Sitting by the fire in a big, comfy, velour chair, drinking Hendricks out of a goblet-esque gin glass while listening to a pianist play my favourite tunes from Les Mis - now that is my ideal Saturday evening. Lucky for me, that's how I spent my last weekend.
I've learned recently the benefit of weekend trips away, you can completely relax, leave daily stresses behind and you don't even have to go outside to avail of a delicious supper. Even better, The Keadeen Hotel is only a 50 minute drive from Dublin, so I didn't have to suffer the long journey that I usually dread on trips away.
The family-owned 4 star hotel was the nesting ground for my day as a lady of leisure.
After checking in I looked around the stunningly decorated reception and I knew I was in for a memorable evening. I dropped my bags in my room and immediately grabbed my swimwear and headed for the Jacuzzi in the Lesuire Centre, located by reception.
When I stay in a hotel, I'm there to stay. I hate the idea of traipsing around the town with a rumbling stomach looking for a place to eat. Therefore, I was sure to book a hotel that provided a unique dining experience.
The Bay Leaf Restaurant recently opened in the hotel and it is the perfect spot for occasion dining.
The eatery is lead by highly regarded chef Kevin Curran, who centres the menu around the time of year by using "the best from the sea and the land".
The restaurant was quite busy so I was put by the fire exit, which evidently didn't provide me with the nicest view, but hey, I was there to have a deadly meal with my best friend and that was the main point of interest. Luckily enough, the meal did not disappoint.
Before our starter came we received a small taster complimentary of the chef, this for me was a lovely touch and made me feel really welcome. I could see everyone's face light up when it was put in front of them, I mean, who doesn't like surprises? (Especially when it's food)
To begin, I had mouth-watering scallops. Scallops are my go-to when it comes to starters, so I've had more than I'd like to ever admit to (I'm surprised I haven't turned into one tbh) but this was up there as on of the best.
The presentation was beyond fab, it was the perfect way to begin this fine-dining experience.
For main I decided to try the duck. As a dish that can often be dry, the meat was cooked to perfection, which really impressed me. For someone with a small appetite, I did find the portion quite large as it included two fillets but from what I managed to eat, it was proper delish.
For dessert I tucked into a berry crumble. I wasn't crazy on the custard, there was too much and it was quite lumpy, but the tart itself was perfectly sweet.
All in all, the meal definitely lived up to expectation. I retired to the Atrium for a gin and tonic after, which was the ideal way to end a fabulous evening.
The Keadeen is a total oasis of relaxation and provides for the perfect weekend getaway.
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