Costumes worn by Hollywood stars such as Joan Fontaine, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Greta Garbo are displayed next to costumes from lesser-known actresses and a few modern celebrities (Victoria Beckham!). There are also lots of photographs and other bits and bobs alongside the clothes, so it makes for a really comprehensive and fascinating exhibition. I would have happily paid money to see this exhibition, so the fact that it's free is wonderful. It definitely gives people an incentive to spend their money in the excellent shop and restaurant afterwards. Some of my personal highlights were seeing Grace Kelly's dress from High Society, Elvis's jacket, and Audrey Hepburn's wardrobe from Charade.
As well as the wonderful free exhibition, the shop is huge and offers something for every budget. I really mean that - some of their jewellery is pocket-money prices - but they also had a sort of silver trolley for beef carving that was 11,500 Euros!! I loved their jewellery ranges based on Hollywood stars, such as Greta Garbo and Maureen O'Hara - if you love some of the ultra-glamorous and sparkly styled pieces that they wore, then you can get some very reasonable copies, with less worry and lower insurance costs.
A visit there would not be complete without using their fabulous and award-winning Silver Restaurant. It was absolutely superb. The staff were all really friendly and efficient, and the food was such a high standard and offered an unusually healthy range, with lots of salad options served with the hot mains rather than the usual carb-heavy choices. I had a bunless burger with a few different salads, and it made me and my tummy really happy!
The superb Silver Restaurant
My friend and I both made a few purchases, mainly gifts for others, but I also bought a little rose-gold plated bow pendant for myself (featured in my post about the Seamstress of Bloomsbury Violet dress). We then found a few charity shops to browse around Newbridge, while we waited for our train back to my friend's town. It was a long wait on a cold platform, as our train was delayed due to trespassers on the line and then when one finally turned up it went through the station without stopping!
Before I left Ireland on the Sunday we had time for a quick (and freezing cold!) stroll around the country park surrounding Celbridge House and then a warming Sunday lunch at a local pub.
If you're ever over in Ireland, I can't recommend Newbridge Silverware highly enough. You can make it a proper day out if you eat at the restaurant and spend some time in the shop, else there's always Newbridge itself for a wander around.
At the airport before I flew home I spotted this lovely sign showing passengers in the late '60s.
I hope this has given you some tourism inspiration for a trip to Ireland!