Showing posts with label Cahernane House Hotel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cahernane House Hotel. Show all posts

Monday, May 21, 2018

Killarney: A Quick Visit


Killarney: A Quick Visit
Distillers from the 1800s remembered at Celtic Whiskey Bar

We were in Killarney for a short visit in early May. The intention, on arrival, was to eat outdoors at the lovely Deenagh Lodge but heavy showers put paid to that and we called to the Celtic Whiskey Shop & Larder, fast becoming a favourite of ours, for a light lunch. 

The Toastie Special with soup was ideal and came in at less than 16 euro for the two. The toastie was superb, on excellent sourdough, and the soup wasn't just a cup as you might expect for the price, but a big bowl. 

So, well refreshed, we were ready for a our water-bus cruise on the lakes. The rain had passed but it was still windy and cloudy as we embarked at Ross Castle. The boat was large, wide, and comfortable with a viewing area at the back, an area that was sheltered and I took the boatman’s advice and spent the trip out there.
Muckross Friary

We got an informative commentary - could hear him well out the back - and he slowed down, indeed stopped, at a few of the more interesting places, including Innisfallen Island. In other years, we’d have enjoyed the show of rhododendrons on some of the smaller rocky islands but the late spring had delayed the flowering. The trip took about an hour and cost a tenner; well worth it.
On the bus

In all the years we’ve been visiting Killarney we’ve never seen the Muckross Traditional Farm. The farm is quite close to Muckross House and there is an entry fee. The tour takes the form of a longish walk where you pass farmhouses and cottages of various sizes and vintages and hear about the good old days and the not so good. Lots of old farm implements around the place also, an old thresher, carts, and scufflers and so on.

Animals also. The Kerry cow, of course, and sheep and a few goats along the way, one with two very young kids. A sow too nursing a bunch of hungry bonhams. 
Lakes in the mist

Quite a few schoolchildren were visiting, which is a good thing of course. But a few of the exhibits were being reserved for them and that meant we couldn’t get into one or two rooms. Could these visits not take place in the morning when the farm is not open to the paying public? All in all though, it was a quite interesting visit and it wasn't just the kids that learned a thing or two.

The ruins of Muckross Friary are nearby but more then the six minutes indicated by a lady at the farm, unless walking over 1200 metres in six minutes is normal in Killarney! 
Kenmare Steeple

Again, we hadn’t visited before and on this occasion there were quite a few visitors here. The ruin of the 15th century friary is quite substantial, with views out to the lake, views than can be better appreciated by climbing up a few sets of steps. The cloisters are fairly well preserved, with a very large tree growing in the middle of the quadrangle. 

We also made a quick visit to Kenmare, including a recommended stop for excellent pancakes at the Strawberry Field, now celebrating 21 years in the Moll's Gap area. 

Then time to return to our beautiful overnight base, the renovated Cahernane House Hotel where we enjoy a terrific dinner, a pint or two in the reinvigorated Cellar Bar and a decent breakfast before heading home on the following day. A bientot, Killarney!

Kid on the Muckross farm



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Cahernane House Hotel. Renovated and Reinvigorated. And Ready for You.


Cahernane House Hotel. Renovated and Reinvigorated. And Ready for You.

Entrance and, right, evening view from dining-room

The high-ceilinged Herbert Room, the restaurant at the newly renovated Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney, has some beautiful views over Lough Leane right out to the high mountains. In the nearby fields, black Kerry cattle, horses and sheep graze and deer pass through heading to the safety of the trees for the night. Peace and quiet and just a few minutes drive from the town centre; indeed, you'd walk it in about 15 minutes.

We, of course, were there to dine and what a meal we had in the historic room, thanks to new head chef Eric Kavanagh and a very friendly, informative and efficient front of house team.
Dessert!

Beautiful breads and an amuse bouche got us off to a great start along with a sip or two from a bottle of delicious Verdejo, part of an impressive wine list. Starters featuring Cordal, the mild and delicious local goats cheese, and a very flavoursome Hay Infused Enriched Ham Broth with barley, were top notch.


These were followed by the Middle Course, 50 degree Olive Oil Poached Hake for her and a Buttermilk and Honey Sorbet with ginger for me, both gorgeous and not exactly small portions either.

Chicken mains



Time now for the main event and the standard remained deliciously high. My Cornfed chicken with Jasmine Tea and shiitake mushroom and more, was superb, a pleasure to dispatch. And CL’s line caught Cod, with smoked bacon dashi and seaweed was also exquisite.

Presentation had been neat and tidy all through but CL got a spectacular surprise with her dessert. Poached Rhubarb was the main description but the dish came in the form of a bird’s nest with the ricotta shaped into the eggs. My orange and almond cake may not have had the same visual impact but, served with lemongrass, yogurt, pineapple and white chocolate, it was quite a treat.
Breakfast, with Kenmare smoked salmon
We had stayed in the hotel at the end of 2016 and enjoyed the Cellar Bar there. This, like the Herbert Room, had been renovated but the change down the steps was spectacular. The bar itself is now at the other end of the space; there are new seats and more of them (the old ones had been comfortable but were coming to the end). And more tables are available and here you may have smaller plates during the day as a guest or indeed as a visitor. 


One thing that has not changed though, I'm glad to say, is that they are still serving a range of beers from the local Killarney Brewery and I was delighted to finish the night with their Scarlett Pimpernel IPA.


Our bedroom - we were media guests - was one of dozens upgraded over the winter. No cutbacks on space here and the decor is calming, greys and rose used. The bathroom is well equipped with a tub and a spacious shower and all the bits and bobs you’d need. And we had terrific views too. Depending on where you are, you may get the chance to see the deer on their early morning and late evening “migrations”.

In all, Cahernane has 40 rooms, 12 in the manor house and 28 in the Garden wing and another 22 are at the planning stage. There are still some minor works going on but apart from the driveway, nothing else for the summer months. Next winter the plan is to do the drawing rooms and the conservatory. There are some lovely public rooms here. And there could well be more, including an Orangery.





Hotel General Manager Emer Corridan told me that work has been ongoing over the winter months (the hotel was closed from January to March) and throughout the spring on extensive renovations to the historical property, and they are extremely pleased with the results. 

“The final phase of the refurbishment saw the total revamp of the Cellar Bar, which has re-invigorated the plush room into a homely and eclectic environment that feels as though it is steeped in history but is also fashionably modern. New life has been breathed into what was a beautiful historical building (1877) that had been falling into disrepair. Everything from the work on the bedrooms to the redesign of the restaurant has been carried out to the highest standards, and the feedback that we’ve received from guests has been very positive.”


Wheel rim lighting in the Cellar Bar.

“The extensive renovation to the Garden Wing has now been completed, with all 26 rooms being entirely stripped, modernised, and refurbished. Each room offers something different however, with every bedroom having its own personality that is portrayed through the wallpaper, paintings, and ornaments.”

The effort and the investment has paid off already with Cahernane recently included on the Condé Nast Johannsen’s list. No doubt the inclusion was aided by the wonderful location of Cahernane - it overlooks the Killarney National Park and the beautiful Lough Leane - and the fact that there are so many amenities and attractions nearby, not least the Ring of Kerry.
Main course of Cod at dinner

The Herbert Room is also the venue for breakfast. An excellent menu here. At the buffet, you have an extensive choice of fruits, seeds, nuts, berries, charcuterie, cheeses, juices, yogurts. On the hot side, you may order anything from porridge to the Full Irish.

We picked these items in between: the Smoked Salmon (Kenmare) and Bagel for me and the Buttermilk pancakes with Maple syrup for CL, both delicious and more than enough to keep us going for the morning.

Also on this trip:
The Strawberry Field and Pancake Cottage
Killarney. A Quick Visit
Dining in the Garden Room at the Great Southern


Monday, January 2, 2017

Best Hotel Dining Rooms 2016

2106: Best Hotel Dining Rooms 2016
Duck at Bellini's

Bellini's, Marlborough Hotel, Cork City
Scallops at Cahernane

Herbert Room, Cahernane House Hotel, Killarney
Baked Alaska (for table!) at Samphire

Samphire, Garryvoe Hotel, East Cork
Steak in The Pembroke

The Pembroke, Imperial Hotel, Cork City

2016 Reviews - see also
Cafes by the side of the road.
Best Places to Stay
Meals with a difference

Best Steaks & 3 Best non-Cork Restaurants 2016

2016: Best Places to Stay

Best Places to Stay 2016

Stayed in quite a few places this year. From Kerry to Meath, from Donegal to Dublin, from Limerick to Waterford,  from West Cork to Wexford. These were the best. Suggestions for 2017 welcome! 

 Screebe House, Connemara

Killiane Castle, Co. Wexford
Anyone for croquet at Killiane?

Cahernane House Hotel, Killarney.
Cahernane
Cork Recommendations
East Cork
Garryvoe Hotel, East Cork
Samphire Restaurant, Garryvoe Hotel
West Cork
 Celtic Ross Hotel, West Cork
Warren Beach, Rosscarbery


2016 Reviews - see also
Cafes by the side of the road.
Best Hotel Dining Rooms
Meals with a difference

Best Steaks & 3 Best non-Cork Restaurants 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Enjoyable Stay At Cahernane House Hotel

Enjoyable Stay At Cahernane House Hotel 
Killarney Gem

A superb dinner in the Herbert Room of the Cahernane House Hotel in Killarney was the highlight of a recent stay there. Breakfast wasn't bad either! You could say head chef Paul O’Connor made a good impression.

Indeed, we had nothing but good impressions during our visit, starting with the long tree-lined drive from the Muckross Road down to the late 19th century building in its superb location near the lakes. The native red deer passed slowly beneath our windows, just before dusk and just after sunrise.
Regular visitors

Our room was spacious and well-equipped. And the bar is a gem, situated in the original wine cellar. That high-ceilinged Herbert Room is another gorgeous spot, used for both dinner and breakfast, and there are some lovely public rooms as well, one with a fountain flowing. And the courteous staff were both welcoming and helpful.

Back to our dinner then and, as we studied the menu (five courses for €50.00), we nibbled on some delicious breads and dips. Quite a long wine list there too, a good variety of styles, grapes and countries. In the end, we picked the Prinz Von Hessen Riesling (34.00) and we were very happy with that!

After a tasty amuse bouche, the starters soon arrived. Mine was the Pan-seared Castletownbere scallops, cauliflower, black pudding and samphire. Nicely presented and well appreciated! Ardsallagh’s goats Parfait with Beetroot, basil and balsamic was CL’s choice and she too opened with a winner.
Scallops

Next up was the middle course. I was thinking sorbet and indeed it was one of the three choices listed. I thought the other two would be very small but either could have passed for a starter. And they were both excellent. One was Pan-seared Mackerel, heritage potato, fine beans, black olives, the other a Garden Salad of Pickled Pear, truffle ficelle, and smoked bacon crumb.

That pan was busy again for our mains. I love Turbot and the affair continued with a slightly spiced and throughly lovely dish: Pan-seared Turbot, Chestnut mushroom, girolles, truffle and Savoy cabbage. Great mix of flavour and texture, the fresh fish cooked to perfection and much the same could be said about CL’s Pan-seared Cod, artichoke, hazelnut textures, raisins and brandade.
Dessert

Our confidence in the chef and his team was building all the time and we were looking forward to dessert. We weren't let down! Far from it. Presentation for my Crème Brûlée was outstanding as was the dish itself: Passionfruit Crème Brûlée, with raspberry sorbet and pistachio tuile. CL’s classy treat was Blackberry Choux (choux pastry, blackberry curd, marshmallow gel and wild berry creme fraiche).

We would, of course, be back in the Herbert Room for breakfast, for one of the very best breakfasts around. Full Irish yes but many great choices. Don't want to bore you with too many details but one to watch out for is the Pear, Brioche and Cheese, a mouth-watering morning treat of Grilled Vanilla Poached Pear, Toasted Brioche and St Tola Goats Cheese curd.
Breakfast Pear, Brioche, Cheese

We also made a couple of calls to that unusual Cellar Bar, making ourselves comfortable in the capacious armchairs. They have quite a selection of drinks here, lots of Irish spirits including local gins (among them Blackwater and Bertha’s Revenge) and the craft beers by Killarney Brewing take pride of place on the counter.

I just felt the need to continue my research in these comfortable surroundings. My favourite whiskey was undoubtedly the Jameson Black Barrel, rich and full and with an reverberating long finish, another gem in the range.
Breakfast bagel: smoked salmon, scrambled egg.

Killarney Brewing tell some tall yarns but the beers are pretty good too.We had been surprised by the red colour of their IPA but that Ale is named after a local hero who was known as the Scarlett Pimpernel. In any event, it was the Devil’s Helles Lager that caught the attention and the taste buds of CL. Had to check that out then and that made the verdict unanimous. Clean and crisp with a hint of hops, this is a good one.
Cellar Bar

After our final breakfast, it was time to settle up and say farewell to Cahernane House with a promise to be back. It is a great location to enjoy Killarney. And no bother either about going further afield. We visited Crag Cave in Castleisland. Valentia Island was our furthest trip while the nearest was Torc Mountain (where we managed to get to the top). No doubt the good food helped, not too sure about the drink though! 




See also:
The drive down