Wicklow is classed as “the garden of Ireland” and is so rich in tourist hotspots like Powerscourt, Glendalough and The Great Sugar Loaf to name but a few. So TheTastse decided to take a short trip, less than an 30 minutes from Dublin city to the renowned resort of Druids Glen for a little culinary escape. As you enter the 400 acre estate you are blown away by the vast natural beauty of the immaculate grounds and you instantly know you are in for a treat.
Whether you are searching for a golfers heaven or a indulgent spa retreat, this resort has a wonderful calming effect as soon as you walk in the door. Druids Glen is every inch a five star resort and we cannot speak highly enough of all the staff we encountered from the reception to the restaurant . They have expert local knowledge, are well trained and display a real sense of pride in everything they do. Our porter in particular had a real charm and warmth that is often absent in many resorts today and took great time to explain all that Druids Glen had to offer.
The rooms here are well positioned to take full advantage of the stunning scenery that surrounds every part of the grounds. They are well laid out and spacious with a comfort level you would expect from a hotel of this standard, definitely one of the most comfortable beds ever and not easy to leave ! (See Photos below)
Dining options in Druids Glen consist of casual dining in the Thirteenth bar, with wall to wall windows and cosy open fire, this was a delightful setting for a light bite and a cocktail when we arrived, the Whiskey Sour was very impressive indeed.
For dinner and the main reason for our stay enough was to dine in the main restaurant Druid Brasserie, a AA Rossette winner, under the expert hand of head chef Malek Hamidouche. Malek has great pedigree coming from Seafield Hotel in Wexford and stamped his french flair on the new impressive menu which utilises the best of local Wicklow produce.
For entree we were served a tasting plate of foie gras parfait and ballotine with confit duck, dressed with pear puree and the most delectable liquor poached cherries . Truly divine dish and one to try is you get the chance. Our starters consisted of a Jasmine & Lime Cured Monkfish Carpaccio – Skate Terrine, Pickled Cauliflower and Tomato Salsa, the skate and lime infused monkfish made exceptional partners. The salsa was delicate and well balanced. Secondly we opted for the Goats Cheese Terrine, Macaroon, Cake and Panacotta Sun Flower Crumbs, Beetroot Textures and Honey Bread Crisp, no words can describe just how good the favours in this worked together and we could have eaten this all night.
After two superb starters we were served a refreshing orange sorbet as a palate cleanser before the main event. We decided on a Supreme of Free Range Chicken with Black Truffle Pearl Barley Risotto, Kohlrabi and Marjoram jus. The risotto had a fantastic creamy consistency , was cooked to perfection and deliciously light. The taste of Wexford Fillet of Pork – with Belly Confit, Carrot Textures and Cider Froth had so many hidden surprises on the plate it was hard to know where to begin . Expertly presented, like a small work of art, one of the finest pork dishes we have sampled.
We could only mange a dessert to share after such a wonderful feast so we figured the Wexford Strawberry Crème Brûlée with wild strawberry sorbet would be a good pick and just like every other dish on the night it did not disappoint . The contrast of the sorbet with the warm decadence of the brulee made us instantly regret we only ordered one.
It is clear to see why the resort was so busy in the middle of January, this is a beautiful airy dining room and we have to give a special mention to our server for the evening Maeve, who is a local lady and has worked in the hotel for over 13 years . Her knowledge and passion for the job was infectious on the night and greatly added to our dining experience. Judging by what a superb menu chef Malek has designed in less than six months, the culinary future of Druids Glen appears to be in very safe hands. Clearly one hotel restaurant to look out for in the upcoming Irish Restaurant Awards.
This is a five star taste break we would strongly recommend.
Other Photos of the resort
Awards at Druids Glen
– Irish Spa Award 2014
– Family Friendly Hotel of the Year 2014
– AA Rosette Award 2014
– National Hospitality Award 2014 – Best Resort Hotel category
– Green Hospitality Award 2013
– Best Hotel for Customer Service 2013
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Keith & Jules Mahon are the founders of TheTaste. We want TheTaste to be a culinary kaleidoscope to champion every taste, food, wine, cocktails, whiskey, etc. We are delighted to be part of such a creative and fast moving industry and are very passionate about sharing with you our unique journey around Ireland finding the best culinary hotspots.