McKenna’s Guide Award

Grá the Coffee Bar
It's the quiet pursuit of both excellence and aesthetics, right across every little thing
they do, that impresses everyone who comes to Grá.
Susan and the team choose everything they do and everything they work with with
the utmost care, from the stripy yellow and white colours of the café's awning, to
their splendid affogatos, made with bourbon vanilla ice cream and a double shot of
3fe espresso. In a speedy eighteen months, they have become elemental in County
Kildare's food culture, and have also become players in the local art and music
scene thanks to regular exhibitions and regular musical gigs, along with their
defining role in the coffee culture. Everything about Grá is meticulously curated,
which makes the entire space feel like a gallery - spacious, uncluttered, clean,
relaxing, delighting. It's no easy thing to have such a fastidious eye when creating
and working a space, and indeed the Irish are notoriously poor at understanding
how to create the right feeling of feng shui in a building. But Grá gives the lie to
that generalisation, for it is quietly, yet triumphantly gorgeous, welcoming and
pleasing, from the crema on your flat white to the toasted almonds on your morning
croissant. Such care - such grá! - truly gladdens the heart.