Kinsale’s Trident Hotel. Spectacular, Inside and Out
|View from the Bridal Suite|
Kinsale’s Trident Hotel must be one of the most spectacularly situated hotels in the country. Whenever I enter a room there, the view over the water makes me stop and look.
And that was even more the case recently as I was part of a group being shown the renovated bedrooms, all with new linen and pillows. The hotel is three-sided (the water completes the square) and all rooms have a view of the water. There are 75 in all, all with breath-taking views of a part of the Bandon River estuary, the harbour or the busy port and pier.
|In the Bridal Suite|
The Bridal Suite is probably the most stunning. It has an expanded view of the water, at least on two sides, and you can see it even better once you stroll out to its exclusive balcony. Again it is beautifully decorated, with living and loving areas. Even spotted a copy of the Kingdom of Wine by local author Ted Murphy among the distractions there. By the way, it is not just newly-married couples that end up here! So start working on the love of your life and get him or her down here.
The smallest rooms (and they are not really small) are the Superior. This class has just a shower, no bath. But it shares much the same outstanding decor as the others, the colours of the fabrics and the walls, all calm and soothing. While walking along the corridors, I was struck by the restful colour combination, mainly white and grey on the walls, blue and grey in the carpet, and a little extra colour in the curtains. All very peaceful throughout.
|Evening view from Pier One restaurant|
The Executive Rooms are very popular. They have thirty of them, ten on each floor, extremely well equipped and very spacious and possibly with the more expansive of the views.
And if you are bringing the family, they have just the room for you. The Family Rooms are just that bit more roomy with a large sofa (doubles as a pull-out bed) for the kids or maybe it’s for the tired Mom and Dad.
The Signature suites are perched on the water's edge, with breath-taking views of Kinsale harbour from the large floor to ceiling windows and private balcony overlooking Kinsale harbour. You’ll enjoy additional comfort and space, a super king size bed, an Nespresso machine and more.
Pier One, again with a great view, is the restaurant. It is used mainly for large group events, such as wine tastings. And it is also where’ll you’ll get breakfast. They lay on quite a spread here, with real cheese and ham included. Loads of fruit too, plus breads and cereals. And a choice of hot dishes of course, including the full Irish (and any variation you wish) and a fish option. I choose the latter on this occasion and certainly enjoyed my two fillets of plaice (which I think a passing seagull fancied as he lingered outside the window).
Downstairs is the busy Wharf Bar and it is here that most of the daily dining, including dinner, takes place. They have a new menu and manager Hal McElroy and his staff, led by chefs Shirley Forde and Frank O’Reilly, had quite a tasting set up for our group of visitors that included many service providers in the local tourist industry.
The food (and drink!) was all arranged in the spacious Pier One as the Wharf was, of course, busy serving evening meals to the residents. Lots of local suppliers mentioned on the menu including Riverview Eggs, Quigley Meats, John Barrett butcher, Shannonvale, Clona and Sean Bohan, Matt O’Connell, Haven Shellfish, Horizon Farms, Pallas Green and Allfresh.
Not surprisingly, the fish samples caught my attention. The Stir-fried Fillet of Monkfish & Mussels on a bed of basmati rice and with its mild creamy curry sauce was a stand-out. Then again the Seared fillet of sea bass with sugar snap peas also impressed as did the slider of the Wharf Burger.
Lots of other tempting dishes on the new menu including Chicken Supreme, John Barrett’s local Sirloin Steak, the Aged Irish Lamb Rump, Kinsale Seafood Bake, George's Homemade Chicken Goujons, Traditional Fish and Chips, and the Pea and Broad Bean Risotto. Fairly priced too with prices ranging from 12.95 to 24.95.
|Sweet tasters in Pier One, with a Knuttel on the wall.|
Some tempting starters too, everything from Mussels Mariniere to Wild Mushroom Gratin to a sharing Plate of West Cork Charcuterie (featuring Gubbeen chorizo). There is a full bar here of course with local beer and cider featured and a varied wine list too. A Loire Sauvignon blanc will cost you €6.50 a glass and if the budget stretches you may enjoy a bottle of Chateau Corbin Michotte St Emilion Grand Cru 2006 for €80.00.
You’ll find some of the same dishes on the Daytime Menu. The big difference at lunch is the Ultimate Sandwich section. You may have the Smoked Atlantic Salmon Salad, perhaps the Wharf Toasted Special, maybe the Smoked Bacon BLT. Fancy something more substantial? Then the Seared John Barrett Steak Baguette will surely fit the bill!
After all that, I dropped down to the Wharf to finish off the enjoyable evening. This bar has a nautical feel – designed by local yacht designer, Rob Jacob, to resemble elements of an old sailing ship, it is complete with portholes, decking, vaulted panel & beam ceiling and rope-wound galleon masts. And once the weather picks up, you can drink al fresco at the Foredeck Bar on the water’s edge with outdoor seating and splendid views of the harbour and estuary.
|Check the ships as they come and go|
* Just a reminder from Trident manager Hal McElroy about the 8th annual All-Ireland Chowder Cook-Off 2018, which will take place in Kinsale, Co Cork on Sunday 22nd April. This hugely popular event, hosted by the town’s Good Food Circle and an association of local restaurants, sees restaurants, cafés and bars compete to become the “All-Ireland Chowder Champion”.
|Serious reading for the bride and groom!|