Peter and Shelley Stokes’ substantial 18th century country house midway between Dublin and Cork is an impressive building with some magnificent period features, and offers comfort and relaxation with style.
A large marbled reception area with fresh flowers gives a welcoming impression on arrival, and public rooms include a large drawing room/bar, where informal meals are served (a useful place to break a journey), and a lovely dining room with a gently pastoral outlook at the back of the house (see below).
Very spacious, luxurious accommodation is in high-ceilinged, individually decorated rooms and suites in the main house (some with four posters), with views over the surrounding parkland and countryside; some more contemporary but equally pleasing ground floor rooms are in a wing - particularly suitable for guests attending the weddings which have become a speciality, as they are convenient to the banqueting suite and avoid disturbing other guests.
Converted stables in a second wing provide more rooms, this time in a simpler country style – not luxurious, but very charming.
Conference/banqueting (160/170); secretarial services. Children welcome (under 5s free in parents' room, cot available without charge, baby sitting arranged, children's playroom). Pets permitted by arrangement. Spa, garden, walking, tennis (all weather, floodlit), cycling, snooker. Golf, fishing, equestrian all nearby. Hairdressing, beauty salon.
Rooms 40 (10 junior suites, 3 ground floor, 4 family rooms, all no smoking and with bath & shower). B&B about €100 pps, ss €30. 24 hr room service. Turn down service. Closed 24-26 Dec.
Candles are lit in the foyer and restaurant at dusk, giving the whole area a lovely romantic feeling. Head chef Graham Gallagher’s policy is for careful sourcing of all food, and the quality shows.
Fish cookery is especially impressive and wild Irish venison served with beetroot purée, potato rosti, braised fig, kohlrabi and aged balsamic vanilla jus - is a speciality in season; it sounds complicated but works well on the plate.
A well-balanced cheese plate might include the delicious local Lavistown cheese from Kilkenny. Staff are very pleasant and helpful.