Whether for a short break, a special occasion, a good meal or just a light bite and a browse around the gardens, this lovely period property near Slane is well worth a special visit.
Arriving at dusk with the courtyard fountain, walled garden and sweeping grounds all romantically lit up, you could imagine you are pulling up to a grand Tuscan villa – and, sipping wine on the sheltered bistro patio in fine summer weather, the illusion is complete.
Since buying the property in 2002, Trish and Brian Conroy restored and renovated the house with consideration and taste – and, thanks to their efforts, it also stands proud once again on the parkland that belonged to the original estate.
Under Trish's eagle eye and ably assisted by General Manager, Helen Byrne, the whole property is under continuous renovation and development. Although the main house was originally available only as a private venue for groups or events, it was later decided to open all rooms for independent bookings – so there are now 18 luxurious double bedrooms, six of which are splendid period rooms situated in the main house, with additional accommodation in the courtyard.
The entire house is also still available for rent on an exclusive basis for special occasions, and the courtyard cottages are available for self-catering (see our self-catering site for details).
The main house is very beautiful, with several elegant reception rooms, a very fine dining room, huge kitchen, games room and more. A small bar was initially intended to meet the needs of guests attending events (it is a gorgeous wedding venue), and it now adds an extra dimension to the appeal of Tankardstown as a short breaks destination.
No expense has been spared with fine antiques, artwork and splendid mirrors, and only the very finest fabrics and furnishings feature in every room; the overall impression is one of immaculate taste and luxurious comfort.
The elegant cottages in the charming 18th century stable yard are not only available for self catering (see self-catering site), but also for B&B - breakfast can be delivered to your door on request.
Each bedroom in both the main house and cottages is elegantly decorated in a different style, and most have both bath and shower ensuite - plus additional comforts including waffle cotton robes, slippers and Molton Brown toiletries. And, near the cottages, there’s also a Garden Party Room, fitness studio and two treatment rooms.
Tankardstown is firmly established as one of Ireland’s most desirable country house destinations - a wonderful place for a short break, the house and Orangery also lends itself particularly well to weddings (holding up to 250 guests), and is ideal for a family reunion or special party.
Likewise Tankardstown is perfect for conferences or business meetings – seating up to 200 people in Orangery in a theatre style, or at tables of 10. There are smaller rooms available and several reception rooms in the main house providing excellent break out areas.
It’s very conveniently located (only a short drive from Dublin airport and handy from the North too) and the area will repay time given to exploration – Newgrange World Heritage Site is nearby and there are lots of less obvious places to visit and things to do.
Facilities on site include free parking, free wifi, beauty/treatments room, restaurants and tea garden; equestrian, golf and fishing all nearby.
In addition to the main house and courtyard, buildings around a garden area at the rear have been opened up, to provide not one but two restaurants - and, most recently, a pretty Tea Garden Room. It must originally have been the service yard, and they call it their ‘garden village’ - a fitting setting for good food.
The Cellar is a smart casual restaurant and bar in a series of characterful former outbuildings, with outdoor seating for fine weather; delicious, stylishly simple food is served here.
And, in the courtyard alongside, is the fine dining Brabazon Restaurant. Although mainly a new build you would never guess it - the old cow shed was the starting point and, like everything else at Tankardstown, it has been built and finished with exquisite taste to create an atmospheric, slightly other-worldy setting for a very special dining experience.
The style is sophisticated rustic, with an open fire for winter and, for warmer days, a garden terrace accessed by French doors, which – like all the woodwork – are painted in a beautifully elegant soft country green.
A meal here gets off to a good start with a prompt and genuine welcome, and well trained staff waste no time in offering a drink along with one of Head Chef Adrian Cassidy’s famously ingredients-led menus
Menus here always offer a good choice of interesting, accessibly priced dishes based on local produce and the Tankardstown walled gardens, polytunnel and poultry enclosure, but Adrian and the team also operate some terrific one-off evenings.
These began with the Friday Night Project, which champions a local supplier and runs on the third Friday of the month off-season; the focus might be on Peter Whelan, of The Whole Hoggs, for example, with his delicious rare breed pork complemented by the local craft beer, Bru, from Trim Co Meath. A new appealing offering is their Midweek Set Dinner Menu, offering a five course menu and a Glass of House Wine at a very reasonable €40 per person – a good excuse to indulge in a midweek outing.
The setting at Brabazon is charming, but it is much more than a pretty face. With its excellent cooking - and exceptionally professional and friendly service - what you can expect here is a special occasion experience at an everyday price – a very customer focused approach which ensures plenty of returning guests.
Don't forget to allow time for a look around before or after dining here, as there is plenty to see - including a variety of poultry in their enclosure near the carpark, where ducks and geese sail serenely on a little pond.
Whether for dinner or Sunday lunch, a meal at this atmospheric restaurant is always a real treat.