Friday, 29 January 2016

A late lunch in a literary
café in a laneway in Bray

Caffé Letterario Gatta Nera is one of Bray’s charming, hidden treasures (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

Patrick Comerford

Another wave of storms in the shape of Storm Gertrude is sweeping across these islands, and on a cold, wet and blustery afternoon, three of us went for a late lunch today in Caffé Letterario Gatta Nera in Bray.

This authentic Italian literary café is hidden away in Albert Walk, a laneway behind the railway line, just south of the Dart station. The walls are lined with books, many of them in Italian or art books, and with the sleeves of old LP records.

It is a small, cosy and welcoming place, and one of Bray’s charming, hidden treasures.

A wide range of Italian wines (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

They make their own soups and much of their own food according to Italian traditions. Caffé Letterario also sells a wide range of Italian wines and foods, including cheese, chocolate, coffees, pasta, biscuits, marmalade and honey made by Libera Terra, a powerful statement of Italian values that I came across in Sicily last summer:



Last summer, the owners organised a ‘Sicilian Week’ around their selection of Sicilian wine, including Nero D’Avola, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Grillo, Cataratto/Chardonnay and Regaleali Bianco.

But this is not just a place to eat and drink. The café also organises evenings with live music, readings, and language exchanges to encourage Italian conversation.

Next Wednesday [3 February 2016] there is an Italian/English exchange evening, the perfect opportunity for people who want to test, practice or improve their Italian – and for people who simply likes the sound of Italian.

Wine by the glass (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2016)

Updated: 1 February 2016, correcting the name of Albert Walk

1 comment:

Jo said...

Hello, what a lovely post. I'm going to send my Italian students there forthwith, to try and find someone to language-exchange with.

The little laneway is called the Albert Walk, by the way, just beside the DART station :)