Baileys Hotel Cashel is a boutique hotel in an impressive 18th century Georgian building set back in off the Main Street at the top of Cashel town. In front of the hotel is a planted plaza with seating which makes the perfect spot for a bite to eat or a drink on a fine summer’s day, with the Rock of Cashel as a stunning backdrop.
Dermot & Phil Delaney took over the hotel in 2009 and have raised the standards to a very high level. This boutique hotel is very much family run with several sisters of Phil’s working alongside her in the kitchen, while Dermot works front of house with their daughter. There are two dining options within Baileys; the more formal Restaurant Number 42 and The Cellar Bar.
Restaurant 42 is surprisingly contemporary with timber floors, exposed brickwork and an open working kitchen to the rear. There is a choice of round tables or a long leather banquette that works its way around one side of the room. The setting is very relaxed and staff are very obliging and create a real ‘home from home’ feeling. The Cellar Bar next door is a gastro pub affair – twice baked cheddar and chive soufflé, followed by smoked haddock pancake and handcut chips – and lives up to the moniker.
In the restaurant the a la carte menu has a selection of starters that range from €5.00 for the evening’s homemade soup to €9.00 for the seafood gratin with crabmeat and scallops. There are also grilled mussels with garlic crumb, twice baked cheddar and chive soufflé or crab cakes to choose from. Main courses included poultry like baked chicken breast stuffed with Clonakilty black pudding or a Chinese style duck breast served on noodles; seafood included a herb crust salmon, roast cod and the seafood gratin appeared again for mains, while on the specials board was some pan fried plaice. If certain parts of Ireland are given to seafood, Tipperary is the heart of our meat producing farming, and a fillet of beef caught the eye.
I decided to try the spinach dip with tortilla chips, sour cream and salsa on Dermot’s recommendation, and it was delicious, Fred had the Crostini of Serrano ham topped with pear and Cashel blue cheese. This was a well made starter, and Serrano is always a treat, but the warm spinach dip won the day, with himself sneaking in for the odd dip with tortilla himself, Serrano not withstanding.
In Tipp it seemed churlish not to try the beef, and an excellent filet it was, with carmelised onions and a red wine jus, while the sugar snaps were crunchy and the potatoes floury. I went to the sea, with the special of plaice, and between shared bites both dishes were well executed and tasty.
The wine list was well presented with half bottle and by the glass options available, and we picked a ½ bottle of Domaine la Colombette Sauv. Blanc to go with the plaice and a ½ bottle of Morande Pionero cabernet sauvignon to accompany the beef, very well priced at €12 and €11 respectively.
We managed to find room for dessert, and enjoyed both a tangy lemon and lime cheese cake and a rich and delicious chocolate fudge cake, both with good coffee. They were both very generous, and we could probably have shared, but sure you might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.
We hung on for a couple of after dinner drinks in the Cellar bar and made our way replete and happy. The Bailey is really very good indeed, and Cashel has another reason to say it rocks.