The Powerscourt Arms Hotel is in the picturesque village of Enniskerry, just 12 miles from Dublin, but a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Enniskerry is a quaint model town built around a centre square with a mixture of beautiful old houses and charming shops to explore and discover.
It has long been the destination of choice for Dublin families and visitors, and the world famous Powerscourt Estate is just up the road.
The Powerscourt Arms is an old style country house hotel, and they seem to have avoided been dramatically redesigned by a milliner or a fashion designer during the so called boom. It is undergoing a transformation at present, not least of which is the large outdoor seating area to the rear, where we recently enjoyed a very good lunch indeed.
We arrived on a hot August day and parked to the rear in the large car park. We were early for lunch and had the garden to ourselves for a few minutes, before everyone else had the same idea and we were joined by groups and couples all out enjoying the wider amenities available in the area.
With the sun beaming down light bites seemed like a good idea, but we were very hungry and there’s a lot on the menu too like. There are several salads, burgers, homemade fish and chips, a pasta dish and a selection of open sandwiches. We eventually decided on two courses each and with our large sparkling water keeping us cool, lunch went like this.
Deirdre started with spicy chicken wings; sometimes wings are just too tempting to pass up. There were sticky and spicy and packed a punch, counterintuitive in the heat, but delicious. I was very good with my goats cheese and beetroot salad. There were plenty of mixed leaves, lashings of really good cheese from a local Wicklow producer and I had trouble finishing it all, conscious as I was that there was more to come.
We reversed on our second courses; Deirdre had the cooling Greek salad, as good as any we had last month on Naxos, while I had the spicy garlic and chilli prawns in olive oil. We ended up sharing these between us, it was a very hearty portion. The first time we had this dish was on a trip to Mogan on Gran Canaria in the early nineties and we made it at home for some years afterwards. A holiday inspired party piece. It’s a while since either of us had it, and sitting in the sun we could have been back in Mogan mopping up the oil with our crispy bread.
We were tempted by desserts, but even the special dessert tummy was full, and we finished a glorious lunch with coffee.
The Powerscourt Arms is a fine place for a spot of al fresco dining, and Enniskerry is one of the prettiest villages in Ireland. We won’t be strangers for long before another trip up, perhaps for Sunday lunch.