Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Barnabrow where Bowes sprinkles his Kitchen Magic

Barnabrow where Bowes sprinkles his Kitchen Magic

Barnabrow means "Top of the Fairy Fort" and here, in the medieval-style banqueting hall, the Trinity Rooms, Head Chef Stuart Bowes continues to delight and surprise.

It is an ace place for weddings and family celebrations but did you know you may also enjoy a delicious Sunday lunch here? It was one of our first calls this year and just as enjoyable as always, thanks to the superb local produce, the very friendly front of house and the confident skills of the kitchen.

Stuart is quite a versatile chef and has been sharpening his baking skills in recent years. And we were reminded of that when we sat down as his sourdough, with Glenilen butter, arrived with the menus. We had to restrain ourselves with the bread as we knew there were three courses ahead! Even a fourth as the coffee (or tea) and petit fours are also included for a fairly priced twenty nine euro. And, by the way, there is also an excellent Children’s Menu (which can include half-portions of the adult for half the price).

O’Connell’s Irish Beef is a regular here, a very attractive dish indeed, but this time my pick was the Roast Leg of Midleton Lamb, with baked beans, chorizo, crispy kale, thyme and lamb jus. The top notch meat was very much enhanced by the beans and the chorizo and a terrific jus.


There were four mains offered in all including a vegetarian option featuring Sautéed Wild Mushrooms. CL likes her fish and her choice was the Baked Fillet of Atlantic Halibut with pea purée, crispy kale, and Parmesan cream. Another superb combination, faultlessly cooked and presented, and that cream was a key part of it.

While quality is more or less a given here, you won’t lack for quantity either! And our main were accompanied by a large dish of seasonal veg (including broccoli and cauliflower) and roast potatoes.

Oak Smoked Salmon with Roast Garden Beetroot, caper dressing and vegetable crisps was CL’s starter. That, including those tasty crisps, got a big thumbs up. And it was a similar reaction from me for my Warm Clonakilty Black Pudding salad with Feta, crispy potato, apple, and tomato dressing, perfectly put together. Two very clean plates went back to the kitchen.

Also in the starter menu were a Whipped Ardsallagh Goats Cheese with pickled red onion and hazelnut dressing and a Spiced Parsnip Soup.
Crème Brulée

Would we have dessert? Of course. Just could not resist the Archer’s Crème Brulée with shortbread, a few raspberries adding colour to the temptation. And the Iced Parfait of Atlantic Sea Salt and Caramel, marshmallows and strawberry sauce, was another winner. Also on offer was a Chocolate and hazelnut brownie with Chantilly Cream and raspberry and A Selection of ice-cream and sorbet.

We finished off in style with excellent coffee and a few petit fours, a meltingly gorgeous fudge and a sea salt and caramel chocolate. Oh, by the way, you may also buy these treats if you want to take a few home.

The word Barnabrow means "Top of the Fairy Fort" and is a magical, romantic wedding setting. The country house is situated on 35 acres perched high on a hillside overlooking the rolling countryside of East Cork with tantalising glimpses of Ballycotton Bay. 

Great for big events and smaller ones too, such as private parties and meetings. It has quaint and quirky accommodations in a mysterious labyrinth of buildings offering the perfect secret getaway and also has quite a few holiday cottages in the grounds. It has its own organic walled-garden, a big help to the kitchen with its seasonal supplies.

* After their seasonal break, Barnabrow will be serving Sunday lunch from next Sunday (Feb 9th).

Co. Cork
Tel: (021) 465 2534

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