|Starter: Hot Smoked Salmon|
Killarney’s Lake Hotel And Its Many Attractions
It is just after the crack of dawn. The sun, hidden by trees to the east, is managing to scatter a light gold over the mountains that surround the lake. The morning is frosty, the grass white. A deer stops in his tracks. He looks behind to see the source of the faint noise. It is a photographer.
|View from the room|
Not me! I’m on a balcony on 3rd floor of the Lake Hotel in Killarney. One of my favourites places to stay. I had it in my head to get some sunrise photos but had to settle for the deer instead (and an early breakfast!). The deer regularly appear between the hotel and water at dusk and dawn.
Located on the lakeshore, about two kms from Killarney town, the location of the hotel is splendid, the views magnificent. It even has its own promontory in front, complete with a 12th Century floodlit castle.
It has been in the Huggard family since the 1940s and the welcome here is always warm and they especially love to see customers returning. You can relax, enjoy the views and the National Park next door and they will also feed you very well indeed.
|Morning has broken|
Our recent two-night package included dinner and we choose to take that in the magnificent Castlelough Restaurant on the second evening (we had breakfast there each morning). Some terrific choices on the menu; the food was very well prepared and presented. They have quite a wine selection here but, on this occasion, we enjoyed the lager and ales produced by the local Killarney Brewing Company.
There were six regular appetisers to choose from (after a delicious Beetroot led Amuse Bouche) plus two specials. One of our picks was the Scots Pine Smoked Salmon (pickled shallots, confit lemon, dill oil, burnt lemon powder and Horseradish cream). A terrific mix of textures and flavours.
Our other was one of the specials: a parcel of Beef Cheek with truffle celeriac purée and confit potatoes roast just. That too was very well appreciated, a hearty and flavoursome beginning and, again, so well presented.
Took our time choosing the mains but we were both happy with the outcome. One was Lightly Spiced Monkfish (with roasted Peppers, Saffron Potato,, and Curry Cream). That spice element was moderate, very well judged indeed, leading to a very satisfactory and elegant plateful.
And the accompaniments also played a key role in elevating the Pan Fried Fillet of Halibut and they were Squid Ink Gnocchi, Seaweed butter, Braised Baby Vegetables and Shellfish Bisque. Magnifique!
Of course, this being Ireland, there were sides also, selection of fresh vegetables plus the most delightful potatoes (with garlic, herbs and cream).
|Lager by Killarney Brewing|
Our picks were the light and superb Apple Cider Baba (Granny Smith Apple Compote, Honey & Yogurt Parfait) and the ever so slightly more supple Black Sesame Cremeux (blackberry textures, coconut mousse and blackberry sorbet). No effort required to get fully acquainted with these smooth treats.
Later, we headed to the bar, The Devil’s Punchbowl, to continue on the Killarney beer trail. They have music here in this very comfortable room a few evenings each week.
|Frosty rim on the mountain just after dawn|
Needless to say, our bedroom was also top notch, spacious and with that balcony (it will cost you a few euro extra but is worth it!). We had all the facilities we needed including a jacuzzi bath. The hotel also has a wellness centre and lots of parking.
|Fueling up for another day in|
the kingdom. Those raisins were
soaked in rum. Vrrum!
Also on this visit:
Bray Head Walk on Valentia Island
Kells Bay Gardens and lunch at Sala Thai
Lunch on the way down at The Mills Inn, Ballyvourney.