There is something quite strange and just a little special about three Philippino guys with guitars doing Bohemian Rhapsody, but they are the Manila Strings, and this is Scholars Hotel’s Gourmet evening. Great fun, good food and only an hour from home in Dublin.
Scholars Townhouse Hotel was built in 1867. It was used as a Christian Brothers residence and has been tastefully renovated in a modern style. The building has retained its historic charm with stained glass windows and high coved ceilings while offering all the facilities and features of modern accommodation. The restaurant has been decorated to the highest standards offering a unique depiction of the history of the locality through the hand painted frescoes that adorn the ceilings along with the plasterwork on the walls depicting the famous Battle of the Boyne. So it was here we found ourselves in March for their gourmet evening that we found out about when a PR e mailed me the invite.
The building itself does indeed retain it’s imposing look, and it is easy to imagine it as the home of a religious order. It was obviously a well designed building when completed and the renovation into it’s present incarnation has been sympathetic and well thought out. It stands on a rise overlooking parts of the town not far from the medieval gate.
The gourmet evenings have been a monthly occurrence for some time now, so when I arrived with better, prettier half Deirdre, the bar was packed with customers enjoying a pre dinner drink. We were welcomed warmly and shown to a table where a glass of complimentary bubbly was on offer, and who were we to turn that down Since I was driving, I intended to enjoy this one cold beverage before switching to sparkling water. While we enjoyed our drink and looked at the menu for the dinner, staff brought around little canapés which included an excellent smoked haddock mousse which I decided I had to get the recipe for myself.
Dinner was scheduled for eight and right on time we were in our seats. The menu for the evening was five courses and included a soup course of lobster bisque with saffron foam, and seriously good appetiser of red snapper, grapefruit sorbet. Wicklow lamb and a chocolate tart for dessert.
The food was very well made and presented, and while it is probably fairly useless for me to go into too much detail as it was a once off menu, to serve so many people in such a short time, with food of this quality is a testament to a well run operation.
Judging by the amount of local people who attended, it seems they have taken to the Scholar’s hotel, and I have to say it was a really fun night. The restaurant is open for more normal business daily and their menus are available on their website, that you can see by clicking the link above.