Adare - the little jewel in the Lady of Limerick's Crown - Part 2
Posted by Niamh Allabyrne on the 30th of July 2013 at 14:51:18
And so for part 2 of Liz’s Adare blog. This week we are tempted by the culinary options available in Adare and learn more about the other hotels in this beautiful country village!
The 1826 Adare Restaurant is owned by Chef Wade Murphy and his wife Elaine, it has only been opened a few months but already has a great reputation. I’d eaten in the previous hotel Wade worked at and attended a Seven course tasting menu he did for an event there and was really impressed. 1826 prides itself on quality Irish food and is a modern but casual dining Irish experience.
I had a beautiful Crab starter with a tomato gazpacho and the cod for main course. The cod was so tasty and Wade explained to me that he salts it for about an hour or so to take out the moisture and it holds its shape really well which I had noticed when it was served to me….thought that I was done after that but saw that there was a sticky toffee pudding on the desserts menu and it’s one of my favorites. This is Wades Grannies recipe and definitely one of the best I’d tasted!
4* Luxury with old world charm is an apt description for The Dunraven Arms hotel. With a prominent position in Adare Village you can’t help but notice this quaint hotel. Its lovely gardens and ivy clad walls are just asking you to come in and have a look! From the moment you walk in the door you feel welcome and relaxed and in a strange way at home! Originally a coaching inn on the estate of the Earl of Dunraven the hotel now boasts 86 bedrooms, The Hunters Bar, The Maigue Restaurant and a separate conference center and health and leisure facilities!
Family owned and run by Hugh and Louis Murphy the hotel is one of Ireland’s best loved country houses.
The luxurious bedrooms are individually styled with period fabrics and furnishings- the 6 suites and 24 junior suites also boast authentic antique four-poster and canopied beds. With the suites having a separate living area you really get the feeling of being at home. The award winning Maigue Restaurant has a wide ranging menu focusing on Irish classics with a modern twist. They are well known and indeed famous for their roast beef and baked Limerick Ham carved from the trolley and have won all-Ireland best breakfast awards.
The health and leisure center has a 17m swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and gym and provides classes such as yoga and aqua aerobics. Guests may also partake in bit of pampering with an in-house specialist in The Beauty Rooms.
The owners are keen horsemen and can arrange hunting, cross country riding or racing at Limerick Racecourse for guests.
Of course you can also just sit back and relax and enjoy! Definitely one I want to go back to!
Fitzgerald’s Woodlands House Hotel
I’d been in Fitzgerald’s Woodlands house before but quite a few years ago. I’d had a great time then and always had a nice memory of the hotel and in particular how friendly and welcome everyone in the hotel was. I’m happy to say that nothing has changed!
Celebrating 30 years in business this year, and ran by the Fitzgerald family (Mary, David and Elaina) it is the epitome of an Irish family hotel.
Having the opportunity to go back and stay in the hotel I jumped at the chance. They’d made some changes in the intervening years and I was interested to see what they’d done. There is a big open lobby space which has changed a lot since I was there last and now has a lovely new colour scheme. Fitzy’s Bar has also changed but retains the local, warm, welcoming feel with a healthy mix of both tourists and locals as their customers.
The hotel is in the process of upgrading rooms and already has a good number of them done. I loved the colour scheme in the room that I was allocated. Their rooms are really big and if you are bringing kids, they have suites with a double room and a room with twin beds as part of the room. The rooms were really bright with lots of sunlight streaming in.
And so to Timmy Macs, their bistro style restaurant. It’s even better now. With a lighter colour scheme than before it’s much fresher and is open practically all day it seems. Its super child friendly too so if you’re bringing kids here you can totally relax. We ate lunch here – one thing I’d forgotten was the portions in this place have always been so big!! They now also have an outdoor seating area which was well in use the day I was there as it was a rare hot summer’s day.
After our refreshments we returned to our room to prepare for our trip to the Reva’s Spa for our Rasul Mud treatment. The spa wasn’t there the last time I was in the hotel so I really wanted to see this. After changing into our robes and slippers which were thoughtfully left in our room we went down to the spa. All I could think was Wow! It’s huge! I didn’t expect it to be quite so big. The staff in the spa, like the hotel staff are extremely welcoming and attentive. Michelle brought us into the Rasul Mud chamber and explained to us the process.
We were left then as we prepared ourselves with scrubs (a heavenly chocolate orange one that smelled good enough to eat!) and then a chocolate mud scrub. Suitably relaxed after this experience we were escorted to the thermal suite which comprised Sauna, steam room, foot salt scrub, and exotic shower experiences. There was also an outdoor hot tub which we did partake in and it was a pleasure to do so outdoors on a hot day. I felt like I was in a different country! We also lay in the relaxation area outdoors and enjoyed our smoothie and fruit skewers. A totally and utterly relaxing experience and one I would recommend you treat yourself to if staying in this hotel!
Although I wanted to go and sleep after the experience, I resisted the temptation and went back to the room and prepared for dinner.
Fielding’s of Adare is a new addition to the hotel, a cool, quiet and intimate dining space in which to enjoy the best of local Limerick produce.
With a philosophy of working with seasonal ingredients the menu offers a wide choice to suit all tastes.
Being just a tad obsessed with crab at the moment I went for another crab starter as did my friend – this time crab mousse wrapped with smoked salmon and served on a bed of leaves. I again went for fish and had the hake while my friend went for the chicken rolls with asparagus. We both went for the warm chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert and it was soft, light and delicious. Service was fantastic and quick and I should say the breads that they serve while waiting on your starter to arrive were particularly good! A fabulous addition to the hotel offering guests now the option of a more formal dining experience.
Breakfast on Sunday was in Timmy Macs and while I have to admit I’m not much of a breakfast person – I did appreciate the amount of food on offer. I don’t really do the “Full Irish” ever but there was a great selection of cereals, fruits, breads, hot food and if you liked poached eggs, kippers etc. on request.
Fed and watered we reluctantly left and headed down to the village before continuing on to Dublin. I can’t wait to go back to Woodlands House!
Adare is a little Irish treasure – definitely put it on your list as a must see place!
So, if Liz has tempted you, add a visit to Adare and a stay in one of these great hotels on your Custom Made Tour!