I was very fortunate to get a ‘sneak preview’ of The Treehouse Bar and Restaurant yesterday just a few hours prior to opening that same evening. It was approximately 1.30pm that I did venture over and I was just a tad excited. Having looked forward to our new restaurant and addition to our already thriving village, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. As I went through those doors I was welcomed by some very poignant words from WB Yeats: I was immediately smitten.

Scripted on the entrance hall walls is the text of Yeats’ poem ‘The Two Trees’. Based on the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life, I just found these words so utterly inspiring as I continued through the doors. The décor and the deeper meaning of Yeats’ words immediately hit home. The knowledge that here I was entering a whole new stage in our village life, and becoming quickly aware that this was very much going to instil new life into our village. Someone was pointing out the lights and the artwork, but still I was dwelling on those words of Yeats – (yeah the literary enthusiast was ever present).

I had wondered if The Treehouse theme might be embedded in the interior. Surely something related would be there. It was. Or rather it is. There are trees at every turn. There is wood amid the entire interior. And there is just that woodland feeling throughout.

The lights are simply spectacular and the artwork is stunning. It all just falls into place as you walk around.

And then it was time for that all important ‘food tasting’. I had a sample of three dishes and each were delicious. That ‘crab linguine’ was unique, and not something I would normally eat, but this dish I shall have again.

I just wanted to wander around that Treehouse again with the camera. And that I did. The restaurant area is a relaxed, colourful ( in a subtle way), yet serene, space. At its centre is ‘The Crow’s Nest’ – a raised dining area surrounded by artwork of the bird and framed with the wooden window, looking out over the forest. This is by far my favourite area of this building. There’s just something tranquil about this space.

Prior to leaving I visited the bathroom. Again, this had me smitten. Just before entering the WC area is an extract from one of my favourite plays, Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel. Friel of course lived in Muff for many years and indeed his house is not far from The Treehouse. What a very apt piece of literature to have included in this décor.

A visit then had to be had to the outdoor area – some might call the smoking area – but a very fine outdoor space, beer garden, it is sure to be. With greenery, wood, and an array of seating, it provides comfort amidst the hive of indoor activity.

During my visit I was fortunate to meet the proprietors, Marie, Joseph, Joseph junior and Paul. I also met head chef, Kiefer McConnellogue, General Manager Chris Armstrong, and staff members Greg and Anne. Each are all excited in their own way about the weekend ahead and the future of this Treehouse.

One of the things I’m loving about the establishment is the employment of a huge local staff. Not only have we gotten a new bar and restaurant, but it has already created jobs for so many locals.

Paul very kindly told me about much of the work and the people involved in bringing this Treehouse to life. Yvonne Clarke is responsible for the interior design; Deirdre McClone for the artwork; Kenny Burke for the architecture; Séan O’ Neill Groundworks for the outdoor area (I’d assumed Diarmuid Gavin had visited!!) Each contribution has only served to make this Treehouse unique in a very special way.

The talk of the village of recent weeks has been: ‘will it be affordable?’; ‘Will it be somewhere we can pop in for a drink?’ I think the answer to all is a very definite ‘YES’. A pint of Guinness is €4, glass of wine from €4.50, cocktails €7.50 and food main courses from just €12.95.

The Treehouse Bar and Restaurant has a large car park, and coach park, and will only serve to enhance tourism in our village and provide a very welcome space for all. It’s very much a contemporary bar/restaurant with a very definite traditional twist. From the contemporary lighting to the traditional chesterfield sofas, this is a comfortable space which I’m sure will be enjoyed by many.

Words do not do the interior of this Treehouse justice. One just needs to pop in and see for oneself. As WB Yeats once said: ‘There are no strangers here. Only friends you haven’t yet met.’ Here is a hub for friends and for making new ones.

Here’s wishing The Treehouse Bar and Restaurant much success here in the village of Muff.