Roseville House is centrally located and perfect for exploring the seaside town of Youghal on foot and sampling its many attractions, writes Ciara McDonnell
I AM married to a man who does not like to leave the county if he can help it, so when I received an assignment to take my betrothed and frolic in the seaside town of Youghal for a night — and on our wedding anniversary no less — well, I knew we were on to a winner.
We are hard taskmasters, it must be said, given that we live at the Old Head of Kinsale, and are extremely enthusiastic about how gorgeous our home place is, but Youghal was up for the challenge, according to Richie and Caroline Foley of Roseville House.
Roseville House is a generational business, and was run from 1987 to 2015 by Richie’s mother. The couple restored and renovated the building over the last number of years with assistance from Stephanie Hennessy, an interior designer from New York. The house dates back to 1838 and features two self contained suites. It is about as far from what you would conceive a traditional B&B as you could find.
Positioned just off the main thoroughfare in Youghal town, the B&B is well appointed for exploring the town on foot. We deposit the car in the car park beside the house and push our way through a horseshoe shaped door to reveal a gorgeous Georgian home and petite but beautiful walled garden.
Received warmly by Caroline’s mother, and Richie and Caroline’s two adorable children, we are shown up a small stairs to the Garden Room Suite. Upon opening the door, we are taken immediately by the smell of lemongrass thanks to a freshly minted diffuser perched on a gorgeous antique armour.
The room is spacious, with lots of seating, a table and chairs for two and a huge bed. Mark clocks the flat screen television, which can be angled to where ever you happened to be sitting, and the extremely good wifi signal. The bathroom is gorgeous and spacious too, with roll top bath and rain shower, and some lovely toiletries.
After opening and closing all available doors and cupboards (everyone does that, right?), we happen upon the hidden larder, a space that looks like a wardrobe, but houses a mini fridge stocked with water and milk, a toaster, kettle, fresh coffee and tea bags. With food always on our minds, we set ourselves to ordering Roseville’s jewel in its crown — the room service breakfast, before dressing for dinner.
We book at table at Clancy’s Bar and Restaurant, and avail of their fantastic free shuttle from outside the B&B to the bar door. Welcomed and installed at a table overlooking the ocean, we clink a glass and remark that Youghal is doing fairly well for itself, to be fair. It would only get better, because the food in Clancy’s is fantastic.
WE EAT and eat — oh how we eat. Mark begins with chowder, which is stuffed with fresh seafood, and I start with Monkfish Fritters. Light, crispy battered fish was the perfect vehicle for a divine curried mayo — it is heavenly. We both go for the sea bass for main course and it is just as lovely as the starters, served with prawns and chorizo and spinach. Defeated by the main courses, we settle on a signature cocktail to finish — strawberry daiquiri.
Home to bed, we sleep incredibly well, thanks in large part to the excellent linen and extremely comfortable beds at Roseville House. As a result of having children, we are now chronic early risers, so off for a pre-breakfast swim we go, to Youghal’s Front Strand. Drama quickly ensues when I think I brush off a jelly fish and run as fast as I can (not fast, not fast at all) out of the sea, and then back home to feast again. And what a feast it is.
Caroline delivers the breakfast herself each morning, on a two-tier trolley. We have smoothies, and fresh juice, and berries and yoghurt. Then I have creamy, delicious scrambled eggs, and Mark has the full Irish, which he gives top marks to. The comfort of enjoying a top class breakfast in a gorgeous room cannot be measured. We read the papers, we obsessively text my mother to find out how the children were doing, we eat all of the food.
When we check out from the wonderful Roseville House we were relaxed and rejuvenated, and best of all, according to the husband — sure we had a short drive to get back home.
A night at Roseville House costs from €65 per person sharing.