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Review: Clontarf Castle Hotel

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I had the absolute pleasure of staying in Clontarf Castle Hotel last weekend and I must honestly say, it was truly one of the best hotel experiences I’ve had to date!

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The hotel is located just 10 minutes from Dublin’s City Centre but because it’s tucked away in such a tranquil setting, it feels as though you’re hidden away somewhere in the countryside – perfect if you’re looking to escape!

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The hotel itself is a 12th Century Castle offering a perfect blend of Irish history & tradition with all the luxuries of the 21st Century.

They’ve just completed a 3.5million euro renovation of all areas including the addition of a modern art collection around the building which has added another layer to the guest experience.

The hotel’s 111 newly refurbished guest rooms and suites range from the luxurious to the truly extravagant and feature breathtaking views of the Dublin Mountains.

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I stayed in the King Suite during my visit and the room was unparalleled!  It featured a large four poster bed fit for a king and a separate living room area.

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There were two large plasma TV’s in the room for entertainment, one at the foot of the bed over the writing desk and one in the living room area. The room also featured a palatial bathroom complete with a shower and free standing bath.

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During my stay I also had the pleasure of dining in the Fahrenheit Restaurant, regarded as one of the finest restaurants in Dublin. Recently awarded their second AA Rosette for culinary excellence within Ireland, Head Chef Stuart Heeney takes the best of local artisan producers to ensure freshness and quality.

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As a pre-starter I had an  Amuse Bouche – a Mini crab tian, gazpacho salsa and avocado puree.

For starters…

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House Smoked Magret Duck with soused vegetables, Pok Choi, plums, fig & duck crackling.

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Ardsallagh Goats Cheese with textures of beetroot & orange, toasted granola, nasturtium leaves. 

For mains…

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8oz Aberdeen Angus Sirloin with artichoke puree, confit chestnut mushrooms, truffle gel, potato terrine, chantenay carrots.

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Roast Cod Fillet with savoy cabbage, Castletownbere crab ravioli, bisque, clams & young fennel. 

To view the full menus at Fahrenheit head to www.fahrenheitclontarf.ie

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The chef even made a personalised Peaches & Cream desert for me which was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever been given.

The best word I could use to describe the food in both taste and appearance is art. Just art. It was all magnificent and I couldn’t fault a single thing!

After dinner we went to the legendary Knights Bar to enjoy some cocktails.

The food menu at Knights Bar offers an all-day casual dining experience including a traditional carvery lunch which is served from 12pm – 3pm Sunday to Friday. One of Dublin’s most popular venues for lunch, Knights Bar was honoured with the title of Best Hotel Carvery in the Unilever Great Carvery Competition 2014.

Knights Bar have also just launched their new Gastro Bar menu which includes Grilled 28 Day Aged Prime Irish 8oz Sirloin Steak, 12 Hour Slow Cooked Pulled Pork Shoulder, Tiger Prawns sautéed in McGrath’s Irish Pale Ale Chilli & Garlic as well as a wide selection of salads and signature sandwiches, all prepared by Knight’s Bar expert chefs.

I’ll give you a little run down of all the cocktails we tasted:

Cocktail 1 – Rudolphs Kiss

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Bacardi, Tequila, Lemon Cordial, Strawberry Coulis blended together and served in a Martini glass.

Cocktail 2 –  Elf Heaven

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Chilled Smirnoff Vodka, Cointreau, Peach Schnapps, Pineapple Juice, Oracge Juice, dash of grenadine blended together and served in a tall glass.

Cocktail 3 – The original Mojito

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Bacardi superior rum balanced with fresh mint, fresh lime juice & castor sugar over crushed ice and finished with a splash of soda water.

Cocktail 4 – Frozen Chocolate Mint

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Browne Creme de Cacoa, Creme de Menthe, fresh cream shaken & served in a  frozen Martini glass.

Each were as divine as they looked, as you’ve already probably guessed!

The following morning we enjoyed breakfast at the Fahrenheit Restaurant and I’ve never seen anything like the display of food that was on offer!

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There was a cereal bar with a selection of cereals, muesli, granola along with a selection of nuts, seeds and compote toppings.

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A bar with a selection of cured meats and cheeses, vegetables and hummus along with every fruit imaginable and a selection of yogurts to choose from.

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There was also a full Irish Breakfast Buffet on offer along with a variety of smoothies, juices and infused waters.

I couldn’t recommend Clontarf Castle Hotel enough from the food to the stay itself – it was a real struggle leaving the next morning!

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A gift voucher for Clontarf Castle Hotel would be the PERFECT gift for him or her this Christmas and there’s so many ways you can use it! For example, you could get a gift voucher for the Fusion Tea Experience – it’s €85 but includes the Fusion Afternoon Tea accompanied by a glass of Champagne for two people! Alternatively you could use the €85 voucher for Sunday Lunch with a bottle of wine for two people.

If it’s the overnight stay you’re interested in you could get a voucher for the ‘Clontarf Castle Collection’ package which will set you back €269. It includes an overnight stay, the art trail experience where guests can discover the new contemporary art gallery, Fusion Afternoon Tea for two AND artisan breakfast the following morning!

A two-night getaway voucher will set you back €500 but includes a weekend stay, artisan breakfast both mornings and dinner in the Fahrenheit restaurant on one night of your choice!

Alternatively you can customise the gift voucher to any monetary sum/package!

For more information, to book or to purchase a voucher for Clontarf Castle Hotel contact them on (0)1 8332321 or email info@clontarfcastle.ie. You can also visit their website here: www.clontarfcastle.ie

I hope you guys enjoyed reading my review of Clontarf Castle Hotel as much as I enjoyed writing it! I cannot wait to return to the hotel in the new year, my top priority is to have the Fusion Afternoon Tea Experience and complete the modern art trail around the hotel!