This attractive family-run hotel overlooks the village green in the centre of Blarney, beside the castle. It has been in the Forrest family since 1837 but, with the exception of the restaurant, reception area and the very characterful old Johnny's Bar, which is the heart of the hotel, they completely rebuilt the premises some years ago.
The accommodation includes spacious, bright bedrooms with excellent views and all have a double and single bed, wide screen TV, tea/coffee-making; and well-finished bathrooms.
Helpful, friendly staff create a welcoming atmosphere and prices are reasonable.
The adjacent Lemon Tree Restaurant (see below) may not carry through the anticipated Mediterranean theme, but offers meals that are well above the standard expected in hotel dining rooms and staff are very hospitable.The Lemon Tree is open to both residents and non-residents for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily - and good food is also served in the bar, where you can get anything from fresh sandwiches to a tatsy Castle Burger or a well made Thai Red Curry.
Short breaks available all year. Golfing breaks offered; numerous golf courses nearby, transport etc arranged for guests.
The Lemon Tree Restaurant
Enjoy a local craft beer - none more local than a cool Blarney Blonde - in the lovely old bar, as you study Head Chef Paul O’Donnell's appealing and well balanced menu, which is not long but (more importantly) changes daily and is based as much as possible on local produce.
Meat eaters are well catered for, with the beef coming from the neighbouring Osborne’s butchers, and fish lovers will also be delighted as this is a speciality - Paul keeps it commendably simple and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality, the freshness and the creativity.
Well made starters like fresh crabmeat with mango and red onion salsa, or warm goat’s cheese, apricot and walnut tart, wouldn’t be out of place in an upmarket city restaurant.
Presentation is refreshingly low key but with good use of colours and textures and, while meats and poultry are equally appealing, a fish dish such as pan seared fillets of John Dory with herb and apricot natural yoghurt makes an unusual and very successful combination.
The wine list covers the main grape varieties and it is good to see some craft beers by the local Franciscan Well brewery (including the appropriately named Blarney Blonde, a recommended pale ale on draught), and they also have the excellent local Longueville House Cider available by the bottle.
Staff are pleasant and chatty, while also efficient and, as elsewhere in the hotel, prices are very reasonable.
After dinner, you can call to the friendly bar and enjoy some music (three or four times a week).
Even if you are not staying in the village, the Lemon Tree is well worth a visit.