A recommendation from some very happy guests led us to Michael and Anna McDonald’s delightful property just outside the attractive town of Castlecomer – a place long admired for its elegantly wide tree-lined main street and, more recently, known for the Castlecomer Discovery Park (www.discoverypark.ie).
The park is at the site of the 17th Century Castlecomer House, which was owned by the Prior Wandesforde family - a wonderful amenity that includes a design courtyard in the renovated Estate Farmyard and activities including woodland walks in the surrounding demesne.
Dating back to 1824, Wandesforde House was originally built as a school, by the Countess of Ormonde and Ossory (formerly Lady Anne Wandesforde), who rebuilt much of Castlecomer following the destruction of the old Castlecomer House in the 1798 rebellion.
It is a charming house, set in lovely gardens, and would make a comfortable and relaxing base for visiting Kilkenny city and exploring the whole of the beautiful South-East.
Michael and Anna are very hospitable people, who welcome their guests in the traditional manner on arrival, with tea or coffee and home-baked treats, and enjoy nothing better than sharing their local knowledge to ensure that everyone enjoys every minute of their time in the area.
Pleasingly proportioned and with character a-plenty, the house is beautifully furnished with antique furniture and, as well as having plenty of space inside (with an open fire for chilly days), guests can relax in a comfortably furnished sun room overlooking the garden.
The delightful bedrooms are all individually furnished with old family furniture and very comfortable beds, and the immaculate en-suite bathrooms have good showers.
Breakfast is served in an impressive dining room, complete with a baby grand piano, and features special treats like homemade granola as well as hot dishes made to order.
Anyone looking for somewhere hospitable and relaxing to stay in the South-East should consider Wandesforde House – and, not surprisingly, many of those who have discovered it decide to return as soon as possible.