Genuine hospitality, high standards of comfort, caring service and excellent food are all to be found in the Deevy family’s fine 18th century country house and restaurant just outside Cappoquin - no wonder this is a place so many people like to keep as a closely guarded secret.
For returning guests, there’s always a sense of pleasurable anticipation that builds up as you approach through parkland along a well-maintained driveway, which is lit up at night; after a brief pause to admire the climbers flourishing beside the door, you’re into the fine high-ceilinged hall with its warming stove and catch the scent of log fires burning in the well-proportioned, elegantly furnished drawing room and restaurant opening off it.
Claire or Jean Deevy will usually be there to welcome arriving guests, and show you to one of the nine individually decorated bedrooms; they vary in size and appointments, as is the way with old houses - some guests (including ourselves) love the smallest cottagey bedroom, while others may prefer the larger ones - but all are comfortably furnished in country house style with full bathrooms, and four have been renovated quite recently.
As well as serving wonderful dinners in the restaurant (see below), the Deevys make sure that you will have a memorable breakfast to see you on your way - it is a wonderful area to explore, and Richmond House makes an excellent base.
Children welcome (under 3 free in parents' room, cot available without charge, baby sitting arranged). No pets. Free broadband wi/fi. Garden; walking. Golf, garden visits nearby.
Rooms 9 (1 junior suite, all with full bathrooms & no smoking). B&B €60-75 pps low-high season, single €60. Closed 22 Dec-10 Jan.
The restaurant is the heart of Richmond House and non-residents usually make up a high proportion of the guests, which makes for a lively atmosphere. Warm and friendly service begins from the moment menus are presented over aperitifs - in front of the drawing room fire, or in a conservatory overlooking the garden.
Paul is an ardent supporter of local produce and sources everything with tremendous care: Quality Assured meats (beef, lamb, bacon and sausages) come from his trusted local butcher, fresh seafood is from Dunmore East and Dungarvan. Herbs, fruit and vegetables are home grown where possible - Paul has a polytunnel and has added raised beds to increase production - and extra organic produce is grown nearby.
There is a sureness of touch in Paul’s kitchen, and his menus balance traditional country house cooking and more adventurous dishes inspired by international trends. Dinner menus are changed daily and offer about five choices on each course; a separate vegetarian menu is also offered.
House specialities include Helvick prawns (tempura, perhaps) and - a dish it would be hard to resist at Richmond House - roast rack of delicious West Waterford lamb, a memorable dish presented on braised puy lentils and buttered green beans, with home-made mint jelly and rosemary & garlic jus; vegetables, served separately, are invariably imaginative and perfectly cooked.
Classic desserts are always a treat too, including plenty of imaginative and beautifully executed fruit-based choices to balance the richness of a fine meal here - orange pannacotta with orange segments, perhaps - and, of course, there will always be Irish farmhouse cheeses with home-made biscuits.
Service, under Claire’s direction, is attentive and discreet. A carefully selected and fairly priced wine list includes about twenty offered by the glass, several wines of the month, and a good choice of half bottles.
The early dinner menu offers particularly good value. *Richmond House was selected for the Féile Bia Award in 2006.