A rambling old coaching inn set in lovely gardens alongside the River Vartry, this much-loved hotel has a long and fascinating history - it’s one of Ireland’s oldest coaching inns, with records indicating that it was built around 1720. In the same family now for five generations, the late Mrs Maureen Gelletlie took pride in running the place on traditional lines, and her sons Richard and Tom now carry on that family tradition.
This means old-fashioned comfort and food based on local and home-grown produce with the emphasis very much on ‘old fashioned’ which is where its charm and character lie.
There’s a proper little bar, with chintzy loose-covered furniture and an open fire, a traditional dining room with fresh flowers from the riverside garden where their famous afternoon tea is served in summer - and comfortable country bedrooms.
There is nowhere else in Ireland like it.
*Hunter’s Hotel was our Atmospheric Establishment of the Year in 2008.
Conference (30). Garden. Parking. Children welcome. No pets. Rooms 16 (1 junior suite, 1 shower only, 1 disabled). Wheelchair access. B&B from about €95 pps, ss about €20.
In tune with the spirit of the hotel, the style is traditional country house cooking: simple food with a real home-made feeling about it - no mean achievement in a restaurant, and much to be applauded.
Seasonal lunch and dinner menus change daily, but you may expect classics such as chicken liver paté with melba toast, soups based on fish or garden produce, traditional roast rib beef, with Yorkshire pudding or old-fashioned roast stuffed chicken with bacon and probably several fish dishes, possibly including poached salmon with hollandaise and chive sauce.
Desserts are often based on what the garden has to offer, and baking is good, so fresh raspberries and cream or baked apple and rhubarb tart could be wise choices. Delightful.