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Kilronan Castle, Co. Roscommon

Kilronan

Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon

+353 (0) 71 9618000

Price: € 120-200 (for two with wine)

Hours: Dinner daily 6pm til 10pm, Sunday Lunch 1pm til 3.30pm.

Review

Kilronan is the sister hotel of Lough Rynn, and the latest addition to the Hanly Group of luxury properties. This secluded, luxury, Roscommon Castle is majestically set on the shores of Lough Meelagh, surrounded by over forty acres of breathtaking scenery, lush green pastures, ancient forests and historical places of interest. Approached by a meandering drive that passes acres of magnificent Roscommon lawns, and a glistening lake which commands the panoramic beauty of the surroundings.

We arrived for a weekend stay, slightly later than planned on a Friday, and the hotel was full with a large wedding in full swing. After quickly dropping out bags to our room, we went straight to the Douglas Hyde Restaurant. It is made up of three interconnecting rooms, and there is plenty of space. Tables are nicely spaced and very large, with good quality linen and glassware, while the décor is classical, with lots of antiques features, including a very imposing fireplace.

There are several tables occupied when we came in, and we were shown to our table and given some very nice fresh bread and sparkling water to keep us going while we chose our dinner.

The A la Carte menu offers half a dozen starters, some soup and vegetarian choices and around ten main courses. We were tempted with a smoked and cured fish plate, Tian of crabmeat with Dublin Bay langoustine, beef Carpaccio or a warm scallop of foie gras to start. Main courses are split into meat or fish choices, and we could choose from Fermanagh dry aged fillet steak, slow roasted Barbary duck breast, Lough Erne lamb or free range chicken. The fish dishes offered poached monkfish, Rainbow Trout from Donegal or a Thai prawn dish.

We eventually decided, with Deirdre picking the Carpaccio of beef followed by the monkfish and I went for the crab starter and the duck for the main course, while to drink we decided on a bottle of Chablis. It is re-assuring to see so many dishes with a local provenance on the menu. Using local ingredients and suppliers not only keeps costs down and provides support in the local community, but shows the chef is concerned enough to source the best ingredients he can. It is something that is becoming more common on menus, and it is to be encouraged as much as possible.

Our starters appeared fairly promptly and the first impression was great, the presentation was faultless. Deirdre’s Carpaccio was fanned around the plate in thinly sliced disks, with cashew nuts and parmesan shavings scattered about, dressed with grapeseed oil vinaigrette. She ohh-ed and ahh-ed her way though it. My tian of crab came with the full bodied langoustine sitting on top, looking good it has to be said, and the flavours and texture was bang on.

The Chablis was going down well, the service was faultless, and soon we were enjoying the main courses. My duck was cooked medium from the slow roast, and came with a confit potato hash beneath and excellent rhubarb chutney. Deirdre’s monkfish was simply cooked, and came with sautéed cucumber and pink grapefruit. We were also served and selection of vegetables all perfectly cooked and crisp. Both of these dishes were great, but the duck probably shaded it on the star of the show front.

We were fairly full at this stage, but forced ourselves to have a dessert. I went for the strawberry crepe while Deirdre picked one of her perennial favourites, pannacotta, a strawberry version with fresh berries and mango coulis. We finished with coffee and savoured the ends of our desserts.

The Douglas Hyde restaurant was really very good, the food was faultless and the service attentive and polished throughout. This is an elegant dining experience without breaking the bank. They have some special offers on overnight and dining packages, so check out the website

**The entire facility spans over 49 acres of an Ireland that is idyllic, rich in history and charmed with natural beauty.. The restaurant is open daily for dinner from 6p.m. until 10p.m. & for Sunday lunch from 1.00pm until 3.30pm. Situated just 45 minutes from Sligo Airport, one hour from Knock International Airport & 2 hours from Dublin International Airport, Kilronan Castle is an ideal base from which to explore the vibrant cities of Sligo, Dublin and Galway, the magical lake region and Ireland's rugged West Coast.
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