“Stunning Georgian mansion hotel with beautiful courtyard cottages and a welcoming restaurant, all set in glorious parkland”
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.
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.
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.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
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.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Cottages have kitchenettes and the Cellar restaurant has a children's menu (afternoon tea is also available).
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.