Slieve Donard is set to reopen under the Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts banner on 1st September 2023, with four food and beverage offerings. From relaxed to upscale, the re-imagined Slieve Donard resort now offers four new options for drinking and dining, with menus championing in-season ingredients, local produce, game, and seafood — introducing J.J. Farrall’s, The Wolf Bar, The Lighthouse, and newly refurbished favourite, The Percy French.
Slieve Donard was acquired in 2021 by Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts an Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital brand, and collection of hotels and resorts set along some of the world’s most coveted golf courses. Originally opened in 1898, the Victorian destination hotel has undergone an extensive transformation, inspired by the hotel’s impressive history, and will reopen under the new brand banner on 1st September 2023, just in time to celebrate the hotel’s 125th year.
Named after Slieve Donard’s original architect, J.J. Farrall’s sits at the heart of the hotel. From the sheen of the polished parquet floor to the sparkle of the bespoke chandeliers above, this is a space in which to savour the very best seasonal beef, lamb, seafood, game, and fresh produce, straight from the local larder. Menus in J.J. Farrall’s reflect the classic nature of the restaurant’s fine 19th-century architecture, with refined and elegant dishes enjoyed alongside wonderful views of the Irish Sea and Mourne Mountains.
Starters include a fresh pea soup with dumplings and broad beans; steamed asparagus with spring leaf, herbs, and truffle; roast scallop with fennel and sea vegetables, or a baked Templegall cheese soufflé with melted leeks and grain mustard sauce seem like they have always belonged on menus in this room. Mains include roast brill with wild mushrooms, wilted lettuce, and shellfish butter; halibut, asparagus, cucumber and chicken butter sauce or Mourne lamb, peas, new potatoes, and garlic — modern classics that also nod to the style and time-honoured appeal of simplicity and fine local ingredients in season.
J.J. Farrall’s is open for dinner daily and is also the ideal destination for afternoon tea or a traditional Sunday lunch with all the trimmings.
The Wolf Bar
Intimate and richly decorated, The Wolf Bar at Slieve Donard is the hotel’s new social centre. Cosy and atmospheric, it’s the perfect spot for elevenses over scones, jam, clotted cream, and a pot of tea, or a classic walnut cake with a good coffee. There are light bites and sharing options served from midday until 9pm daily – stop by for a plate of local Carlingford oysters, a platter of great local charcuterie and cheese, or any number of snacks, pastries, and sandwiches. With a bar offering a wide-ranging wine list and draught beers, the cocktail menu features classics with a Slieve Donard twist, inspired by local history and ingredients.
With fine views across the bay to Newcastle and the Mourne Mountains, The Lighthouse offers an all-day selection of Mediterranean inspired light bites, pastries, choice teas and fine coffee, together with a seasonal and hearty menu for both lunch and dinner. A warm and lively environment during the day that transitions into a relaxing and inviting space for the evening.
The Percy French
At the entrance to the resort at Slieve Donard, local favourite The Percy French serves pub classics, elevated comfort food, bar snacks and a traditional Sunday roast — all with a focus on in-season and local produce. From burgers and Shorthorn steaks from the chargrill, to free-range chicken from the rotisserie, all with generous sides and extras, this is a menu designed to please large groups and little ones alike.
With options including Mourne seafood chowder with wheaten bread; smoked haddock fishcakes with beurre blanc; black pudding fritter with cider apple sauce; local sugar pit bacon chop, fried egg, chunky chips and watercress; grilled market fish of the day with lemon and caper dressing or lentil and smoked chilli soup, onion bhaji, sour cream, and crusty bread. These are considered and delicious dishes to suit families, golfers, and holiday visitors, as well as regulars from the town. The Percy French has a comprehensive wine list too, a wide selection of draught beers and a menu of classically inspired cocktails. Not forgetting uninterrupted sea views from the large outdoor terrace where guests can dine al fresco too.
The Slieve Donard is a landmark of grand Victorian style, now with a fresh new blend of old-world charm and modern luxury. A respectful opportunity to embrace and enhance much of the beloved existing fabric of this iconic seaside hotel, the new era of Marine & Lawn’s Slieve Donard with J.J.Farrall’s, The Wolf Bar, and The Percy French is now waiting to be explored.
Slieve Donard, Downs Road, Newcastle, Co. Down, BT33 0AH, Northern Ireland
+44 (0)284 372 1066. https://marineandlawn.com/slievedonard/