Armagh women really are taking the lead in business in this town. My sister runs her own business - GM Handipak Products, and my cousin owns a successful hairdressing salon - the International Hairport in Benburb, a quaint country village not far from Armagh City. A class mate of mine from as far back as primary school has the award winning Petra's House of Colour. Previously, I blogged about Coco Lane, a fabulous place to go for a pampering, with yet another woman at the helm.
A year ago, Maria Breen opened Mulberry Bistro in a listed building sited directly across the road from the spectacular Armagh St Patrick's Cathedral.
The interior decor is beautiful, with a crystal chandelier as a center piece. Mulberry-colored walls are tastefully offset by an attractive metallic wallpaper patterned with sliver mulberry trees. Each table has a posy of real flowers and every window has a table so that diners can gaze up at the Cathedral as they eat. It's hard to find a better view while eating...even in Paris!
Upstairs, Maria is installing a bar. When she brought me up to show me around, it was set up with lines of tables, banquet style, with crushed-velvet-covered chairs in a variety of hues of purple, mauve and silver. Fun and inviting, this room is currently available for functions. And of course the view from the windows...
But this bistro is about more than just the scenery. The food equally matches the splendor of the view.
There is something for every appetite - whether you just fancy a quick bite for lunch...
And this bacon, chicken and cheese creation makes my mouth water just looking at it - it's all I can do to stop myself from licking my computer monitor!
Or perhaps you need a feast to hold you over while you explore the city -with two beautiful cathedrals, a planetarium, an ancient Druid forts such as the Navan Fort, a Palace Demesne with the Palace Stable Heritage Centre, at least 3 museums, the Public Library with its first edition copy of Jonathan Swift's Gullivers Travels and a wee walk on the Mall... Plenty to see in Armagh, and a great excuse to eat big!
The lasagne usually comes with chips (fries to Americans!) but I asked for salad instead.
Or maybe a coffee and a chat, with a scone... these ones are bigger than my fist and I have fairly big hands! In fact, it was scones that inspired the name of the Bistro when Maria came across a Mulberry Scone.
And to be really indulgent the tray bakes are to die for...
And the buns - OMG the buns!
The pavlova is delicious. It is made in house and did not survive long enough on my plate to take a picture. I recommend it.
So go ahead and treat yourself to a bite to eat in Mulberry, whether you're an Armagh local or just passing through, Maria and her staff are there with a great welcome and plenty of good grub while you sit back and enjoy the view.