An amazing breakfast is essential to a great stay. But which slap-up feast got our readers' vote?
It says a lot about the strength in depth of Irish food that a 12-room guesthouse on the tip of the Dingle Peninsula beat every five-star in the country (not to mention zingers like Avoca and MacNean House) to our best breakfast gong.
But anyone who has woken up to the breakfast spread prepared by Brian Heaton in Castlewood House won’t bat an eyelid. This is a breakfast that exceeds expectations from the moment your bum hits the seat.
“Awesome!” you said. “Breakfast is fabulous. A wonderful way to start the day,” said one reader; “Best selection of breakfast options served in a room with a view to die for,” another. “There is no better offering in Ireland, the pancakes and the special porridge are the winners for me.”
Castlewood brings a “surgical attention to detail” our judges noted (read our interview with Brian Heaton here), from fresh juices to homemade breads, a jaw-dropping array of stewed and poached fruits, salamis and cheeses, and freshly cooked hot options that would make any dinner menu proud.
“The porridge service is an experience in itself,” you said. “Your choice of liquor added at the table and whiskey soaked raisins… complete indulgence.”
Details: 066 915-2788; castlewooddingle.com; B&B doubles from €96.
YOUR SAY: “Best brekky has to be at Hanora's Cottage, Co. Waterford. Such a selection! Hot fruit, cold fruit, yogurt, cereals, homemade breads, meats, cheeses, the Full Irish and the best porridge I've ever tasted… I really loved that Mary (above) shared her porridge recipe with me (despite this I never managed to replicate it!).
Also, as a hill walker, another lovely touch was that she brought out the tin foil and said to pack up a lunch to bring on the hills. I'd have paid anything for a sanny with her stuff to bring with me but didn't have to.”
YOUR SAY: “Killiane Castle, Co. Wexford. A delicious breakfast with everything you could possibly want- ranging from fresh raspberries and blackberries to smoked salmon scrambled eggs, accompanied by lovely coffee and a bit of chat. A wonderful experience!”