Having been invited to stay overnight at Clontarf Castle, I was lucky enough to get the full hotel experience.
The rooms are every bit as stunning as you’d expect, just LOOK at those beds.
And though I made full use of the espresso machine, sleeping comfortably was not an issue.
If it’s good enough for Thin Lizzy to sing about (The Friendly Ranger at Clontarf Castle is an absolute tune), then it’s most certainly good enough for me.
There to sample the Afternoon Tea, I was given the royal treatment.
I would generally consider myself to be quite low maintenance…but every now and then I like to indulge my fancier side, and Afternoon tea is one foolproof way of doing so.
Dainty bite-sized portions, tea, lavish china; it all makes for quite a decadent affair. Especially if there’s prosecco involved - which there should be if you’re going to do it right, let’s be honest here.
The Fusion Tea at Clontarf Castle is a quirky take on your typical tea party.
For one, the tableware is actually glass and completely transparent so you can see your tea brewing. It’s also served in two courses; which afternoon tea regulars will know is unique.
Having tried and tested everything, all in the name of research, of course, I can confirm that the mango bellinis are a necessary accompaniment.
The only downside is that some of the basics, like butter, jam and a good cup of English breakfast with milk, were overlooked but with so much to choose from, that wasn’t a major issue and staff were more than happy to accommodate requests for both.
Old habits die hard.
Nibbles are served on a wooden frame and the very knowledgeable and helpful team run you through all that’s on offer.
Special shout out to Cormac, the resident barman, who was inundated with drinks related questions for the duration of my stay.
Treating yourself to the Fusion tea will set you back €42, €48 if you include a glass of Italian prosecco and €52 if you opt for the Gin Fusion Tea that includes a Gin Bramble cocktail.
Now for the art part (accidental rhyming).
Probably the best way to digest and feel somewhat human again after so much food is to take a gander through the hotel’s interior.
Their collection is an eclectic mix of colours, styles and textures that you don’t necessarily have to be a connoisseur to appreciate.
Ranging from the weird, a Last Supper inspired painting depicting fish with hands (yes, really…hands), to the wonderful, a fiery red portrait of Mother Nature.
My personal favourite though has to be the portrait of the lion located right at the entrance to the castle. Very Narnia-esque and the colours are dreamy.
I can see why the Castle was named as one of Condé Nast's Top 10 Hotels in Ireland.
Just a short spin outside Dublin city, the castle gives the impression of escaping deep into the countryside without the fuss of driving or actually leaving Dublin at all. It’s also only a seven-minute walk to the water if I remember correctly.
Though a little on the pricey side, four-star service, after all, it's definitely worth a trip out for your next occasion. Have a look at their website for more information.
(Header photo: Clontarf Castle Instagram page)