Co. Meath, Leinster, Ireland Book from

Reviewed by Nadine Mellor
Stunning Georgian mansion hotel with beautiful courtyard cottages and a welcoming restaurant, all set in glorious parkland
It was all because of the 2006 Ryder Cup. Patricia and Brian Conroy had returned to Ireland in 2002 after several years in Hampshire, and spent 4 years resurrecting the Georgian mansion from complete disrepair. It was all set to be their dream home, combining lavish fabrics and modern bathrooms with antique furniture and family heirlooms.

But word spread round the county of Trish's flair for stylish design and thoughtful detail. Then the Ryder Cup scout rang up, offering 'silly money' to rent the property for the golf tournament. While on her inspection she saw the unmodernised stable block beside the house, and proposed to throw that into the mix, if it could be refurbished in time. Six whirlwind months later, the Conroys moved out for a week and 24 Texans moved in. It was such a success that they eventually moved out of the mansion permanently, choosing instead to offer guest rooms and courtyard cottages to discerning visitors, and adding a bistro and restaurant as their reputation grew.


  • Flexible accommodation, from the Heritage Rooms to the 4 Bedroom Courtyard Cottage, suits all from families to couples to gatherings
  • Tranquil environs, with 80 acres of gorgeous private grounds, and 2 charming restaurants
  • Personal, warm service and extraordinary attention to detail, high quality furnishings, luxury fittings
  • Under an hour from Dublin and close to Newgrange (Ireland's Stonehenge), 5 golf courses and Slane Castle
  • A perfect setting for weddings, family celebrations and special events


  • The restaurants are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
  • You'll need to drive if you want to explore the area
  • A lot has changed since our last visit, so we can't personally vouch for various features
  • Most of the cottage kitchenettes have only basic equipment - no oven or microwave

Best time to go

The best time to visit is late spring, summer and autumn, but of course in Ireland you can 'enjoy' all 4 seasons in a day, so don't rely on the weather to have a good time.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Country House Rental
  • 7 rooms + 7 cottages (for 2-8)
  • Restaurant and bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen


In the main house, 7 elegant rooms await. On the first-floor the Master Suite has a superb walk-in wardrobe and a huge ensuite bathroom with a freestanding roll-top bath. Down on the ground-floor the traditional Library Suite has a beautiful ensuite with freestanding tub and walk-in shower. The Heritage Rooms are simpler, each with an ensuite shower room. All rooms boast fine views over the surrounding countryside, thick satin curtains and vintage pieces, yet are individually styled, with carefully chosen fabrics and wallpapers.

We stayed - as you will, if travelling as a couple or family - in one of the smartly restored Courtyard Cottages, close by. The U-shaped ashlar-stone ex-stable building surrounds a lavender-fringed fountain and now houses 7 cottages for 2-8. Gravel paths and box hedges delineate the cottages, and exterior woodwork is painted a gorgeous duck-egg blue.

The same high standards of the main house are in evidence here, albeit on a less grandiose scale. The beds were wonderful - we had the best night's sleep in a long while. The cottages are also deceptively large, each with a living room and a kitchenette. And everything is immaculately kept.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dishwasher
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Kitchenette
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


Tankardstown’s main restaurant, Brabazon, and more informal Cellar Restaurant offer lunch and dinner most days (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). Both opened since our last visit so we can’t vouch for the food, but the fusion of local and international influences looks tantalising - options include potato and black truffle soup, smoked duck salad with toasted brioche, and cappuccino mousse with chocolate and thyme cookies. Set in a former cow shed, both have exposed stone walls and outdoor tables in a walled garden; the beamed milking parlour next door has been converted into a tea gardens serving afternoon tea.

Breakfast is served in Brabazon however those staying in the cottages can order it to their door (additional charge). Choose between continental or the full Irish option. Naturally we went for the latter - yummo - which came with really delicious home-baked bread, a choice of condiments, fruit salad and orange juice.

Alternatively, Courtyard Cottage guests can whip up their own culinary delights in their kitchenettes (Belfast sink, a toaster, a fridge, a dishwasher, oven gloves and tea towels). You get good coffee and a range of posh teas.

The main house has a stylish bar next to the living room, with a large gilt mirror, purple walls and a comfy sofa.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • In house cook
  • Kitchenette
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Activity: Newgrange


  • Take a stroll around the 80 acres of parkland, with their lush lawns and graceful tree-lined drives - there's even a children's playground, and a dog to walk!

  • Or book a qualified walking guide to accompany you on a hike in the surrounding countryside. Trish, with usual efficiency, can offer you wet weather gear and walking boots in most sizes - so you can pack lightly

  • Just 5 miles down the road is 18th-century Slane Castle, now most famed for its annual rock concert, which has seen everyone who is anyone perform to the 100,000 strong crowd every August

  • Ireland's Stonehenge, Unesco World Heritage site Newgrange, about 10 minutes' drive away, is the most visited archaeological monument in the country and is 500 years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza. The prehistoric 'passage tomb' is constructed so that on the winter solstice a shaft of light illuminates the floor of the chamber

  • Golf enthusiasts have a choice of 5 courses within a 20 mile radius, including long established Headfort Old Course, Baltray (home of the Irish Open) and Ashbourne Golf Club, with lakes and mature trees

  • The Hill of Tara near county town Navan is an archaeological complex which, according to legend, was the seat of the ancient High Kings of Ireland

  • Ireland is famous for its bloodstock and horse-riding excursions can be easily arranged; unlike in the UK, hunting with hounds isn't banned and County Meath is one of the best places to pursue the fox, with 5 hunts nearby

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Hunting
  • Museums / galleries


Children are very welcome here, either as part of large family celebrations or in smaller family groups. If it rains, as it often does, there is a good range of activities for children and families in the area.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

The Courtyard Cottages are best for families and come with kitchenettes. All rooms can hold a baby cot.


Babysitting is available by arrangement. See rates.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • Baby bedding
  • High chair
  • Bottle warming on request

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

Cottages have kitchenettes and the Cellar restaurant has a children's menu (afternoon tea is also available).

Kids Activities on site:

  • Outdoor hot tub
  • Farm animals nearby
  • Children's DVDs

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Tayto Park, a potato and crisp-themed Theme Park (30 minutes away in Ashbourne)
  • Prehistoric monument Newgrange (15 minutes away)
  • Funtasia Waterpark, with bowling, crazy golf, climbing and more (25 minutes away)

Families Should Know:

None of the staircases (2 in the main house, 1 in each cottage) are gated. There's an open fountain in the main corridor. Dogs are welcome. Most kitchenettes lack an oven or microwave.


  • Airport: 35 minutes
  • Hospital: 20 minutes
  • Doctor: 15 minutes
Kid Friendly:

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