The name Monaincha means 'island in the bog' and this lovely spot just outside Roscrea was once a hermit settlement – giving a hint of the peace and serenity to be found at the end of the long driveway, which meanders through farmland dotted with cattle grazing contentedly.
A steep little hump-back bridge takes you over a stream, and then farmland gives way to gardens as Tom and Carmel Moore’s fine eighteenth century house comes into view.
Once inside the big front door, you'll find an elegantly furnished drawing room for guests’ use, a spacious conservatory and traditional dining room where breakfast is served, and three large guest bedrooms.
The rooms – which are all south-facing and have views over the large gardens to the countryside beyond – are not over-decorated but pleasingly furnished in a genuine country house style. Two have en-suite showers and another has a private bathroom, which other guests who prefer a bath may also use when that room is not occupied.
The 18-hole Roscrea Golf Club is a neighbouring property and there is plenty to do in the area, making it a good choice for a short break.
Monaincha is on the Tipperary, Laois and Offaly borders, and well situated for exploring a large non-touristy part of this beautiful country but, with a health spa, hard tennis court, five acres of gardens and farmland walks on site, many guests will feel no need to venture out very much at all.
The spa, which is run by Tom and Carmel’s daughter, Niamh, began as a gym a few years ago and has recently been developed as a health spa, offering half days, full days midweek, weekends and individual treatments.
The aim of the packages offered is ‘to relax the body and send you home in a positive frame of mind’ – and why wouldn’t you, after spending time in these pleasant surroundings enjoying freshly prepared meals, pampering therapies, activities (gym, sauna, tennis) and lovely gardens.
No dinner is offered, but Fiacri Country House & Cookery School (see entry) is not far away and the Moores can also recommend other options nearby if preferred.