The Best Al Fresco Dining Spots in the Boyne Valley

By Rebecca Meade

The Best Al Fresco Dining Spots in the Boyne Valley

Summer 2021 is going to be all about the outdoors and with the return of outdoor dining on the 7th June what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than on a comfortable chair being served delicious food & drink?! Of course we won't have to wait too long to dine indoors with restrictions lifting for indoor dining on the 5th July.
After a very long lockdown we all deserve a few treats and exciting experiences and all our restaurant, cafe & gastropub members are passionate about using the finest of local produce across their menus so you know you are in for a feast when you visit. 
Our aim here in Boyne Valley Flavours is to promote food & drink that is produced in this special region, the venues that use the food & drink from the region and also the many wonderful food experiences that can be enjoyed here. To recognize eateries that support their local food & drink producers we launched our Place on a Plate initiative so you know when you dine in one of our members venues that they actively support their local food & drink producers and this in turn allows you to get a really sense of place when you dine there because the ingredients they use are produced in that region!
The Boyne Valley is spread across the counties of Meath & Louth and is easily accessible from Dublin with a short spin down the M3 or from Belfast via the M1, so it is a great place for a day out or a short visit. It is also home to a plethora of passionate food & drink producers who supply the many fabulous and award winning eateries around the beautiful Boyne Valley. If you want to make a day of it there are lots of fantastic things to do https://www.discoverboynevalley.ie/plan-your-visit/things-to-do and don’t forget all OPW sites are offering free entry this summer (Full List Here) https://heritageireland.ie/
Below you will find all the info on our members who will be offering outdoor dining this June.
Headfort Arms
The Headfort Arms Hotel, a family run hotel situated in the heart of the beautiful heritage town of Kells, County Meath has an array of great value packages & offers to tempt you to the beautiful Boyne Valley.
The hotel is home to the multi award winning Vanilla Pod Restaurant, offering a delicious menu featuring lots of local produce you are guaranteed a memorable dining experience in the Vanilla Pod. They also boast many outdoor dining areas including a wood fired pizza oven in their beautiful gardens perfect for a relaxed dining experience. New additions for this summer include the new 'Terrace', a heated outdoor dining area as well as the Headfort Garden Kitchen in the leafy surrounds of a beautiful urban garden.The Headfort has been recognized in the McKenna’s Guide in 2020 and in 2019 as 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland and has been rated in Tom Doorley’s Top 100 Places To Eat in Ireland as well as consistently featuring in the coveted Bridgestone & Georgina Campbell Guide to Ireland and once you visit you will understand why! They were also recently awarded the Travellers Choice Award from Tripadvisor. 
They reopen for outdoor dining on the 7th June and you can book here-

The Cross Guns Gastropub

The Cross Guns Gastropub is located between the villages of Castletown and Nobber in County Meath and combines old world charm with a modern dynamic menu featuring the finest of local produce.
This summer The Cross Guns are pulling out all the stops to ensure that their customers have all the benefits of outdoor dining with all the comforts of the indoors. As well as their new look terrace which is framed by the scent of beautiful lavender, they are adding the Laneway Terrace to their outdoor offering. This, previously ignored, side of The Cross Guns has taken on a new focus with the opening of the Greenway in sight and Bi-Folding doors and retractable canopy to cope with both the extreme rain or the extreme sun (hopefully the latter) and landscaped outdoor area will allow customers to bask in food and drink glory throughout the summer months. In total The Cross Guns can seat 45 people within their sheltered outdoor space and when the sun shines, space is limitless, just like their warm welcome!
They reopen on the 7th June and you can book your table now over at

Scholars Townhouse Hotel

Scholars Townhouse Hotel is very centrally located in the heart of Drogheda’s City Centre and features an award winning Restaurant, a Gastro lounge for most relaxed dining and Afternoon Tea. They have recently renovated their atmospheric outdoor dining space ahead of Summer.

Tankardstown House

 Tankardstown House and Restaurant, is set amongst an 80 acre estate of woodland, parkland, courtyards and walled gardens, just 7kms from the village of Slane. The name of Tankardstown has become synonymous with good food, in both Brabazon Restaurant and The Garden Room.
Tankardstown House boasts a large luxurious outdoor seating area and their team of talented Chefs offer seasonal dishes created from local produce where possible. Both casual lunch and classic evening dining is served Wednesday through Sunday. The dining experience in Brabazon is a feast for the eyes and the palate!
Afternoon Tea is also available, served in Brabazon midweek and in the quaint Tea Garden at the weekend. A quaint lopsided cottage with odd tables and mismatched china, also set in the picturesque surrounds of Tankardstown’s Garden Village.
Outdoor dining at Tankardstown reopens on the 11th June.

Conyngham Arms Hotel

The Conyngham Arms is a classic country village hotel and traditional country kitchen restaurant, set in the heart of historic Slane, Co. Meath. A beautifully restored 18th Century coaching inn, offering luxurious accommodation and good food in a traditional warm and atmospheric setting. Just a 2-minute drive from Slane Castle and only the short distance to Historic sites such as the Hill of Slane, Frances Ledwidge Cottage, and Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth whilst just down the street from the beautiful craft,art, and artisan food shops that this Manor Village has to offer.The hotel restaurant serves a full menu of indulgent lunch and dinner dishes, and there is also a cosy bar. The restaurant grows its own herbs and uses as much locally sourced and seasonal produce as possible. The menus change seasonally, so there’s always something new to enjoy. They have beautiful gardens that offer a great outdoor dining space.
Reopening for outdoor dining on the 11th June.
 

The Glyde Inn, Annagassan

 The Glyde Inn is a family owned and run pur & restaurant located in the scenic village of Annagassan on the shores of The Glyde River estuary looking across at beautiful mountain scenery. Featuring a large outdoor dining area overlooking the scenic coastline with the Cooley Mountains in the distance and a delicious menu packed full of local seafood and produce. It was awarded National Pub of The Year and Irish Food Pub of the Year 2018 at the Irish Pub Awards in RDS.
The Glyde Inn is reopening on the 7th June

The Spotted Dog

 Brothers Brendan (chef) and Vincent Mulligan (restaurant manager) bring local, fresh seasonal food & drinks to Dundalk. Serving breakfast, lunch & dinner in a cosy modern style restaurant. Winner of Best Newcomer for Louth in 2019 RAI awards. In 2020 they added a spacious & stylish outdoor dining courtyard which is the perfect place for long lazy summer lunches. 

The Monasterboice Inn

Located just outside the town of Drogheda, right in the centre of the ancient Boyne Valley Monasterboice Inn is steeped in history, being only 5 minutes away from Monasterboice monastic site, including the world famous Muiredocks Cross.
One of the many special features of the Monasterboice Inn is that they provide their own beef for the restaurant from their own herd of beef cattle so we would highly recommend their amazing steaks! They also feature lots of local produce across their menu and in 2018 the Monasterboice Inn was voted the “Best Customer Service in Louth 2018” by the Restaurant Association of Ireland, a well deserved accolade.
The Monasterboice Inn is allowing customers to enjoy food from their takeaway menus in their outdoor dining areas from the 7th June.

Teltown Country House Tailtiú Cafe & Gardens

Teltown House is located on the historical site of the original "Tailteann Games", to commemorate the death of Queen Tailtiu, We are delighted to announce that Teltown House recently opened "Cafe Tailtiú"  in the courtyard.  We are a family business serving barista essence coffee and delicious treats, using local produce. Teltown House hosts ancient ruins, burial ground and a mystical tree located in the heart of the Boyne Valley Region. You can walk on the ancient Queen Maeve Road and ramble around the grounds of this 17th Century heritage home. Child and pet friendly, with donkeys, fairy trails and outdoor seating areas. Teltown House offers a new family experience to explore and enjoy by all. Currently open Sat/Sun and Bank Holidays from 10am-5pm with free parking and no entrance fee. Updates are posted regularly on their social media channels.
 

Sage and Stone

Sage & Stone is a family run cafe and gift shop based on the family farm just outside Duleek. Serving delicious, freshly prepared breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea they will allow customers to use their outdoor seating area to enjoy their takeaway purchases from the 7th June.

Mac Namee’s Tea Room

Tea room where you can sit, relax and enjoy a selection of over 300 loose leaf teas, you can also take home your favourite tea which we blend packed here in store by us. They also serve excellent Italian coffee along with Gourmet hand made sandwiches, soup, pastries, salads and light snacks. In their store you can browse gift sets, hampers, tea pots, crockery, caddies etc.. along with coffee machines, grinders and a selection of coffee products for you to enjoy at home. They also have an outdoor seating area where you can enjoy a coffee in the sunshine this summer. 

Slane Castle Demesne

This summer Slane Castle offers several delicious outdoor dining options. Enjoy outstanding natural beauty and birdsong along with your refreshments.

The Food Truck at Slane Castle

This gleaming silver beauty is located just outside the Castle Courtyard in the cooling shade of graceful trees. Run by culinary duo Keith Coleman and Aisling McHugh of the Roots Project, it’s funky, fun and seriously satisfying. Enjoy excellent coffee and a selection of freshly made savoury and sweet treats to enjoy at a picnic table, while taking in the view. The focus is on local and seasonal produce - Keith’s sausage rolls using organic rare breed pork from Rock Farm are a special treat.

Open Thursday to Sunday 10a.m.-4.30p.m. No booking required.

The Courtyard at Slane Castle

This summer The Courtyard is transforming into a select cocktail and eats venue under generous marquee covering. Think relaxed, casual and fun times with friends and family, while music fills the air. Award winning bartender Gillian Boyle has developed a special cocktail and drinks menu. That’s complemented by a casual Taqueria dining experience – Mexican tacos with a very special Roots at Slane twist. Sit back and enjoy The Courtyard experience.

Open: Friday - Sunday 4pm-11pm (last sitting 8.30pm) from 2nd July. Booking advised. Walk in tables available, with limited availability. https://www.slanecastle.ie/

allta Summer House

Iconic allta Wine Bar from Dublin are relocating for the summer to Slane Castle with their brand-new convivial dining experience. This a high-class dining option, a set menu cooked over an open fire and made for sharing. The location is in a beautiful tented structure, in The Boat House Field, near the Castle. Expect cocktails and a great wine list as well as a full bar. Accommodation in either the Castle (limited) or glamping at Rock Farm is available. The advice is to dress for the party but leave the high heels at home. Booking essential: www.alltasummerhouse.ie

Open: Thursday-Friday from 4pm and Saturday-Sunday from 1pm

Silly Sids

Silly Sid’s is a sustainable food and fashion initiative. They are based in the Boyne Valley - Rock Farm Slane on Thursdays and Little Wood Forest Slane at the Weekend - where they serve coffee, ice cream and toasties, all made with locally sourced ingredients. 

 Inside Out

An award winning restaurant, in the heart of the beautiful village of Slane, offers a warm welcome in cosy, candle lit, Mediterranean surroundings of olive trees and laurels. Their passion for food is translated into their menu, focusing on local produce for freshness, flavour and colours, with an inspired Mediterranean fusion.
 Their large garden and terrace area is a perfect way to relax in the summer, with some tasty sharing dishes and good company. Inside Out is the perfect venue for any occasion.
They are reopening on the 7th June for outdoor dining and they are now open for bookings

Dunboyne Castle

As summer approaches The Outdoor Terrace at Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa is the perfect location for some socialising and al fresco dinning with friends and family and to bask in the summer sun. The outside Terrace enjoys direct sunshine and as the evening begins to fall, the partially covered and heated Terrace is an ideal location to retreat and enjoy a delicious cocktail, a craft beer or a full bodied glass of red wine. The team at Dunboyne Castle take great care in using quality, carefully sourced produce from local suppliers, using seasonal ingredients and are proud members of the Boyne Valley Flavours.  The Outdoor Terrace will reopen to non-residential guests from the 7th of June, and they are now taking reservations, if you would like to reserve a table, please call  01 8013500

https://www.dunboynecastlehotel.com/


Earls Kitchen

The much loved cafe in Navan County Meath has several seats outside now available.

https://www.facebook.com/earlskitchen/


Bakealicious

Bakealicious in Navan is located in Old Cornmarket, where they provide delicious cakes and bakes 7 days a week serving Ariosa coffee and delicious teas.

They are currently working on their outdoor seating area & expect to have it open soon so keep an eye on their socials.

https://www.facebook.com/BakealiciousIE/


The Smugglers Rest

The Smugglers Rest Seafood Gastropub - Clogherhead Co. Louth. Bringing Port Oriels best quality seafood straight from pier to plate while serving up the finest local beers and spirits as well as the old favourites and it is reopening on the 9th July with a newly renovated dining area.

https://www.facebook.com/TheSmugglersRest/


The Central Navan

The vey popular Navan eatery has recently reopened and has a atmospheric outdoor dining space perfect. Open Thursday- Sunday.

https://www.thecentral.ie/


The Bective

Little sister of The Central Navan. Their ethos is: 'family friendly premises serving high quality food in an environment that is relaxed, fun and friendly. Open Wednesday- Sunday from 5pm

http://www.thebective.ie/

 

The Lawrence

The Lawrence Boutique Hotel in Athboy is now open for outdoor dining at the weekends. Book your table by emailing info@thelawrence.ie or call 046 948 7001.

https://www.facebook.com/TheLawrence.ie

Fishermans Catch Food Truck

Experience the freshest fish and chips overlooking the scenic Port Oriel. This family run Food Truck is open Friday- Sunday 12-7pm and make sure you check out their fish shop next door too.

http://www.fishermanscatch.ie/index.html