Overends Cafe at Airfield House and Gardens is one of the hidden gems of South County Dublin. Situated just a stone’s throw from Dundrum Town Centre, Airfield is a working organic farm covering 57 acres that was left in trust by the Overend sisters, lifetime owners and close sisters who drove around in a 1920’s Rolls Royce and lived in some splendour in Airfield house until their deaths. Since then the farm and gardens have been open to the public, providing an invaluable educational and natural amenity.
Overends restaurant at Airfield Farm and Estate is very much a second home. I often have breakfast here; we go with friends for brunch and have eaten many times off their pop up evening offerings. The staff are lovely, the setting magical and the food, all farm produce where possible, is unerringly excellent under head chef Jose.....
In the run up to Christmas they have been running a series of Christmas party nights, where smaller gatherings of friends or colleagues can enjoy a convivial evening of food and music, with God forbid, some dancing. I went along with Cousin Anne Doyle, who was back from New Zealand, and we found ourselves in a Christmas wonderland of lights and trees.
The space is a large glass sided room, all open plan. When I first ate here it was summer, and I wondered if it would work as a more intimate setting in the evenings, but in winter the glass wall behaves like a black wall, with twinkles of light and moonlight, but it closes the room in beautifully and really works.
The menu offered two choices for each of the three courses. Starters were a fresh violator and bacon soup using all Airfield farm produce, and even the bacon! The other choice was a chicken liver pate with toasts. It seemed reasonable to have one of each, which is what we did, and both were excellent, although to be honest I was sorry I didn't have the soup, and I can honestly say in ten years of reviewing restaurants that is now a sentence I have ever used!
Main courses were traditional turkey and ham, hake with seafood sauce or a vegetarian polenta, but it was an easy choice, and two plates of Christmassy loveliness appeared. The turkey and ham were both reared on the farm and the ham came as thick slices, with a honey coated edge. The turkey was perfectly moist, and the Brussels sprouts had been carved into little shapes to sit on top. Chestnuts, rich gravy and stuffing completed the ensemble, and we both finished our plates, ready for a break before desserts.
Thankfully a pear poached in mulled wine was light and we finished with coffee and chatted before realising it was past 11, and time to go.
Overends at Airfield is a unique space in Dublin, and if you haven't been, rectify the omission immediately. A visit to the farm over the Christmas break is a lovely family outing, and a bite in Overends at any time of day is a treat.