Showing posts with label Mikey Ryan's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mikey Ryan's. Show all posts

Monday, June 18, 2018

24 Hours on a Midlands Loop. Heritage Hotel - Mikey Ryan’s - DEW - Birr Castle - National Stud-Japanese Gardens


24 Hours on a Midlands Loop
Heritage Hotel - Mikey Ryan’s - DEW
Birr Castle - National Stud-Japanese Gardens
Small waterfall in Birr castle grounds

 With the improvements in Ireland’s roads, one can pack a lot into twenty four hours as our recent run illustrates, from Cashel to Birr to Tullamore to Laois and then a grand finalé in Kildare.
Here's looking at you. Birr's Giant Telescope


When you’re on tour, even one as short as this, you need a good base. We had an excellent one in the Heritage Hotel in Killenard on Co. Laois, just a couple of minutes from the motorway, ideally situated for all our visits.
In the lobby of the Heritage

There is an amazing 4-storey staircase (left) here, based, we’re told, on that of the Titanic and exceedingly popular for wedding photos. Indeed, there are very expensive special overhead lights installed to help achieve the best shot.

The lobby and that staircase are indeed spectacular and the whole enterprise speaks of space and comfort. There is a magnificent high-ceilinged dining room, the Arlington, and the food is top class. You may also dine in the Slieve Bloom Bar. No craft beer here but they do have plenty of gins including a few local ones, Brennan’s and the more impressive Mór.

Breakfast is also taken in the Arlington and again it is impeccable. There is even a generous display of breads and cereals for coeliacs. Staff are very friendly throughout and even volunteered directions as we headed off in the morning.

Had been tipped off about Mikey Ryan’s, the relatively new Gastro-pub in Cashel, and that was our first call on the way from Cork. Very impressed and enjoyed a lovely lunch there.

An hour or so later and we were in Birr, heading for the castle and grounds. It has no dedicated parking so you park across the way and, by the way, you pay seven days out of seven.

There is a separate tour of the castle, but only in the mornings. The grounds are well kept but I love how the meadows are allowed grow, especially the wildflowers. You’ll have no problems finding your way around.


The arches

One of the highlights for us was undoubtedly The Great Telescope, built by the 3rd Earl of Rosse in 1845 and, for over 70 years, the biggest in the world. It is still an amazing sight, still impressive.


Natural light

Wisteria 100 years+
The Spring Wildflower Meadows have not been ploughed since at least 1620 and look out also for a couple of ancient oaks, The Carroll and the Meridian (both about 500 years old).

Make your way to the formal gardens and the amazing hornbeam arches, in the form of cloisters, with “windows” cut out of the hedges. And another highlight is the Wisteria, over 100 years old. It flowers impressively in May-June so we timed our visit well! Close by is the Moon Gate celebrating the family’s links with China.

Lots more to see here; no shortage of facilities either, including a café.

Back to the car then and the flat drive to Tullamore for a tour and tasting at the DE Williams refurbished bonded warehouse (they have a new distillery on the outskirts of the town). No parking though at the warehouse - you’ll have to take pot luck in the area. We found the tour efficient rather than engaging before trying three of the whiskies at the end: the original, the 12 year old reserve, and the 15 year old Trilogy (my favourite). More on our DEW visit here.

Our final destination was the National Stud and the Japanese Gardens, two names but one place, one ticket. One outstanding visit, check out our excellent experience here. After a lot of walking and listening, we enjoyed lunch in the lovely airy café onsite before hitting the motorway and heading home.
Japanese Gardens
See also, from this visit:
National Stud and Japanese Gardens
More Photos of Visit to National Stud and Japanese Gardens
Mikey Ryan's Cashel

Monday, June 11, 2018

Looking for a sure thing? Mikey Ryan’s has the answer


Looking for a sure thing?
Mikey Ryan’s has the answer.
Crisps.

On the M8 and feeling peckish? Call in to Mikey Ryan’s in Cashel and they’ll sort that out for you. They have a lovely outside area at the back but the glass lined interior restaurant is also bright, not least because of a series of skylights. Lots of horsey pictures around here too and, if you keep your ears open, you might well pick up a tip and cover the cost of your nosh.

Just thought I’d let you know. Because if you are strolling down the main street, you wouldn’t give tuppence (about 2.5 cent) for it. Not that it looks dowdy; far from it, but the exterior does look like a thousand other pubs in Ireland. 
Exterior

Inside is where the magic happens and you’ll see it at work as you pass the kitchen area on the way to your table. We got there for lunch recently and thought we’d start with a few nibbles. The Sweet Potato Crisps with smoked chili salt and the Mixed Olives would fit that bill, we thought. Portions are generous in Tipp. If the quantity was up then so too was the quality. A very enjoyable start!

Our main courses were arriving now. CL went for The Nourish Bowl, one of a few dishes that comes in two sizes. Colours, flavours, and crunch galore in this mixed salad of spiced chickpeas, smashed avocados, herb tofu, pickled beets and sauerkraut. No holding her back after that.
Fish Cakes

I was well pleased too after my Castletownbere crab cakes served with wild rocket and celery heart salad with lemon and dill dressing. Enjoyed the textures and the flavours there and, yes, there was no shortage of crab meat.

Spotted a White Gypsy tap in the bar on the way in. They also serve the local Tipperary whiskey, Bertha’s Revenge gin and Kalak vodka (another local drink). In the garden, you may order your drink, including cocktails, from the Horse Box Bar (it is a horse box). 

Good news too on the wine front as the list at Mikey’s “has been carefully curated with a focus on small estate, mostly organic and biodynamic wines. We are interested in showcasing wines from makers who believe in minimal intervention and take a natural approach to the process of wine producing.” 
Power-pack!

Artisan food producers are also supported here and you’ll see Toons Bridge, Cashel Blue, Galtee Honey, Gubbeen, KIllenure Castle (dexter), The Good Herdsmen, Annie’s Organic Farm and Comfrey Cottage Cashel among those mentioned. 

Reflecting the food philosophy of Chef Liam Kirwin, the menu “is founded on the culinary principles of freshness, seasonality and a focus on quality ingredients prepared with care”. My kind of restaurant and very highly recommended.

* Do check out the toilets, they are high class, as good as you’ll get in a five star hotel. And keep listening for those racing tips!


Mikey Ryan’s
Main Street
Cashel 
Co Tipperary
tel (062) 62007