When it comes to gourmet getaways the Hook peninsula may be justly synonymous with stunning Dunbrody House — but just north of it — lies a lesser known retreat for food lovers, Kilmokea. Run by husband and wife team Emma & Mark Hewlett, this beautiful manor (and member of the Hidden Ireland collection) offers plush, period accommodation with delicious garden-fresh dining as standard.
Kilmokea’s table d’hôte offers menu delights like roast beetroot & orange salad followed by fillet of monkfish with fresh herb champ. Simplicity’s the key here with homegrown and locally sourced organics meaning there’s no need to overegg the culinary pudding.
And speaking of pudding, save room for sublime desserts like rhubarb crumble served with a blood orange gelato. Rooms, with antique furnishing and gorgeous garden views, are a treat too – the property also features its spa and indoor heated pool.
A two night B&B stay with dinner on one evening and complimentary jacuzzi usage costs €250pps. kilmokea.com (TB)
Every evening at 8pm, chef owner Paddy Flynn rings the gong in the reception hall of Roundwood House and announces that dinner is about to be served. Aperitif glasses tinkle as guests make their way to the intimate dining room to enjoy Roundwood’s knock-out candlelight dinner - sans pretension.
Focussed on great local producers from Laois and neighbouring Offaly, dishes here include seared fig with mint labneh, hummus, maple glazed carrot and harissa vinaigrette followed by roast lamb loin with blueberry sauce, sweet potato & roast garlic purée, seared asparagus and duck fat roast Potatoes.
Overnighting in this Palladian family-home is a dream, as is the overall ambiance thanks to warm hosting from Paddy’s wife Hannah, their two daughters, and a supporting act of two pet dogs and Brewster the resident rooster. A real gem.
Stay with dinner and breakfast from €150pps €pps. roundwoodhouse.com (TB)
With soul-feeding views across Galway Bay and idyllic setting nestled in the heart of the unique Burren landscape, Gregans is the gourmet getaway poster child in the West of Ireland.
Along with offering some of the country’s most gorgeous accommodation (think bespoke rustic luxury), head chef Robbie McCauley and his team create masterpiece modern dishes using fresh local fare like organic Burren lamb and game, fresh Atlantic seafood and most greens are sourced from their ever blossoming kitchen garden.
Gregans wine list – which features many organic vintages — are sublime, while come evening their freshly decorated drawing room or gorgeous corkscrew bar are a nightcap heaven. Owners Simon Haden and Frederieke McMurray have always placed a sustainable ethos at the forefront and Gregans also aims to be carbon neutral by 2022.
Their Summer in Burren deal offers a two night B&B stay with dinner on one evening from €340pps. gregans.ie (TB)
We rarely need an extra excuse to head to Dingle, but what’s been touted as Ireland’s best breakfast may be an added reason to woo you west.
Savoury items at beautiful Castlewood House include Dingle Bay kippers, mushrooms and chorizo frittatas while a current special is Castlewood’s black pudding basket with puffy filo pastry cases filled with homemade red onion marmalade, Micilin Muc black pudding and a choice of Cashel blue or goats cheese.
You’ll probably need to walk that off, so fortunately, your hosts Brian Heaton & Helen Woods Heaton can direct you to Dingle’s myriad stunning coastal and mountain walks: they’ll even organize delicious picnics should you need to refuel.
For a real escapade, Castlewood offer a very popular Blasket Island package which features a full day eco tour with the Great Blasket Experience (including a 3 hour stop on the Great Blasket) plus a picnic from the Little Cheese Shop in Dingle.
€298pps for the two night package. castlewooddingle.com
Billed as Ireland’s newest foodie destination, The Wicklow Escape in Donard (formerly known as The Elbow Room) is the pairing of owner Lisa Wilkinson and Michelin Star accoladed executive chef Danni Barry, who has been brought on board to create an immersive food experience in the Garden of Ireland.
Three day staycation packages at the rustic retreat kick off with welcome cocktails and nibbles followed by dinner and a beer pairing at The Fiery outdoor kitchen. Day two is a tale of hearty artisan breakfasts, Wicklow mountains hikes, picnics and a five-course long table dinner and wine pairing come evening.
A sumptuous farewell brunch on day three offers the perfect garnish. Noteworthy also here is that menu ingredients are largely sourced within a hyperlocal three-mile radius. Summer staycation packages from €543pps; thewicklowescape.com (TB)
The Marlin Hotel opened its doors on Dublin’s Bow Lane in 2019, appealing to the business traveller with its smartly designed work stations and all the mod cons for ease of remote working.
Its latest addition is the Canteen Restaurant, which opened last July under head chef James Sheridan, serving modern European Food using the finest ingredients - and taking the level of cooking up a notch from what many people would associate with biz hotel dining.
Guests can enjoy a four-course menu from Wednesday to Saturday while the hotel’s bar serves a more casual and light bites menu all week.
Check-in for an overnight stay at the Marlin Hotel with dinner in Canteen restaurant from €100pps; marlinhotel.ie (MM)
Run by husband and wife duo Gearóid and Tara Lynch, The Olde Post Inn offers accommodation and fine-dining in Cloverhill, Cavan.
Chef Gearóid’s cooking focusses on home-grown produce as well as using quality ingredients to create a menu that is simple but extremely flavoursome.
The seasonally changing menu highlights the best of Irish produce from pork belly to Cavan lamb, while the breakfast has won them numerous accolades over the years.
Coeliacs are well catered for here with gluten-free alternatives available to the delicious baked breads and cakes.
The restaurant is open from Thursday to Sunday with a Sunday lunch menu available. One night stay and dine packages with dinner and breakfast from €145pps; theoldepostinn.com (MM)
Home to Ireland’s first certified organic restaurant, The Strawberry Tree, BrookLodge has been impressing with its approach to food for many years.
Set in Wicklow’s picturesque countryside, the self-contained village has plenty for food lovers to enjoy from the organic produce at the village store rooms to the smoked meats and fish at the Smoke House.
There’s no shortage of dining options either. In addition to The Strawberry Tree, La Taverna Armento serves up Southern Italian cuisine, while The Orchard Café offers free range and organic lunches.
It’s not just about the food here, The Wells Spa’s range of treatments and peaceful setting allows you to completely disconnect and relax. B&B from €190pps; brooklodge.com (MM)
Adare Manor is the epitome of elegance and good taste, including when it comes to dining.
From its magical breakfast room to the Michelin starred dining, a stay here is a special experience. Such is the culinary team's commitment to using Irish produce, last year they spent a week travelling through the country meeting producers and suppliers so they could better understand the products they were using.
This produce is used throughout every dining experience at Adare Manor, but is showcased in the menus at The Carriage House restaurant and in The Oak Room, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant that claimed its first Michelin Star in 2019 under Chef Mike Tweedie.
This summer, Adare Manor and Midleton Distillery have also collaborated to launch an exclusive Adare Manor garden gin: a fig edition, no less. B&B from €275pps; adaremanor.com (MM)
One of the best meals (and breakfasts) I’ve enjoyed this year has been at Longueville House, the O’Callaghan family’s gourmet stronghold nestled in North Cork’s Blackwater Valley.
Chef-owner William O’Callaghan delivers a no-choice set menu every evening which, along with him greeting guests to announce the evening’s menu, adds a certain theatre to proceedings.
Summer menu highlights include the likes of seared escalope of wild river salmon, woodland roast pork followed by Hegarty’s Timpeall Gheall cheese with a lemon and lime cheesecake to finish.
After a tipple of house made brandy in the drawing room, retire to your glorious period room.
Stay & Dine rates start from €330pps which includes two nights bed and breakfast, dinner each evening and complimentary afternoon tea with delicious home-baked treats. (a sweet incentive for a timely arrival). longuevillehouse.ie (TB)