Showing posts with label Killarney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Killarney. Show all posts

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Whiskey Experience in Killarney. Whiskey Galore. Food Too.

The Whiskey Experience in Killarney
Whiskey Galore. Food Too

Here, in a bright room in Killarney, you are surrounded by whiskey. Hundreds of bottles line the shelves. Maybe a 1,000 different types, from Ireland, Scotland, United States and the rest of the world. What do you want?  Aromatic? Complex? Fruity? You’ll surely find it here in the Irish Whiskey Experience in New Street.

But you might be better to visit the website first and go through the listings. You’ll find about 35 pages, 20 bottles per page, new ones, old ones, extremely expensive ones, and thankfully many less expensive ones. Make a short list before calling to Killarney!
Once a major player

And if you know nothing about whiskey, well they’ll teach you. Lots of masterclasses daily, for the expert, for the enthusiast, for the newbie! Oh, by the way, you’ll also be fed here in the Celtic Whiskey Bar and Larder  where they have quite a decent menu, from morning 'til night!

We booked ahead on the site and after a warm welcome were soon seated with the menus, both drink (some excellent craft beers, local gins, and wines also available) and food. After putting in the food order, I began to look at the spirits, the whiskey in particular.

I remember hearing down in the distillery in Midleton that one of the best, if underrated, whiskeys in their vast portfolio is the Jameson Crested and that, at €5.65, was my first choice. I really enjoyed that very pleasant soft whiskey, full bodied, packed with vibrant flavours and spice, a lovely balance of oak and wood, a long warm finish and a winner for me. This is a blend of course of pot still and grain whiskeys.

My next was also a blend. The Tullamore Dew 12 Year Old Special Reserve has been aged (for between 12 and 15 years) in both Bourbon and Oloroso (Sherry) barrels and cost €6.95 per glass (35.5ml). Again this was spicy and smooth and very enjoyable but I must say I preferred the Crested Ten. 

So It just goes to show that you should be guided by your own preferences, certainly not by price! And remember it is individual preferences that keep our local master distillers in form. If everyone went by price, it would soon put a stop to much of the enthusiasm and innovation among the individual distillers, the men and women who give us a wide and exciting range of choice.

Better tell you about the food offering. They start here in the morning with scones and blaas and so on. Then some nibbles, soda bread, various cheese offerings, and more. As the day goes on, small plates and plates come into their own.
Part of the bar

We enjoyed a couple of small plates. I choose the Quinlan’s Smoked Salmon salad with a buttermilk dressing (7.95). Kerry based Quinlan have a great reputation for their salmon and this was excellent. CL too had a lovely salad: St Tola’s Goat cheese with roasted beets, toasted almonds, chives (10.25).
St Tola

Then we moved on to the plates, a little bit more substantial, but I’m sure you can have two small plates if that’s what you want. Anyhow, her next salad wasn't as good, not dressed at all. That came with Wild Atlantic Fishcakes (12.50) and Irish Rapeseed mayonnaise.

I had better luck with a traditional dish that you rarely get out these days: Lamb Liver, with streaky bacon and slathered in a delicious onion gravy and served with sourdough toast (14.95). This was absolutely delicious. 
Delicious liver dish!

Desserts are available, mainly an excuse to try out various drinks with Kenmare ice-creams! And there’s Irish Coffee of course. Next time!

The Whiskey Experience has been open since March and is a great addition to the town. It is bright and comfortable, family friendly too I noted on the night, and the staff are helpful and friendly. A visit is recommended.

The Irish Whiskey Experience
Celtic Whiskey Killarney Bar & Larder
93 New Street
Killarney
Co. Kerry
(064) 663 5700
Facebook: @CelticWhiskeyBarLarder

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Randles Hotels Celebrate 50 Years

Ross Castle on the lakes, quite close to Randles Court and Dromhall hotels.
Randles Hotels Celebrate 50 Years
First she said she was six. A little later, Kay Randles admitted to maybe being sixteen when she and husband Neil started in the hotel business in 1964.  That was the year they purchased a bungalow across the road from their thriving garage business in Killarney and opened an 18 bedroom hotel on the site.


Sadly Neil died in 1987 and Kay was left to carry on managing the Dromhall and the other family businesses as well as rearing their six children, three of them at that stage involved in the family business. No stopping Kay and in 1992, The Rectory next door was purchased and another hotel built, this the Randles Court, a 4 star hotel.

The family decided to knock down the Dromhall in 1999 and in June of the following year, it was reopened as the brand new 72 bedroom, conference and banqueting hotel, that it is today, along with the well known Kayne’s Bar and Bistro which is attached to the hotel.
View from the terrace of Randles Court

So in 2014, the four star Dromhall celebrates 50 years in business and that means fifty years in her own hotel business for Kay who still continues to play a major role in its management. The young lady from Kilworth has come a long way from her days working up the ranks in the Victoria Hotel in Cork City. Her teenage dream of having her own guesthouse has been spectacularly surpassed. It was great to have a brief chat with her on a recent visit, even if we didn't get anywhere, not that I was pushing, about her true age back in 1964.

Daughter Susan is the Sales and Marketing Director at Randles Hotels and she is expecting a busy season. We met in the stylish and comfortable drawing room of Randles Court and indeed that style is present throughout the hotel, much of it thanks to Kay.

Susan says that not all diners now require a sit down three or four course meal and so the Randles menu has been adjusted, is more flexible. You can of course still get your big meals but, between the bar menu and the restaurant menu (and that Checkers Restaurant is another striking room), you can have small meals and in-between ones (light bites from seven euro) as well.


Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Kay Randles start
the celebrations earlier in May.

Everything from Marinated Olives for two euro to a steak. The steaks, served with a Knockanore Smoked Cheese, Onion and Mushroom Tart, Garlic and Rosemary infused Tomato and Pommery Mustard Cream, are supplied by Cronin’s and are as popular as ever.

Late in the evening, we enjoyed some banter and a lovely glass of Rioja in Wiggs Bar and The Conservatory. Wiggs Killarney Bar brings you back in time as it is part of the original building dating back to 1906. Even the stained glass feature has been maintained. Indeed, the original facade of the Rectory has also been maintained and fronts the hotel's reception area.

Our room in Randles Court, by the way, had everything we needed, including WI-FI and views of the mountains, but we also enjoyed some very comfortable furniture and there was no shortage of paintings on the walls. Indeed, you’ll see lots of paintings and sculptures and occasional furniture throughout the hotel, in the rooms and along the corridors. Kay has been collecting for a long time!


The facade of the old rectory was maintained.

And the same high standard is seen in the breakfast room. Terrific service and quite a menu here as well, including the ever popular Full Irish! And they do list their suppliers. On the day, I picked the freshly made Crèpes Normande with Apple Purée. A slightly different start to yet another lovely day in Killarney.

The adjacent Dromhall is another four star hotel and you may check out its many facilities here. We didn’t get to visit this time but we did eat there about a year ago and it was a very enjoyable meal indeed as you can see in this post. And you’ll find a previous review of Randles Court here.

Jarveys pick up passengers in hotel car park

Both hotels are within minutes of Killarney town centre and are ideally situated as a base for the nearby National Park and also the spectacular Ring of Kerry. Killarney is one of my favourite towns as there is so much do in the immediate area and even more in the general County Kerry area. Either of the Randles hotels would make a terrific base if you are following the newly established Wild Atlantic Way.

Other posts on this trip:
The new Heather Restaurant. Eat in style at the Gap of Dunloe.
Twenty Four Hours in Killarney. New bus services.



If you do get to Kerry you may not want to leave. I have details of things to do and see available in my Corkman on Tour blog. See the Kerry portfolio here.

Crèpes Normande for breakfast.





Wednesday, April 16, 2014

West End Winner

West End Winner In Killarney Town
Amuse Bouche
Enjoyed a terrific meal at Killarney’s West End House Restaurant at the weekend. It was superb from start to finish, well cooked and well presented food and top notch service from the moment we walked in to this comfortable place.

Buns in a sack!


A tasty Amuse Bouche, featuring Duck Confit, was followed by two tremendous, somewhat unusual starters. Mine was a delicious delight, packed with flavours and textures: Quail - spiced breast, confit sweet potato, quail eggs, merguez, salted grapes and avocado (12.95). And much the same could be said about CL’s which was Rabbit - Ballotine, black pudding, pickled carrot and broad bean  (11.95).
Rabbit (top) and quail starters
They had quite a list of mains but we each picked from the specials and they were special, each every enjoyable indeed. One was Brill with Asparagus, artichoke, baby peppers  Beetroot purée (28.50) while the other was Seared duck breast, chermoula, pak choi, spiced lentil,  jus (29.50). Yum on the double here.
Brill
And there was still room for desserts. One was a Crème Brulée with a difference: Kahlua (a coffee-flavored rum-based liqueur) and Espresso Crème Brulée served with a Coffee Macaron while CL’s was also quite prefect: Apple - Tart Tatin, Vanilla Bean ice cream, salt butter fudge, whiskey caramel sauce. Each came in at  €7.50.
Duck
The West End re-opened last year after large scale renovations and the team have got their act together pretty quickly. Not alone is the cooking and presentation top class but the portion sizes are really well judged and you can enjoy your three courses without feeling bloated at the end. Must say also that their potatoes and vegetables, that come in the side  dishes, are also cooked to perfection. Besides, it is a lovely place with some five dining rooms in all, and a very friendly front of house team. Didn't meet anyone at the back but they too obviously know their stuff. Very Highly Recommended.

Apple


Phone
(064) 663 2271
Email
info@westendhouse.com
Website
Tue - Sat: 6.00 pm - 9:30 pm

Yum!



Friday, February 22, 2013

Treyvaud’s, a Killarney Gem


Treyvaud’s, a Killarney Gem

Treyvaud’s is a gem among Kerry restaurants, a friendly place, noted for its fantastic game night. Paul is the friendly face of Treyvaud’s, starring in numerous food videos on You Tube  (in one, he takes a chain saw to a deer carcase!) and also the author of a book about the business. Paul and brother Mark run the High Street restaurant that is open for both lunch and dinner.

Walked in the last Saturday at lunch-time and thought we’d be on our own, the main reason being that at least half the town were up the country supporting the local football team. But Paul was expecting them back that evening as bookings were strong. And, as it turned out, numbers at lunch also picked up.
Chowder

There were three of us, including one local who likes the place and says she never has any fear of recommending it. And as we went through the meal, we could see why.

The two ladies started with the soup (5.95) while I choose the Chowder (7.50). This was described as Fresh Seafood Chowder with a melody of shrimp, mussels, and salmon served with homemade bread By the time I reached the end of the deep bowl, I was singing the praises of this gorgeous “melody”.

The Lunch Menu is divided in various sections, including Nibbles, Sambos, Mark’s Specials and Tasty Salads. Treyvaud’s Fish Cakes (with wholegrain mustard and garlic Aioli) lurked among the Nibbles and were promptly seized upon by the two ladies and that meant I had two happy diners alongside me.

I was really tempted by the four dishes under Mark’s Specials and eventually picked the first: Treyvaud’s Homemade pie with Mashed Potato. Some beautiful meat here under a perfect cover of spud, quantity and quality combined to make yet another happy customer.

We had started with some very tasty breads and finished off the very enjoyable meal with excellent coffees.
So, if you ever find yourself wandering around Killarney looking for food, I can certainly recommend Treyvauds.

62 High Street
Killarney, Co Kerry
Phone (064) 663 3062
Email info@treyvaudsrestaurant.com
Website http://www.treyvaudsrestaurant.com
Mon: 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Tue - Thu: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 12:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Strawberry Field


The Strawberry Field
Sneem

On the road from Sneem (Co. Kerry) to Moll’s Gap, there is a place called A Strawberry Field  where you will find Pancake Cottage, which is open all year round. The views from the garden are splendid but not so last Saturday as the rain was coming and going.
Warm inside Pancake Cottage

We had earlier called to Sneem for a quick walk around, having a look at only some the many sculptures in the little town and also at the river as it rushed under the bridge. Then we took that rising road and enjoyed some decent views, despite the cloud kissing the mountain tops.
The Garden

The Strawberry Field is nearer Moll’s Gap than Sneem and is on the left hand side. We just had time for a cup of coffee (Illy) and never got to the pancakes. And that may be just as well as we’d have definitely missed our appointment in Killarney.
Pancake Cottage

The selection of toppings just goes on and on, sweet and savoury and also a kids menu. Our friend in Killarney told us she stopped there once for one and ended up eating a series, her ultimate destination never reached. It is that kind of place.
The Lakes

There is some home-baking here also, including scones and a traditional Dutch apple pie, good teas and coffees and soft drinks, including water from their own well, soup also. In addition, there is a side room that contains a little craft shop, with photos, paintings and craft products for sale.

But we resisted, promising ourselves we’d call again, and headed on to Moll’s Gap and eventually to our meeting in Killarney and a lovely lunch in Treyvaud’s. Not a bad half-day’s work!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Randall’s Court. A Star in Killarney.

Randall’s Court. A Star in Killarney.
National Park
Randall’s Court was my base for a recent two night stay in Killarney. Must say I was really impressed with this four star venue. Not just with its location but with the room, the staff, and the service all the way from check-in to check-out. There is some parking up by the hotel but there is an ample under-ground car park just off the road
Heavy duty curtain
 The room was top notch and so too were the well heated public spaces, no shortage of comfortable chairs and lounges. The dining room, split in two, is marvellous, really eye catching. And all over the hotel, there are paintings (even a mural in one part of the dining-room) and objects of old furniture that also catch the eye.
Hotel Terrace and view

Smoked salmon breakfast
Killarney is well situated to do the Ring of Kerry and is not too far away (75 minutes) from the fantastic Dingle peninsula. The hotel, just a few minutes’ walk from the town centre, is quite close to the National Park and its many lovely walks.
Comfort
 Didn’t get to eat dinner here but did enjoy a terrific meal in the Dromhall, the sister hotel next door. Breakfast though gave a good indication that quality and service are high here. You had everything needed for an excellent breakfast, hot or cold, even a mixture, and no shortage of friendly smiling people to help you ease in to the day.
Just in case!


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kayne’s Bistro at the Dromhall Hotel

Kayne’s Bistro at the Dromhall Hotel

 Called into Kayne’s Bistro at the Dromhall Hotel recently and enjoyed an excellent evening meal there. Was staying at the adjacent Randle’s Court and strolled over on a Saturday for a 7.00pm reservation and got a warm welcome. Soon we were comfortably seated and enjoying the rapport with a very friendly and helpful staff.

Started off with their €7.95 Signature Salad ((described as Fresh herb salad, sun blushed tomatoes, pine nuts (missing), crisp croutons (missing), roasted peppers)) with a Balsamic dressing and Char-grilled chicken added. Very enjoyable indeed, also quite substantial, and didn’t really notice the absence of the pine nuts and crisp croutons.
 Then onto to the Plat Principal, the Grilled Irish Prime Beef fillet (€26.95) served with champ potato, garlic butter, and crisp onion rings, and sautéed mushrooms. Not to mention a side dish of gorgeous seasonal vegetables. The steak was excellent, done to perfection and to order.
 Dessert? Well why not? Hung for a sheep as... Each cost €6.95 and the one I picked was the Lemon Tart (a lemon flavoured chilled crème anglaise on a sweet pastry base). Just the sweet job, delicious.


Had been sipping a bottle of a pleasant South African Merlot (Libertas 2010 €24.50) all the way through and finished off with a pot of green tea before heading downstairs to the bar and the music. Enjoyable evening all round in a highly recommended venue.