There is no denying that we have some fabulous hotels dotted around Ireland. I’m a big fan of fitting in a weekend getaway (when time and finances permit of course) and love how most destinations in Ireland are just a few hours away by car or train. I’ll admit to being a bit of a hotel snob when I’m in Ireland, when I’m abroad I couldn’t care less where I lay my head as I’ll spend most of my time out exploring, but at home I like a bit more luxury – as you may have guessed from my posts on Carton House, The Cliff House Hotel, The Marker Hotel and The Westin Hotel!
Over the last bank holiday myself and my lovely mother decided last minute to treat ourselves to a night away. We’ve been to Kilkenny a few times before and always enjoy it so decided we’d go there. As we were looking to book just a 2 weeks before the date we looked at, the only rooms available in Mount Juliet were the Club House rooms, at €244 B and B. I’d been there before at a work thing about 9 years ago and remembered it being lovely place so we decided to go for that. Mount Juliet is probably most famous for it’s amazing golf course and recently awarded Michelin Star Restaurant, the Lady Helen.
We’d usually stop off in Kilkenny for a wander around the shops and a bit of lunch but unfortunately this particular weekend it LASHED rain almost all day the Saturday and Sunday, so we headed straight to the hotel to have a cosy afternoon there.
We found our way to Thomastown and drove up the large driveway,straight to the main house to check in. What I remembered most about it from my previous visit was the beautiful grounds and even in the rain they didn’t disappoint. The house itself, built on a 1,500 acre estate and overlooking the river Nore, is beautiful.
We parked up and went inside to check it all out. As our room wasn’t yet ready, we decided to have some lunch while there. Walking through the hallway you notice the beautiful striking staircase and art on the wall.
Walking further through there are numerous cosy rooms to settle into a comfy chair and relax.
We took a seat in the bar area and ordered some sandwiches and a coffee. The view from here looks out to the river and even on such a miserable day it was beautiful and all felt very peaceful and relaxed.
After spending some time chilling out here we decided to go to our room and get rid of our bags etc. The Club House rooms are located a few minutes walk from the main house. At this section of the estate there’s a golf shop, the leisure centre, a more casual dining and drinks area called the Presidents Bar and also the Club House rooms.
The room was pretty basic to be totally honest, not the fanciest of furnishings and a pretty small bathroom.
There was a lovely strong shower though and some pretty products.
As it was so wet and we couldn’t really get out for a walk we decided to head to the President’s Bar with our books for a relaxed read and a glass of wine. This area really wasn’t the high point of our stay. The bar area looked like it hadn’t been updated at all since I was last there almost a decade before. We had a seat and ordered a glass of wine and settled down. As it was the bank holiday weekend it was pretty busy there so not exactly the peace and quiet we’d had at the house. We stayed a while but being brutally honest the whole Clubhouse wasn’t at all inviting or relaxing. We left after a while and chilled in our room for a bit before dinner.
There are 2 restaurants at Mount Juliet, the highly regarded Lady Helen and then a French dining experience in Kendal’s. We’d booked in to Kendals and I was really looking forward to some great food. The restaurant is warm and inviting and there was a mix of families and couples dining.
Th food was absolutely fantastic. First up they gave us a basket of bread including a very original seaweed foccacia.
To start I ordered the crab which was fresh and soft.
We went for the chicken and lamb for main course and bother were delicious dishes. The lamb was perfectly cooked and served with baby carrots and a carrot puree.
For dessert we shared a the sorbet. I am not usually a sorbet fan but these were gorgeous and full of flavour.
We went off to bed that evening full of great food and wine.
Next morning we thankfully woke to a dry day and got out for a walk in the grounds. There is so much land to explore here that we only saw a small amount but what we did was beautiful, especially the well kept walled garden.
After we’d worked up an appetite on our stroll we went for brekkie, which was served in Kendal’s where we’d eaten the night before. This view over the land from here is beautiful and we had a fantastic breakfast.
After this feed we packed up and hit the road home. I found Mount Juliet to be a beautiful place but really felt the Club House rooms were overpriced and also that the whole area there needed updating. At almost €250 for B and B I would have expected a bit more so would only return if there was a room available in the main house.
With that said here is a review from a fellow blogger who did stay in the main house and it looks superb! : http://www.thewholeworldisaplayground.com/mount-juliet-hotel-review-mount-juliet-kilkenny-ireland/
Mount Juliet, Thomastown, Kilkenny
Ph: 00353 56 777 3000