This large, rambling country house is just an hour from Dublin, but it could be in a different world.
Although it's very professionally operated, the O'Flynn family insist it is not an hotel and - although there is an 18-hole golf course with clubhouse in the grounds - the gentle rhythms of life around the country house and gardens ensure that the atmosphere is kept decidedly low-key.
Day rooms are elegantly furnished in classic country house style, with lots of comfortable seating areas and open fires.
Bedrooms, as in all old houses do vary - some are spacious with lovely country views, while other smaller, simpler rooms in the stable yard have a special cottagey charm; and there are newer rooms, built discreetly behind the main courtyard, which very big and finished to a high standard, with luxurious bathrooms.
Rathsallagh is renowned for its magnificent Edwardian breakfast buffet which was, for the second time, the overall national winner of our Irish Breakfast Awards in 2005.
Breakfast at Rathsallagh offers every conceivable good thing, including silver chafing dishes, full of reminders of yesteryear.
A large sideboard display offers such an array of temptations that it can be hard to decide where to start - fresh juices, fruits and home-bakes, local honey and home-made jams and chutneys... Irish farmhouse cheeses, Rathsallagh ham on the bone, salamis and smoked salmon... then there are the hot dishes, including the full Irish, and then some - less usual dishes like smoked salmon kedgeree, and Kay's devilled kidneys are specialities worth travelling for, and there's another whole menu devoted to the Healthy Option Breakfast.
If golf is not your thing, there are plenty of other ways to work off this remarkable meal - the Wicklow Hills beckon walkers of all levels, for example, or you could at least fit in a gentle stroll around the charming walled gardens. Great food and service, warm hospitality, and surroundings that are quiet or romantic to suit the mood of the day - Rathsallagh has it all.
Conference/banqueting (40/230), free broadband wi/fi. Swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room. Golf (18), gardens, tennis, cycling, walking. Pool table. Beauty salon. Pets allowed by arrangement. Helipad.
Rooms 29 (1 suite, 9 ground floor, 2 shower only, 2 for disabled, all no smoking). Not suitable for children. B&B €125 pps (€95 pps low season), single €185. *Short breaks (incl golf breaks) offered, details on application.
Have an aperitif in the old kitchen bar while considering daily-changing menus based on local and seasonal produce, much of it from Rathsallagh's own farm and gardens.
Head Chef Jonathan Murphy clearly relishes everything that is going on at Rathsallagh; his menus, which are interesting and change daily, are based on local and seasonal produce, much of it from Rathsallagh's own farm and walled garden.
Menus are not over-complicated but offer a well-balanced range of about five dishes on each course, changed daily: Duo of roast pigeon and quail breast with spiced coco beans, root vegetables, candied nuts & plum tart makes a lovely starter, for example, while main courses will usually include Wicklow beef from Doyle's butchers - a roast fillet, perhaps, served with macaire potato, garden vegetables and port & thyme jus.
Choices made, settle down in the graciously furnished dining room overlooking the gardens and the golf course to enjoy a series of dishes that are well-conceived and visually tempting but especially memorable for flavour.
Leave room for luscious desserts, often based on fruit from the garden, which are served (generously) from a traditional trolley, or Irish farmhouse cheeses, before relaxing with coffee and petits fours in the drawing room or bar.
An informative wine list offers many interesting bottles, notably in the Rathsallagh Cellar Collection, and includes a good choice of recommended wines under about €30.