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This Stunning Hotel Is One Of Ireland's Best Kept Secrets

By mariemadden

May 28, 2017 at 2:53pm


Cavan may not be the first location that springs to mind when planning an Irish staycation but it should be, and there's one main reason why.

Farnham Estate Golf & Spa Resort is located just a stone's throw from Cavan Town and is set on sprawling grounds that encompass woodland, a lake and a golf course designed by one of Europe's leading golf architects.

If you're looking for an escape for some rest and relaxation, this is said to be the place to go... so last weekend, we hopped in the car and took the 1hr 30min journey to check it out.

As we drove up the long road to reception, we were greeted by the classic facade of the period building - which dates back to the 1600s.

The older structure has been developed to create a thoroughly modern hotel but some of the original rooms are still in use, including the very elegant Music Room at the front of the building.

It is here that the hotel's afternoon tea is served, a three-tier creation featuring everything from the signature scones to mini cheesecakes, macaroons, and finger sandwiches.

It may look dainty but there's plenty to fill you up, and it is served with your choice of tea from the hotel's wide selection. We tried the Moroccan Mint and Irish Whiskey Cream - both of which were as delicious as they sound!

One of the major attractions of Farnham Estate is the on-site spa, which offers a selection of ESPA and Yonka treatments.

ESPA is one of our favourite spa brands due to the brand's philosophy of offering treatments that make you look great on the outside and feel calm and relaxed on the inside. A pretty good combo, I'm sure you'll agree.

On our trip, we tried the 60-minute Aromatherapy Massage, which began with a chat with therapist Urszula about what we were hoping to achieve from the facial.

My therapist explained that they use a sensory approach when it comes to choosing an oil for the massage and asked me to smell two options so that my brain could select which one was best for me.

It might sound a bit airy fairy but it did the trick, as I chose the Fitness Body Oil - a blend of sweet almond, Indian Bay and Clove Bud oils that was apt as my muscles were still in shock following a recent return to the gym.

It was one of the best massages that I've ever had but even if you're not getting a treatment, it's still worth checking out the spa at Farnham as it's home to saunas, steam rooms and an infinity pool that flows from the inside of the spa out to the rear of the building.

Swimming in an outdoor pool in 19 degree weather while being watched by the cows in the adjoining field - where else would you get it?

They take their food very seriously at Farnham and the menu on offer in the Botanica Restaurant was tempting from the off.

The restaurant was awarded an AA Rosette last year and the evening menu focuses on showcasing Irish produce, like beef sourced from local Cavan farmers, Irish cheeses (including a delish Knockanore cheddar) and Glenowen Farm ice-cream.

The stand-out dish for me was the Rack Of Wicklow Lamb with aubergine relish, rosti potato and mint jus, which was succulent and full of flavour.

One thing that can absolutely ruin a hotel stay is a bad breakfast and over the years, I've become a bit of a stickler when it comes to the most important meal of the day.

While I was initially concerned that there were no 'made to order' options available at Farnham, I have to say that everything I tried from the hotel's buffet was fresh and tasty. 

It was also nice to see that extra effort had gone into the spread, with little touches like oven-roasted mushrooms and a wide selection of cheese and pastries on offer. You definitely wouldn't be going hungry.

That commitment to 'going the extra mile' is something that is apparent everywhere you look at Farnham, which really makes the most of its natural setting.

There are 7km of walking trails dotted across the site, with outdoor swinging benches and picnic tables to allow you to really take in your surroundings.

I left Farnham feeling rested, refreshed and already planning a return visit.

READ NEXT: This Seaside Hotel Is Probably The Most Relaxing Spot In Ireland


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