There truly is something for everyone at the very stylish Seafield Hotel & Spa Resort located outside the tiny village of Ballymoney near Gorey in County Wexford. Set in 160 acres of mature, well-kept grounds, the hotel occupies a stunning location overlooking the sea, with the beach as well as a lovely playground for younger visitors near the main hotel building.
Seafield’s award-award winning Oceo Spa provides an extensive range of treatments and also has a number of thermal suites along with a large outdoor vitality pool where guests can relax and unwind.
The hotel’s contemporary architecture follows through to the décor and I was very taken with the sleek lines, comfortable velvet-covered sofas and stylish feel of the reception area. I also loved the large, specially-commissioned sculpture of a Centaurides by Laurent Mellet which stands guard outside the entrance to the hotel’s Greenroom Restaurant keeping watch over guests as they come and go.
With a total of 102 bedrooms, there are a number of accommodation options at Seafield. The hotel’s Courtyard Family Suites & Executive Houses are located adjacent to the hotel & golf course and are ideal for families. Guests in these Suites and Houses have access to the hotel’s bar and restaurant facilities. ensuring you have everything you need for an enjoyable stay. My Executive Suite was located in the main hotel and after checking-in I made my way up to the large second-floor room.
Without a doubt this was one of the most beautiful rooms that I have ever stayed the night in with its king-sized bed dressed with crisp linen, plump pillows and brocade-covered cushions in front of which was a gigantic couch. A glass-topped dining table was placed beside sliding doors which led out onto a sizeable balcony with wonderful views of the grounds. After a quick revitalising shower in the similarly luxurious bathroom, I decided to take a pre-dinner stroll down to the beach.
Down at the shoreline parents were supervising children paddling and building sandcastles in the beautiful summer sunshine whilst a couple other groups snoozed on blankets enjoying the warm weather. I even spied a couple of swimmers bobbing up and down in the water.
I eventually wandered back to the hotel for dinner. Seafield has two restaurants offering a diverse range of dining options and menus designed to have broad appeal. The fine-dining Greenroom Restaurant holds 2 AA Rosettes whilst the Village Bar & Grill offers a more casual dining experience. It is open from 12 noon each day with live music every Saturday night. I decided to try out the latter.
The Village Bar & Grill dining room looks spectacular with a sophisticated, urban feel. A glass-covered gold-leaf decorated wall beside the semi-open kitchen pass is stunning whilst large exposed air-venting ducts in the high-ceilinged room lend it a chic, industrial feel. Grey leather booths surround the room with further seating in the centre at stylish black tables. A balcony off the main restaurant also provides al fresco dining which many guests were availing of given the glorious weather outside.
The menu is laid out in a simple, easy-to-navigate fashion with a no-nonsense selection of appetisers, mains, pizzas and sandwiches with options also available from the grill. A children’s menu is also available.
A succinct but reasonably priced wine-list contains a good selection of popular crowd-pleasers including Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Rioja by the glass alongside some interesting wines available by the bottle. There is also a large selection of gins available and although tempted to have a G&T, I eventually decided to kick off proceedings with a Cucumber Muddler (€11) made with Hendricks gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, syrup, muddled cucumber and a good pinch of cracked black pepper from the quirky and inventive cocktail menu. This was wonderfully refreshing and the perfect drink for a summer’s day.
Appetisers include various flatbreads,a charcuterie boards as well as an intriguing savoury Green’s Berry Farm Strawberry Salad (€14) with kale, sprouting green lentils, feta, sunflower seeds and a black pepper dressing.
Smokey BBQ Chicken Wings (€13) served with celery, blue cheese dip seemed a little pricy but looking at the tables around me seemed a popular choice with my fellow diners. I decided to follow suit and was delighted that I did so.
A ubiquitous offering on restaurant menus, chicken wings often disappoint but not at The Village Bar & Grill. They had a slightly crispy exterior but the meat inside was succulent and to use a well-worn cliché… ‘finger-lickin’ good’. The sweetness of the sauce was balanced out but a spicy smokiness that was addictive. I loved them.
For my main, I ordered the Surf & Turf (€30) from the Grill section of the menu. I loved the combination of seared sirloin of beef, topped with gently spicy prawns. It was served with a silky pomme mousseline and béarnaise sauce on the side. With a plate of food like this there is nowhere to hide.
The ingredients used must be of the highest quality and they have to be cooked to perfection and to be honest I found nothing to complain about. The steak had been expertly cooked medium-rare as requested and the prawns were sweet and succulent and married well the beef. The béarnaise was also excellent. I also ordered a side portion of Onion Rings (€4), which were delicious and everything you would want, with a lovely light and crispy batter.
Despite feeling sated after my chicken-wings and steak, I found it impossible to resist ordering something from the alluring selection of desserts. In the end, although it seemed like a dish more suited to winter months, I decided on the Sticky Toffee Pudding (€7.50) served with a scoop of roasted banana ice-cream from the Wexford Natural Ice-Cream Company. More toffee sauce was served on the side in a small jug. I was worried that the pudding would be heavy, but it was surprisingly light and went down a treat with the rather superb ice-cream.
Staff throughout my meal couldn’t do enough to please me. I was delighted to meet Manager Daniel Rahman and Head Chef Ramen Kumar and chat to them. Their commitment to sourcing the best ingredients and providing a positive and memorable dining experience for guests was evident.
After a Von Hallers Gin & Tonic at the bar, I retired to my room for the evening, where I had a thoroughly relaxing night’s sleep. Breakfast the next morning was a primarily self-service, buffet-style affair in the Greenroom restaurant. There are loads of options to choose from including fruit juices, fresh fruit, breads, cereals, cold meats and cooked options. Coeliacs are also well catered for. For a small supplement, you can also order from a selection of individually prepared items from the kitchen. From this list I ordered poached eggs on wheaten toast, which were great and an ideal way to kick start the day.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Seafield Hotel & Spa Resort. It is ideally located, an hour’s drive from Dublin and has everything you could possibly want for a relaxing break away. It would also be the perfect base for discovering all that the South East of Ireland has to offer. Whether you want some pampering in the spa or just want to take it easy somewhere that serves great food, Seafield is the place.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast packages including thermal suite access at Seafield start at €178 per couple.
Seafield Hotel & Spa Resort
Niamh believes Ireland produces some of the best food in the world, and travels around the country; seeking out the best food producers, and places to eat.
An accomplished cook and baker, Niamh is also a previous MasterChef Ireland finalist. During the competition she had the opportunity to cook in some of Ireland’s top restaurants and experience life on the other side of the kitchen pass.
Working with TheTaste allows Niamh to write about her experiences and to share her passion for food and cooking with a wide audience.
Visit Niamh’s blog The Game Bird Food Chronicles.