Philippe and Sabine De Mey’s beautiful Georgian property enjoys a stunning waterside location at the head of Dunmanus Bay. It has always been a wonderful place to eat – and to stay - and it got even better in 2014, when Philippe and Sabine's daughter Ann and her husband Chris ('Woody') Woodward joined the team, adding youthful enthusiasm and fun to the mix, as well as their expertise.
Everything at Blairscove revolves around the courtyard, which has been beautifully restored with cobbled paths, shrubs and flowers, and its 250-year old stone outbuildings have been converted to make four stylish suites or small apartments that are offered for self-catering or B&B.
Each one is totally individual (one large one has an open fire and is particularly appealing for a family, or for longer stays); they are furnished in very different but equally dashing styles - and there is also a self-catering cottage for eight in the grounds.
Lofty, stone-walled and black-beamed, the restaurant has great character, with a magnificent chandelier as the central feature, and impressive gilt-framed family portraits on the walls.
Sabine's brother, Ronald Klotzer, is head chef and, as well as working front of house (where he's a dab hand at explaining all the gorgeous dishes on display), Chris Woodward is training to be a chef under Ronald's supervision. Together this small but highly effective team offer the wonderful food and service that this stylishly atmospheric restaurant is known for: their unique table d’hote dinner begins with the renowned buffet starter display, which is followed by a wide choice of meat and fish dishes simply cooked on a wood-fired grill at the end of the room.
Local cheeses are offered, of course, and a meal here always ends on a high note, with the famous dessert selection - formerly displayed on the grand piano, these sweet temptations are now laid out on a sideboard, where diners enjoy lingering over the difficult choices...
Philippe is usually to be found front of house, working alongside Ann and Chris and their friendly and hospitable team - this is a restaurant on top of its (already legendary) form, and any changes noticed by returning fans are all for the good.
The carefully chosen, mainly European, wine list is quite extensive and includes half a dozen champagnes and sparkling wines, a fair choice of half bottles and some organic wines. There is also a seasonal non-alcoholic treat which is not listed - the house elderflower cordial, which is one of the best to be found anywhere in Ireland.