Sneaky break for 2017? Ireland's Blue Book has three new members...
Short breaks in Ireland
Ireland's Blue Book is adding three new properties to its collection of hotels, country houses and restaurants for 2017.
Belleek Castle in Co. Mayo, Hilton Park Manor in Co. Monaghan and The Tannery Townhouse and Restaurant in Dungarvan are all new members.
The announcement will be made at the luxury collection's AGM - which takes place at Dunbrody House, Co. Wexford, later today.
Thornton's Restaurant in Dublin, which recently closed, and private rental property Seaview House in Rosses Point, Co. Sligo, depart the collection this year.
The new additions bring to 50 the total number of Blue Book properties - the highest number since the association was founded in 1974.
"With 2016 being one of the strongest years for Irish tourism, our hotels and restaurants are looking forward to a very busy year ahead,” said Sallyanne Clarke, chairperson of Ireland's Blue Book and proprietor of Dublin's L'Ecrivain Restaurant.
Here’s what you can look forward to from the new members:
Belleek Castle, Co. Mayo
From four-poster beds to open fires and storied antiques, Belleek Castle is an off-radar and sometimes quirky castle set just outside Ballina. The 1820s pile is full of character (don't miss the bar, recreating the interior of a Spanish Armada galleon), but the highlight is chef Stephen Lenahan's cooking. A 2 AA Rosette restaurant mixing local ingredients with a nod to the traditions of the castle anchors a novel stay on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Details: 096 22400; belleekcastle.com; B&B plus dinner from €199 for two.
Hilton Park, Co Monaghan
The Blue Book describes Hilton Park as a “majestic one-off”. Monaghan's second member (Castle Leslie Estate is the other) has been a family home for ten generations, and now combines a 600-acre estate, stately manor and skilled, locally-sourced menus in a unique short break stay. "Ideal for private parties and people looking for an alternative to the conventional hotel experience," the collection says.
Details: 047 56007; hiltonpark.ie; B&B from €94.50pp.
The Tannery, Co. Waterford
Paul and Máire Flynn's Tannery has been one of the standout experiences in Irish food since it opened in 1997. Since then, it has blossomed along with its chef's profile, now including a Townhouse, Cookery School and more casual wine bar. Destination dining at its best, with the Comeragh Mountains and Copper Coast on your doorstep.
Details: 058 45420; tannery.ie; B&B plus dinner from €100pp.
For more on Ireland’s Blue Book, see irelands-blue-book.ie.
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