Mustard Seed. An oasis in Limerick.
|Baked plaice, sep puree, prawn dressing and fritter, buttermilk froth.|
Enjoyed a few days in County Limerick recently and our base, The Mustard Seed in Ballingarry, had much to do with it. The former convent has been, over the past 18 years or so, converted into a very comfortable place to stay. You get a warm welcome here every time you walk in the door, tea and shortbread at the ready, even if you’ve been gone for only a few hours.
|Warm Strawberry with lime puree, walnut powder, beet meringues, balsamic and elderflower syrup|
And you relax with the cuppa, sitting back in the most comfortable sofas with the fire blazing away in front of you on the colder days. Comfort is to be found all over the Mustard Seed. Here too is some very interesting furniture and a massive collection of paintings, arts and crafts (many with an eastern theme).
|Pan-fried Irish Hereford rib-eye of beef, served with a goat cheese and celeriac risotto, roast almond mousse, Iron Age rare breed pork profiterole|
And then there are the gardens with trees, shrubs and flowers to the front and mainly fruit and vegetables at the back but no shortage of herbs either. Some flowers scattered here and there and even a Buddha shrine.
|Cheese plate including Cashel Blue, Milleens, local cheddar|
The Mustard Seed is renowned for its food. Deservedly so. Breakfast is a treat here. Of course you may have your full Irish but my favourite was the Ummera Smoked Chicken in an omelette. Lovely breads too, available at breakfast and dinner. At dinner, there are great choices, local produce well handled and presented and served.
Nectarine cheesecake, sorbet and honeycomb
And that five star friendly service runs through the whole operation. You are treated like one of the family from start to finish. So well done and a big thank you to Dan and John and to the entire team for looking after us so well over the three night break that we will remember for a long time.
The Mustard Seed is a terrific base to see Limerick, both city and county. This time we decided to concentrate on the county, a county that has quite a lot to offer. It is easy to reach, easy to get around as distances are short. So why not give it a try rather than just passing through to somewhere else (which is what I did for many years, I must admit).
|Clockwise from top left: Mustard Seed, a "blue" window, a petit treat, artichoke|
and resident Buddha.