If you are looking to stay in a 5 Star Hotel in the middle of a vibrant city, but with the calm and quiet of a countryside retreat, look no further than the Savoy Limerick. Nestled comfortably in the middle of Limerick city, the Savoy provides the warmest of welcomes to its guests, whether you have come to stay for a couple of days or you simply want to rest awhile. We spent a night there recently and from the moment the concierge took our car to the moment we hopped back in to go home, the hospitality was flawless.
Never underestimate the power of a friendly welcome – it soothes the weary traveller and initiates the start of winding down and relaxing.
Check in at the Savoy was seamless and stress free and it was great to see a foyer buzzing with happy guests.
Our package included dinner in the new First Floor restaurant and, needless to say, we were delighted to be upgraded to one of their newly renovated suites. And the suite was everything you might wish for with blocks of rich colour throughout. The bathroom hosted a range of Molton Brown products – perfect for the supersized bath. Not only did I love the Tullio designed suite, but the stairs, ceilings, restaurant and bar reminded me of two cities – Havana and Miami. Now this might seem like an unusual combination, but once you step into the bar, it has all the Havana vibes going on, so much so that we had to have a Mojito and a Pina Colada to totally immerse ourselves in the experience.
The stairs, ceilings and walls in the public areas, to me at least, are an homage to the Art Deco features found in so many Miami hotels. Where else could you stand on an opulent staircase to see the reflection of a triangular chandelier in a rectangular mirror? Fabulous!
The First Floor restaurant is a new and welcome addition to The Savoy. As you arrive on this floor, you can’t help but relax when you hear the pianist playing all the old classics. He was an absolute gem and really enhanced our dining experience. The First Floor restaurant offers a set menu for €35 per person. Starters include soup, duck liver parfait, a crab and salmon fishcake or goats cheese fritters.
I chose the duck liver parfait which was served with some of the nicest warm brioche that I have tasted, the only downside was the Cumberland sauce seemed to have been replaced with soy sauce and while I love soy, I did miss the fruitiness that a Cumberland sauce would have brought to this dish. My partner in crime chose Cathal Sexton’s Carrigaholt crab and organic salmon fish cake served with Asian pickled vegetables and the house curry mayonnaise. We are nothing if not competitive, so we agreed on a draw for our starters as both were quite delicious.
For our main course I hands down won with my choice of roast free-range chicken served with pancetta and sage stuffing, long stem broccoli and a red wine jus. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the stuffing was simply sublime. Mr D chose the 10oz rib eye steak with confit tomato, Portabello mushroom and panko onion rings. I suspect that if the steak has been allowed to rest a little longer, my free-range chicken dish would have had stiff competition.
To finish we chose the wild berry meringue with berry compote and Wexford strawberries and the warm date pudding which was served with delicious Alex Findlater vanilla ice cream. I happily conceded on this course as the date pudding could not be rivalled.
Add in a bottle of Chateau St Emillion 2015 (€42) tea and coffee and you have yourself a very nice evening offering excellent value for money (made all the nicer while listening to MoonRiver on the piano).
Breakfast did not disappoint either with something for everyone, so whether you like a full Irish, fluffy pancakes or you fancy your eggs in the style of Benedict, Florentine or Royale, The Savoy has it all right there for you. And just like dinner the night before, the staff were warm, welcoming and very efficient. A lovely way to start the day.
No trip to Limerick would be complete without a visit to the Milk Market and in the blink of an eye, our check out was sorted, our luggage was stored and arrangements were made to return to the hotel where our car would be waiting at 2pm. All too soon it was 2pm and time to leave lovely Limerick and the wonderful staff at The Savoy – but not before gifting me one of my favourite things in the world – takeout afternoon tea. Dear Readers, you know how much I love my afternoon tea, but I did wonder how the goodies would survive the distance between Limerick and Carlow. Well, I am pleased to report that, not only did every single sweet and savoury bite arrive at Hunters Lodge in one piece, but each piece was absolutely delicious. We were treated to smoked salmon on brown bread, coronation chicken sandwich fingers, scones, banana bread and carrot cake, to name but a few. If you are in the Limerick area, I urge you to treat yourself to afternoon tea at The Savoy – you will not be disappointed.
In a way I surprised even myself on this trip. It’s thanks to my editor that I found myself checking into a hotel in the centre of a city – unusual for someone like me who doesn’t like shopping. But whether you like shopping, eating or simply relaxing, there are so many reasons why I cannot wait to return again to the The Savoy Limerick.
WRITTEN BY FIONA DILLON