Cooking demonstrations, wine talks, supper clubs, new restaurants and mushroom hunts in gorgeous surroundings are reason enough to book these gourmet getaways …
Longueville House, Co Cork
This year marks the 21st annual “Mushroom Hunt” in Longueville House; this relaxing weekend retreat takes place from Friday, September 30 to Sunday, October 1. Guests can be assured of a warm welcome from chef/patron William O’Callaghan, who cooks up a storm during the weekend. There is home baking and an afternoon tea on check-in (worth arriving early for), before a four-course dinner each evening. With lots of opportunity for strolls around the 400-acre estate and its orchards, the main mushroom hunt and picnic lunch is on Saturday. From €800 total stay, including a country house buffet breakfast each morning; www.secure.irelands-blue-book.ie.
Castlemartyr Resort, Co Cork
Gourmets will want to book Terre, a new restaurant opening mid-month at Castlemartyr Resort, where chef Vincent Crepel hopes to combine his French training, experience in Asia and local Irish produce. The restaurant is named in homage to the connection between land, people and produce while the Terre experience will be set over several spaces including a preserving room, dining room, kitchen and salon. There’s also a new Canopy Restaurant & Bar, under the management of chef Kevin Burke, a visit to which is included in the resort’s current two-night gastro package (€630 per room). This includes a trip and tasting with Jameson Whiskey in Midleton, dinner on one evening in the new Canopy Restaurant & Bar (with a Jameson infused dessert!) and a stay in one of the newly refurbished bedrooms. Breakfast is included as is use of the health club, spa and swimming pool. Also on site is the Ron Kirby-designed golf course, and over 220 acres to wander (and work up an appetite or work off some calories); www.castlemartyrresort.ie.
Mount Juliet, Co Kilkenny
“Destination Delicious at the Georgian Manor House” is the new September offer at Mount Juliet, which is a two-night stay priced at €880 per room. This includes a trio of culinary treats as well as champagne on arrival. Guests can look forward to afternoon tea served on one day, a Michelin-starred dining experience in the Lady Helen restaurant and a cheese and wine tasting hosted in the new 1757 cellar bar in the Manor House. Breakfast is served each day in the Manor House and guests have full use of the Mount Juliet Estate Health & Leisure Club and swimming pool; www.mountjuliet.ie
Ballymaloe House, Co Cork
On Friday, September 9 at 7pm in the Long Room at Ballymaloe House, guests can enjoy an entertaining South African wine event hosted by Niels and Penny Verburg of Luddite Wines, Bot River, Western Cape, South Africa. Why not make the most of this informative event, €155, by staying over in one of the rooms in the main house or in one of the rose-coloured farm buildings in the courtyard. From €385 per room; www.secure.irelands-blue-book.ie
The g hotel, Galway
For lovers of Irish seafood and champagne, the “Bubbles & Pearls Supper Club” is one reason to book into the g Hotel, Galway on Thursday, September 22. Coincidentally, this takes place a day before the International Oyster & Seafood Festival begins. This is the second supper club hosted by head chef Dominique Majecki in the stunning Grand Salon and he will be joined by local seafood suppliers (including Dooncastle Oysters and Mary’s Fish Galway) who will share their own stories and experiences with guests. Each course will be paired with a glass of Champagne Taittinger and Kevin McKee from Champagne Taittinger will attend to explain the pairings on the evening. The “Bubbles & Pearls Champagne & Seafood Supper Club” is available to pre-book at €125 per person. Should you want to make a night of the gourmet occasion a package is available from €247 per person sharing which includes accommodation, attendance at the event and breakfast the next morning; www.theghotel.ie.
Ardtara Country House, Co Derry
If you need some inspiration for autumn dinner parties, why not book the Italian cookery demonstration on Thursday September 22 at 7pm, led by Ardtara’s chef/ patron Ian Orr. Ian will cook an array of Italian dishes, offering tips and advice along the way. This event is £59.95 per person which includes a four-course dinner afterwards. Alternatively, book a stay on the evening with dinner and demonstration included. If you haven’t been to Ardtara, it’s a great base for visiting the Antrim coast – Seamus Heaney’s Home Place, Royal Portrush Golf Club and the Giant’s Causeway are all easily accessible from this secluded retreat, once the home of a Cork linen baron. Accommodation is elegant, while food is a forte. Ian will also be hosting a French cookery demonstration on Wednesday, October 19. From £344 total stay: book here.
Carton House, Co Kildare
There’s a special “Meet the Winemaker” dinner in The Morrison Room at Carton House on Thursday, September 29. Showcasing the exquisite wines of English winery Gusbourne Estate, the tasting will be accompanied by carefully curated dishes by head chef Charles Degrendele from the hotel’s fine dining restaurant. Master Sommelier and global ambassador, Laura Rhys, will lead the evening, during which guests can learn more about Gusbourne Estate. Founded in 2004, it grows Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes across 60 hectares in Kent and 30 hectares in West Sussex, championing a low-intervention, sustainable approach to vineyard management. The dinner is €120 per person, while an overnight stay for two with breakfast is €345; www.cartonhouse.com.
Merchant Hotel, Belfast
There’s been a real buzz about Belfast in recent months – the opening of Niall McKenna’s new Waterman restaurant in the Cathedral Quarter has been one of the main attractions. Take in this pared back uber stylish restaurant while on a break at Merchant Hotel. This month it is celebrating the sixth year of its popular, month-long Prosecco festival. The stunning surroundings of The Great Room Restaurant is the perfect location for a prosecco dinner with oenologist, Davide Roncada. In addition to the Prosecco dinner, guests can take part in “Battle of the Bubbles” in The Merchant’s Rooftop Garden with expert Noel McMahon, or enjoy some bubbles and fashion at a styling session with Rebecca McKinney or opt for a Prosecco Masterclass on the Rooftop Garden. There’s also a prosecco afternoon tea, tasting flights and a variety of prosecco cocktails with a twist at the hotel’s cocktail bar. To find out more visit www.themerchanthotel.com.
Hayfield Manor, Co Cork
There is a two-night “Gourmet Experience” on offer this month at Hayfield Manor. This includes a four-course dinner on one evening in Orchids Restaurant or Perrott’s Garden Bistro. On an afternoon of choice, indulge in Hayfield Manor’s Afternoon Tea (or if this is unavailable, guests will be offered a two-course lunch). From €395 per night; www.secure.irelands-blue-book.
Sheen Falls Lodge, Co Kerry
On November 19, The Celtic Tenors will be performing for guests during a five-course set dinner menu with wine pairing in the 2AA Rosette restaurant The Falls Restaurant. This weekend includes either overnight or two nights’ accommodation in a room overlooking Sheen Falls or Kenmare Bay, dinner in The Falls Restaurant and an additional performance by The Celtic Tenors – Matthew, Daryl and James – in The Sheen Lounge. The two-night stay is from €740 – based on two people sharing in a Classic Room. A one night stay on Saturday, November 19 is from €550; www.sheenfallslodge.ie.
Adare Manor, Co Limerick
Pigtown Festival Limerick returns this September and October to celebrate Limerick’s food culture, local producers, and the food heritage across the whole county. On Sunday, September 18, The Oak Room at Adare Manor will play host to a very special Pigtown dinner, shining a light on some of executive head Chef Mike Tweedie’s favourite local produce, welcoming diners to a very special tour of Limerick on each plate. Dinner is priced at €140 per person (beverages not included). Overnight accommodation is available from €1,265 per room per night including breakfast; www.adaremanor.com.