Showing posts with label Castle Hotel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Castle Hotel. Show all posts

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A Taste of West Cork Festival. A Personal Selection of the September Events.

A Taste of West Cork Festival
Some of the Best.
There is so much to do in next month’s major festival, A Taste of West Cork: over 250 events, spread over 41 towns and villages and eight islands. And, despite the one hundred thousand welcomes, you’ll find it difficult enough to make your choices. So, this is where my digest comes in. 

While I don’t know West Cork like the back of my hand, I have a decent amount of experience there, including at this festival. So, if you lose patience with the official multi-page guide (especially if you’re reading it online), check out these suggestions divided into BARGAIN, OFF PLATE (eating not essential!), A/N (afternoon), EVENING, and BtB (bust the budget). Some of these are free or have just nominal charges. 

By the way, I have omitted the guest chefs/pop up events. I have mixed feelings on these because I’ve had mixed experience of them. I’ll leave the decision up to yourself but do get as much information from the venue in advance as possible and that should help avoid any disappointment.

The programme has been published in national and local newspapers and is available online hereSomething for everyone. Take your pick and enjoy! 


Friday Sep 7th
BARGAIN: Traditional Fishing, Boats, Pots and Lines. Free. 2.30 Baltimore
OFF PLATE: Lough Hyne To The Sea. Kayaking €65.00
A/N: Afternoon Sea - seafood savouries at Seaview House Hotel, Ballylickey €29.00
EVENING: Lobster Garden Party with Diana Dodog at The Lifeboat Inn, Courtmacsherry €55.00
Sherkin Island

Saturday Sep 8th
BARGAIN: The Honey Bee, with experienced bee-keeper at Organico, Bantry. €10.00.
OFF PLATE: Pencil to Garden to Plate, drawing class with Annabel Langrish at Heron Gallery Cafe €50.00 inc lunch.
A/N: Islander’s Rest BBQ with Derry Clarke. Sherkin 1.00pm €20.00
EVENING: The West Cork Food Tour. Manning’s Ballylickey from 6.00pm. Farm Tour and BBQ €80.00
BtB: The Ancient Craft of Blacksmithing at O’Driscoll Ironworks, Durrus Day long class €150.00
Garinish Island, Glengariff

Sunday Sep 9th
BARGAIN: Kilcrohane Country Fair 2-6pm. Stall, producers, music, BBQ (€5.00)
OFF PLATE: Hidden Edibles, The Ewe Experience, Glengarriff, 10.00 to 11.00am, €12.50
A/N: Tarte Tatin Demo & Tasting by John Desmond at Heir Island 2.30pm, free but pay for ferry
EVENING: The Celtic Camino Dinner at Gougane Barra Hotel. Caminos popping up everywhere. Dinner is €50.00.
BtB: ——
Michael Collins event, 10th September, Clonakilty

Monday Sep 10th
BARGAIN: Manage your own herb garden, Organico Bantry 4.00pm, €5.00
OFF PLATE: Plastic is a Plague. A seminar with distinguished speakers at Liss Ard, Skibbereen, 11.00am-3.00pm, €20.00.
A/N: Devoy’s Organic Farm visit. Vegetables, eggs, chickens stories 2.30pm Three euro
EVENING: Scannell’s Tastes of the Sea Aperitif plus 5-course feast of fish. 7.00pm €60.00
BtB: —-

Tuesday Sep 11th
BARGAIN:  The Secret Garden, The Sutherland Centre, Skibbereen. A true secret garden. Free.
OFF PLATE: Art and the Great Hunger, a guided tour of this incredible exhibition at Uillinn, Skibbereen, two euro
A/N: Cream Tea at the Top of the Rock, Drimoleague. Guided Walk around eco-farm before grand tea and scones. €12.00.
EVENING: Wine & Dine at Deasy’s in Ring. Italian wine and Caitlin Ruth’s cooking combine in five-course meal from 7.00pm for €55.00.
BtB: Heron & Grey at The Mews Inventive Tasting Menu, 7.30pm, €95.00

Wednesday Sep 12th
BARGAIN: Ummera Smokehouse, Timoleague. A marvellous visit and tasting for free. 10.30am
OFF PLATE: Bere Island and the Great Famine. Informative historical bus tour 12.00pm to 2.00pm and packed lunch €30.00. Ferry at 11.30am extra.
A/N: Wild Berry Bakery, Ballineen.  Bakery visit and samples. All proceeds to charity. Entry €5.00
EVENING: A Taste of India at Richy’s Clonakilty. Welcome drink and multi-course Indian meal by Meeran Gani Manzoor, Head Chef at Richy’s. €60.00.
BtB: Intimate Dinner at Inish Beg House on Inish Beg Island. Formal dinner surrounded by country house grandeur, silver service. €95.00

Thursday Sep 13th
BARGAIN: Tasting (and bottle to take away) for a fiver at 9 White Deer Brewery in Ballyvourney. 2.00pm
OFF PLATE: Tea and Tales on Dursey Island. Take the cable car across and then a guided bus tour with dramatic views and island stories. Tea costs 25 euro and cable car is extra.
A/N: Bean and Grain, chocolate and beer at Clonakilty Brewery. The chocolate will be by Alison of Clonakilty Chocolate and there’ll be lots of pairings. €25.00
EVENING: A Taste of Organico, hosted by Hannah and Rachel Dare who’ll have dozens of their producers on hand including Fermoy Raw Milk, Mary Pawle Wines and Sally Barnes Smokery. Samples galore and even a glass of wine is included in the 5 euro fee. 5.30pm to 8.00pm.
BtB: ——
Welcome to Union Hall Smoked Fish

Friday Sep 14th
BARGAIN: Martin Shanahan of Fishy Fishy puts on a brilliant demo, very engaging with his audience, especially the younger ones. See him from 10.00 in Fields of Skibbereen. Free.
OFF PLATE: Live Life Well. A students’ food and lifestyle conference at Skibbereen Community School. From 10.00am to 2.00pm, hear talks, see demos, and sample at the mini-market. All free.
A/N: there’s a tour of the Union Hall Smoked Fish facility at 2.00pm, a lovely family run business. The Nolan's are a generous bunch and they won’t charge you a cent yet, a similar event two years back, there was no shortage of samples and even a glass of wine.
EVENING: Real Food from Here is the title of the event at Macroom’s Castle Hotel where the Buckley family invite you to a dinner featuring real food. Real wine too from Le Caveau with Colm McCan doing the pouring and talking. €60.00 including dinner and wine. Special overnight rate.
BtB: ——
Walking on Sheep's Head

Saturday Sep 15th
BARGAIN: A 2.5 hour walk on the Sheeps Head with guide Charlie McCarthy (086 2333420). Registration at 11.30am, walk at 12 noon. Meet at the cabin Ahakista.Free
OFF PLATE: Meet at the car park in Barley Cove Hotel on your way to the Three Castle Head Walk, one of West Cork’s hidden gems, with breath-taking views. Starts at 3.30 and duration is 90 minutes. Free. Contact: 0868808190.
A/N: Fish and Whiskey Brunch is the unpriced event at the Glandore Inn with local man Bryan McCarthy doing the cooking and West Cork Distillers supplying the  spirit. All proceeds to LauraLynn children’s Hospice and Union Hall Inshore Lifeboat.
EVENING: I suspect that Taste of the Sea at Arundels by the Pier (Ahakista) will sell out fast with Head Chef Dominique Carucci presenting a delicious Taste of the Sea menu. Five courses for €50.00.
BtB: The big spenders can whip out that credit card again as they go to Eat, Drink and Sleep at the Castle, Castletownsend. At 7.00pm, the six course meal, paired with selected wines and beers, will get underway. Slip upstairs much later, wake to a spectacular view of the bay and a hearty breakfast. Cost overall: €220.00 per person.

Sunday Sep 16th.
Still a good share of events on the closing Sunday but undoubtedly the focus will be on the Festival Finalé, the Sunday Street Market in Skibbereen. It starts at noon and as usual there’ll be bands, and dancers, craft, and food to eat and take away and a children’s entertainment area. A superb finalé to a marvellous festival that encompasses over 250 events.

Reen Pier area

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Castle Hotel to Represent Cork at Restaurant Awards

Castle Hotel to Represent Cork at Restaurant Awards
B's Restaurant at the Castle Hotel
The boutique 4 * Castle Hotel, Macroom celebrated their success at the Munster Regional Irish
Awards, winning Best Customer Service in Cork, and will now go on to represent their county for
the national title of ‘Best Customer Service’ in Ireland.

The All-Island Santa Rita/LIFE Magazine Irish Restaurant Awards will take place on Monday, 10th June in The Burlington Hotel, Dublin, to name and fame the top restaurants in Ireland for 2013.

The night will see an expected crowd of up to 800 fellow restaurant owners, staff and industry
experts gather in The Burlington Hotel to celebrate their hard work and achievements in the run
up to the coveted Awards.

In the Best Customer Service category sponsored, The Castle Hotel Macroom will face competition in a pool of 32 county award winners from the whole island of Ireland.

Speaking of their involvement in the Awards, Hotelier and Owner Don Buckley said: “The Irish Restaurant Awards are renowned for recognising and rewarding achievement and excellence within the Restaurant and Hospitality industry. It is a lovely surprise and boost for management and staff. It will spur us on in continuing to exceed customer expectations after all customer is king ! Fingers crossed for The All Ireland on June 10th”.

Speaking of the upcoming Awards, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins said; “In their fifth year now, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to go from strength to strength. Each year, the awards cast a spotlight on the brightest and best players on the Irish restaurant scene. The Irish Restaurant Awards are the awards everyone wants to win. This year the nominations went online for the first time and we got a spectacular response from the public- nominations doubled and we received 10,000 votes for Ireland’s favourite restaurants, chefs, gastro pubs, hotel restaurants and customer service experience.

“We celebrate the award winning cuisines and the great restaurateurs and chefs who are constantly bringing international recognition and accolades to the Irish restaurant scene. Restaurateurs are entrepreneurs, and that is reflected in the fact that the restaurant sector is the biggest employer within the hospitality industry. We provide employment to 64,000 people and the industry has annual sales in excess of €2 billion; on the night, everyone is a winner.”

The All-Ireland and Industry Category Winners will be announced at the All-Ireland event on 10
th June, 2013. Tickets are priced at €130 for the All-Ireland Event, with discounts for group bookings,
and can be bought directly from the Restaurants Association of Ireland on +353 (01) 677 9901 or

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Castle Scoops 2013 Travellers' Choice Award

Castle Scoops 2013 Travellers' Choice Award
In the Gearagh, a beautiful
natural attraction in Macroom.

The boutique 4 * Castle Hotel in Macroom, Co. Cork, beat off stiff competition and was voted a best ‘customer service’ hotel by Trip Advisor this week in its annual Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.

The Castle Hotel was ranked 12th within the top twenty five hotels in Ireland by Trip Advisor. The hotel is no stranger to Trip Advisor and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for 2011 and secured best “bargain” and “family” hotel in 2012.

The prestigious awards are run on an annual basis by Trip Advisor, which is the world’s largest travel community, where millions of travellers seek information on all items travel related.

Owner, Don Buckley said “It is refreshing to be awarded by Trip Advisor and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team at The Castle Hotel for their continued hard work in achieving best practices in the hotel.  We are delighted to be right up there with well established hotels such as  The Aghadoe Heights Hotel (13th) & The Four Seasons (11th). This is a fantastic boost for management and staff and will spur us on to exceed our guest requirements”.

For further information on family packages and special offers contact The Castle Hotel on 026-41074.

Other Cork hotels featured in the Top 25 were Hayfield Manor (#2), Inchadoney Island Lodge and Spa (#7), The River Lee Hotel (#21) and Bayview Hotel (Ballycotton, (#23). In the best Small Hotels, Ballyvolane House came in at Number 10 with Liss Ard in Skibbereen (#22), while the Cork Airport International Hotel took 1st spot in the Bargain Hotels category.

Monday, February 13, 2012



Must tell you that I really enjoyed a recent stay in the town of Macroom where I was a guest at the excellent centrally located Castle Hotel

The hotel is located right on the main street and looks very well indeed, well kept, well painted. It has three doors on to the street, one for Dan Buckley’s Bar, one for the Next Door Cafe and the other for reception.

Our first contact was the reception desk and we got a very warm welcome indeed. No shortage of information on the hotel and its facilities and also three brochures for the town and its surrounds. That friendliness continued right through all areas of the hotel, restaurant, bar and cafe. Other facilities available to guests include a lovely swimming pool, gym and treatments area.

Before we checked into the hotel, we had taken a walk through the nearby Gearagh, a fantastic place and well worth a visit. Now after leaving our bags, we headed west the street to the nearby Town Park, through the Castle entrance, and enjoyed a smashing stroll on the banks of the Sullane River.

We had been told the pastry treats in the cafe were irresistible and soon confirmed they were. Later, we visited the Hotel’s B’s restaurant, where again the service was ever so friendly and the food was well presented and generally top notch.

After dinner, we gravitated towards the bar. Once again, we found friendly helpful people. A proactive young employee gave us a tip as to where best to sit, to stay away from the door to the street as the weather had turned very cold and an icy blast intruded whenever the door opened. We took his advice.

After a good night’s sleep in our warm comfortable room, we headed for breakfast. What a selection! Juices galore, all the cereals, nuts and seeds you’d ever want, yoghurts and berries, breads and pastries and, of course, the hot meals from which I picked the Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg.

This lovely hotel is right bang in the centre of the town and the town itself is also very central to the region’s attractions with Cork and Killarney each about 30 minutes away while West Cork and North Cork are also easily accessible. Even if you must pass through rather than stay, do stop at the Next Door Cafe or the restaurant and see if you resist their goodies.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dining Royally at The Castle Hotel


Friday last, we dined at the B’s Restaurant in the Castle Hotel in Macroom. And dined quite royally, I might add. Food and service were terrific.

Service came in the shape of AJ, the maestro of the dining room. No shortage of advice or recommendations and, if something wasn’t on the menu, then he’d get it as he did with the fruit dessert at the end. Lots of friendly chat too, “like”.

As we munched the handmade breads, from a “secret” recipe according to AJ, I was delighted to see so many local producers mentioned on the menu, reliable sources such as Jack McCarthy, Cappoquinn, Ardsallagh, Gubbeen, Milleens, Michael Twomey and quite a few others.

I started off with the Jack McCarthy Black Pudding, which was perfect, as usual, really top drawer stuff. This time, it was served with a Spiced Apple Chutney, a great match.

Local input also to the other starter with the mozzarella coming from the milk of the buffalos on the farm of local man Johnny Lynch. The full title for this starter was: Mozzarella and Roasted Vegetable Bruschetta with fire roasted pepper relish and baby leaf salad. Another good one! Peppers and Aubergine were the roasted veg and the whole thing came together very well indeed.

AJ then humourously explained, just in case we thought the meal was coming to a premature end, that the next course would not be dessert but a sorbet. And quite a tasty and colourful one it turned out to be.

Now, the palate was ready for the mains and I went for an AJ recommendation: Baked Supreme of Cappoquinn Chicken filled with Ardsallagh Goats Cheese wrapped in Parma Ham and served with a Tomato and Basil Sauce. Must say I liked this one. The cheese played a key role in the overall taste without ever threatening to dominate while the sauce – I spooned out every bit – added extra flavour and moisture.

I like it too that the sauce was served in its own little container as was the case with the other main dish: Baked West Cork hake with sundried tomato salsa and served with a light Champagne sauce. The fish was juicy, the spinach underneath was lovely and creamy while the salsa added a bit of tartness. The main dishes were also accompanied by a side plate of perfectly cooked seasonal vegetables.

Now for the real dessert. Once again AJ played a part as one of us was looking for something light. And so he got the chef to produce, without any delay, a perfectly presented plate of gorgeous fruit, as you can see from the picture.

Cheese plate
I too had a gorgeous presentation, quite a line up of local cheese, including top names such as Milleens and Gubbeen, crackers and plum chutney and some slices of plum and mango. Lapped it all up while finishing off the wine which was another treat, the real face of Chardonnay from Burgundy.

For the record it was a Champy 2009 Macon-Lugny (€26.00). It was full-bodied luscious and creamy, not a trace of oak, the real taste of one of the world’s most popular grapes. Lovely wine, lovely meal. Thanks to AJ and all the crew at the Castle.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Customers make Macroom hotel their Number One
Castle Hotel Scoops Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Award

A delighted Lorraine Kelleher, who manages PR for the Castle Hotel, has been in touch to tell us all about the latest honour for the 4 star hotel in Macroom:

 "The Castle  beat off stiff competition and was voted best bargain hotel by Trip Advisor this week in its annual Trip Advisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.

The Castle Hotel was ranked within the top twenty five hotels in Ireland in the “bargain” hotel award category by Trip Advisor. The Castle is no stranger to Trip Advisor and last year was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for 2011.

The prestigious awards are run on an annual basis by Trip Advisor, which is the world’s largest travel community, where millions of travellers seek information on all items travel related."

Owner, Don Buckley said “We are delighted to receive such an accolade and to be voted by the travellers themselves is what it’s all about at the end of the day. Our current rating with Trip Advisor stands at 94 % and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team at The Castle for their continued hard work in achieving this. We strive for high standards at The Castle Hotel and we value our customers’ opinions at all times. This award is a fantastic boost as the hotel enters it’s sixty first year in business”

Marketing Manager, Rachael Kohler added “Given the current economic climate, we are conscious that customers are price sensitive and are always on the hunt for value for money, hence why we aim to be innovative when it comes to creating our packages. One of our current packages which are proving extremely popular amongst the public is our two hundred euro  all in deal for two people for two nights with full Irish breakfast on both mornings. This package also includes one evening meal for two with a complimentary bottle of wine on an evening of your choice”

For further information on this exclusive deal contact The Castle Hotel on 026-41074.