The 4 star Mulranny Park Hotel is perched on a unique site overlooking Clew Bay with Croagh Patrick rising beyond. It is the only hotel located on the Great Western Greenway, and on the most scenic section of the route. The hotel is only steps away from the sand and sea of the coveted blue flag Mulranny Beach, a short drive to Achill and 20 minutes from the town of Westport. All of this makes Mulranny the most spectacular destination for a break away, and the reason they have been awarded with the European Destination of Excellence.
With Co Mayo Food Ambassador and Mulranny Park General Manager Dermot Madigan on hand, it is a friendly, welcoming hotel offering wonderful amenities including the well equipped leisure centre; an outdoor hot tub overlooking the bay; a relaxing bar for a drink, light lunch or a more casual evening meal and the award winning Nephin Restaurant which promises a special evening.
Sri Lankan Head Chef Chamila Mananwatta’s was awarded Best Chef in Mayo at the Irish Restaurant Awards as well as being recognised by Stuart Clark in Hot Press’ Best of Ireland earlier in the year. He oversees the kitchen and is also closely involved with the Gourmet Greenway Artisan Food Trail and his commitment to using local produce inspires all hotel menus. Gourmet Greenway celebrates 10 years this year, it was created with a small group of producers and venues with the aim of sharing their food stories and highlighting the range and quality of food that is available in Mayo, ten years on and there are more than 22 members stretching across the county.
On a weekend away with the girls we arrived late Friday evening, just in time for the annual Gourmet Greenway event, where there are more than 200 people in attendance showcasing the fantastic produce of their members. A big affair, Chamila and the team work tirelessly to bring this together and make it look effortless.
The evening kicks off in the bar with the most tantalising array of canapés to include Keem Bay BBQ Salmon, savoury Croagh Patrick black mussel muffins and a delicious organic salmon maki roll, Sri Lankan milk rice & sweet onion marmalade. Mescal Brewery served their 7 Virtues lager, a recent winner at the Blas Na hEireann awards, and Achill Island Distillery served whiskey & “The Mayo Mojito”, a beautiful start to what promised to be a great night.
As we all made our way into the award winning Nephin Restaurant to be seated Dermot spoke a little about what could be expected and paid tribute to their sponsors including Mayo Co Co and Failte Ireland, also presenting the 5-year plan for the Greenway which is all very exciting and definitely needs to be added to a list of destinations to visit over the coming year.
The menu was a 7-course tasting menu starting with an amuse bouche of goats cheese parfait, turmeric seasoned pear and Ceylon spiced tomato chutney, a delicate dish to tantalise the taste buds. Every dish offers a taste of Chamila’s Sri Lanka. This was followed by a pre-starter Lough Mask Gin, dill & lemon cured Clare Island salmon, Mulranny seaweed & Achill Island sea salt tartlets and dressed with wakami, ponzu aioli and oscietra caviar creating the most beautiful artwork on a plate
Between each course Pat Smith of Maison E. Guigal, Masters of the Rhone spoke about the accompanying wines and why each had been chosen, and even managed to bring humour into his presentation. A white Guigal Cotes Du Rhone was served to start and moved to a rosé Guigal Cotes Du Rhone to accompany the starter of Clew bay scallop mousse flavoured with coconut, Mulranny lobster & brown crab bisque, burnt lime comb dust and Croagh Patrick clams, and even though a starter this was a definite Winter warmer.
What trip to the Wild Atlantic Way would be complete without poached Croagh Patrick oyster, here presented with wasabi mayonnaise, cucumber & yazi caviar and compressed kohlrobi and buttermilk.
Blood orange ice cream fried in a cornflake crust provided a plate cleaner before before Ballantine of free range Irish chicken rolled with fois gras and home smoked duck, a pork crepe, onion marmalade tuille, a Calvey black faced lamb croquette, Autumn black truffles and morels drizzled with a veal jus. This was a spectacular combination and it really is so difficult to use these six meats successfully, but it was spectacular.
At this stage you are honestly thinking there isn’t even a small corner for a dessert until the perfect sized pistachio sponge cake appears with a mousse like blackberry cloud decorated with marshmallow and Irish American whiskey truffles… and well, it would be churlish not to.
As another amazing Gourmet Greenway dinner comes to an end at Mulranny Park Hotel we all retire to the waterfront bar for Bean West coffee and Marlene’s chocolate selection, live music by Amy chambers – what a perfect end to a perfect evening
After a great nights sleep we headed back downstairs for breakfast and like true pro’s the whole team are there, you would never think they had worked around the clock the day before, then we headed to Achill for a walk before the drive home.
Every time we visit Mulranny Park Hotel the bar is raised and it goes from strength to strength; just when you think it can’t get much better it does. If you haven’t made the trip yet put it on your bucket list of places to visit during 2024. Highly recommended!!!