Home & Away with Robert Walshe
Weekend Hotspot – Dunbrody House Hotel from Ireland’s Blue Book Dunbrody Country House Hotel on the Hook peninsula in County Wexford is an enchanting 1830s Georgian manor. Located two hours from Dublin and Cork and only 15 minutes from Waterford City, Dunbrody is accessible from all parts of the island. This southeast corner of Ireland has a rich history of invasions by the Vikings and Normans. Ancestral home to the Chichester
Family, Dunbrody House has a well established tradition of hospitality. As a family-owned hotel, the truth is in the attention to detail that Catherine Dundon and her celebrity TV chef husband Kevin bring to the place. The properties historic nature means that rooms vary in size and shape, and each has an artistic, tasteful décor. The best two are on the top floor with multi-room sitting areas decked out in either yellow or blue colours, separate bedrooms, and small balconies overlooking the estate gardens. Popular as a destination wedding
n Kevin Dundon, TV Chef Dunbrody House.
venue facilities include a full service spa as well as fine dining in the Harvest Room restaurant. A love of food is at the heart of the business and this passion is something Kevin Dundon has had since he was a child. So obsessed was he with cooking that he left school in his mid-teens to become a chef graduating with a scholarship to Switzerland. His later career brought him to prestigious restaurants in Zurich, Canada and then back to Dublin to work at the high profile Shelbourne Hotel before he & wife Catherine (a marketing expert) opened Dunbrody House in 1997. Locals and visiting guests also sign up for one of many cooking classes that take place in the show kitchen and chef’s table across from the main house. Here, participants watch and learn as organic ingredients are prepared into culinary masterpieces. More recently the Dundon family opened a pop up bar on the grounds of the hotel following the closure of the local pub in late 2012. Guests & locals meet up and chat and
For our best deals call 0044 28 9038 1111 or visit www.mooneyhotelgroup.com during the weekends entertainment is on offer. If you feel like venturing out of doors the road nearby circumnavigates the Hook Peninsula. Its jagged southern tip, Hook Head, is capped by the blackand-white-striped, 13th-century lighthouse (the world’s oldest working lighthouse) and cloaked by sea spray. On n Dunbrody Hous e Co Wexford the western side of . the Hook Peninsula, it’s a five-minute crossing by car ferry from Ballyhack, and a highly informative dominated by a 15th-century tour. www.waterfordvisitorcastle, to the thatched fishing centre.com. Dunbrody House village of Passage East. “Springtime Bliss” packages Wexford provides an array with dinner, B+B from are of opportunities just to wan- now selling at €125 pps midder around. The revamped week and from €145 pp at quay front provides pleasant weekends. strolls along the River Slaney Dunbrody is also a memwhile the annual opera festi- ber of Ireland’s Blue Book a val draws committed music collection of Irish Country fans from far and wide. www. House Hotels, Manor Houses, wexfordopera.com. Castles and Restaurants. LoThe new Waterford Crystal cated throughout the island visitor centre a short ferry of Ireland these charming ride away offers the largest and stylish hideaways are the crystal display in the world perfect choice for a midweek
or weekend break and those seeking a romantic getaway. Activities vary from golf, fishing, spas and cookery schools or just relaxing in warm and comfortable surroundings. For further information www. irelandsbluebook.com Robert Walshe is a travel broadcaster with Q Radio Network and Travel Editor for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland. www.robertwalshe.com