There is a lovely homely feeling about Henry and Lynda Deverell’s restored grain barn near Tullamore and, with its pitch pine floors and beams, log fires and very comfortable accommodation, it makes a great base for a relaxing holiday offering all the pleasures of the outdoor life. The setting is very rural with plenty of horses in the fields and the welcoming smell of an open fire in the car park as you arrive.
Equestrian activities are the main attraction – they have lovely horses and offer an excellent cross country eventing course, or just hacking out; tuition, both public and private, is given in indoor and outdoor arenas, and horse livery is also provided. But walking, cycling and golfing also lay their claims - and, for the rest days, major sights including Clonmacnoise and Birr Castle are nearby.
Accommodation is very comfortable, in spacious spotlessly clean en-suite rooms with no television but generous beds, good lighting and lots of thoughtful details including books to read, an interesting information folder, hot water bottles and adaptors for European and American guests. Tea and coffee are available in lounge, where you can relax in front of the fire and chat to other guests.
Good home cooking has always been a central feature here, and Annaharvey was a founding member of the ‘Offaly Delicious’ local food producers network. A daughter, Rachael Deverell, operates a highly-regarded artisan food company (Annaharvey Farm Foods) and she makes delicious home-baking and preserves for the retail and catering trade. Although now produced in Bunclody, Co Wexford, this is where she learned to cook, and guests staying at Annaharvey Farm will not be disappointed by the good home cooking offered at this hospitable and relaxing place.
As well as wholesome evening meals for residents, which are based on the freshest and best of local foods (there’s a small honesty bar and you can bring your own wine), light self-service lunches are also served in the sun room. Delicious home baking is a big strength, beginning with the homemade bread served at breakfast, and special diets can be accommodated.
Linda is great hostess and she serves delicious breakfasts – a tempting buffet and a lovely full Irish, with sauté potatoes and mushrooms, and cafetière coffee - in a bright, open room looking out at horses grazing and with shelves groaning with homemade preserves
All round this appealing equestrian centre and farm B&B is a delightful place to stay, and cookery classes are available too, adding an extra dimension to a rural break.