Walking up the path to the front entrance of the Dunraven Arms, with its old style revolving doorway and ivy covered walls, the sheer warmth and charm of the establishment envelopes you right away. Nestled in the picturesque heritage town of Adare (founded in the 13th Century) in Co. Limerick, the four star luxury property is named after the Earls of Dunraven and these days managed by the Murphy family.
We arrived at the hotel on the edge of town at just after 3.30pm, after driving past the grounds of Adare Manor on our way. Greeted by the friendly and welcoming staff, check-in was handled very efficiently and with ease. The warmth of the professional staff was echoed by that of an open fire in the reception area, which despite the mildness of the weather, created an instant feeling of coziness and welcome.
The rooms are spacious and elegant, with a large writing desk, comfortable armchairs, crisp white linen, and tea and coffee making facilities. The en suite bathroom was separated from the main bedroom by a sizeable dressing room and vanity basin with a large mirror. The bathroom itself had a large bath as well as shower facility. We also had an excellent view of the enchanting hotel gardens which add further to Dunraven’s charms.
Pre-dinner drinks in The Hunter’s Bar provided the opportunity for an initial taste of the hospitality on offer. Solid oak panelling and leather banquettes lend this bar something of an old club atmosphere. An open fire opposite the main bar added to the ambience but the addition of a couple of comfortable
armchairs either side would both enhance the look and charm as well as afford guests the opportunity to relax beside such an important feature. A touch of additional cosiness which is so much in evidence elsewhere throughout the hotel.
Suitably refreshed we made our way down the corridor to the restaurant area where we were greeted warmly inside. After being shown courteously to our table, positioned in the corner at a window with a lovely view of the thatched properties opposite, we kicked off our dining experience in the award winning Maigue Restaurant with an assortment of delicious breads.
Our waiter Oldrich looked after us from the outset with a friendly manner and excellent attention to detail. A feta cheese, smoked aubergine and cumin spiced carrot salad enticed the appetite nicely with its fresh flavours and subtle aroma. The centre-piece of the show was a roast tender rump of east coast lamb with shoulder croquet, swede, roast shallots, wild mushroom and a thyme jus. The lamb was tender, succulent and bursting with flavour and elevated further by the thyme jus, whilst the combination of wild mushroom,
swede and roasted shallots provided the perfect accompaniment to the dish. The prime roast rib of aged Irish beef served with horseradish sauce and red wine jus was also a delight for the taste-buds and the attentive staff also offered a second helping of the beef, which was a lovely touch.
A decadent dark chocolate delice with Malibu Chantilly and mint chocolate chip ice-cream completed the experience. Surprisingly light, the delice was quite simply a delight for the taste-buds with the mint ice-cream a refreshingly satisfying accompaniment to round off what was an excellent culinary experience. Everything in the Maigue Restaurant was at an unhurried pace. There was an extensive wine list, staff were courteous, knowledgeable,
professional and attentive without being invasive, and a special mention must certainly go to Oldrich who was a true credit to the Dunraven and certainly added to our restaurant experience.
Before retiring for the evening, a nightcap was certainly in order from The Hunter’s Bar. Rather than enjoy our drinks in the bar itself we made use of one of a number of quaint little reading rooms which can be found throughout the ground floor of Dunraven. These charming little enclaves have open fires, comfortable armchairs and sofas, the walls adorned with an array of interesting artwork on the local area around Adare. It was the perfect spot to sit back, relax and simply chill out in comfort with a drink, discussing the day, the excellent dining experience and the charms of the hotel itself.
The next morning the Maigue Restaurant was on the itinerary again, this time for a nourishing breakfast. After sampling some fresh fruit and yogurt from the vast array of continental style offerings provided (including a baked Limerick ham cooked and carved every morning), the obligatory full Irish breakfast came calling, accompanied by some welcome freshly brewed coffee. Everything was very clean, crisp and full of flavor. In fact, amongst its many awards the restaurant has been awarded ‘Best Breakfast in Ireland’. If you’re visiting the Limerick region, the town of Adare is a true gem and the Dunraven Arms a historic venue which exudes old world charm and comfort with a warm and friendly welcome. The only downside of a stay at the Dunraven Arms is having to leave.
The Dunraven Arms
T: +353 61 605 900
REVIEW BY DENISE FLYNN