- Style Late-Georgian looker
- Setting Verdant River Boyne valley
Sprawling across 100 acres of verdant parkland near Slane in County Meath, Tankardstown House hotel is a charmingly coiffed former family home that bears the refined touch of its mindful matriarch. Should you care to amble about the ample green grounds, this elegant estate will loan you boots and one of its four dogs to help you cultivate your inner country squire.
Need to know
- Rooms 18, including three suites.
- Rates Double rooms from $262.31 (€191), excluding tax at 4.5 per cent.
- More details Rates include a full Irish breakfast.
- Facilities Hot tub, croquet lawn, treatment rooms, gardens, gym, free WiFi and a library of books and DVDs. In rooms, flatscreen TV, DVD player, minibar and free bottled water.
- Check–out Midday, but flexible subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm.
Children Children are welcome, and cots are free; extra beds can be provided for €45. Staff can babysit for €10 an hour.
- Also Pets are welcome.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Things don’t get grander than in the main house, and for something really special, it’s got to be the Master Suite: a vision in cream, it’s heaven for Mrs Smith, with his’n’hers bathrooms that favour hers – huge, with a marble floor, roll-top bath by the window and separate shower. There’s also a dressing room with enormous wardrobes and an ornate old dresser. For privacy, pick one of the courtyard cottages.
- Packing tips Leave your walking boots and dog behind, and borrow the hotel’s instead – there’s a load of shoes, and three dogs: Milly the labrador, Coco the bichon frise and Mika, Coco's puppy.
- Also There’s no spa, but massages and beauty treatments can be arranged: by a fire in the main house in winter, alfresco in the pagoda when it’s warmer. If you're feeling more energetic, the hotel's estate is well worth exploring. Acquire a map (and resident hound Milly if you feel like company) and take a leisurely constitutional over expansive green lawns – be sure to stop by the two kitchen gardens where you can see the chefs browsing the vegetable beds for fresh ingredients in the morning and take a peek in the hen house for fresh eggs.
Food and drink at Tankardstown House
- Hotel restaurant Brabazon trades in modern Irish fare, all seasonal and wholesome, with wild halibut, roast duck, and potato and black truffle soup featuring on their star menu. The building was once a cow shed, but it’s much cosier these days, with mismatching tables and mirrors picked up by the antique-hunting owner. There’s also a bistro in the old corn house, with exposed brick walls, a wood-burning fire, tucked-away bar and leather stools; it has a pub-style menu of steak sandwiches and fish pie. Both restaurants close on Monday and Tuesday. On these days, the hotel offers a ‘dinner à la cart’ menu, delivered to your door in a heated picnic basket and a matching cart. Alternatively, order from the same menu but ask to eat by the fire in one of the main house's reception rooms.
- Dress code Country squire: flatcaps, Hunter wellies and Barbour jackets, but with some crisp denim to smarten things up.
- Top table Watching the chefs at work by the pass in Brabazon; the secluded snug in between the bar and dining area in the bistro. If there’s big group of you (up to 36), book the secret dining room in the former milking parlour.
- Last orders Both restaurants are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Breakfast is served between 8.30am and 10.30am; lunch is midday until 6pm; dinner is served until 10pm.
- Room service A dedicated menu and food from Brabazon can be delivered up to your room until 10pm.
- Hotel bar There's a bar in the bistro serving a selection of ales and cocktails, as well as an honesty bar in the main house – this room's a knockout, with aubergine walls, a velvet sofa and vast windows overlooking the drive.
Also worth knowing
- Weddings This property is suitable for weddings. More details