Breaffy House Hotel is located within the Breaffy Resort on the outskirts of Castlebar, Co Mayo.
Within the resort you have the four star Breaffy House Hotel, and also the three star Breaffy Woods, as well as the exhibition centre, 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 it has much to offer in the food and drinks stakes from Healy Macs Bar with an extensive all day menu to the Mulberry Restaurant for a fine dining experience. If you are a wine buff, ask for a trip to the wine cellar when you’re there, 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 as well.
We were exceptionally fortunate to get to spend a Friday evening there recently, and got to experience quite a lot. The staff are super friendly and really want your visit to be special, so whether away with the family; doing a girly spa break or being whisked off for a romantic break you will really love it. The house dates back to the 19th century, and is very striking, and the magnificent 90 acre grounds provide lots of opportunities for walking and exploring.
The Mulberry restaurant is located to the rear of the property, a large open room surrounded by floor to ceiling windows overlooking perfectly manicured gardens. The room is tastefully decorated to create a fine dining space with dark wooden tables, high back chairs and crisp cream table runners. Sparkling glassware abd gleaming silverware add to the glamour of the evening and French doors lead out onto a terrace which I am sure offers a fabulous ‘al fresco’ option weather permitting.
There’s a good wine list, with over twenty five to choose from plus a range of Prosecco and Champagne for that special occasion. They also have their own label Breaffy House resort sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon priced at €25 and exceptionally good value. On our visit to the wine cellar where they have a collection of twenty eight award winning wines and a €1,800 bottle of Hennessy on display we finished with a couple of pre dinner drinks where I tried the s/blanc, a fresh and light wine. For dinner we ordered one of my all time favourites that doesn’t often appear, the Pouilly Fuisse Moillard, with a rich citrus flavor that I really enjoy.
The dinner menu is short, this is something I like to see as I know it has been well thought out and will be executed to perfection as opposed to trying to be all things to all people.
Dinner began with Irish cured duck for myself, served with dressed leaves, fresh slices of orange and an onion chutney which complemented each other beautifully letting the flavour of the duck come through. Fred had the pork belly with scallops, the textures and flavours really working well together, and the presentation was delightful. I am often a little skeptical of pork belly starters as they can often be too big, but this was well judged with the pork pieces only slightly bigger than the scallop
For mains I went with the pan seared cod, which was plump and soft and fresh that day. It was served on a bed of baby spinach and covered in a delicate veloute sauce which was creamy but delicate enough not to overpower the fish.
Fred chose slow cooked lamb shank from the bar menu, which was slow cooked and so tender the meat just fell from the bone. Served with creamed mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables and a red wine jus , it all came together beautifully and was a plate of comfort food heaven.
You would wonder where we found room for dessert, but there is always that corner reserved for something sweet. With a choice of vanilla crème brulee, sticky toffee pudding or a plate of Irish cheese we went with the crème brulee to share. It was served with chocolate ice cream and was crispy on top with a rich creamy interior; pure indulgence and worth every calorie.
We finished with Slane whiskey Irish coffees and lingered well into the evening in this relaxed and beautiful setting. Breaffy House Hotel is a must if you find yourself in or around Castlebar, and if possible spend a couple of days as an evening is just not enough. It’s a great base to explore the west.