14/07/20 • Life in Kilkenny

The Things About Kilkenny We’ve Missed During Lockdown

It’s been a long few months!

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Right before lockdown, Kilkenny was getting ready for Tradfest 2020. The yearly festival coincides with St. Patrick’s Day and is a great time to celebrate all things Irish. This year, the town even welcomed a massive ferris wheel which took up residence outside Kilkenny Castle. Unfortunately, as we all know, this year the festival did not go ahead.

In fact, the cancellation of Tradfest was only a drop in the ocean compared to what was to come. Kilkenny City is known for its cool and alternative vibe, its culture and its history. The summer is usually jam-packed with festivals, such as the Rhythm and Roots Festival, Kilkenny Arts Week, The AKA Fringe and loads more. Perhaps it wouldn’t have been too bad if these were the only casualties of Covid-19. But Kilkenny is full of amazing bars, cafes, restaurants, bookshops… in non-Covid times, there is always something really cool happening for those that seek it.

As we head into July, we are delighted to see some of our favourite haunts reopening. With certain restrictions still in place, we might not immediately be able to do everything we once did. We are hopeful that this will change over the coming months. For now, we’re looking forward to being able to hang out with one another again, and tick a few of the below items off the list very soon!

The Kilkenny Parkrun

Every Saturday, runners, joggers and walkers congregate in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle and take part in the timed 5k Park Run. It’s an extremely scenic route, which takes one alongside the Castle Wall, through Castle Park and the Duck Pond. It’s completely free, and the last run on March 7th had over 200 participants. Afterwards, you can quench your thirst at Café Nostalgia -where the baristas sometimes give you a free chocolate Flake with your cappuccino. Delicious stuff!

At the time of writing it’s uncertain as to when the Park Run will be back in action, though the indication is that it won’t be too long before it’s back up and running – or at least a version of it! If you attend, you might even catch Joane Fernandes, one of our animators there, as this was the event she missed the most in Kilkenny during lockdown.

Check out the Kilkenny Parkrun page here.

Joane and Isabela




Photos courtesy of Brewery Corner and Grace Power Photography

Friday Pints in The Brewery Corner

“I miss the brewery corner, meeting my partner and going for a nice cold pint on a Friday, lovely atmosphere and people, just talking about the week and enjoying our time together.” – Ciaran Hyland, Scene Prep Artist

Ciaran isn’t the only person to have missed the Friday pints in the Brewery Corner, Fanny Martin gave the exact same answer! Many of us who have had a pint from this fine Kilkenny establishment are likely to feel the same. Kilkenny’s first dedicated craft beer bar, it houses 13 taps pouring a range of Irish craft beers and ciders. It is owned by O’Hara’s brewery, which is situated only 20km away. It also happens to be Ireland’s only pub that serves exclusively Irish craft beer on tap! There is often entertainment in the evenings, such as live music, open mic and DJ sets.

Ciaran and girlfriend Lyndsey enjoying their Friday sociables!









Thankfully, the Brewery Corner is back open, operating under current distancing guidelines.


Petronella, Butterslip Kilkenny. Photo sent to us by owner, Frank.

Lunchtime in Petronella

Petronella is located on the historic Butter Slip in the medieval centre of Kilkenny. The owner, Frank, is somewhat of a local legend. He even developed Petronella’s vegan and vegetarian menu inspired by our friends over at Cartoon Saloon!

If you like your meat, you also won’t be disappointed. The menu has all the classics, duck confit, pork belly and rib eye steak, as well as swordfish, beef cheeks – the list goes on. While all is reasonably priced, their lunch time menu offers great value for money. For less than a tenner you can get the house special – soup, sandwich and chips! The quality of the food, the ambience in the restaurant and the chats with Frank all combine to make this one of the best deals in town. You may bump into some of our crew there – especially Marie Ravoavison, Production Assistant, who frequents the spot at lunchtime!

In a city with no shortage of fine food and excellent restaurants, Petronella tops the list for many of us. The restaurant has a 4.5 star rating on Trip Advisor!

Match day for the Kilkenny Cats! Photos courtesy of Louise Flannery.

The Hurling

“What I miss most socially is attending GAA hurling matches.  Throughout the year from Jan/Feb right through to end of August every year I attend numerous hurling games to support Kilkenny.  It is a fast, physical & talented sports which is exciting & enjoyable to watch.  The comradery among rival teams adds to the elements (especially since partner is from Tipp!!) – Kilkenny is the most successful men’s senior county team in the history of the game of hurling.” – Louise Flannery, HR Manager

The what? Says every non-Irish person ever! Hurling is an amateur GAA sport, hugely popular here in Ireland with the All-Ireland final filling Europe’s third largest stadium, Croke Park, each year. Considered the fastest ground game in the world, hurling is one of Ireland’s best kept secrets.

Those in the know will no doubt make the connection between our home place of Kilkenny and our love of hurling. Kilkenny is the record holder for the most amount of All-Ireland titles ever won, after winning our 36th title in 2015. The heritage is strong here, and that’s never more obvious than on match days! Our local stadium, Nowlan Park, has a capacity of 27,800 and has even hosted huge musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. However, the atmosphere in the stadium when Kilkenny’s senior team is playing is unparalleled.

Hurling, along with all other sport, was put on hold during lockdown. We were delighted to see players back training over the last week or two – and we can’t wait for our next game!

Louise and family representing in true Kilkenny style!





Photos courtesy of Billy Byrnes and Left Bank


Sofa Sessions in Billy Byrnes and Sunday jazz in Left Bank

Kilkenny’s music scene is buzzing, with plenty options for live music. Two of the best are the jazz evenings that take place in both Billy Byrne’s and Left Bank. The Sofa Sessions in Billy Byrnes take place every Thursday evening in non-pandemic times. Welcoming acclaimed jazz musicians from all over the world, the sessions are usually packed. If you want one of the titular sofas, you’d better get there early.

Meanwhile in Left Bank – recently voted the Best Bar in Ireland – the Hot 4 Jazz Quartet have a weekly residency. Kicking off around 4pm each Sunday, it is a perfect excuse to indulge in a fresh and delicious cocktail from the bar. Our top tip? Order from the cocktail menu in neighbouring Rive Gauche. Pedro is a master mixologist and has developed an eclectic list of drinks combining old classics with personal creations. Rive Gauche is the restaurant arm of Left Bank – and while we’re on the subject serves an exquisite roast lamb Sunday dinner!

One of our many events in the Set Theatre, Langton’s

Langton’s Nightclub and Late Bar

“The national Anthem at full volume at the end of the night in Langton’s, that proper Irish country experience all must have at least once” – Cliodhna Lyons, Assistant Director

If you’re from Kilkenny or a neighbouring county, chances are you’ve been to Langton’s at least once. It incorporates a bar, restaurant, four-star hotel, ballroom, tearoom and theatre. In fact, Lighthouse Studios often throws parties in the Set Theatre – a truly inspiring venue for such a creative crew! Next door you have Bridie’s bar, styled like an authentic wild west saloon, complete with general store out the front. The ballroom – which is also a popular choice for weddings – transforms into a nightclub at the weekend. At the moment we don’t have a date on when we can expect the nightclub to reopen. The restaurant and front bar are already back open.

Cliodhna did also mention that she can’t wait to have a blaa from Blaa Blaa Blaa. You might be wondering what a blaa is. Well, it’s a delicious, doughy white bread bun, traditionally associated with Waterford and Kilkenny. Blaa Blaa Blaa on John Street serves a delicious morning-after staple of bacon, egg, sausage and pudding – perfect after a night out in Langtons!

And, while we’re on the subject of breakfast…

Photos taken by Grace McDonnell


…Fennelly’s of Callan’s Bacon Special


Grace McDonnell, Animation Supervisor, has said she really misses the bacon specials in Fennelly’s of Callan. She submitted the below pictures as proof of how special they really are!

Fennelly’s is special for a number of reasons though. Situated in the town of Callan, a few miles outside of Kilkenny City Centre, Fennelly’s is a small café with a big reputation. A one-time bar, other time undertakers, this great little spot is a true cultural hub. Music, live theatre, film screenings and games nights are all on the menu in this little gem of a find. Fennelly’s also hosts Neighbourfood Callan, a marketplace for local produce, currently open for online orders and Friday collections.

If you haven’t yet had your breakfast and done your Saturday morning crossword here, then you’ve been missing out. Luckily you won’t have to wait too much longer – Fennelly’s is aiming for a late July / early August reopening. Another piece of good news is that Larry Fogg, who runs the fabulous Fogg’s Supper Club with his wife – and our Series Director – Gilly, will be joining the team at Fennelly’s! Even more reason to check out this gem.

Of course, the one thing our crew REALLY misses is being able to hang out with each other and ‘have the craic’ in our studio.

By the end of July we hope to have fully returned. Stay tooned for the latest updates!

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