Under New Management (February 2016)
A convenient and moderately-priced place to stay, within walking distance of everything in the town, this old hotel the centre of Youghal has recently been given new life by proprietors Mark Johnston and Mark Golden, who have undertaken extensive renovations.
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 workstation 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/bistro, the Coach House, where Mark Johnston serves contemporary fare.
There’s a welcome emphasis on local produce and in the Guide’s experience, simplest choices are best, with attractively presented popular dishes like fish & chips and steaks going down well. Service is prompt and friendly and the wine list, although fairly limited (offering perhaps half a dozen each of red and white wines) begins at a very pocket-friendly €16 per bottle. Some are available by the glass, and one red and one white by the half bottle.
Overall the bistro is comfortably set up for dining but it’s an unusual shape and it would be wise to check the location of your table as those in one leg of the room can feel as if they’re in a corridor - or, of course, you can eat in the lovely pub.