We stayed here as part of a work dinner, organised by our main supplier (in the day job!), however habits die hard, and I had to write down my usual review..
The suites were really lovely, and a nice surprise, very spacious and beautifully decorated. A couple of frayed edges on carpets and curtains spoiled the overall effect slightly; however the sleep quality was excellent.
We didn’t try the bath in the room, as I personally, am not a great fan of baths anyway.
The staff are all very pleasant and accommodating. I, stupidly, couldn’t find any milk for my tea, but it was brought up and put into the fridge, where I found the original milk.
The meal took place off the main restaurant, the food was advertised as being organic and local, and we had a set menu.
Overall I felt the food didn’t quite live up to the quality of the ingredients, this was also reflected in the breakfast.
The starter was really just a v small bit of cheese on some brown bread, the compote was very un-unique.
I am not a fan of soup in a long menu, as I find I fill up too quickly, the colour was a little bland, matched by the taste. And brown bread croutons don’t work.
I had the beef, which I was told would be served medium or well done. Why? There was no smokiness, but the crust was quite tasty. The portion size was large, I gave half to Nigel, who had the very bland looking monkfish, also is there farmed monkfish available in the country??
We asked for cheese and dessert, the dessert plate came first, and was like a taster plate you would get at a wedding, acceptable but nothing special.
THEN we got our cheese, which were a bit dry and shrivelled, with no explanation of what was what, with a glass of port.
This sounds as if it was all incredibly bad, which it really wasn’t, I genuinely feel that they went to an enormous effort to get good quality ingredients and they were not utilised to their potential. The list of ingredients was really superb, and a credit to the owners, even up and down the corridors there are numerous examples of their dedication to the cause. But even the wine was only alright, and I am never one to turn down a glass of white, but chilling it would have made it more palatable.
As I said the sleep experience was excellent, Nigel heard guests returning to their rooms at 4.30am, but I blissfully unaware, slept on.
We headed for breakfast, to a lovely bright airy room. We had no sooner sat down then a waitress was looking for our order, no explanation of whether there was a buffet or not, we asked for a minute to look at the menu. I had the pancakes, as felt like something sweet, Nigel had the traditional breakfast.
The buffet was nicely presented and quite well stocked, although we were offered, and declined, toast, there was no sign of the locally baked breads, which was disappointing. The scones were really dry, but benefited hugely from the addition of the marmalade. There was also a strawberry conserve that was to have pepper in it, I am an advocate of strawberries with black pepper from my days in Killiney Castle under Chef Sean, and Noel Harmon, but really felt that this was not as advertised. The pancakes were dry, and tasted liked they had been pre cooked hours earlier, Nigel’s fry was nicely presented, but he felt, again, not sympathetically cooked.
We both had been offered a spa treatment, which we headed down to next. Nigel had a full massage which he said was excellent.
I had a lovely facial, very relaxing, and French polish. The lady Grainne, who did my facial, was really nice and friendly. The other members of the spa were a little stand offish, and the whole place was rather dark, but the spa experience on the whole was to a very good standard in my opinion.
Would I return?
Probably if I got a voucher. And two minutes in the kitchen with the chef, I jest in part, as my skills are not up to it, but would love to give it a second chance.