Monday, October 12, 2009

Cabra Castle Dinner

Cable Castle CrytalAlong with the Hopetoun House, we thought we should stay in a castle while in Ireland. We found Cabra Castle that is about half way between Belfast and Dublin. As our journey was taking us through Portadown in Northern Ireland and onto Dublin to fly home, we thought it a great choice for a castle (and really our only choice). We were not sure what to expect since we have never stayed in a castle. We didn’t know if it was going to live up to the fairy tale images in our mind or if it was going to be a tourist trap.

Cabra Castle Tomato SoupLuckily the first was true. The castle has beautiful grounds and has converted the old carriage houses to guest rooms, along with rooms in the actually castle. We stayed in a carriage house that opened onto a large courtyard that the kids had a great time running around in! The dinner also lived up to expectations. The platings were striking and each course from appetizer, soup, main and dessert delivered beautiful, clean flavours using local products and high quality ingredients. The second course of a rich, smoky tomato soup was one of the highlights of the meal for everyone (especially my father-in-law).

Cabra Castle SteakThe breakfast was again very fresh using local ingredients and had traditional elements like Irish soda bread. A breakfast buffet offered cold cereals, juices and baked goods while you could also order hot dishes off the menu, such as an eggs Benedict or French toast like I had. With local ingredients, fine Irish crystal and an exquisite castle setting, the food portion of the event lived up to its best expectations. Overall the experience was well worth the money and the trip through the countryside.

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