They were hiding that one under their slieve
To celebrate the hotel's 125th year, County Down's Slieve Donard is set to reopen under the Marine & Lawn Hotels & Resorts banner. One of the country's most luxuriant hotels has been undergoing refurbishment work since last winter and from September 1st it is set to officially reopen. Sitting on six acres on the foot of the Mountains of Mourne, the hotel will reopen with three new and one reimagined, food and beverage offerings- J.J. Farrall’s, The Wolf Bar, The Lighthouse, and newly refurbished favourite, The Percy French.
Acquired in 2021, the hotel has undergone an extensive transformation, revamping the interiors first unveiled in 1898. Named after Slieve Donard’s original architect, J.J. Farrall’s restaurant will be serving the very best seasonal beef, lamb, seafood, game, and fresh produce, straight from the local larder. Menus in J.J. Farrall’s reflect the classic nature of the restaurant’s fine 19th-century architecture, with refined and elegant dishes enjoyed alongside wonderful views of the Irish Sea and Mourne Mountains.
Starters include a fresh pea soup with dumplings and broad beans; steamed asparagus with spring leaf, herbs, and truffle; roast scallop with fennel and sea vegetables, or a baked Templegall cheese soufflé with melted leeks and grain mustard sauce seem like they have always belonged on menus in this room. Mains include roast brill with wild mushrooms, wilted lettuce, and shellfish butter; halibut, asparagus, cucumber and chicken butter sauce or Mourne lamb, peas, new potatoes, and garlic — modern classics that also nod to the style and time-honoured appeal of simplicity and fine local ingredients in season.
Intimate and richly decorated, The Wolf Bar at Slieve Donard is set to become the cosy hub of the hotel, the spot for elevenses over scones, jam, clotted cream, and a pot of tea, or a classic walnut cake with a strong coffee. There are light bites and sharing options served from midday until 9pm daily - stop by for a plate of local Carlingford oysters, a platter of great local charcuterie and cheese, or any number of snacks, pastries, and sandwiches. With a bar offering a wide-ranging wine list and draught beers, the cocktail menu features classics with a Slieve Donard twist, inspired by local history and ingredients.
With fine views across the bay to Newcastle and the Mourne Mountains, The Lighthouse offers an all-day selection of Mediterranean-inspired light bites, pastries, choice teas and fine coffee, together with a seasonal and hearty menu for both lunch and dinner.
At the entrance to the resort at Slieve Donard, local favourite The Percy French has been given a revamp. Now serving pub classics, elevated comfort food, bar snacks and a traditional Sunday roast — all with a focus on in-season and local produce. From burgers and Shorthorn steaks from the chargrill, to free-range chicken from the rotisserie, it's a menu designed to please even the most fussy of eaters.
Architecture aside Slieve Donard, the setting of the landmark Victorian hotel is hard to beat, with unparalleled views of the mountains and the Irish Sea. When the weather plays ball there's no better place to enjoy a pint or a meal from the large outdoor terrace.
For more info on the refurbishment, head to the website.