The mention of Dromoland conjures up images of the well-known baronial castle and grand estate, but did you know that on this 450 acre estate, there is another hostelry?
The Inn at Dromoland is a jewel set on the outskirts of Dromoland Estate. This 3-star property offers so many perks of the castle without the price tag.
Let me just say before I jump into all of the delights of the Inn at Dromoland, that all Covid-19 precautions are in place, so you will have no worries on that front.
For the ultimate treat, try the Presidential Suite. With it’s stunning views and muted elegance, it is truly fit for a king, queen or indeed a president.
Step inside and you won’t find glaring opulence, but an understated grandness reminiscent of early 20th century glamour. The living room is the perfect spot to take afternoon tea or enjoy pre-dinner canapés and bubbly.
The luxurious bed guarantees a great night’s sleep, but the pièce de resistance is the en-suite. With the option to choose a subtle blue backlight instead of a glaring overhead light, one would be forgiven for thinking they were at a spa. And to enjoy this delightful setting, what better than a deep, stand-alone bath. Blissful.
I had heard that Chef Fergal McGee was doing great things in Shannigans Gastro Pub at the Inn, so I was eager to try the food. The pub itself is spacious and atmospheric, while also offering booths for privacy. The menu offers something for everyone, so even the fussiest of eaters will be satisfied.
For starters I chose the tortellini of ricotta and spinach with wild mushrooms and a tarragon and white wine velouté. It was deliciously rich and keenly priced at €7.50. Mr D opted for the roulade of salmon wrapped in bacon (€8) served with stir fried greens, black pudding and a delightful herb beurre blanc.
This was followed by a slow roasted lamb shank (€21) for himself and, with the server’s assistance, I chose the roast striploin of beef (€19.95). The lamb, like all good slow-cooked lamb shank, fell off the bone and was served with rooster mash, buttered greens and a shallot and roast garlic jus. Delightful. My roast striploin was accompanied by red cabbage, potatoes, chasseur sauce and a Yorkshire pudding filled with the most delicious daube. (I would return for the daube alone).
To finish, we tucked into an ice cream sundae and a scrumptious pear & almond tart served with coconut ice cream and a Baileys crème anglaise. Enjoying our desserts with a tea and coffee, our booth was an ideal spot to savour the last of our delicious dinner.
The great thing about a good Gastro Pub is that it doesn’t have to be just for special occasions. You can pop in for a delicious roast after a Sunday walk, or treat yourself midweek without breaking the bank.
If you are staying at the Inn at Dromoland, you will be treated to a fine breakfast. While taking all precautions, you can visit the continental breakfast counter or the hot breakfast counter and choose what you would like to eat. From fresh fruit to hash browns and pancakes, there’s plenty of choice for breakfast.
Another delightful food experience at the Inn at Dromoland is their afternoon tea. At €21 per person, this treat has to be one of the best value afternoon teas in Ireland. The savouries are delicious, the scones are baked to perfection (and served with a divine lemon curd) and finished off with a great variety of sweet treats.
The Inn at Dromoland is a foodie’s dream, but it is also so much more. There’s the swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna (these facilities are by appointment at the moment, due to Covid-19 regulations). Plus there’s a gym for those who like to work out. And that’s not all – an outdoor play area and fun crazy golf will keep the children and the young at heart occupied. Set in the grounds of Dromoland Castle, a 15 minute walk amongst beautiful scenery will bring you to the castle, and if you fancy a spa treatment, this is where you will enjoy it. Add in activities like archery and falconry and you realise that the Inn at Dromoland really is the full package. Food, activities, lovely rooms, hearty breakfasts and the most friendly staff – what more could you ask for….?
WRITTEN BY FIONA DILLON