Well away from the bustle of Doolin and Lisdoonvarna, with wonderful views of the Atlantic and the West coast, Declan and Cecilia O'Callaghan's unusual property is easily identified from afar by the 15th century castle standing on it.
With its welcoming fire, well-proportioned public rooms and antique furnishings, the house has retained a Victorian country house atmosphere, and comfortable accommodation includes some suites - one with panoramic views, another an historic room with a fireplace.
Children welcome (under 4s free in parents' room, cot available without charge, baby sitting arranged). Pets permitted by arrangement. Clay pigeon shooting and walking. Equestrian, fishing (fly, coarse & sea angling), hunting/shooting and scuba diving all nearby.
Rooms 12 (1 suite, 1 junior suite, 3 executive, 1 room shower only, 2 family; all no-smoking). B&B about €85pps, SS €85. Limited room service. Closed 1 Nov-mid Apr.
Michael Foley, formerly of Dromoland Castle, is the chef and the high ceiling Dining Room, with cream embossed paper and gentle Irish background music makes a fine setting for modern cooking, founded on the best local produce – and you are sure to meet many local diners and visitors who always come here for the lovely food.
Menus offer a good choice of local seafood and meats, well-made soups, and interesting vegetarian options; the adventurous cooking may be a surprise – although there are clues in a full dining room, and confident staff offering prompt and friendly service.
Well-balanced flavours and accurate cooking make the most of prime local ingredients like St Tola goat cheese, local crab and scallops, and Burren lamb.
A wonderful speciality starter, of open cannelloni of prawns with leek and tomato in a white wine sauce, topped with parmesan cheese, is made with homemade pasta and ultra fresh prawns; classic fillet of Irish beef is perfectly cooked and served with a white and red onion marmalade, and a rich Burgundy sauce; classic crème brulée comes with a seasonal rhubarb twist.
The cooking has finesse and good coffee rounds off the evening nicely here.