In Ireland, we are so lucky to be surrounded by some of the best food and drink producers in the world. When it comes to planning a break away, we think that it is fair to say that most of us would consider food as being on of the major factors to consider when choosing what location or accomdation to travel to. When we are on holidays, there is nothing more enjoyable than fantastic food and in Ireland we are spoiled for choice with hotels that go above and beyond so that guests enjoy an amazing food experience. With that being said, if you are planning a staycation this year, check out these stunning hotels that are the perfect locations to savour the incredible local Irish produce as well as trying an array of incredible dishes from different cuisines around the world.
If you are looking for the ultimate food destination in the west of Ireland, look no further than The Lodge at Ashford Castle. The luxury four-star venue is a foodie lover’s delight as it combines flavoursome food, wonderful wines and super service making it a perfect choice for an enjoyable getaway. During a stay at The Lodge at Ashford Castle, you will be spoilt for choice as there are numerous eating options. Wilde’s at The Lodge offers a special dining experience with stunning views of Lough Corrib, Quay Bar & Brasserie serves hearty Irish meals such as traditional Irish stew, and dining at Ashford’s Castle is a very special experience where you can enjoy afternoon tea.
This five-star establishment is a fabulous combination of nature and luxury. Escape from the busyness of everyday life and retreat to Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort where you can indulge in a fantastic foodie experience and relax in a peaceful setting. One of the best things about this amazing hotel and resort, is that it offers guests several dining options. Hugo’s Restaurant is a stylish setting which holds two AA rosettes. Here you will enjoy fresh Irish produce and dishes that taste as good as they look. The Garden Rooms and Bar offer the most incredible views that overlook the renowned 13th hole on Druids Glen Golf course and the stunning interior design takes inspiration from the surrounding picturesque landscapes. And if you are a fan of afternoon tea you will not want to miss the Druids Glen’s offering - their warm buttermilk scones and apple and cinnamon cake are indulgent and delicious. To view their exclusive packages including overnight accommodation visit
Tucked away in the tranquil countryside on the edge of Magheralin village, only a short 30 minute drive from Belfast, Newforge House is the perfect getaway destination if you want to discover Northern Ireland and enjoy great food. The five-star historic, family-run country house has its very own orchard which provides fruits for desserts, chutneys and preserves, and they have chickens which lay delicious eggs that are served for breakfast each morning. Newforge House use only the best local produce including Moyallon dry cured bacon and breads which are cooked fresh to order to ensure that you get the best tasting experience which will be second to none. Their superb service and home-grown approach is what makes them stand out from the crowd and they offer something a little bit different with a homely feel.
Located in the heart of Cork City Hayfield Manor offers a dream destination for those who want to discover the capital of the rebel county. The five-star venue has a food offering which cannot be missed and guests should make time to sample the dishes in their award winning gourmet dining restaurants. Hayfield Manor is committed to promoting local artisan food producers in every menu which is available in their two distinct restaurants, enabling you to discover and savour the produce of Cork which has a renowned reputation for producing quality food. In Orchids, a fine dining restaurant, you will discover modern Irish food dishes, from crab meat to West Cork trio of lamb, every dish is diverse and there is something to please everyone even the more traditional eater. There is a very special Twilight menu available in Perrotts Garden Bistro, roast fillet of cod and grilled baby courgettes are just two of the mouth-watering highlights, and you can finish off with a delightful treat such as lemon posset.
Situated on the lively banks of the River Shannon in Athlone, Raddisson Blu is engulfed by calmness and tranquillity. Switch off and unwind in this four-star hotel, discover the medieval town and indulge in delicious tastings. Before you begin your day exploring visit the Elements Bistro in the Radisson Blu where you can have your pick of morning delights at the Super Breakfast Buffet. Chose from delicious Irish bread, and a range of cereals, meats and cheeses, complemented with juice, tea or coffee. Or if you would prefer to have a long lie in, their brunch menu will energise you for the day with options such as the jam packed Mediterranean bagel. When in Athlone a visit to Sean’s Bar is a must. It is the oldest bar in Ireland and they have crafted their very own unique blend of grain and malt whiskey which has been matured over time in bourbon casks. With a traditional Irish vibe, this quaint bar is bursting with character, if you pop your head in at the weekend you will be sure to find a trad band playing in the corner and the venue will be packed with laughter.
Located in the heart of Dublin city, just a stone’s throw from Trinity College, Trinity City Hotel is a great base from which to explore the delights of the capital. And when it comes to food, Dublin certainly has plenty to offer. In a wonderful move, the hotel has teamed up with Fab Food Trails, an award-winning company that runs tours throughout the city, for a tasty new package. Starting in late morning, guides meet guests in the hotel reception and embark on a three-hour whistle-stop walking tour of the city, taking in independent food outlets as you go, with plenty of history and anecdotes throughout. After a brilliant afternoon spent walking, talking and eating, Trinity City is the perfect place to relax for the evening. It’s a busy, bustling hotel that welcomes plenty of tourists from Ireland and abroad, and the cosy bar and lounge areas are great spots for people watching over a cocktail or two.
On the grounds of prestigious Mount Juliet Estate you will find Hunter’s Yard, an elegant destination that was once stables and a courtyard for the estate and is now home to beautifully decorated and comfortable rooms, a spa and leisure centre, and The Hound Restaurant. The venue was designed as a relaxed luxury option on the Estate, and is a wonderful getaway for a night where you can still enjoy all that Mount Juliet has to offer, including the beautiful grounds and its walking trails, and the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. One of the best things about Mount Juliet is the Lady Helen Restaurant, which has as Michelin star and is known as one of the best restaurants in Ireland. The seven-course tasting menu, and nine-course surprise tasting menu, vary according to the season, with an emphasis of locally sourced, high quality seafood, meat and vegetables. It’s not just the food that’s superb, but also the atmosphere in Lady Helen. With the dining room’s large windows and intimate atmosphere, it makes for a truly special setting.
Written by Klara Heron and Tracey Donaghey, this article appeared in the January/February issue of Irish Country Magazine.
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