a stop off point for an excellent cup of coffee before you continue down the motorway, Madhatter is the place for you.
Opening Hours are Monday – Friday 9am to 6pm; Saturday 9am to 5pm, closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.