A night away feels so much more exciting and special than ever before. Like us, the events of the last year have more than likely made you feel even more determined to invest your time, energy and indeed money into the most worthy and worthwhile of adventures, in all aspects of life.
Booking a night away is definitely one of those treats that we no longer take for granted and invest a lot more thought into these days.
Having dined in Burtown House a couple of times we were instantly besotted with its relaxed elegance. When we spotted posts about the onsite accommodation on the property’s beautifully curated instagram feed, we were intrigued. If you have visited Burtown House and Gardens, you will have experienced that unequivocal sense of tranquility that comes from being immersed in a space so full of natural beauty. Self described as – “We are not a hotel, but a family home with rented accommodation set in the stable yard block which is surrounded by 12 acres of flower, woodland and kitchen gardens.”
Images of the studio apartment leaped off the screen at us. The open plan, Scandi style interior evoking a feeling of relaxation just looking at the photos. We booked an overnight stay in The Stable Yard – Studio Apartment for €210.
Arriving to Burtown House and Gardens on a sunny Friday afternoon, we were directed from the Green Barn to our accommodation located in The Stable Yard. Greeted at the studio apartment by the charismatic and ever cheery owner James Fennell, we were seamlessly checked in.
Jame and Joanna Fennell have restored The Stable Yard with an outstanding amount of charm and style. The whimsical wisteria adorned exterior and the bright and airy interior, a heavenly haven of utter relaxation from the moment we arrived.
The earthy muted tones of the interior complimented by the abundance of natural light flooding in. Natural materials and clean lines to the fore. Most interesting of all, the shelves are furnished with copies of the many books published by the aforementioned owner and renowned photographer, James Fennell along with many issues of iconic magazines such as Vogue where James’ work has regularly graced the pages.
The Studio Apartment has a mezzanine floor, with a cosy upstairs relaxation area complete with an open fire. It was far too warm to utilise the open fire during our stay but what a beautiful addition it is, conjuring up images of Autumn evenings curled up in front of a roaring log fire with only fabulous books and wine for company – bliss!
Tearing ourselves away from our accommodation we nipped across the garden to Jo’s Pantry, located in The Green Barn. Open to guests and the public, this is the perfect place to stock up on some gorgeous artisan treats. From freshly baked bread to many beautiful bottles of wine and everything in between. We secured a bottle and some treats and returned to the courtyard to soak up some rays and breath in and enjoy the calm of this magical place.
Walking through the glorious gardens to our 6.30pm dinner booking, appetising aromas filling the still summer air, we were excited to take our seats in the garden and see what was on offer.
A concise but alluring menu where the food has been sustainably sourced. Think more food meters than food miles, as the gardens here provide all of the vegetables, herbs and fruit used throughout the menus. The kitchen is now headed up by owner Joanna Fennell and her talented flair for utilising all the homegrown goodness on offer is commendable indeed.
Starting with a couple of Gin & Tonics and the Antipasti Board for two €26.50. This vibrant board presented layers of fun and flavourful bites. Garden pickles, a variety of cheese, charcuterie, breads, cracks and some sensational garden dips. Every tastebud standing to attention with each moreish mouthful.
Our main courses of choice were the Oven Roasted Sea Bass €27.00 and Tiger Prawn Tagliatelle €18.50.
Fillets of lightly roasted sea-bass delicately flavoured with aromatic fennel and dill, cream of spinach, kale, and Burtown Gardens own Asparagus which put every other spear we have tasted in recent times to shame! A generous helping of creamy dauphinoise potatoes adding a devilishly rich element to this other wise light and earthy plate
Across the table, ribbons of fresh egg pasta bound in a punchy basil pesto dotted with perfectly seasoned plump tiger prawns. A side of lightly steamed garden broccoli complimented this dish perfectly.
We picked a bottle of Tasciaca €42.00. A Sauvignon Blanc that breaks with tradition by being gentle aged in French Oak. Aromas of nectarines and ginger lead to a long mouthwatering finish with orange peel zing. So, so good with our food of choice for the evening.
One of the many fantastic elements to our dining experience was the relaxed pace of service. No rushing, with ample time allowed to enjoy each course in comfort. The staff most definitely deserve a special mention, so attentive, warm and friendly to every single table. No easy task when tending to tables spread over such a large space but this team do it all in the most efficient and fun manner.
Rhubard and Almond Crumble €6.80 and Berry Compote Pavlova €6.80 rounded off our evening in the sweetest style.
A buttery crumble top housing lightly poached chunks of tart rhubarb with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to add a refreshingly sweet balance.
Crisp Pavlova with a zesty berry compote and some fresh cream – a summer dessert executed in the straightforward manner that made for a super sweet ending to a great evenings dining.
Our title for this review really sums up what we gained from our stay at Burtown House and Gardens. Arriving feeling quite burnt out from the inevitable stress and strain that we have all been consumed by in the current climate. Perhaps feeling a little lacking in enthusiasm and void of some much needed inspiration for both work and home life. Without wanting to get too deep here, there is most certainly a holistic element to this wonderful place that revives, refuels and lifts a person, physically and mentally. It takes a special sort of place to give rise to such feelings and Burtown House and Gardens has this in abundance.
An escape to The Stable Yard House or Studio Apartment is a unique and very wholesome adventure and one we highly recommend.
WRITTEN BY KEITH MAHON & OLIVIA BYRNE