05 Jul 2022

Putting an extra touch to Christmas in Kilkenny

Photos by Vicky Comerford

Christmas Tree Festival

Christmas traditions vary from county to county, but I like to think we add an extra touch to ours in Kilkenny. Starting with our increasingly popular Christmas Tree Festival in St. Canice’s Cathedral. Once you enter the doors of this famous Cathedral one feels like they are taking a stroll through a magical forest of the unknown species of Christmas Trees!

Photo by Christopher Dunne

On Thursday, I was honoured to be to one of the 37 volunteers who manned the Relay for Life entry - ‘Tree of Life’. We welcomed people to write on one the cards and hang it on the tree. The message was of hope or a name of someone you that you may be remembering this holiday season. By the end of the Festival 400 messages were left on the tree to loved ones.


Christmas Garden Experience

Friday night we visited Butler House Christmas Garden Experience as their garden transformed at dusk with the light installations coming to life. It was like something out of a Disney movie as we all stepped back in time in the magical walled garden. The kids loved the toy soldiers, reindeer and the frosty winter pond at the heart of the garden complete with our new Butler House miniature train. Of course, the big man himself was there and throughout the festive season Santa can be visited in his outdoor grotto.

Photo by Vicky Comerford

Christmas culinary treats

Here’s a new Christmas tradition for Kilkenny as Visit Kilkenny launches a Christmas cookery book. Some of Kilkenny’s finest food producers and top restaurants have joined forces in creating a ‘festive’ cookbook. Entitled ‘Kilkenny Christmas Traditions’, the book celebrates the very best of Christmas culinary fare.

The 52 page book is available online at  and contains thirty easy to create recipes from festive starters, mains, sides to deserts, all using ingredients from Kilkenny food producers or recipes straight from the kitchen of some of the County’s best restaurants.

Christmas Trifle by Butler House in Kilkenny's Christmas Traditions Cookbook

Among the contributors to the book are the Yew Restaurant in Lyrath; The Lady Eleanor Restaurant at Butlers House; Goatsbridge Trout Farm; Ryeland House Cookery School; Rive Gauche Restaurant and Edward Hayden’s School of Cookery, among others. Something tells me it’s going to be a Christmas cracker!

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