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Our food critic samples exquisite dishes as part of the Burren hotel’s tasting menu

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The elegant interior of Gregans Castle in Co Clare

The elegant interior of Gregans Castle in Co Clare

Gregans Castle Hotel

Gregans Castle Hotel

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The elegant interior of Gregans Castle in Co Clare

Gregans Castle has always been a class act, but this summer, returning to stay after a few years, it felt as if it had moved quietly into a new league. The views out over The Burren are as spectacular as ever, the gardens to the front beautifully tended yet unfussy, now laid out with smart garden furniture and comfy deckchairs. At dusk, a member of staff comes out with solar-powered lights for each table — by morning, they have been whisked away.

The hotel itself feels less like a commercial operation than the home of a generous, hospitable friend with exquisite taste, the rooms individually decorated, the beds supremely comfortable, the bathrooms luxurious. Even the reading material provided — interesting American magazines, well-chosen literary fiction — is a cut above.


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