Set back from the road, with an attractive planted plaza set up with seating and umbrellas in front, the Delaney family’s fine early 18th-century building in the heart of Cashel is a very pleasant place to stay and to experience Irish hospitality and good cooking.
The hotel has a homely, welcoming feeling, with check-in very pleasantly handled and proprietor Dermot Delaney on hand to add a real Irish welcome to diners and people in the bar.
The original listed Georgian building has been beautifully restored and has a cleverly concealed extension, so it’s much larger than it looks, with 19 bedrooms, a spacious restaurant that’s popular its own right and the cosy Cellar Bar.
There’s a comfortable residents’ drawing room (The Library) and the spacious, immaculately maintained bedrooms tick all the right boxes: quality furnishings (with mahogany furniture including a king size bed in doubles), efficient air conditioning, windows that open, comfortable chairs, flatscreen interactive TV, movies on demand, free high-speed internet, iron and board, hair-dryer, safe and plenty of connection points for laptops, chargers and so on. The well-designed, if compact, bathrooms are very well maintained and rainfall showerheads, fluffy bathrobes and underfloor heating add a touch of luxury.
Meals are offered in both the very popular Cellar Bar and the main restaurant (where breakfast is also served) and should prove an excellent start to the day, offering fresh orange juice, good coffee, homemade bread and hot dishes as well as a good buffet selection.
Free private parking in an underground car park makes Baileys Hotel a particularly attractive all-purpose stop for businesspeople and visitors alike, with the Rock of Cashel and Hore Abbey within walking distance.
Rooms 20 (1 suite, 2 family, 1 for disabled, all no smoking); lift, room service (limited hours); room only from about €69, B&B from about €89 per room. Children welcome (under 3s free in parents’ room, cot available free of charge).
The cosy Cellar Bar serves food daily in a relaxed setting, while bistro-style dining is available in Restaurant 42. This is very much a family operation, so there is a genuinely homely feeling. Well-spaced polished tables have comfortable chairs, white linen runners and quality table settings, making this a pleasant place to relax and enjoy a good dinner.
Menus offered include an early bird dinner as well as an à la carte featuring a wide choice of dishes. Starters might include a delicious twice-baked cheddar and chive soufflé, crostini with Fivemiletown goat’s cheese and red onion marmalade or a smoked fish chowder. Or you might try one of the starters for sharing, such as Camembert baked in the box, a hot spinach dip with tortilla chips or a large platter of spicy chicken wings served with Cashel Blue cheese dip.
A wide-ranging choice of main courses caters for all tastes, including options like a filling seafood gratin with salmon, cod, prawns and crabmeat; a Cajun chicken fillet burger with cheddar and chilli mayo; a Chinese duck salad with mango, cashews and hoi sin dressing; a pasta dish of the day; and several vegetarian options too.
But Tipperary is meat farming country, so dishes like rib eye steak marinated in soy and ginger, chargrilled fillet steak with herb butter, roast baby potatoes and herb-stuffed Portobello mushrooms or a braised lamb shank with root vegetable mash and rosemary jus are especially appealing in this context, and all meat is sourced from Irish producers.
There is a sense of care about the cooking, and homemade desserts such as iced Baileys meringue with toffee sauce, lemon and lime cheesecake or chocolate orange roulade round off a meal here very nicely.
A small wine list is well suited to the style of food, offering good value and nice brief tasting notes. Well-informed, professional service of both food and wine enhance the good food offered, making a meal here an enjoyable experience.