The Druids Glen Hotel & Golf Resort is only a half hour from the Dundrum Town Centre. I know this because Apple told me before I left and it turns out they were telling the truth. In other ways it’s a world away and once you step into the large open plan reception area, take in the warmth of the room and the welcome, walk straight towards the Garden Rooms and Bar at the back. There’s a wall of glass looking out on the woodlands beyond, and the colours and movement are breathtaking. After enjoying that for a few moments, it’s safe to go back and actually check in.
We were on a mid week jaunt, myself and the better, prettier half and our room was sumptuous, with loads of space and just the right amount of bling.. Bigs beds, comfy chairs, elegant bathrooms and a Nespresso machine with lovely views, there’s not much not to like.
We took the woodland walk before dinner and down by the weir had a lovely interlude when the resident otter came out for a bit of evening fishing, watched by the put-out crane who stood on the weir and watched patiently until he went back to his burrow and then he took up the hunt.
Dinner was in Hugo’s restaurant which is beside the Garden Room and Bar and is dived into three dining areas. It’s beautifully decorated and the staff are warm and welcoming. We took our seats at the back wall, which shares the lovely views of the trees outside, and there are large decks which would be perfect for al fresco dining on sunnier days or evenings.
Hugo’s is a 2AA Rosette restaurant and the standards are high. Starters include beetroot pearl barley risottos, air dried beef Bresaola, chicken and ham hock roulade, spiced confit duck or a crab salad. Main courses continue this modern Irish theme with roast Guinea fowl, root vegetable Wellington, pork belly, fillet of hake and a fillet steak.
We got sparkling water for the table, and after deciding what we’d eat settled on a glass of white burgundy from Chablis country and a Pinot noir.
Deidre kept her choices from the sea, with the crab salad followed by a new dish of fillet of Halibut, while I stayed with the land with the spiced duck confit, followed with the venison.
Crab salad can sometimes fall flat; but not on this occasion. She received a beautifully put together plate with cucumber and avocado, and little whirls of smoked mackerel pate, which complemented the sweet crab meat beautifully. Toasted sourdough accompanied and it was an excellent dish.
My spiced confit duck was as succulent as you’d expect and a mango salsa and wonton crisp added elements of contrast in the flavours and textures, and we finished our first course with high expectations of what was to come.
Halibut is a serious piece of fish, and here it was perfectly cooked au pointe with a dazzling, almost purple port foam on top, while it sat on crushed Jerusalem artichoke and came with plum jelly. Elegant and well balanced, the flavours combined perfectly, but didn’t overshadow the fish.
My venison was cooked sous vide, which is slowly and in a water bath, keeping all the juices and flavours intact. There was a little venison pie on the side and the chocolate jelly and blackberry gel added to the richness. In season, on trend and wickedly rich I really enjoyed it.
We hadn’t much room left for dessert but a twice baked chocolate fondant was hard to pass up and we shared it with some good coffee and a chat with our neighbours at the next table. We adjourned to the bar for a post prandial drink and went back to our not so modest lodgings two very happy guests indeed.
Breakfast the next morning was an embarrassment of riches and after fruit bowls, honeycombs, pancakes and some eggs we almost had to leave behind some excellent pastries, before thinking the better of it and taking them with us for the short drive home.
Druids Glen is a perfect escape from Dublin; it’s so close and alsolutely lovely, and we left feeling recharged and thinking about coming back, not least to enjoy the Championship golf course. We have a friend who lives here, and she swears by the Sunday lunch, so even if a night away isn’t on the agenda, a half hour drive will see you happily enjoying some five star luxury and a lovely woodland walk after a fine lunch. If you haven’t been, correct the omission.