Jill Barber .. the heart of Drumcliffe Tea House
To say Jill Barber was locally born and bred is certainly not an exaggeration. Born less than a mile from Drumcliffe where she runs the Tea House, she was baptised, confirmed and married in lovely St. Columba’s Church next door. Her family has lived in Carney for generations, farming their land near the wild Atlantic shore.
Jill recalls her late father Jim, with a cup of tea in hand, at Drumcliffe Tea House remarking that he was sitting in the exact spot where he tethered the horse and trap while the family attended the Sunday Church Service. The Tea House which she has run since 1988 is located in the old stable building. Surrounded on three sides by graves, including of course, that of W.B. Yeats, it is an unusual but somehow rather perfect setting.
Jill’s parents instilled a strong work ethic and a love of food and of nature in Jill and her siblings. Her father was the “animal whisperer” for the community, called on when anything went wrong from calvings to colic. Walking the seashore with their Dad was something they all loved to do, learning from him how to open cockles and eat them raw and picking mussels for the pot. Her busy mother was an excellent baker and Jill still uses her recipes for the teahouse’s much loved scones and Guinness cake.
The Drumcliffe Tea House works seamlessly with a close knit team, some of whom are with Jill more than a decade.
The warm, friendly, welcoming nature of the team makes the tea house even more inviting. All year round you can be expected to be greeted with a smile and some local humour. Some of the smiling friendly faces will appear seasonally over the years and then many are permanently here to look after you, enjoying each of the seasons in the beautiful surroundings of Drumcliffe.
Drumcliffe, Co Sligo
(071) 914 4956