We so often hear that, ‘A Sunday well spent brings a week of content.’ With that in mind we booked a Sunday night away in the ever so stately Carton House in Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Located on the outskirts of Maynooth town this exquisite Four Star Hotel sits elegantly on 1,100 acres of private parkland. Driving leisurely through the immaculately maintained estate sets your visit to Carton House off on an instant note of relaxation. Happy golfers whiling away the hours on the extensive golf course while families and couples are enjoying Sunday strolls. We are no strangers to Carton House but we both agree each time either of us have visited here the Boathouse has an endearing charm that makes it impossible to pass without stopping for a photo.
2019 is a year of extensive renovations at Carton House starting with the complete refurbishment of the Carton Banqueting Suites and existing meeting rooms located on the first floor. All bedrooms located in the newer wing of the hotel have been refurbished to a very high and luxurious standard. All of this along with the fresh face that the Golf Club House, Bar & Restaurant have received makes Carton House even more of an exceptional establishment. Despite the ongoing renovations there is no sign of disruption to the running of the hotel on our arrival. Checking in is a pleasant and efficient affair with the extremely polite and friendly reception staff.
Making our way from reception to our room was a bit of a journey but one we enjoyed due to the beautiful views and cleverly placed little artifacts drawing our eyes to them along the way.
We stayed in one of the beautiful, freshly renovated Superior Balcony Bedrooms in the newer wing of the hotel. Sinking into a deliciously cosy deep pile carpet, from the moment we entered the room, luxury led design was in abundance. There is definitely something about the sight of a King Size bed clad in crisp white bed linen that just makes you want to jump in and never leave. A stunning McNutt throw and cushions adding a splash of colour that picks up nicely on the muted tones of the headboard and indeed the carpet and chairs.
So many rich textures working in harmony to create a deeply relaxing ambiance. Being able to swing open the balcony doors and soak up the views and fresh air is such an added bonus to the room. There is plenty of indulgence to enjoy in the en-suite bathroom with a sunken bath tub and rain forest shower to luxuriate in. After taking a little time to enjoy all that our fabulous room had to offer, and freshen up of course, a cocktail before dinner was calling.
Making our way to The Kitchen Bar where an endearing set of rooms are located in the original kitchen of Carton House. Settling for an Old Fashioned and an Apple Sour with a side of people watching. Carton House has such a varied clientele, people of all ages however, it is very evident that this hotel is very family friendly and children are welcomed and acommodated exceptionally well which is really lovely to see.
A new found hunger always hits after a pre-dinner cocktail and with that our dinner reservation time for Linden Tree Restaurant was upon us.
Seated in front of a vast floor to ceiling, wall to wall window that frames the the very distinct soaring Linden Trees and golf course is a treat in itself. The grounds of Carton House are exquisite and the clever restaurant design allows you to enjoy exceptionally beautiful views while dining.
What better way to awaken our tastebuds than with the ultimate aperitif, a chilled glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut NV. The perfect accompaniment to scrutinize the succinct menu on offer in Linden Tree Restaurant.
Warm, freshly baked bread is one of life’s little luxuries that no matter where we go we have to indulge and here was no different. Culling the menu down and eventually deciding on our dining delights for the night, we started with Ham Hock €12.00 stylishly served with accompaniments of Chorizo Chip, Parsnip & Apple Remoulade, Watercress Purée. A comforting dish if ever there was one. Tender and salty chunks of ham hock enveloped in a crispy shell of crumb coated potato holding all of the wonderful flavour inside. Parsnip & Apple Remoulade providing that freshness and balance to the succulent salty ham.
Our second starter of Beetroot Smoked Salmon €16.00 had a wonderfully vibrant appearance. A fabulous take on the traditional smoked salmon on brown bread. The infusion of beetroot added so much depth and earthiness, all lifted ever so perfectly by the Blood Orange & Pomegranate Dressing.
Although we don’t like to admit it all that often, we are quite typically creatures of habit and always find it really difficult to pass up certain offerings and this occasion was no different. The first main we decided on was the Pan Fried Seabass €28.00. Uniquely mild and subtle in flavour, this piece of sea bass was pan fried to perfection with its crispy well seasoned skin housing beneath it a moist and flaky fillet. Red Lentil Dahl adding almost a meatiness to the plate. Three heavenly mouthwatering Prawns & Corn Salsa topped off this faultless fishy feast.
The second main to our table was decided on within seconds of reading the menu. The tremendously tasty duo that is Pork Belly & Scallops €34.00. We have already mentioned comfort food a few paragraphs back but it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge how utterly comforting this combination really is. Lush, moist pork belly sitting seductively under a layer of delectably crispy crackling. Surrounded by a scattering of voluptuous scallops and a generous helping of creamy Mashed Potato, Apple Purée, Wilted Greens & Black Pudding Bon Bon complete this great plate. Having selected a bottle of Jonty’s Ducks 2014 Pekin White we can honestly say it is a Bottle well worth ordering
Having selected a bottle of Jonty’s Ducks 2014 Pekin White €38.00 we can honestly say it is a bottle well worth ordering. It paired particularly well with the scallops, sea bass and prawns. In an age where instagramming the most expensive bottle available on a menu has become the norm it’s refreshing to see some great value mid range bottles available.
Dessert is a course that should never be skipped, in our humble opinion! We finally decided on the Deconstructed Matcha Cheesecake €10.00. Arriving to the table plated with finesse, this was a dessert that followed through on taste as much as presentation.
Our second dessert was White Chocolate & Whiskey Trifle €8.00 A really lovely take on a traditional trifle. We couldn’t help but wish that the Chef had been a little more liberal with the Whiskey, but a delicious treat regardless.
We left Linden Tree Restaurant more than satisfied. Lots of modern takes on traditional dishes, this is very clever menu design in such a family friendly hotel.
Carton House is very clearly a Four Star Hotel on a Five Star journey. A night or even a few nights in this magnificent venue will see you leaving relaxed and rejuvenated. This is a Taste Experience we highly recommend.
Carton House Golf & Spa Resort