In these days of endless new developments, design-led hotels and a general air of ‘cool’, how refreshing it is to visit places untroubled by fashion. This much-loved hotel is one of our favourites: a rambling old coaching inn set in lovely gardens alongside the River Vartry, it’s one of Ireland’s oldest coaching inns, with records dating back to 1720, and it’s been in the same family now for five generations.
The colourful Mrs Maureen Gelletlie takes pride in running the place on gloriously traditional lines with her sons Richard and Tom - this means old-fashioned comfort and food based on local and home-grown produce with the emphasis very much on ‘old fashioned’, which is where its charm and character lie.
There’s a proper little bar, with chintzy loose-covered furniture and an open fire, the food is genuine old-style country house cooking served in a traditional dining room with fresh flowers from the riverside garden (where their famous afternoon tea is served in summer) and there are comfortable old-world country bedrooms.
There is nowhere else in Ireland like it – and we adore it, just as it is.