The Dingle Skellig Hotel enjoys stunning views over Dingle Bay, and the mountains of theIveraghPeninsula. Dingle has always had a special place in the heart of anyone who has visited Kerry. This picturesque town is perhaps the quintessential Kerry experience, and the Skellig has been a part of it since the late sixties.
The hotel is just at the entrance to the town, down a long driveway that curves back down to the water edge. The building is large and has a classic sixties or seventies look, with a newer, stone building stretching towards the bay. Inside the hotel is traditional and comfortable, with very friendly local staff, a busy bar and a good leisure centre. The rooms are well appointed, and The Skellig has won Family Hotel of the year in recent times.
The main restaurant is the Coastguard, a large dining room with stunning views over the water. On a summers evening with the sun sinking into the west, it is a lovely spot and Head Chef John Ryan and his team has put together a well balanced menu that’s heavy on using local and seasonal ingredients, but in a fishing village, with local farmers and growers in the nearby Maharees, they’d be mad not to.
The menu is priced for one, two or three courses with tea or coffee ranging from €24 to €39. Starters include Anascaul black pudding with rhubarb compote, roast pork belly, king scallop and burnt orange sauce, seafood chowder or a local goat’s cheese salad. Main courses include West Kerry lamb with Puy lentils, supreme of chicken with butternut squash, lightly spiced fillet of salmon with stir fried green s and ginger broth or a risotto of wild mushrooms and spinach.
To kick off we loved their amuse Bouche of frsh prawn gratin that got the taste buds tingling. A starter of locally smoked haddock with bay shrimp and vanilla cream is well flavoured has a perfect consistency and the smoked haddock is a treat. Its companion dish of a taste of seafood offering four tasty morsels of crabmeat, smoked salmon, some of the smoked haddock and a warm piece of monkfish with cream sauce. This dish was very light and delicious, and we liked it a lot.
Main courses were excellent filet of plaice, perfectly cooked and delicately flavoured with saffron and lemon cream, and a tasty smoked salmon croquette. Our second is a daily special of fillet steak with pan seared scallops, a posh surf n’ turf if you will, which came with a very nice potato gratin and green beans, and really hit the spot after the light seafood starter.
We finished with a duo of chocolate, a light mousse and a more robust chocolate tarte, which went well with our coffees. After that we retired to the bar, where some local musicians kept us entertained, and then as Zebedee would have said, then to bed.
The Dingle Skellig is a fine, family friendly hotel which offers a great base to explore this beautiful part of the country.