We left the kids behind to enjoy a romantic break at the stunning Tankardstown House in Slane where relaxation and luxury is the running theme for that much needed time out…
Naturally, when considering an overnight retreat, we often don’t like to stray too far from our doorsteps but with the road network so accessible, we’re across the border in super quick time.
This is what I recently discovered when I visited the opulent surroundings of Tankardstown House, an 18th Century Country Manor nestled just outside Slane, Co Meath, an hour’s drive from Belfast.
Our journey there saw the motorway give way to meandering country roads leading to the idyllic location surrounded by 80 acres of land. The 18th Century House here is one part of the estate, together with beautifully appointed cottages, a rustic ‘cellar bar’ and award winning restaurant ‘Brabazon’. The charm and elegance of the estate transports you into a scene from Downton Abbey and you can’t help but feel like Lord and Lady of the Manor.
On arrival, we were treated to a beautiful lunch experience in the Cellar Bar. This charming building encapsulated the raw charm of original stone brickwork with the warmth of new contemporary finishes. Our food was exceptional; I had the soup, which was rich and creamy and moreish. Afternoon Tea appeared to be the lunch of choice by many, with visitors enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, while the rich aroma of coffee and freshly baked sweet treats filled the air. On a fairer afternoon, I could certainly imagine sitting in the courtyard garden area chatting under the warmth of the sun.
The house was everything I imagined and more, it was awash with culture and steeped in history. There were large bay windows with high ceilings and a large open fire with each room having its own decadence, character and charm. Our Master Suite bedroom was equally luxurious with rich cream fabrics. The nine-foot bed was a real focal point of the room and we had not one, but two large en suite bathrooms and a separate dressing room.
Brabazon is an absolute credit to Tankardstown House; Robbie Krawczyk is as much an artist as he is a chef. This 2AA Rosette restaurant has been credited with many awards, including most recently ‘The Best Chef award for Leinster’ from the Irish Restaurant Awards. The ambience of the restaurant is serene and romantic framed by natural stonewalls and enriched by candle lit tables. We had the pleasure of sitting near the pass, so we could watch the hive of activity and the sheer volume of work that went into our meal.
Our food was a stunning array of flavours and delectably crafted surprises which all complemented each other. Each intricate course offered a new experience and there were seven of them. We had Edible Seashore, Lamb Rump, Parsnip, Leeks and Lamb Jus and Amuse Bouche to name just some of the delectable treats. Our Maitre D’ Derek offered a warm, informative service, his knowledge and advice on the wine and the food was equally part of our unforgettable experience.
Guests can then retire to the Manor House where there is a self-service ‘Honour Bar’. Having never experienced this in my life, it was most definitely the icing on the cake, as there was an amazing atmosphere, with some of the men fancying themselves as a budding Tom Cruise from Cocktail! We really enjoyed the relaxed nature and atmosphere in this bar; it was almost like being in your own home, if you lived in a large country estate!
I thoroughly enjoyed our stay, I can’t recommend it enough for anyone looking a romantic getaway or even considering as a wedding venue.
This hidden gem in the Irish countryside is a real treat and definitely somewhere to visit again and again.
Contact information Tankardstown House Rathkenny, Slane, Co. Meath
T: 00353 (0) 41 9824621
Reviewed by UL Team
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