It has been a long time since I visited Aherne’s in Youghal and I made up for that this weekend with a trip to try their tasting menu:

Flat Oysters with a mini-Guinness;

Seared Castletownbere Scallop with an Herb Butter. Drink: Prosecco;

Grilled Sea Bass with Avocado & Chilli Salsa. Drink: Sauvignon Blanc;

Smoked Parmesan & Roast Vegetable Risotto. Drink: Alsace-Gewurztraminer "Hugel";

Aherne’s Sorbet;

Surf & Turf (Char-grilled Baby Fillet Steak & Prawns) Chile. Drink: Chile Crucero Cabernet Sauvignon;

Farmhouse Cheese. Drink: Warre's 1999 Late Bottled Vintage Port;

Sticky Toffee Pudding;

Irish Coffee.

Quite a meal. We were first in to the restaurant at seven and it was ten or afterwards before we finished. Business was quite slack on Friday, maybe a calm before the storm of Mother’s day.

The standard, as you’d expect, was very high indeed. All the courses were excellent and highlights included the scallop; the bass and particularly the salsa; the risotto also; steak (not quite the baby indicated) was splendid as was the cheese selection, not to mention the port; the sticky toffee was very rich and so tempting and the Irish Coffee rounded it all off.

Service was very friendly and efficient throughout our stay and we also enjoyed our breakfast the following morning. I almost forget the bread, brilliant at both meals.

The hotel part is rather small, there being just eight or nine rooms. But the rooms and the beds are very spacious and very comfortable. There are tea and coffee making facilities and the bathroom is well stocked.

All in all, a very enjoyable experience. But if you want to catch the Friday meal cum accommodation offer that we had, you’ll have to be quick as it runs out this month.