Breaffy House Hotel is just outside Castlebar in Co. Mayo. Although perhaps less well known that some of the big names out west, it is a beautiful period house, tastefully extended, with a friendly welcome and some very good food.
It is located within the Breaffy Resort, where you will also find the three star Breaffy Woods, as well as the exhibition centre, a large leisure centre and self catering houses, so this is a large property with something for every budget and taste.
Breaffy House Hotel itself is our focus here and the main house dates back to the 19th century. It is very striking, with beautiful brickwork and occupies a raised position giving beautiful views across the surrounding countryside. Outside the magnificent 90 acre grounds provide lots of opportunities for walking and exploring, and the spa is a lovely retreat to relax and reenergize.
The staff are super friendly and long term locals, who take some pride in the welcome, so whether you’re away with the family, doing a girly spa break or being whisked off for a romantic weekend you can’t fail to feel at home and special.
Breaffy has much to offer in the food and drinks stakes. Healy Macs Bar has an extensive all day menu, while the Mulberry Restaurant gives a very good fine dining experience. On this trip we were along for a wine dinner to showcase their Australian wines from the Angove Winery in Southern Australia.
On the subject of wine, if you are a wine buff, ask for a trip to the wine cellar while you’re there, where you will be pleasantly surprised at the array and depth of the contents, specifically covering Bordeaux and the Loire valley, as well as a selection of new world wines including the excellent Cloudy Bay. This little vault under the hotel is also the scene for time out drinks for brides and grooms on their big, hectic days. Even if you’re not that stressed, it is quite lovely.
Chef Valentina Landini, who unsurprisingly hails from Italy cooked a fine dinner to showcase the wines. We started with large prawns from off the coast, in chilli, garlic and Cuinneog butter, finished with the splash of chardonnay. These large crustaceans were delicious, and the simplicity of their prep let the flavour shine through.
Main courses brought an Italian classic, osso Bucco alla Mileanese. This dish is a braised lamb shank, slow cooked in Angove cab. Sauv. And served on a bed of creamy risotto. This is classic Italian comfort food at it’s best, and the risotto has a perfect texture and no little flavour.
Desserts brought us chocolate and caramel tarte served with orange infused custard, which was a perfect end to a fine meal. We further nibbled on cheese and crackers and chatted around the table, particularly with Nathan from Angove who was recalling the bushfires back home.
We went to the bar afterwards, chatting and mingling with other guests including a group of local ladies out for dinner and a chat who told us that Breaffy is their go to place on a night out as it’s friendly and warm, but grand enough to feel like you’re out-out.
Next morning after a wonderful breakfast we enjoyed some treatments in the spa, after which the wellness was only radiating from us. We thoroughly enjoyed this visit to Breaffy, which is about our fourth I think.
Again the staff here are exceptional, and almost all long standing and local. Friendliness and a relaxed atmosphere are very important; you want to be able to relax, to feel at home and enjoy yourself without worrying, and they carry this off in spades in Breaffy. Well worth a visit.