Hands on owner-management is a big plus at this conveniently central four star hotel. Within easy walking distance of Enniskillen’s shops and attractions, it’s on a compact site close to the road (parking at the rear), so don’t expect a garden setting, but the smart contemporary interior is well organised and well finished with equal appeal to business and leisure guests.
The reception area is not huge, but – as elsewhere in the hotel – makes up in friendliness and helpfulness anything that may be lacking in space, which has wisely been reserved for more important areas, notably The WV Bar (where good informal food is served) and The Terrace Restaurant (see below).
Accommodation includes standard, executive and adjoining rooms suitable for families as well as two suites, and the hotel’s colour palette of chocolate, white, cappuccinos and teals is used to soothing effect in comfortable, well-designed rooms which all have complimentary internet access along with LCD flat screen televisions, direct dial phones, hairdryer and iron and ironing board.
With other buildings nearby and a (neat) builder’s yard at the back, views are not a feature here, and some traffic noise is to be expected especially at peak times but this should not be a problem.
The Terrace Restaurant
On the ground floor, the restaurant is a long rectangular room with attractive bow windows at one end, beside a small reception area, and an open kitchen at the other. Muted lighting, dark walls with lighter panels, plus various decorative features in light wood, plain carpet and luxurious fabrics all create an agreeable atmosphere, while a generous central aisle gives a spacious feel.
Comfortably upholstered benches run the length of both walls and darkwood tables are set bistro style with contemporary style cutlery laid on white linen napkins; pleasant music is very much in the background.
The Head Chef is Gavin Cassidy – brother of owner/manager Nicky Cassidy – who trained in Fermanagh College and has since worked at top Irish restaurants (MacNean House & Restaurant, L'Ecrivain), so it should comes as no surprise that the kitchen atmosphere is very ordered and agreeable (no tantrums!) and the menu makes good reading. A separate vegetarian menu is also offered.
A well-priced two/three-course dinner menu offers a choice of six starters and six main courses, and is well constructed to include classics like steaks while also offering some less usual choices, such as quail and rabbit.
The overall approach and cooking style reflects the chef’s experience – expect excellent breads (choice of four or five), a little pre-starter soup, dishes featuring different treatments of a main ingredient; the cooking is good, and presentation is a plus, with shapely plates, nice garnishes, and slicks of this and that creating a special occasion ‘wouldn’t do this myself at home’ experience.
Desserts are a high point and may include ‘Jelly and ice cream’ - a novel twist on the childhood favourite, this home-made berry jelly pyramid is served with vanilla ice cream and some diced fresh berries; chocolate fondant – again very good – comes with ice cream and fresh raspberries.
The wine list not extensive, but well selected and offering good house wines.
Very good service begins in the right place, with a friendly welcome, and attentive staff are generally well informed about food and wine.
The owner Nicky Cassidy makes his presence felt, taking a part in service and engaging in friendly interaction at the tables, which is a big plus for an hotel restaurant.
All round The Terrace is a very welcome find for residents and fills a niche for locals too, offering a degree of privacy, some sophistication on the plate and good service along with value.
Add to that the stability of the manager/chef brother partnership, and it is no surprise that this place has established itself so well in the town as a dining destination.