Come and Visit Dublin's Oldest Shop

Be amazed at the stunning interiors at No. 4 Parliament Street!

House of Read Fine Foods & Tableware

House of Read Fine Foods & Tableware on Parliament Street, is Dublin City's oldest merchant house and shop and to step into House of Read today is to step into a shop interior that would be recognisable to the customers who made purchases there in the 18th century.

Today, House of Read provides customers a unique and special experience and has the distinction as being purveyors of delicious chocolates, macaroon, coffees, pastries, treats and sweets to takeaway or as a gift.

House of Read also continues to operate an artisan manufacturing silversmith shop and also provides classes and talks on Chocolate Truffle making, History of Irish Silver and Perfumery to mention a few.

House of Read Fine Foods

The history of House of Read at No 4 Parliament Street is intimately tied to the history of Dublin being Dublin’s oldest shop and merchant house having been originally established in 1670.

We have crafted a careful balance between old and new to create a unique emporium of fine foods ,tableware all showcased in the original fittings and swan neck pediment cabinets which lend an elegantly old-fashioned edge to all manner of luxurious treats.

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As purveyors of the finest of Irish foods, We specialise in delicious chocolates and macaroons in a number of flavours as well as fresh pastries and premium hot and cold beverages for your own enjoyment or as a gift.

Our extensive range of preserves and marmalades includes jams, marmalades and chutneys with each jar carefully cooked to preserve the natural flavours of the fruit.

Start your day with a delicious home-brewed coffee or tea from House of Read to enjoy with your breakfast or have a mid-afternoon pick-me-up or something a little more celebratory with a warming mug of our hot chocolate.

House of Read Tableware

From beautiful china and silverware to cosy candles, House of Read has what you need to add an elegant experience to your home or as a gift.

From joy-giving to personalised presents, let your loved ones know you're thinking of them.

House of Read has curated a unique range of silver plate tableware both new and vintage and our tea or coffee delph sets uniquely branded with our elephant with a three turreted castle which is the symbol of Dublin and with a mat with swords crossing which is the oldest symbol of cutlers in the world.

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House of Read History

The Family

The fascinating link to the Read family is the connection to Arthur Guinness whose mother was Elizabeth Read so many believe House of Read to be the spiritual home of the Guinness family in Dublin.

The Read family history goes back to 1712. James Read arrived in the city from a tenant farming family in Co Kildare to work as an apprentice cutler in a business established in the 1670s. He then took over the business in the 1720s. Read's were based in Crane Lane. Parliament Street was created in the early 1760s by the Wide Streets Commissioners to open up a direct route to Dublin Castle with shop buildings on either side. Read incorporated the late 17th century building into the new one on Parliament Street. Successive Reads established themselves as Ireland's finest knife and sword cutlers, supplying fencing masks and foils and working with surgeons to make and improve their instruments.

In 1821 Thomas Read & Co was granted a royal warrant to supply cutlery and surgical instruments – the royal arms are now displayed on a wall inside the five storey building.

Arthur Guinness

Elizabeth Read

The Restoration

Built in Crane Lane In 1670 and expanded on to Parliament Street in 1760, restored in 1923 after the Irish Civil war due to bomb, grenade, bullet hole and fire damage and again restored and conserved in 2017 crafting a careful balance between old and new to create a unique emporium winning the international Diaphoros Award for best conservation.

As the only original merchant house and shop in Dublin, the building stands out amongst its neighbours in Dublin Castle and City Hall and cuts an impressive shape on Dublin's oldest and original luxury shopping street. Visiting House of Read will become a much-loved tradition for many, and nothing fills us with greater pleasure than welcoming you through our doors.