I really needed a few days away when a friend suggested Mount Juliet. Mmmm I thought. I was only familiar with it in terms of golf so it wasn’t somewhere I had considered for a weekend break. So I checked it out and thought okay let’s give it a shot as it ticked the boxes – 1.5hrs from Dublin (perfect for a mini break), beautiful grounds with walks, a place with character, leisure facilities and restaurants. It was our first weekend away with our little gal Elsa and as newbie parents we weren’t sure how this would go but of course there was no need to worry because our car was fully loaded and we were prepared for every possible eventuality, all types of weather and every food situation from bottles, sterilisers and formula to her fruit and veggies. I don’t think we could fit any more into the car and when I say it was packed to the brim it really was packed to the roof with a full boot as well. Please tell me I’m not alone and there are others out there that pack the car like their moving house.
Well we rolled up on a wet windy evening to this beautiful ivy clad old house called The Manor House on the Mount Juliet Estate in Co Kilkenny. We headed into a character filled, well designed reception area that was just cool (as opposed to a big long desk that you have to lean over to speak with the receptions) – this was warm and inviting – it had a big open fire and couches and a big warm welcome from the lovely Laura.
Our bedroom was big and spacious with a king size bed and had everything we needed. Off this was a beautiful great big bathroom with a free standing bath – it was deeeevine. A glass of prosecco and a big bubble bath was all I needed to induce me into a state of complete relaxation. It’s all in the detail right so I just love that they have Irish products from The Handmade Soap Co and what’s not to love about their collection.
There’s a beautiful sweeping staircase that leads up the centre of the house with a stunning chandeliers hanging overhead. At the bottom of the stairs was yet another big open fire and beyond this were sweeping views of the river and paddocks with uninterrupted views of greenery. A reminder of how lush and green our beautiful island of Ireland was visible from this view and I imagined it would be exactly what tourists would have in mind and how they possibly perceive our little green isle. Leading off the main hall was a lounge area with comfy couches where you could take a coffee and read the morning newspapers. Off this room was the Majors Bar with another big roaring fire on where you could enjoy a cocktail or two.
Although there is a Michelin restaurant in the Manor House we decided to head to the more casual restaurant called The Hound which was 2 minutes away in their other recently opened hotel Hunters Yard. For starters we shared a bread board with breadsticks, homemade rustic breads and a delicious tapenade and hummus and Mr V had crab on toast. Then for mains himself had the steak and I had the confit duck leg which tasted absolutely amazing with a portion of chunky parmesan fries. It was just perfect. Back to the Manor House then for a late night drink by the cosy fire in the Majors Bar which has a beautiful intricately detailed ceiling.
After a great night’s sleep we made it for breakfast just in the nick of time (not really a morning person 🙂 especially when on holiday. Well what was not to enjoy about this breakfast experience – white linen on the tables with silver service and china. If I could this is how I would have all my meals. There’s something special about crisp linen tablecloths and silver service. I love my food and breakfast is no exception and one of my pet hates is a huge buffet breakfast with dishes of sausages, bacon and greasy food galore so I’m a huge fan of ordering breakfast from a small select menu which is how breakfast was on offer here. I ordered the Cinnamon French Toast with maple syrup. In the meantime we helped ourselves to fresh orange juice, bowls of fresh fruit and fresh mini croissants for starters :). Just look at that view over morning breakfast – just stunning.
After breakfast we took a walk around this 1500 acre estate taking in the stud which is just over the bridge and the beautiful gardens. If your lucky enough you’ll meet Des who is friendly, charming and a mine of information regarding the history of the estate – his a real character.
After a little nap we headed for the leisure centre which seems a little bit tired and needs a little but I was told there were plans to update this so I’m sure it’ll be transformed into something fabulous. I would love to see a jacuzzi here.
I’m reluctant to call it a hotel even though it is because this is a very special place that feels like a home from home in many ways and offers so much more than your typical hotel. This beautiful old Manor House has a very unique feeling about it and there are a number of things that makes this place very very special – the staff are so warm, friendly, down to earth, chatty and interesting, there are lots of beautiful rooms to relax in and have a coffee or glass of wine with big roaring fires, the food is excellent, the house is beautiful and stylishly decorated in keeping with the period of the house. The interiors are beautiful. It’s an elegant, luxurious and classy place with amazing people working there and has a relaxing, peaceful, warm and laid back vibe about it. They were so wonderful with Elsa (our daughter) and help was always at hand. She lapped up the luxury just like her Mama 🙂
So ladies if the hubbies or partners mention that they’re heading on a golfing trip to Mount Juliet I would definitely be tagging along for the perfect mini break 🙂 or if you need a beautiful place to relax and unwind in and need a weekend getaway this is the place to stay.
After 2 nights in the Manor House on this beautiful estate of Mount Juliet I have to say I just drifted out the door and felt totally relaxed and energised. This is a beautiful and very special place and I can’t wait to return. #theperfectweekendgetaway