Situated just a short distance outside Nenagh (and, as the name implies, very close to the golf club) this attractive country pub is very popular with locals and useful for travellers to know about because it offers lunch and evening meals every day of the week.
An appealing and comfortable bar area is decorated in the traditional style, with memorabilia such as old pub mirrors, enamel signs for plug tobacco and sit-up-and-beg bikes, and most people in for a casual meal will settle here, although there is a snug - and the Orchard Restaurant is adjacent .
Since acquiring the property in 2006, proprietor Geoff Jones has been very hands-on in driving the team's commitment to 'quality, fresh food, excellent service, consistency and price' and - while both bar and restaurant menus offer a balanced choice to please all tastes - they decided, after a couple of years in business, to specialise in fish and seafood.
Now, in addition to the main menus, which offer some seafood dishes along with a good choice of steaks, lamb, pork, poultry, and vegetarian dishes, a separate fish menu is offered, listing up to seventeen varieties of fish and seafood depending on availability.
Although a few may be imports (red snapper, green lipped mussels etc), most are of Irish origin and Geoff Jones personally sources the fish from their supplier, Rene Cusack, hand picking whole fish for maximum freshness, which is then scaled and filleted to order.
The fish menu - which may include treats like prawns, scallops, black sole, turbot and lobster as well as many other fish - is presented simply as a list, and customers can then choose how they would like it cooked: pan-fried, baked, deep fried, grilled or steam, the choice is yours, as is the accompanying sauce (lemon & chive hollandaise, sun dried tomato beurre blanc, Pernod & roast fennel butter or Mediterranean tomato are all possibilities) and side vegetables.
At lunch the menu of the day offers about five choices on each course, including at least one fish option where appropriate, and everything is freshly prepared, including the home-made scones and breads that come with your bowl of soup, and all of desserts - don't miss the house speciality, the Fairways bread & butter pudding. Lunchtime main courses always include a roast or two – roast beef, roast pork perhaps; portions are hearty and, unusually, teas and coffees after pudding are complimentary.
Evening menus in The Orchard restaurant move up a gear - offering about 8-10 dishes on each course, the choices are more sophisticated and will include prime cuts; a starter of smoked pheasant and leek comes with a rich game and Madeira jus is typical, and main courses like fillet of Hereford beef and half roast duck. There is an extensive à la carte bar menu.
A shortish wine list offers a fair range of choice, with a couple of reds and whites available by the glass, and prices are moderate.
This is a pleasant and laid-back venue - the friendly and efficient staff have been working as a team since opening in 2006; The Fairways has built up a loyal following locally, and it is very useful for travellers going through a part of Ireland that still offers remarkably little in the way of good journey breaks.