Eamon Barrett is wowed by the extraordinary patisserie in Kilkenny’s CakeFace.

Archive - all the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

You’d hardly expect a property finance expert and a chemical engineer to end up opening a dreamy patisserie in Kilkenny. But, with Laura and Rory Gannon, that’s exactly what’s happened in order to fashion CakeFace, their elegant café and cake shop in Irishtown, Kilkenny.

Laura may have started in property, but it wasn’t long before the call of the kitchen led her to Ballymaloe, where she worked with Rory O’Connell, and then it was onwards to France for both of them to learn the craft of the pastry chef, before stints at The Savoy and The Connaught in London to refine their craft.

Luckily for Kilkenny, the lure of home has drawn them back to Ireland to open the CakeFace Café. The space is deceptively simple with the breads displayed on a marble wall, and then a lovely counter with the pastries all displayed like sweet jewels.

There’s a selection of sourdough bread, from SeaGull Bakery in Tramore, and really good sandwiches and coffee. But it’s the pastries and cakes that are the star of the show. Immaculately crafted, these beautiful desserts and cakes are a true expression of the pâtissier’s craft. With names like ‘Tango with Mango’, ‘FIGure it Out’ and ‘BanaMel’ it’s clear we’re not in apple tart land, and there’s a strong visual element to these exquisite creations: they look every bit as good as they taste, and they taste wow!

In addition to the café, Laura and Rory also supply cakes for special occasions. Their move to Irishtown also signifies new energy in this charming part of Kilkenny city and it’s our betting that Irishtown will, like Galway’s West End, soon find itself turning into a valuable food lover’s enclave. Bring it on!

CakeFace Café, 16 Irishtown, Kilkenny cakefacepastry.com 086 601 7045

Photographs, credit Eamon Barrett