This attractive and characterful pub in Carrick on Shannon is run by brothers Conor and Ronan Maher, sons of former Carrick-on-Shannon hoteliers, Rosaleen and the late Tom Maher (see entry for Hollywell), and it will be very clear to anyone who visits that they’ve inherited “the hotelier’s gene”: everything is invariably spick-and-span, very welcoming and efficiently run, even at the busiest times.
The bar - which is very pleasantly set up in a solidly traditional style with two welcoming fires, comfortable seating arrangements for eating the excellent bar meals, and occasional contemporary tastes in the decor - leads off towards a sheltered beer garden at the back, which makes a spot for a sunny day.
A strong kitchen team produces consistently excellent food, offered on appealing lunchtime bar menus and more extensive à la carte evening menus offered upstairs.
Here you might have a great meal, beginning with seared Kilkeel scallops with spring onion potato cake, minted pea purée and lime crème fraiche, followed by any one of half a dozen terrific main courses, say slow braised Tom Beirne’s pork belly with ginger & herb marinated pork fillet, roast apple, colcannon mash, and balsamic reduction.
And, desserts have always been a speciality here, so don’t forget to save a space for a wonderful ending - delicious iced pineapple soufflé, with caramelised pineapple pieces, coconut & oatmeal cookies; and a chocolate plate - composed of warm dark chocolate torte, white chocolate & brandy mousse and organic truffle ice cream – both came in for special praise on a recent visit.
This is one of the country’s pleasantest pubs and it just goes on getting better - definitely worth a detour.