Sunday, July 02, 2006

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, Recess, Connemara

We spent the weekend at the Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, in Connemara. We were in Connemara at the end of April (see my post of 30 April for the full words of the Michel Sardou song!) with Amex points, and, this time again, our weekend was courtesy of American Express.

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel was very nice - very quiet setting, lovely walks through the grounds, its own river and lake, excellent food, and very professional, friendly but discreet, service. We got a standard room. It was a little bit old-fashioned, but was very spacious and quiet, and had a perfect view of the mountains. And it even had wireless connectivity. There are lovely rooms downstairs where you can sit down and read a book by the fire in peace and quiet. Perfect if the weather is not.

My best food memories from the weekend were the seafood platter from the bar menu on Friday evening, and a special dessert plate for my birthday on Saturday night, with vanilla ice-cream, panacotta, nectarines, mocha vacherin and meringue (and a candle and Happy Birthday MHBD written in chocolate on the side of the plate!). Thank You, Brendan, for organising my special dessert! My eyes lit up when I saw the waitress walking across the room with her hand in front of the candle!

By the way, I didn't know what panacotta was before this weekend, so here is a link to a recipe. For any of you interested in food, I've also found a link to this blog which seems pretty good. (Not that I'd know - I don't cook much! I'll check with Brendan what he thinks of this blog.)

We didn't tour as much this time - we decided to stick close to the hotel. We walked around the grounds, by the river and by the lake, and we drove down to Roundstone and discovered a fabulous white-sand beach at Dogs' Bay. It was a little bit overcast, but the colour of the sea was wonderful all the same - subtle pale turquoisy-greens. I'm sure that with a bit of sunshine, we'd get the Maldivian blue! And temperatures were about 17 degrees (with a cold breeze yesterday, and perfectly calm today)

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