The National Print Museum lives in the Old Garrison Chapel of Beggars Bush Barracks, just up the road from Slattery’s Pub, Junior’s and Paulie’s Pizza. Their aim is to collect, preserve and exhibit Ireland’s printing heritage, and they do so through their permanent exhibition and the regular free workshops and tours they host in the Museum.
The Press Café is housed in a conservatory built on the side of the museum. The structure of the conservatory itself has a distinctly early 1990s feel to it but the décor is very now; a reclaimed wood coffee counter and distressed iron chairs, a copy of The Gentlewoman and Fantastic Man on display for customers to leaf through. It’s a reassuring space, with light streaming in even on a dull day.
Cold noodle salad usually grosses me out; it’s the kind of thing you find in a plastic box at a petrol station, masquerading as a healthy option.
The Press Café bowl of noodle salad so completely redeems this dish to my tastebuds, that I make a version of it at home for myself the next day. The Press Café noodle salad is the real deal; a bowl is stuffed with crunchy, diced vegetables and soft chunks of fleshy avocado, the noodles coated in a delicately fresh coriander and ginger dressing (¤6.50). A corned beef sandwich (¤5.50) is a beaut. The corned beef is piled high between slices of dark rye, crunchy greens playing off the sharpness of cheddar, pickles and wholegrain mustard nicely.
Coffee is by Cloud Picker, and is brewed perfectly by the barista. My flat white (¤2.60) is short and strong, just like it should be. We can’t resist a slice of the baked vanilla and walnut cheesecake (¤3); it’s sweet and rich, with caramel- ised walnuts on top. Really good.
Press Café might be off the beaten track for some but this could work in your favour for their weekend brunch. What a lovely way to spend a morning; learning about our print heritage and brunching in a light-filled conservatory afterwards. This weekend, in fact, the National Print Museum are hosting their Winter Fair November 27th-29th of November, a free family-friendly event with a Christmas market and a chance to have a go at making a letterpress poster. Press Café will be open, serving mince pies and mulled wine.