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Brambles Cafe, Bru na Boinne, Newgrange

Newgrange08

Newgrange Visitor Centre, Donore, Co. Meath

041-9814888

Hours: 31st May - 15th Sep: 8am - 7pm 16th Sep - 30st Sep: 8am - 6.30pm 1st Oct - 31st Oct: 8.30am - 5.30pm 1st Nov - 31st Jan: 8am - 5pm 1st Feb - 30th April: 8.30am - 5.30pm 1st- 31st May: 8am - 6.30pm.

Review

The site at Newgrange - collectively called Bru Na Boinne - is probably Ireland's most important Neolithic structure. The main chamber, and the two small ones at Knowth and Dowth are our Stonehenge, and are of the same vintage as some of the ancient sites in Egypt.

Most famous as the scene of the winter solstice, when the light of the sun illuminates the inner burial chamber, this is a site not just of a large tomb, but probably an ancient place of worship, a symbol of the power and knowledge of the people who built it.

Newgrange almost certainly inspired awe in the enemies of the people who built in, much as it still inspires awe today for the people who come from all over the world to visit it.

Access to the sites is through the Bru Na Boinne visitor’s centre, which has been sympathetically designed to reflect the great chamber itself. It is build into the landscape in swirling design that involves grass on the roof, a wood and stone approach path and stone and glass, with large sweeping staircases inside. The design is a triumph of synergistic interpretation and house interactive displays, a gift shop and the cafe, which is run by the people behind Brambles.

The cafe is set on the lower level, and has a large outdoor area which would be wonderful during the summer. The food is typical Brambles fare; hearty pies, spectacular roulades, and a selection of desserts to weaken the resolve of even the most determined.

We enjoyed a chicken vol au vent with a mixed salad and a vegetarian choice of spinach and broccoli bake. A side of garlic potato cake was a nice accompaniment and afterwards we watched the evening sun drop over a rhubarb crumble and a slice of apple pie.

Obviously the main reason to be in. Newgrange is the pre historic site, but take some time to try some homemade contemporary Irish creations while you are at it.

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