Nestled in the Wicklow hills in a tranquil and beautiful location, it's hard to believe the lively village life of Aughrim is just 4km down the road from this rural hideaway.
Owned by the O'Lorcáin family (who can trace their origins in the Ancient Book of Munster as being the third clan of Ireland after the family of Brian Boru, the first high king of Ireland), Clone House was built in the 16th and 17th centuries and has an eventful history.
The 21st century restoration is sympathetic, respecting the style and architecture while also providing modern comforts, and reflecting the personality and interests of the owners who take pride in sourcing as much as possible from the local area: from the art work and furnishings, to food from local artisan producers.
The four spacious guest bedrooms are all en-suite (three with large bathrooms and one with a shower only); beautifully furnished and decorated in period style, they are named after famous Wicklow beauty spots - the Glen of Imaal, Vale of Avoca, Glenmalure and Clara Vale – which emphasises their individuality. All have thoughtful details to make guests feel especially welcome, including a bowl of fruit, fresh flowers from the garden and spring water.
Downstairs, guests have a choice of handsome rooms in which to relax - drawing room, morning room, library, parlour and diningroom, with open fires, comfy chairs, plenty of books and lots of interesting pictures.
Outside, there are extensive gardens to explore, with outdoor furniture in which to relax and enjoy the sunshine and the scenery.
Liam looks after the front of house in fine style, while his wife, Aine, is in charge of the kitchen. Good food is an important part of life at Clone House – beginning with tea on arrival (homemade cakes and scones).
Splendid breakfasts offer a good menu of choices, including fish, vegetarian choices, fruits, several sorts of home baked bread, fresh eggs and other local produce and some specialities from further afield such as Sally Barnes kippers, from Co Cork.
Dinner is available by reservation; served at a communal table, guests will be treated to contemporary, home cooked country house cooking, made especially enjoyable because of the pleasure the Ó'Lorcáins take in introducing guests to the good foods of the area. Just the ticket after a day out fishing, or walking in this beautiful unspoilt area.