24 Hours in Meath – The Best Places to Eat, Drink and Sleep

From historic castles and tombs to a spectacular natural landscape, Meath is a true gem in the heart of the Boyne Valley.

A stone’s throw from Dublin, the county is one of Ireland’s most interesting and its food and hospitality sector is not one to be forgotten. So take a break from the archaeological sites and have a taste of what Meath has to offer.

BREAKFAST AND COFFEE

Wildflower Café

Located on the beautiful grounds of Ratoath Garden Centre in Ashbourne, Wildflower Café is a gorgeous spot for an early morning cup of coffee or even an indulgent brunch dish (or two). Recently reopened after some refurbishment, this family friendly café is a wonderful breath of fresh air.

The Broadway Café

You’ll find this quirky musical-themed café in the centre of Dunboyne village. One for the musical lover in your life, each table at The Broadway Café is named after a hit Broadway musical and the staff can be persuaded to sing every now and again. Treat yourself to a coffee and some pancakes, or maybe even some Broadway style wraps and rustic sandwiches.

Relish Cafe

One of four branches, the original Relish Cafe is located in Bettystown, Co. Meath. This gorgeous seaside spot is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Serving “uncomplicated foods” using local suppliers and seasonal ingredients, you’ll relish the chance to start your morning off here.

LUNCH

Gandon Room Restaurant

Located in Slane Castle, the Gandon Room Restaurant offers an unforgettable dining experience. Serving modern Irish cuisine, the restaurant utilises the best in local and seasonal produce, with vegetarian options also available. Named after James Gandon, one of the principle architects of the castle, the Gandon Room Restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and drinks.

Room8 Café/Restaurant

Whether you’re in the mood for breakfast, lunch or dinner, a trip to Room8 in the heart of Navan, Co. Meath, won’t soon be forgotten. Run by owner and chef Aidan Cosgrove, Room8 first opened in December 2015 and has continued to grow ever since. Guests can treat themselves to Superfood Salads, Honey Glazed Goat’s Cheese Salad, Bang Bang Chicken and more.

Brabazon

Named after the previous owner of Tankardstown, the hotel’s flagship restaurant is a great spot for lunch or dinner. With recent accolades including 2AA Rosettes and RAI’s Best Hotel Restaurant in Meath and Best Chef in Meath, Brabazon Restaurant offers diners a feast for the eyes and the palate.

DINNER

The Cinnamon Garden

A contemporary Indian restaurants, the Cinnamon Garden prides itself on serving modern Indian food in a beautifully decorated dining room. Located in Ashbourne, the restaurant’s menu showcases the rich variety of flavours found in vibrant Indian cuisine, from sauces and spices to meat and fish.

Inside Out

Located right in the heart of Slane village, the award-winning Inside Out restaurant opened in 2016. With enticing menu options like Camembert Tarts, Monkfish and Tiger Prawns Mozambique, this restaurant, run by couple James Ausden and Edel Healy, is not to be missed.

Vanilla Pod

Located within the Headfort Arms Hotel in Kells, Co. Meath, Vanilla Pod is a well-known and successful restaurant at the heart of the Boyne Valley dining scene. With a creative and contemporary menu that includes locally reared lamb and locally produced cheese, the restaurant has achieved acclaim in its 15 plus years of operation.

PUBS & BARS

The Snailbox Bar

Traditionally Irish with open fires, historical furnishings and true Irish hospitality, The Snailbox Bar offers food, drink and a bit of craic. Open Monday to Sunday from 12pm until late, experience the award-winning Snailbox, which was voted Best Gastropub in Meath in 2016. Family friendly and serving locally sourced and fresh cuisine, you’ll find The Snailbox in Ashbourne, Co. Meath.

The Lime Kiln Gastropub

Open since March 2015, The Lime Kiln Gastropub offers an exciting food menu, great wines and a range of craft beer from around the world. Great for a drink and dishes created with locally sourced ingredients, whether your preference is for fish, steak, ribs from the ‘kiln’ and vegetarian options too.

Pillo Hotel Ashbourne

If you find yourself in Ashbourne, pop into the bar at the Pillo Hotel Ashbourne, a place with laid back music, subtle lighting and chic interiors. Whether you want to enjoy a coffee, an after-dinner drink or a cocktail after a hectic day of sightseeing. You can also enjoy live music every Saturday.

HOTELS

Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa

The incredible Dunboyne Castle is a beautifully restored historic mansion set on 21 acres of manicured lawns and gardens. The perfect combination of old-world opulence and contemporary design, you can rest assured that a stay at Dunboyne Castle is one you won’t soon forget. With innovative modern Irish cuisine, dining in the IVY restaurant is the perfect indulgence.

The Johnstown Estate Hotel & Spa

Perfect for exploring Dublin’s vibrant city and culture, as well as the breathtaking countryside, the 4-star Johnstown Estate is located between the villages of Johnstownbridge and Enfield. Bringing the past to the present, the 1750’s Georgian residence is filled with all the modern luxury you could want, especially with treatments in the award-winning spa or a delicious culinary experience in Fire & Salt Restaurant.

Knightsbrook Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort

This 4-star family run hotel in Trim is located within 186 acres of lush parkland, providing guests with a beautiful and private setting for rest, relaxation and leisure. From the spa to the golf course and dining room, Knightsbrook Hotel in the heart of the Boyne Valley will take your breath away.

Bellinter House

Retreat into the beautiful countryside with a stay at Bellinter House. Guests staying at this enchanting Georgian property in the Boyne Valley can experience the ultimate comfort and relaxation, with a full range of spa services and award-winning cuisine, here you can truly escape from your daily life.

FEATURE BY SARAH GLASCOTT

Sarah has always had a great love of travel, food and photography. Following her journalism degree at DCU, she developed a passion for travel writing while living in Spain.

Sarah loves exploring new places and sampling the local cuisine. Working with TheTaste.ie combines her love of food and travel.

A big people person, especially when it comes to hearing other people’s stories, Sarah loves interviewing chefs, food producers and more.

Sarah Glascott Sarah Glascott

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