Bervie Guesthouse and restaurant is located in one of the most beautiful spots in Ireland, just south of Achill Sound on Achill Island. The Bervie occupies a long blue and white bungalow overlooking the beach and set in perfectly manicured gardens, with out buildings all white washed and a corrugated building on the edge of the beach, that’s home to a visiting artist.
The Bervie is run by John & Elizabeth Barrett, the third generation of the family to live here, and they’re the perfect hosts, creating a home from home for many returning regulars who have made this special place a destination of choice.
Up until 3 years ago Liz did all the cooking and John was very much front of house with the restaurant only open to guests. Then a decision was made to take on a chef and open the dining room to locals and tourists alike; a decision that has really paid off. The staff is friendly and very obliging, and John is still front of house, except when he is busy in the kitchen preparing his famous breakfasts.
The dining room is divided between the main room and a sunroom, both with magnificent views over the gardens and sea. The yellow painted walls and light timber floors all give a sense of brightness, and old dressers and nick knacks give a country feeling. All the tables are fully set, and the effect is relaxing.
The wine list is concise and well chosen, with a selection of house choices. They range in price between €23.00 for a red Malbec up to €33.00 for Chablis. We went with the house recommendation of Swallows Tale Sauvignon Blanc for €20.00, good value and a nice SB. House wines were also available by the glass at €5.00.
The dinner menu is well thought out and heavily influenced with seafood. Starters are priced between €6.50 for the soup - tomato rocket & fennel on the evening we visited - to €8.00 for the Achill Island smoked salmon and spring onion salad. I started with the summer salad leaves served with feta cheese and balsamic strawberries for while Fred chose the warm confit of pork belly with poached pear. Both dishes were very pleasing, and the dressings on both were delicious.
Mains were priced from €24.00 for marinated lemon & rosemary baked corn fed chicken with black pudding potato stuffing up to €27.50 for the pan seared rib eye of Irish beef. I enjoyed the fish of the evening, which was black sole that was absolutely cooked to perfection, firm and meaty just al Pointe. Himself had the roast rump of Irish spring lamb, which had great concentrated flavour. Both were served with an overly generous portion of vegetables and a selection of potatoes.
All the desserts are homemade and very tempting with choices like Bervie Sundae with champagne fruit jelly, Bailey’s bread & butter pudding or apple & rhubarb crumble. Full but tempted we decided to share the passion fruit crème brulee for €7.00 and finished with an Irish coffee and a Baileys coffee.
The extremely enjoyable part of the experience was the beauty and serenity of the area; we worked dinner off with a loop from the front of the house, down the main street and up the beach and back where we relaxed in the garden before retiring to the sitting room for a hand of cards.
The Bervie is a delightful home from home in a stunning location. A real hidden gem, this is one to add to the bucket list.