On the Georgian main street of this lovely heritage town, Martin and Lorraine Kearns’ impressive guesthouse offers all the comforts and conveniences demanded by today’s travellers while also retaining its original period features.
It was originally three separate houses, one of which was Martin’s childhood home, and when they were able to acquire the two neighbouring houses some years ago, the couple renovated the entire premises to make this very attractive and comfortable guesthouse.
Martin and Lorraine are enthusiastic and knowledgeable hosts and it’s a warm and atmospheric place to stay, with 19th century furniture used throughout and open fireplaces in the main rooms - two lovely dining rooms, where breakfast is served.
The Wine and Tapas bar is a welcome addition to evening dining in the town. Set in what was once the carriage entrance, it retains the high ceiling, now with windows that allow natural light in. White-painted walls, a tiled floor and comfortable seating including a banquette make this a bright and airy space. French doors lead out to an enclosed bricked courtyard with seating that can be used for a wedding reception.
The menu is contemporary though prices are more in line with those in Dublin. There’s a wide selection of tapas, including some old favourites – meatballs, patatas bravas and chorizo, chickpea and pepper stew but you’ll also find a few that are different - sticky sesame chicken, calamari rings, Singapore noodles. There’s a decent wine list, many available by the glass, carafe or bottle.
Bedrooms are all en-suite but vary in size due to the age of the building and that is part of its charm. Two are downstairs and all are individually decorated in Georgian style, with good antique furniture and king and queen sized beds as standard. All have direct dial telephone, multi channel TV and tea/coffee making facilities, and some interconnecting rooms are suitable as family suites (each with its own en-suite facilities).
A popular choice for business travellers and for guests attending weddings in the town, Townsend Townhouse is convenient to Birr Castle and the theatre, and would make a great, reasonably priced base from which to explore this lovely town and its environs. Pets are welcome by arrangement and kennels are provided; all dogs must have kennel cough vaccine.