A convenient and moderately-priced place to stay, this charming old hotel in the centre of Youghal is within walking distance of everything in the town. Sympathetic renovations have been completed in recent years, giving new life to the old building without loss of character.
It’s a deceptive building, with quite a narrow street frontage but plenty of surprises behind it, as - like so many buildings of its era - an archway leads through to the former coachyard and there’s lots of space at the back, including customer parking.
Bedrooms, which are all en-suite and include a junior suite, have been redesigned in a contemporary style and have all the comforts demanded by today’s travellers including a work station for business guests.
The hotel’s USP is an old streetside bar called D. McCarthy and it’s a gem - a proper little low-ceilinged pub of great character, with an open fire and a long history to tell. And there’s also a modern bar/restaurant, The Coach House Bistro, which serves contemporary fare.
Owners Paul McElduff and Dan Leahy (the chef, originally from nearby Knockanore) are keen to make the best of the bounty on their doorstep and - supplied by the rich farmland of East Cork and West Waterford and with fish galore in the nearby ocean and Blackwater River, they are well placed to impress.
Although there is no general sourcing statement, local products such as Ballymaloe Relish, Ardsallagh Cheese, Knockanore Cheddar, and Waterford Blaas are name checked on menus - which offer plenty of choice, and friendly are quick to tell diners about the specials too.
'Beginnings' offer six or seven choices, including old favourites like Classic Caesar Salad, alongside tempting unusual dishes like Mushrooms on Toast: saute?ed mushrooms, Cashel blue cheese, cream, on sourdough toast?
There may be ten or more dishes to choose from under Mains, including a couple of curries, and a stir-fry is available with or without meat. Fish features strongly, of course - ever popular Fish & Chips, for example, and more creative options too, such as Pan Fried Fillet of Cod with spring onion, smoked Knockanore cheddar risotto, rocket and red onion salad.The de rigeur steaks and burgers are there too, and a full bar offers plenty to wash it all down with, including craft beers.
If you’re in for lunch, you could have a steak sandwich (one of a wide range of gourmet sandwiches) or a bowl of their gorgeous Chowder - which, like a number of other lunch dishes, also features on the evening menu.
Overall the bistro is comfortably set up for dining but it’s an unusual L-shape, so it would be wise to check the location of your table - or, of course, you can eat in the lovely pub.