Set back from the road, with an attractive planted plaza set up with seating and umbrellas in front, this 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 changed hands in 2009 and the new owners, the Delaney family, are maintaining standards to a very high level in all areas, and giving the hotel a nice homely, welcoming feeling. Check-in is very pleasantly handled, and proprietor Dermot Delaney is on hand to add a real Irish welcome to diners and people in the bar.
The original building has a cleverly-concealed extension so it is much larger than it looks, with 19 bedrooms, a spacious restaurant, a cosy cellar bar, and a lovely leisure centre.
There’s a comfortable residents’ drawing room (‘The Library’) and the spacious, immaculately maintained bedrooms tick all the right boxes: good lighting, quality furnishing (with mahogany furniture including king size bed in doubles), efficient air conditioning, windows that open, comfortable chairs, flat screen TV, iron and board, hair-dryer, safe, broadband and plenty of connection points for laptops, chargers and so on - and the well-designed, if compact, bathrooms are very well maintained and supplied with bathrobes as well as good quality towels and toiletries.
Breakfast is served in the main restaurant and should prove an excellent start to the day, with fresh orange juice, very good coffee, homemade bread and carefully cooked hot dishes as well as a good buffet selection.
Rooms 20 (1 suite, 2 family, 1 for disabled, all no smoking); lift, room service (limited hours); B&B €55-60 pps, single €75-80. Children welcome (under 3s free in parents' room, cot available free of charge).
Restaurant Number 42:
This is very much a family operation, with Dermot Delaney’s wife, Phil, cooking and their daughter serving - and cousins working here as well, 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 and very good homemade brown bread and iced water is served promptly, while choices are made.
Menus are somewhat international in tone but feature some local ingredients and offer a wide choice of dishes, some of which were popular in the previous ownership; for example, appealing dishes on the evening à la carte might include starters like a (very well received) twice-baked cheddar & chive soufflé alongside, perhaps, grilled mussels with garlic crumb, or (a house special) smoked fish chowder.
Tipperary is meat farming country, so - although a balanced choice is offered, including dishes such as roast salmon with chive cream, duck confit with sweet and sour vegetables, Thai red curry chicken - main courses like rib eye steak with mushroom and thyme cream and mash, or a braised lamb shank with root vegetable mash and rosemary jus, are especially appealing in this context, and will come with tasty seasonal side vegetables – carrot batons and turnip purée, perhaps.
There is a sense of care about the cooking, and homemade desserts such as iced Baileys meringue cake with toffee sauce (what else?) lemon and lime cheesecake, or crushed meringue with berry compote and cream round off a meal here very nicely.
A small wine list (18 bins) is ideally 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 a most enjoyable experience.
An extensive Cellar Bar menu, offering more casual dishes, provides an informal option and – like everything else here - good value.
Free private parking in an underground car park makes this a particularly attractive all-purpose stop for business people and visitors alike.