Regardless of the weather, be it rain, fog or pleasant sunshine, we drive to Birr [Biorra] in the neighbouring County of Offaly [Contae Uíbh Fhailí].
It is a pleasant forty-five minute journey on a mountain road that skirts the foot hills of the Slieve Bloom [Sliabh Bladhma] and almost always their weather is far better than ours. I ask myself whether this has to do with Birr being one of four Irish telegraphing stations reporting weather readings to the British Meteorological Office?
It was once operated by part-time Observers who transferred to the Irish Meteorological Service on 1 April 1937 and the records for Birr date back to 1872/3.
The other stations, whose readings are now used solely by the Irish Meteorological Office, were Malin Head, Blacksod Point and Roche's Point.
Yes, we very much like Birr and the convivial atmosphere that flows in and out of the shops and along it’s streets. There is always someone to speak to or exchange a friendly nod with and a short greeting of “How are you?’ as we pass each other by.
The shopping is great, several shops sell similar items so the competition is keen. For me the friendliness and helpfulness of the assistants gives one the edge over another in a similar business.
After all the shopping is complete the final important part of our day is to have a leisurely cup of coffee and a bite to eat.
At the edge of Birr, on the Tullamore side, is a recently opened business the WOODFIELD CAFE, just within the 60kph limit. Very conveniently it has off road parking, small at the front with a much larger car park at the rear.
This is a comfortable, warm and airy building where every piece of furniture seems to have been placed with a great deal of care and attention.
Every time I see this painting it speaks to me and says
The attractive counter display !
Hannah (the Boss) busy in the kitchen working away.
Delicious coffee with a mouth watering coffee gateaux.
I nearly had a second slice - until I remembered my cholesterol.
The convivial staff on their lunch break.
The choice is yours and it is all made on the premises using Woodfield eggs.
Two happy and satisfied customers.
The workers who provide the eggs.
Beyond the cafe is the garden centre where the Real Boss struts his stuff.
To the left of the poly tunnel is the large rear car park.
I like to think of this roadside sculpture as a sentinel marking
Woodfield Cafe as the place for good food at reasonable prices