Baileys Hotel serves not just as a boutique hotel for the town of Cashel and the visitors who come to see the famous Rock of Cashel, but it is a very busy bar and restaurant for the local crowd, who on the September evening we visited had packed out both.
Baileys is set in a lovingly restored period property, boasting 19 luxury rooms from which to explore the Golden Vale or visit the Rock that perches above the town. The bar serves food daily and the menu is the same as in the restaurant, which opens for dinner.
The restaurant is to the rear of the building, a high ceilinged space with nicely spaced tables and comfortable banquette seating. French doors are on one side, a rock wall on the other and there is an eclectic assortment of modern art on the walls. Copper statement lamp fittings hang from the ceiling and complete the smart casual atmosphere.
The menu is varied, and swings between gastro bar favourites and some more elegant dishes - twice baked cheddar soufflé starter anyone? Among the gastro bar favourites are baby ribs, fajitas and fish and chips, while if you fancy a more bistro dish there is the soufflé to start, and main courses of baked cod with lemon risotto, roast lamb and a seafood gratin.
We decided to have it both ways, so I ordered the baby ribs to start and intended to follow with fish and chips, but was distracted by the pan fried plaice, while Abigail poshed it up with the twice baked soufflé and the baked cod on a bed of lemon risotto, accompanied by a glass of Sauvignon blanc, while I stuck with the sparkling water.
Starters were excellent, the ribs were sticky and falling off the bone soft. The tangy sauce had stuck to meat and was delicious, so much so that I was almost sorry I didn't have the main course sized portion. Abigail loved the soufflé, light and fluffy it was cheesier than a Richard Curtis romcom, and she polished it off in double quick time. I had to be quick off the mark to get a taste!
Main courses had us both on the fish; Abigail's thick piece of cod was balanced on top of the risotto, which was thick and creamy and was cut by lemon juice, which lightened the rice and worked perfectly with the fish.
My main course saw me with perfectly cooked plaice, homemade wedges and firm asparagus, with an excellent pineapple salsa. I have to say I have had any amount of salsa, and generally they are under whelming. This one was different, and packed a flavour punch that cut through the fish perfectly.
We finished with an orange and chocolate roulade, which was light and delicious and went beautifully with some good coffee. We really liked Baileys Hotel, it's friendly and busy with good service and very good food, all at a very fair value for money price. Well worth a visit, and indeed with their collection of stylish rooms, a great place to stay.