22 May 2022

New outdoor space is sweet delight at Kilkenny's Butler House

Orangerie also provides exquisite views of the elegant garden elevation of Butler House and the iconic Kilkenny Castle


Pergolas on the lawn at Butler House and Garden

Kilkenny’s Butler House has launched a new outdoor dining space offering quality, healthy menu options, served in the tranquil surroundings of the walled garden, an oasis in the centre of Kilkenny City and adjacent to Kilkenny Castle.

The Orangerie at Butler House is a new addition to one of Kilkenny’s most historical heritage properties. It is a wonderful experience to sit in the walled garden of Butler House, amid the eye-catching fruit trees and wonderful herbaceous borders while indulging in afternoon tea, just as the Georgian house owners would have done centuries ago.

The Orangerie also provides exquisite views of the elegant garden elevation of Butler House and the iconic Kilkenny Castle. With the help of leading heritage designer Orla Kelly, the beautiful and stylish Orangerie will superbly enrich Butler Garden during the summer months.

Georgian Houses, like Butler House, were famed for having this very specialised building in the gardens. It is often used to grow exotic fruits, that had recently been imported from warmer climates and exotic faraway places.

Oranges were considered luscious native fruits of China and South-East Asia and their flavour and decorative appearance led to them being grown in the orangeries adjacent to the Georgian Houses. The new pergolas on the lawn of Butler House resemble the orangerie-style buildings that would have housed these exotic plants.

Orangeries had glass panels and often had a primitive type of central heating allowing, for the first time ever in Ireland, the growing of oranges, citrus fruits and the much-coveted pineapple. To have an orangerie was quite the status symbol. The orangerie was also a pleasant place to visit during garden walks.

Butler House Orangerie is open from 10am to 5pm daily with a selection of tea, coffee and sweet and savoury treats to takeaway. Afternoon tea is served between 1 and 3pm. Pre-booking for afternoon tea is essential.

Butler House is the Dower House of Kilkenny Castle and is closely associated with the Butler family who resided at Kilkenny Castle for 500 years. In 1989, Kilkenny Civic Trust acquired both Butler House and the Castle Yard Stables.

The house was then opened as a guesthouse and conference centre. Butler House became a member of Ireland’s Blue Book in 2018. For further information and bookings, visit

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