Every single one of us deserves to be treated like royalty at least once in our lives.
Personally I would like to be treated like the Queen of Sheba every day of the week, but I will settle for one weekend away at Clontarf Castle Hotel instead.
With the risk of sounding like an eejit, the hotel is a haven of tranquility, and once those swooshing sliding doors close behind you and you step into the main foyer of the castle, all those stresses and worries of life are left behind.
The castle itself is gorgeous, with a lot of the original structure of the castle, which was built in 1172, still standing. However, the truly impressive part of this hotel is how they have moulded the new, modern, sleek hotel around the existing structure.
But don’t just take my word for gospel, check it out for yourself.
With the sounds of twinkling music and a crackling fire, they check you in and lead you the shiny lift and direct you to your room.
(Top tip: Check out that badass artwork they’ve printed on their keycards)
If luxury and four poster beds aren’t your thing, look away now. You’ve been warned.
Clontarf Castle Hotel serve one of the best Afternoon Teas that I’ve ever experienced. You can nab yourself a Sparkling Fusion Tea for €43.95 per person or a Gin Fusion Tea for €45.95.
Now before you slay me for suggesting you pay the guts of 50 smackers for afternoon tea, let me just say – It is totally worth the money. Treat yo’self.
The clue is in the name of the first Afternoon Tea, you get a glass of bubbly to kick off the event, before you get an education in all of their loose leaf tea collections. They are well versed in the teas, including their tastes, scents and health benefits. So if tea is your thing, listen up and ask away, and even if it isn’t, you’ll still find it interesting.
But here’s where it gets reeeeally good. See that second Afternoon Tea I mentioned? Yeah. Gin.
Anyone who knows me, knows I have an enduring love affair with gin, and this Gin Fusion Tea option nearly made me fall off my chair. You get all the delights of the first tea, but they replace your champers with some high quality gin instead. Yes please.
Then comes the food. Mountains of it.
Seriously, they even offer a doggy bag service because people usually have trouble finishing the amount of food that they offer up. This is a proper feed.
It also comes in stages, the savoury then the sweet. Fill your tum with such treats as fig jam, prosciutto ham, goats cheese and tasty breads… I could go on and on.
The sweet was the star of the show for me though. Mini crème brûlée, chocolate mousse, black forrest gateau, meringue, fresh fruit and more. It was heaven.
They cater for a range of dietary requirements as well, including offering vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options.
Clontarf Castle also acts as a bit of an art museum, with loads of stunning artwork adorning the walls of the castle, and the corridors to the bedrooms. There is something to see around every corner, and they even have a dedicated art trail map that you can follow, to find the different pieces and read up a little about each of them.
If you can nab a spot in their award winning Fahrenheit restaurant, which is a usually booked solid (because it’s that good), you can enjoy some amazing food, courtesy of the talented head-chef Stuart Heaney, some carefully selected wines and top quality service for the evening.
The eclectic Castle Collection package is priced from €269 per night and includes the art trail, Afternoon Tea, and breakfast the following morning for two people. Find out more from their website.
Never before I have said treat yo’self with such intensity and purpose. TREAT. YO’SELF.